Friday, July 11, 2008

Your kid? Not so much

In as much of a light-hearted way I could, I took on the issue of Summerfest vs. the Army in this week's column in the Waukesha Freeman (still only 50 cents). I answer the question, would you want a 13-year-old playing a violent video game?

Well, it depends, especially on the 13-year-old. I know that my 7-year-old son is capable of playing the "Lego Star Wars" video game. Rescue Princess Leia from the sail barge? No problem. I suspect in a few years he’ll be ready to tackle that hostage rescue simulator, lead his team to victory, and be the pride of every 13-year-old destined for carpal-tunnel thumb. The military will demand to recruit him.

On the other hand, those who reacted with shock and horror at the idea of a battlefield simulation at Summerfest probably were not happy with anything the Army did to inspire future recruits. I suspect that if they are also parents, they are depriving their children of any "war toys" - no plastic army guns, no plastic toy soldiers. Those parents probably go apoplectic when little Johnny or Suzy playfully grabs a chicken finger from their school lunch and pretends it’s a gun.

I can’t imagine that anyone would want those parents to allow their 13-year-old children to tackle the hostage rescue simulator. They’ll only screw up the group exercise for everyone. We can just hear the Army recruiter muttering under his breath, "That child has a great future as a conscientious objector."