Killzone Three

Every Friday the Times Picayune, the local paper, puts out an entertainment section called the Lagniappe.  I have read it since I was in my teens and it contains summaries of new movies and music coming out as well as reviews of restaurants, festivals, and other activities the locals might want to engage in over the weekend.

Ever since moving back to New Orleans in 2008, I have noticed a new section, a column written by “The Game Dork.”  It reviews the newest video games.  And this makes great sense since companies make more off video games today, on the wide variety of platforms that exists, than they do off of movies.  And you would think this column would be right up my alley since I like playing video games.  But each week, I grow more and more appalled by what I read.  And I don’t write this to slam “The Game Dork.”  He simply is reporting what is out there and what is popular.  But what is popular isn’t good.

In today’s column, the game “Killzone 3” is reviewed.  The reviewer believes that it is truly a beautiful game.  He reflects that he believes these game designers are the great artists of the day. What is the game about?  Basically, two groups of humans are squared off against one another on some remote planet.  And the way you play is to graphically and gruesomely to maim, dismember, and kill your opponents.  Gone is the day when you shoot at the enemy and he dematerializes.  You get the state of the art graphics of what it is like to drive a knife into someone else’s face, cut off a limb, or shoot them with a shotgun at close range.

Remember folks, these aren’t games being played by some hard core group of gamers.  This is the type of game that will make more money than “Tron” or “True Grit” at the theaters.

On another topic, Jesus told us that if we, in our minds, envision committing adultery, then it has happened already.  What does this say about virtually killing folks (and in increasingly violent and gruesome ways)?

Even the reviewer tried to defend himself in the article (when I am sure his typical reader felt he needs no defense).  He wrote that in real life, he hadn’t been in a fight since elementary school and couldn’t imagine actually doing the things he does in the game.

But if that is our entertainment, will he walk away unscathed?

I don’t know what the answer is.  The topic doesn’t seem to generate much passion in the church or in society at large.  Nevertheless, each Friday, light someone drawn to a train wreck, I look to see what the latest “entertainment” is on the gaming front.  And I worry about what I see.

What’s on your mind this Friday?

All the best,

Tom

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2 thoughts on “Killzone Three

  1. Video games are one of my ‘hobbies’. While I’ve never played Killzone 3, I can say I’ve played and seen some other violent games. I have to say I enjoy a good ‘shooter’ game, a good strategy game, and some roleplaying games. All of these typically involve defeating an opponent. Most of the time that opponent is ‘killed’ virtually. People play board games like Stratego and Risk where they ‘kill’ oppents as well (to some degree chess is like this). I’m not opposed to any of that really. What bothers me is when defeating or ‘killing’ an opponent becomes too graphic or simulates some weird fantasy. Now that I write about it, I guess it is hard to really define where the line is drawn. I like a good bout of ‘good vs evil’, but when a game focuses on twisted ways to ‘kill’ people, I think it can start to desensitize our psyche.

  2. I too am an active gamer. There, at least to me, seems to be an active difference between wanting to defeat the opponent (virtual or real) and wanting to enact a vicious vengeance. I read about one in the gamestop magazine that is a western that encourages the player to skin a horse while it is still alive. This is just beyond what should be entertaining to us. But, at the same time, I don’t think we should ban games. I just hope Christians will ask themselves whether whatever they are doing is helping them to be the person God created them to be. We need our play time. But where we draw the line is important.

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