I was invited into my friend’s middle school social studies class. I helped her lead discussions on war, veterans, and Geo Politics. The kids were wonderfully behaved.(I only had a couple of ‘did you kill anyone’ questions). They we inquisitive and intelligent.
However, the most frequently asked question dealt with the video game Black Ops. Don’t get me wrong, I love hay game and it’s quite fun. They wanted to know if war was like game.
It’s not. The screen doesn’t go red when you’re hit in real life. You fall down, screaming if you’re lucky. I’ve seen it up close, and it isn’t pretty. It ooleaves you scarred. There are no scripted battles either. In modern times, you rarely can differentiate friend from foe.
I didn’t bash the kids for the questions, if was them, I would ask the same thing. Video games are wonderful and actually good for teaching. The Army even uses them for recruitment. (Americas Army). We would come in from missions and play Halo 2 when I was over there.
It’s important not to confuse entertainment and reality. Sometimes they’re close like Saving Private Ryan, but even those films have Hollywood elements to them. War is tough, emotionally and physically. It doesn’t have a reset button or save points. We need to educate the young and ignorant and make them realize the difference.