‘Real life’ not seen in games

By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS managing editor

I was taught at an early age the difference between fact and fiction.

Things reported on the news were fact, but things in a sitcom or drama were fiction.

Things you saw on the streets were fact, but things you saw on a movie screen were fiction.

And one big thing I always remember: Video games are fiction.

I am not afraid to admit I play video games. I enjoy them and have been playing since the day my parents introduced me to their Atari 2600 and received my first Nintendo for Christmas.

I have always known the images portrayed in video games are fake and never to take them seriously.

Some people must not have been taught this.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” was released last week and has caused on uproar with people because of its graphic “real life” violence and “real life” situations. It also shows Washington D.C. during a Russian terrorist attack. This last image has really started on uproar.

I have viewed these images and watched the trailer for the game numerous times. I have not yet played the game but feel I probably will at some point. I can understand how these images may be disturbing to some and bother people.

My biggest problem with that is this is a fictional game. None of the stuff that is happening in this game is real. Video companies have been producing war-themed games since the days of Nintendo and a lot of those games were based on actual events that happened to actual people and the issue was never as big as it is with this game.

World War II has been re-enacted in video games so many times people have lost count, but yet this game is causing the stir.

The main reason is this game shows things happening on United States soil. This does not stop the game from being fiction. Video games are like a good fiction novel. They may have realistic aspects but all and all things are not fact.

I also read political thrillers that involve terrorism and some themes can be thought of as real but still I remain knowing these things are fiction. Some of the more realistic things can make these novels as well as video games a little more exciting.

I am not trying to be insensitive to people who may find these images troublesome. Video games have been testing that line of what is right and wrong for years. I just feel that a valuable lesson to be taught and understand is what is fact and what is fiction. It is a lesson I was taught as a kid and a lesson I plan on teaching the day I become a father.

Chris Schmaedeke is

managing editor of the Quay County Sun. Contact him at 461-1952 or by e-mail: