Games of War and Peace: III

This will be a brief one.

A veteran friend of mine, Thomas Brinson, wrote something recently about violent video games that I found to be painfully honest and admirable.

He began by saying:

one of the things that has kept me away from the computer games is the inherent “violence”, especially warfare violence, in many of them –> as a “vet for peace” I have a knee-jerk abhorrence of anything that I judge “glorifies” war and warfighting.

But that wasn’t enough – he carried on, as befits someone practicing self-examination:

That’s the ideal sentiment; the truth is that I enjoy the art of killing too much, and playing modern warfare games would reawaken how much I nostalgically miss the wargames, real and virtual, of my youth in Vietnam, as well as how much I envy, truth be told, the warfighting options available to youth today all over the planet …

I’d like to honor both sides of that statement – the visceral feeling of a warrior, and the restraint of the man of peace.

Both, its seems to me, are truths — and we humans are complex creatures.

4 thoughts on “Games of War and Peace: III”

  1. My turf. I am a vegetarian Buddhist who has managed throughout my life to, so far, avoid using direct violence. I am aggressive but always ready to work things out. Being fairly large and in good physical condition makes this easier as no one attacks me.

    I love my shooters. I play Stalker, all three games, as almost all the rest are easy and reward stupidity. I can blow away 10 hours in a session. Endless fun. I play as myself and commit no atrocities, help allies and neutrals and get to fight endlessly with no real down side. Some of my most favorite times have been spent battling my way into the Chernobyl NNP, A hell of radiation, poorly understood forces and mutants everywhere.

  2. Nice posting. I agree. There is nothing like looking through the scope of a high powered rifle — in the comfort of my mancave and on a 42″plasma — at the face of a digital bad guy who, at my will, is going get his head blown off. I don’t think I would accomplished much in life if those games were around when I was young.

  3. I wish I was young enough to still do the real life version – I was damn good at the art of war during the first Gulf War. I finished up in the National Guard about 4 years ago.

    These days I don’t have much time for computer or video games. When I do play, I have feel more comfortable with future Sci-Fi settings or WWII shooters. Playing present day scenarios just doesn’t feel right.

  4. Very interesting comments from all three of you, and much appreciated.


    I’d like to ask what you think a Buddhist game might look like?

    Years ago I published a piece in which I proposed a Doom-like game set inside a mandala-form temple with Tibetan demons and deities, which could be played full speed as an FPS or in slow motion with Buddhist commentary as a meditation…


    Heh. I have a boy who has been glued to his games for a while — but now he’s getting interested in Photoshop, building models, machinima and so forth. I’ll be interested to watch and see what happens…

    Old Marine:

    You prefer your games to be set in the past or future, not in the present — how about fantasy world, with orcs and so forth? And is part of the problem with “contemporary” war games that they lack sufficient realism, do they have almost too much — or are they somewhere in the uncanny valley perhaps?

    Warm regards to each and all…

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