Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on November 17, 2011
I admit it: I don’t understand Playstation’s Battlefield 3 because it’s a little too realistic for me. Would somebody please explain why they want to feel like they’re at war? No doubt this is excellent marketing for the military industrial complex, because it teaches kids that “war is cool” or “war games are normal”.
In actuality, Battlefield 3 could really only be considered a mind f**k, because it puts the user into a position of simulated no-consequences-for-my-actions “play” about a deadly serious topic. Things look like war, act like war, even feel like war, but no one dies and no blood is spilled, real or virtual.
Maybe I object to this kind of manipulation of the senses because it cannot possibly lead to anything good. Hollywood is blamed for its gratuitous violence, for increasing the likelihood of our children becoming violent; what about these “games”?
I have considered the possibility that kids today (or young adults for that matter) are so pessimistic about their future, that they flirt with the idea of death. For them, this is an exercise in existential angst and expression of the anger that results in feeling trapped by circumstances beyond their control. It’s a way of saying f-u to the system, even as it is the ultimate evil outcome of a machine driven by greed. And if you don’t know what I mean by greed, let me spell it out for you: the people who organize the manufacture, sales, transportation, and especially the financing for military weapons are making a killing on us.
The next time you see a commercial about Battlefield 3, consider this: we wouldn’t even be considering these thoughts about the kind of effect this game has on people, or their motivation for wanting to “play” it, if there were no such choices. I ask you: what kind of choice is this, and what does it say about our society?