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News article for the week of 8/10/08.

Highway Robbery and Murder?
By Puns McKenna

So where did the violence begin? What violence you ask? Why the violence in video games, of course! For that we have to go way backÖ back to the days of the pre-hysterical arcade. Anybody remember Pong? Hitting a little dot of white light around on a black screen? The original violence, no? No? Okay, how about the little yellow smiley face that wonkawonkawonked its way across the screen eating dots and little ghosts?

Okay so we started out with the seemingly harmless cutesy characters eating obnoxious dots and ghost, little hose-nosed critters dodging snakes, and letís not forget the little whited capped dweeb that shoots critters with a harpoon and fills them full of air. Then we moved on to the console games. You know Nintendo and Sega. Those games had plenty of violence in them. Jousting turkeysÖexploding space amoebae.

Now we have things like the PlaystationÖthe WiiÖ And this is where we get the games like Grand Theft Auto. Games that are so realistic that you canít seem to put them down even when you walk away from the game console. I donít know about you all, but Iíve seen enough cop vs. stolen car chases that I donít need to live them. Apparently Iím one of the few that doesnít want to actually steal a car just to see if itís as easy as in the game, though.

I canít believe how supremely stupid. Weíre talking super-sized drink and fries stupid. People can be. I mean what kind of stupidity drives a kid to go outÖknife a man to death, and steal his taxicab, only to prove how lifelike a game is? I mean, would you want to face lethal injection for a game? I can picture it now. Kids lined up at the video game store waiting to get their copy of the latest violent rampage game, having to sign a waiver before they can get it.

Why donít we have game companies come up with a few new games? They could have titles like Lethal Injection for Fun, or Erecting Your Own Tombstone. Theyíd be just as appropriate to the way video gaming youngsters end up. Now not all gamers are going to be stupid enough to go out and commit the crimes they can in their games, but what kind of message are we sending to our children? By letting them have and in some cases giving them these violent games, arenít we telling them that violence, petty or otherwise, is okay?

I donít know about anyone else, but if this is the way the world is going the dark fiery furnace in a hand basket, Iím going to invest in kevlar apparel for the entire family.

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