Jay Cronley: Don't shoot your eye out with violent video games
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 4:53 AM
He is 9 years of age, prime Christmas material.
"What do you want this time around?" I asked. "More video games?"
He had been one of the first to pre-order "Halo 4" back in the spring and had been one of the last to try to find an unknowing adult to buy for him "Black Ops II," a game whose violence is better suited for the Navy Seals, not somebody who's 9.
"Halo 4" is an interactive other-world game that features some pretty salty weaponry of its own and can be played against warriors (pals) headquartered in their own homes. You don a headset, hit the right code, and open fire at somebody across town.
The boy who was 9 said thanks anyhow, but he didn't want a video game that roared with violence, or produced lifelike sports action, or simulated music, or hunted mad birds.
He didn't want a video game at all.
I asked if he would initial a statement along those lines, and the answer was sure.
No video games? So what did he want?
He shrugged, no idea.
Taking aim at video games: I have a wooden box full of Great Things that turned out to be timeless.
In the box is a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun - old, new, who can tell? They all have the cowboy on the rifle butt spelling out the model with his lariat, all resembling the original made in 1938.
True to "The Christmas Story," you could put your eye out with a BB gun. But it's a long shot.
The Red Ryder rifles start at around $25 and run to double or triple that, based on the manner of repeating actions and accessories and what have you.
My Red Ryder loads through a spring-action slot near the barrel. You're probably too small for the gun if you can't cock it yourself.
What's better than shooting at a can or a cup or a balloon in a safe environment while allowing for four inches of wind-drift? Only doing it more often with others is better.
Also in the Great Things box are some ball gloves and hard balls, and remote-control vehicles, the best of the lot being off-road blasters with big tires and hard noses that can take on a rock or a creek at full speed and live to try again.
So maintain the faith. It appears possible that in some instances video-game madness is but a phase, and that a youthful person is capable of pulling out of a dive headed for target practice infinity, and actually do something out of doors.
Original Print Headline: Don't shoot your eye out with violent video games