Are Video Games Evil?
Violent video games teach our kids to point and shoot, say their critics. The truth may be every bit as frightening to members of a generation raised to believe they’re thinking outside the box.
On a monday evening last fall, in the Crystal Gateway Marriott a few blocks from the Pentagon, a group of academics, journalists, and software developers gathered to play with the U.S. military’s newest toys. In one corner of the hotel’s ballroom, two men climbed into something resembling a jeep. One clutched a pistol and positioned himself behind the steering wheel, while the other manned the vehicle’s turret. In front of them, a huge, three-paneled television displayed moving images of an urban combat zone. Nearby, another man shot invisible infrared beams from his rifle at a video-screen target. In the middle of the room a player knelt, lifted a large, bazooka-like device to his shoulder, and began launching imaginary antitank missiles.
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Chris Suellentrop writes The Opinionator, an online column for The New York Times, and has written about video games for Wired and the online magazine Slate.more from this author >>