Should We Fight…Virtually?

Jonathan Dodson asks, when it comes to virtual violence, where is the line?

About Richard Clark

Richard H. Clark is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. He has a Master of Arts in Theology and the Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Louisville, Ky. He is also the managing editor of Gamechurch and a freelance writer for Unwinnable, Paste, and other outlets.
E-mail: clarkrichardh [at] gmail [dot] com.
Twitter: @deadyetliving

  • The Dane

    That was just terrible. Barely made it through the first tortured paragraph.

    “Though war hasn’t breached the shores of American soil in over a hundred and fifty years…” Uh, history much?

    “The steady stream of war headlines continue to remind us that there are many who fight every day to defend our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Is that what they’re fighting for? Because I didn’t think it was that.

    “With very little left to fight for at home, Americans are turning to alternative forms of combat.” This one’s special for Jose. While the author is possibly imply causation, he is really only attempting correlation. And really, not even that. As if places that have war don’t also play violent games.

    “It’s ironic that the very rights our soldiers die to secure are the rights we fight to sabotage in the gaming world.” Presuming that our soldiers are actually fighting for our liberty (do people still believe this?), how is some kid at home curb-stomping a Koopa Paratroopa or simulating activity in a counter-terrorist squad at all ironic? Help? Anybody?

    “The overnight success of games like The [sic] World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto demonstrate that our desire for a fight is far from gone.” This wins the award for non-controversial statement of forever. Has anyone anywhere believed that our fighting spirit has even for a moment been vanquished?

    “Consider” Or consider closet nazis or the Klan or creepy northwestern militias or RapeLay aficionados. Or consider any other fringe movement and apply their concerns to the general populace and then make statements about the state of the general populace using non-normative samples as evidence. Capca has a better traffic rank than 666games.

    “Is this the kind of combat we have stooped to? Killing our digital boss, torturing virtual people, and orchestrating death?” Stooping? From what? We? What is he talking about?

    It isn’t ’til the final lines of the article that the author begins to say ask anything of value: “Should we actively participate in virtual slaughter and simply shrug it off as entertainment or does the gospel compel us to draw a line in the sand? What does the Bible have to say about violence and fighting?”

    Those are fair questions, though I’m not sure that what the Bible says about fighting and violence has much bearing on what we pretend. I suppose a better question might be to ask whether Scripture concerns itself with the imaginary and the believer’s interaction with fiction.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Alan Noble

    @ Dane

  • The Dane

    That’s how I pronounce it in conversation, so I thought I’d type it that way too. Plus, it still beats the abominable CaPC, which should have never seen the light of day.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies