Are those who rail against violence in video games and other forms of media actually hindering the natural male development of boys?
That’s the conclusion of former Newsweek reporter Peg Tyre, author of The Trouble With Boys.
Mike Thompson of Ars Technica reports on remarks made by Tyre to a parents’ group in North Salem, New York:
Many [boys] play and think around violence. We might see them as doing something potentially dangerous. But actually what they’re doing is playing around with ideas of courage and valor, good versus evil, and teamwork. These are ideas we want to inculcate in our culture…
There was such media saturation about [events like Columbine]… that it seemed to people that it was happening in their communities next door, [and] it created a zero tolerance policy towards violence…
You’re often playing a heroic role [in a video game]. I think that sense of heroism has been around since Greek drama. If you want to get into violence, look at The Odyssey or The Iliad. Homer’s stories are very violent… but we regard them with less suspicion.
I started off, admittedly, as a video game hater… [But] I sat down and played Halo with [my sons], and while I saw that it’s very violent, I also saw that it’s a very condensed form of violence… so I started to take a different view about video games: maybe I should be a little less hysterical about them.