From Duck Hunt to Call of Duty

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


I was hiking down memory lane, having a conversation about an old video game called, “Duck Hunt.”

A friend of mine mentioned how she still had the game, but no console. We laughed about that and the annoying dog that was at one moment your friend and the next your most annoying antagonist; laughing at you because you failed to kill any of the “digital-ducks” flapping across the screen.

I was reminded of the small B&W TV we had in the kitchen, where I was allowed to hook the Nintendo up. I wasn’t able to hook it up to the floor model color TV; it was the “community” TV for my mom and sis and the only color one in the house. The time-worn connectors on the back of that CRT crypt were already being used by the twisted antenna that brought our makeshift living room some televised clarity. I just remember sitting in the worn down orange and yellow kitchen chair, pointing that plastic gun at the screen, shooting at the black and gray ducks, engaging in the first virtual experience that connected the real world to the video game world. It was fun, it was innocent and it was innovative, creative and a big leap from the bleeps and blips of Colecovision and Atari.

I began to think about how far video games have come and being the consummate thinker I am, I began to compare that seemingly guiltless bird-hunting-gun-gallery, to the ultra-violent games that are available to our kids now. I went to the couch and began to psychoanalyze humanity.

However, as possible as it may be to tie-in the crayon animated carnage that millions of us were exposed to – there is no way that it has imbedded its dreadful degree into who we’ve become as adults. I don’t think the NES Zapper, was designed for the purpose of facilitating youth into a life of fighting and murder. You would think that it would have turned out legions of young eager hunters instead.

We as a society, particularly males are fascinated with guns from childhood. We see cowboys and Indians and how the almighty cowboys bang- bang-bang down Indian savagery. We see john Wayne, lead armies into war with Hollywood guns blazing and victory guaranteed by at least the hour and a half mark. We see Officer Friendly toting his gun in our neighborhoods, keeping the burglars and villains at bay and reminding us that “Crime doesn’t pay…unless you get caught.”
They usually leave that last part out.

Anyway, American males are addicted to guns and the noises they make. We love to hear or see a big explosion on TV or hear the bone-rattling thunderclap from a 50 Cal sniper rifle. Does this make us crazy, fanatical or maniacal? In some instances it does and we started off with just Duck Hunt.
Fast forward to today! Our kids are growing up playing video games that are realistic, use real weapons, digitized blood, gore and death, which is certainly a far cry from being stuck with 3 bullets and a Dog that was the biggest a-hole in video game history as your hunting buddy.

Now our young men can team up on-line from Boston to Budapest. Gamers can come together to blow shit up. Creating a giant virtual World War III, IV and V! Our young people play these games and even think that because they know the names of the weapons they’re playing with, think they miraculously become experts in tactical and survival skills. Many of them joining or dreaming of joining the Army or Marines, fueled by the exhilarating dopamine-high they get from simulated bloodshed. I’ve even heard that new US Soldiers go through training seminars with games similar to Call of Duty, to give them a very small taste of what to expect on the field of battle.

Pilots train in flight simulators.
Astronauts have extra-vehicular activity training.
Firemen go through training with burning buildings.

Are they training us and our kids for something?

Not to be a conspirator (I’ll save that for another blog) but, is there a grand plan to get us ready for war in case it happens and happens to take place in regular neighborhoods? Who knows? What I do know is that, if there is a problem with men and particularly violence from men that came from the Nintendo Era, what can be said about our young men that are playing these games now? What kind of men will they be in the future? The PlayStations and the Xboxes, enable these fellas to disconnect from reality and link them to a mental world war that could lead to a marginal form of PTSD, which would then lead to cognitive behavioral therapy.

As parents and guardians, we have to make sure that we don’t let our children and teenagers make bad life-decisions based on how bad-ass they may be in multiplayer mode. Sadly, our boys aren’t given much or anything else to be in life. Many of us neglect our young males and “set them off” to find out what life is like on their own. Or, we saturate them with Sex, Violence, War and Death and that’s all they see and it’s all they know. Young girls aspire to be pretty or sexy or smart and important. Our boys think they will be important by being remembered; perhaps if they die doing something that in their eyes is worth dying for. A disturbing infatuation with post-mortem accolades. Why is that? Are we raising our boys to become video game soldiers, only to send them off into real war? It seems like we are. We leave them to their own vices and not pay enough attention to them to show them other things in life. Will we have to live in a society where headlines like “Driven to Kill by Call of Duty” become a societal norm? Are we such a desperate society, of over medicated spoiled brats that trans-mutate our simulated-wraithlike military fantasies into real tangible deaths?

These are questions that should be asked and should be answered. Who do we go to for the answers? The video game companies, the retailers, the programmers? Our young males, across all races and across the country are mentally-disenfranchised. There are reports published by the so-called smart people that say boys are rapidly falling behind girls in education and in jobs.  They call it “Feminisms Greatest Victory.” Feminists have lobbied for a societal transformation where the rights and talents of women are fully recognized and men are subjugated to a minority, beginning with the calculated destruction of boys.  If you think about it, over the years, there has been an attack on boyhood, masculinity and manhood.

Don’t react, just think on that.

So in closing, the digital divide between reality and false reality, is somewhat like The Matrix. Our young men are plugged into the systems (video games) and are seeing residual self-images of themselves (soldiers) or Black Operatives, on the Battlefields, blowing stuff up and saving the world but, as I’ve said before, in this life, there’s no continue button and you only get 1 life to lose.


And although they keep trying…..

The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized


Comments are closed.