NRA and Video Games

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Wayne LaPerriere says, "Isn't fantasizing about killing people, as a way to get your kicks, really the filthiest form of pornography?"

I don't understand how it is pornography; but is it filthy, or bad? Isn't that what almost every little boy does: gets "kicks" by playing games about killing people? Cowboys and Indians, little green army men, whatever it is ... that is what many of our species (mostly boys, but not all boys and including many girls) just naturally do, and I think there's probably a natural evolutionary reason why: because through play, we prepare ourselves with skills we might need in real life.

Maybe you could argue that as adults, we should no longer do such things, but I don't see any basis for this claim. We play throughout our lives.

Fantasies are not real, obviously. We seem to mostly understand that, but what we don't seem to get is that most of us do not want our fantasies to be real. Whether it is clouds that taste like cotton candy or killing hundreds of cops in a video game or something more adult, we want these things to remain fantasies. Our fantasies have implications for real life, but they are not real life and we do not want them to be.

I consider that maybe we should worry about people who do not have fantasies that couldn't be realized. If you have no fantasies, or all of your fantasies are just real life, then it seems to me your mind is not growing and learning.

But the real problem is not the people who fantasize about violence, nor those who do not fantasize, but rather people who want their fantasies -- whatever they are -- to be real. People who reject their real life, who want to recreate reality to match their dreams, are the issue. This is not just where we get certain types of killers, but even more mundane, but still tragic, societal problems like broken families: people see fantasies about what their lives could be and reject their current lives for a fantasy that will never be realized.

Again, we get back to mental health and the isolation of modern life, where people have problems with reality, and don't have a structure of people around them to give them the help or outlets or doses of reality that they need. And yes, video games can be an outlet for such people, but they do not create such people. Video games at worst are a symptom, not the disease, nor a cause of the disease, nor even a catalyst for an expressing of the disease.

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