World Peace Game
Today there are mostly games in circulation that are violent. I would ask parents, teachers and the community to make higher choices.
This game below is an example of how we could invest in world peace games to assist children in learning how to solve problems rather than have fun playing with violence.
The game asks viewers to select an Avatar. Read instructions carefully. The program is educational for children to help inform them about conflict and what actions they can take.
The game is focused on the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.
The game is an example of how we could have kids focus on problem solving rather than repeatedly playing games which aim to hurt and win.
It is the competition coupled with desensitization activities that enables violence to occur or at the very least seem normal. In reality it is important not to confuse conflict with violence. Conflict is normal violence is abuse and dysfunctional behaviour many have accepted given social norms.
It is worth noting that the Special Air Services (SAS) use violent games to train soldiers. The question is why do we use violent games to entertain children? Why not train children in peaceful behaviours.
I asked a child about the super hero he was, he was dressed as batman. I asked him what he does. He says ‘I am fighting the bad guys’. I said ‘why are you fighting the bad guys?’ He says ‘because they are bad and must be put in jail? I asked him if bad guys were all bad and if we could help them? He said ‘no they are all bad’. I asked ‘what made them bad?’ He seemed to not have an answer there. I asked ‘do you think bad people didn’t have a good family where they could learn to be good?’ He said ‘no they are bad’. I asked him if we gave more love to people who are negative do you think that would help?’ He couldn’t connect with that. He was 6 years old. He had seen the movies and bad people were bad and had to be punished with aggression. He had no concept of reform or why they were doing what was deemed as wrong. I reflected on the programs promoting the ‘good guy bad guy’ version of the world without any analysis. I was not lost on the importance of teaching children problem solving. I recalled George W Bush saying ‘you are either with us or against us’, again another good guy versus bad guy version. These are the role models society accepts. I feel we need a different paradigm and role models that see merit in nonviolence such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung Sun Sui Kyi etc. There are many heroes who have made impacts on our world and showed us a way out of madness. Until the public decide they have had enough of violence, peace educators like myself will remain on the margins.
I ask the creators of these violent games to take up the real challenge and work for peace, educate a generation of young people that peace can be exciting. I put that challenge to you. I am a peace clown and I am exciting. Why not make the games profitable for all of us.