M.I.A. Talks Videogames and Violence

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

It might be hard to believe that M.I.A., purveyor of such a violent (and politically charged) video for the song Born Free, would be worried about violence in videogames, but as a relatively new mom, she is.

The songstress, born Mathangi Arulpragasam in London, did spend time as a youth growing up in war-torn Sri Lanka, giving her a front row seat for violence in that country, before her family eventually moved back to the UK.

Speaking to Connect magazine, which CVG decoded, M.I.A. alluded to the fighting she witnessed growing up, saying that “My kid’s gonna see it [violence], but he’s gonna see it in computer games."

She continued:

I don’t know which is worse. The fact that I saw it in my life has maybe given me lots of issues, but there’s a whole generation of American kids seeing violence on their computer screens and then getting shipped off to Afghanistan.

M.I.A. added that, in her mind, exposure to virtual violence doesn’t prepare the viewer for real-life violence, “They feel like they know the violence when they don’t. Not having a proper understanding of violence, especially what it’s like on the receiving end of it, just makes you interpret it wrong and makes inflicting violence easier.”

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    "Simply put, it’s not meant to."

    Well, sometimes it is, or at least pretends to be.  America’s Army comes to mind.  And of course now there’s a rash of games based in real wars, both historical and current.

    I can see the concern about games as a recruitment tool.  But, as with any other concern in media, it’s up to parents to determine what’s appropriate for their children.

    I can’t access the article, so all I can see is the stuff quoted here, but from that it sounds like MIA’s talking more about awareness than censorship.  But again, I can’t access the full piece right now, so if somebody wants to correct me, do feel free.

  2. 0
    Magic says:

    If anything, it’s what training is for but (as the cliche of drill sergeant’s always point out) naturally that only goes so far and is nothing like the real thing.

    What does she want? A disclaimer that fictional content is nothing compared to the real thing?

  3. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    "…exposure to virtual violence doesn’t prepare the viewer for real-life violence…"

    Simply put, it’s not meant to.  It is Fictional content. 

    Even Non-Fictional material, such as in a world history textbook or in documentary, text or video, can truly prepare you for the REAL violence.  Only experiencing the real acts of violence will "prepare" one for it.


    NW2K Software


    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

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