Video games are taking it on the chin again as an Islamist group in Somalia has banned them because of the damage it was causing to the "social fabric" of the country, according to an article from the AFP.
Apparently, games are fairly popular around Mogadishu and teens would gather at cybercafes to play PlayStation games for 30 minutes at a time. Villages that had these centers were ordered to close them. The order came in a statement from Hezb al-Islam:
"Starting two days after this statement’s date of issue, all video game playing centres in the areas under Hezb al-Islam control should be closed and playing video games will be prohibited. Video games are designed in such a way that they destroy our social traditions and for that reason, anybody found ignoring this order will be punished and equipment will be confiscated."
The local youth were obviously frustrated:
"We used to watch movies. They were banned. Now the PlayStations we had fun with are also banned. This country is not for young people like me," said Abdirahman Hirsi, a 19-year-old from Lafole town.
"They have basically banned everything that is fun, so we feel increasingly bored," said another boy.
GP: Taking away entertainment from the youth could be a masked attempt by the insurgents to gain more fodder for their war machine. An older resident of the village surmised as such:
"Who knows what else the children are going to do now. It’s not as if there was proper education for them. The more they are prevented from playing, the more likely they are to join the fighting."
So let me get this straight: Video games destroy societies, but it is OK for young kids to fight and die for real? Right …