#PewDiePie, Anti-PDP, and the State of the Gaming Industry

The Rights, The Wrongs, and Society's Pulse

Regarding the article There is no ‘heat of the moment’ in video games…

I will not usually use the Longhaul Preacher blog for any kind of political statement if I can help it, but this article from Polygon/MSN News is like an open wound to me because it underscores the need in society for family friendly material and the need for increased industry and parental responsibility.

I both agree and disagree with this writer, Mr. Owen S. Good, in the context that there is no excuse, that it showed something within the player’s personality to let loose with a word he obviously uses, just not normally on his podcasts. Mr. Good is correct. Whether or not PewDiePie meant it in a racist way is actually beside the point. This is his real, off-screen personality. Welcome to the Hollywood factor, folks, he is a human being. I have been working on my mouth ever since I became a father and it is not easy. I thank him for the apology and pray that he continues to work on that. Tripping up and apologizing is easy. Repentance takes work.

On the other hand, the writer is also making excuses for the gaming industry (and, in turn, the movie and TV industries) at the same time by saying “it is just a game” and that there is no “heat of the moment” because it is “just a game.” There is a reason for the ratings system and the way Mr. Good excuses his way through the “lack” of a “heat of the moment” is the reason for the failures of the ratings system: Society no longer cares.

Take, for example, the highly popular Grand Theft Auto series. It exploits and celebrates crime up to and including murder of innocent civilians and emergency personnel and is loved by a great many gamers and game reviewers. I have never even so much as liked it, and yes, I have been introduced to it and have played it. I find it vulgar, distasteful, and not for anyone under the age of 21 if that. I have seen horror games with more tact. Yet, it is highly popular. Some might even argue it is a series more popular than Call of Duty and Halo combined, at least internationally.

Here’s the thing: I am a counselor by Masters Degree if no longer professionally (too many counselors in the state of Colorado) and I have seen both in study and in my own practice the numbing of America. We complain as children take guns to schools and shoot them up, but the children are so numbed to such an idea that it is becoming increasingly popular. There is no shock value. In that sense, Mr. Good is absolutely correct, there is no “heat of the moment” because there is no longer any “heat.” How did we get that way? Slowly through the transformation of entertainment. Westerns didn’t use to show blood. Any blood that was shown in any great amount was usually in horror movies and was so fake as to be laughable, the so-called “B-rated” movies. But now days everything has to be more and more real with greater detail. I’m all for real, but do we seriously need to exploit and celebrate the worst of humanity to do it? Do we really need to feed it to our children in as heavy doses as we do soft drinks and candy if not more?

So let’s not give the gaming industry as a whole a break on the PewDiePie dialog thing. We created games that do cause trauma to the brain. There is “heat of the moment.” It may be in small doses, but even minor trauma builds up. We use to be afraid of showing our kids horror movies of any kind before bed because “they might get nightmares.” What ever happened to that kind of responsible parenting? What ever happened to that kind of caring?

And I am not saying I am perfect, either. Showed little Freya Brave the other day, a Disney movie, and it gave her nightmares all night. My mistake. Forgot about the bear fight scenes. I just thought she’d like seeing a strong girl, Merida. Shoot, my parents have the story of taking me to see Bambi and I apparently cried and had nightmares about Bambi’s mother for days. Trauma exists in entertainment. We just need to be careful how it is fed to our children.

The reality of the world can wait, at least for our children.

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:5–6, NASB

Thanks for reading, y’all, and God bless.

Exploration 2: Just the Beginning

Exploration 2: Just the Beginning

When it comes to exploration, I couldn’t be more excited about the ideas Chris Roberts and crew have presented so far for Star Citizen, and despite it being a year since 3.0 was first announced and a year since my podcast regarding exploration, it is still an exciting prospect. So here it is, a recap and fresh look at 3.0 and exploration and the ships involved in the future of exploration in Star Citizen.