If there’s one thing government officials and activists – two groups I can hardly tell apart nowadays – like to attack, it’s video games. The world’s favorite pastime has been accused of everything from causing violence to causing sexism. Gaming has suffered from an unfair dogpile from almost the beginning. I mean, if it’s guilty of anything, it’s protecting chastity.
One real positive about video games is that they can be relied upon as teaching tools. More and more often, the game Minecraft is being used in classrooms to teach various things. Children, especially kinesthetic learners who learn by doing, are benefiting from the hands-on and engaging medium.
Video game technology is one of the most successful inventions since the advent of the printing press. So it’s no surprise that activists and legislators want in on the action.
Admittedly, the government has used video games in various ways for a while. Simulators for pilots, therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD, just to name a couple. There are even sinister theories about how the government is using games, including one popular urban legend about a game called Polybius. Activists also have attempted to work with the government themselves in order to introduce political agendas into the gaming culture, like Anita Sarkeesian and the Anti-Defamation League tried to do with a Common Core curriculum.
But when activism and government combine, you get a very ferocious, and worse, very expensive monster.
It’s been released that the Department of Justice threw $800,000 into research being done by the National Institute of Justice in order to build a video game that will teach young boys not to be so aggressive.
The funding for this game’s development comes from a provision written into the reauthorized “Violence Against Women Act” by Democratic Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Research is being lead by Christie Rizzo, who said, “One of the things I’ve recognized is that there’s not enough out there for adolescent boys. We need to create more for adolescent boys, from anger management to general relationship skills to how you manage jealousy in a relationship.”
While government activism has been around for ages, the fairly recent and misguided trend of viewing natural tendencies of males as a menace that needs to be curbed has caused more harm than good. It’s a view that continues to put men at disadvantages when accusations of rape or assault arise, and even persist after innocence has been proven.
While this injustice occurs, the government spending nearly a million dollars to fix a problem that’s not a problem only furthers the illusion that males are somehow too dangerous to be left alone. It’s the “teach men not to rape” mentality applied.
Despite proven studies that show women are just as guilty of domestic abuse, we do not see any video games being developed to teach women not to become violent, or teach women not to falsely accuse innocent people of rape. This is purely government activism getting involved with the most popular cause of our day, in a medium that is already a war zone due to that very issue.
While many have taken sides against the narrative that both men and gaming are somehow dangerous, now their participation in supporting it is mandatory due to the involvement of our taxpayer dollars.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
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