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Game Maker Misses Message About War

Regarding “Combat Game Meets German Resistance,” March 22:

Predictably, Electronic Arts lays the blame for restrictions on its video game “Command & Conquer: Generals” on Germany’s opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. EA just doesn’t get it. The message is that Germany -- and Europeans in general -- don’t share Americans’ obsession with the use of violence to solve conflict.

Unlike traditional myths and fairy tales, whose imaginary characters and settings help to prevent a direct personal identification in the child’s mind, the virtual reality of today’s films and video games confronts the child with violence in real-life settings, telling him or her that violence is the thing that really counts when there is conflict.

This is a dangerous and irresponsible enterprise. Why is it so difficult for us Americans to see this? Have we -- as adults -- already succumbed to the acceptance of violence as a way to live?

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Or can we learn to listen to others, such as the Germans, who have lived through far more violence (real, not virtual) than we have, recognized its terrible legacies and are trying to encourage children to find a better way?

Pete Knoles

Los Olivos


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