I am very sorry to have to admit this. I am chastened and embarrassed to say it. I am confused and somewhat annoyed with myself, too.
I just don’t get it.
I came home to see the 15-year-old beating the brains out of someone with a baseball bat. All in the name of good, clean fun.
So somehow, I just missed the idea that a game is not over the top, and is somehow redeemed because the violence is bloodless. Brains are not smeared on the sidewalk, so it’s okay. See, I just don’t get it.
I am watching the kids (my kids) pulverizing someone. And they are laughing. They are excited. They are egging each other on. Telling the 15-year old to have his character–named Jimmy–take another swing at the boy lying on the sidewalk with his hands in front of his face trying to protect himself. I, alone, am cringing. See, I’m not getting it, still.
It’s supposed to be good because “Jimmy” helps kids being bullied. By using extreme violence. And the game is good because it doesn’t reward Jimmy for bullying. See, if he beats up his bad-guy classmates he earns new ways to beat up the bad-guy classmates. This is, not considered extreme violence because his main weapons are his fists and an occasional trash can lid. No guns, knives or blood. See, I can’t tell the difference between extreme and not so extreme. Still not getting it.
I interrupted the beating. “Hey, I thought that this game wasn’t supposed to reward violence.” The kids turned around and sheepishly smiled, then returned to the melee. I had to walk away. Not getting it.
“Doc!” you say. “Why were you surprised that a game with a name of Bully brought to you by the same folks who made car-jacking and killing cops into gameplay would be a bit violent? What were you thinking??”
One good thing happened, though. The kids misplaced the game. Get it?