Watching Violent Games

While my boy goes to his beloved Lego Battle Bots course at the local YMCA, I wonder about the attraction of a potentially violent game.

Of course, what the little boys build there and play with doesn’t look like much violence. They simply seem to play Lego.
But the goal of each of their creations is to destroy the others’ “bots”.

Nevertheless, I think there is no harm in this course and the fun they are having.
I believe harm would come if one would actually cultivate and glorify violence.

After the course, we’ve been looking at “YouTube” videos of “adult” battle bots, which seem to be a whole “industry”, with arenas filled with screaming fans.  Here, too, the goal is to destroy the other “bots”. Only… these machines are not made of little Legos with weak electric motors. No, these machines are big, made of metal, with deadly-looking weapons.

What has upset me most while watching a few of those videos was when one bot had already won over another, but kept pounding it “for the fun of it”, until it was completely destroyed, all to the sounds of Heavy Metal music. And the speaker on the video cheered. And the public went wild.

It made me think of bull fights, and dog and rooster fights.
There was no mercy.
And the public cheered, just like I imagine the public cheered in the long-gone Roman arenas, when wild animals mauled each other or humans.

It looks like our technology has advanced so far that we can replace the gladiators by robots. But, alas, human nature doesn’t seem to have advanced beyond enjoying violence.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I will not keep my son from having fun engineering sophisticated Lego battle bots. This course and these games really are innocent. But I will sure keep an eye on his reactions to violence and his ability to feel and grant mercy. Because…. the adult application we’ve seen on those videos seems far from innocent.