Universal Oddities

May 2, 2002

How We Can Manipulate Children Through Video Games
(Because They’re All So Stupid)
(Children, That Is)
(Because Children Are So Stupid)

I walked by a video game arcade recently and, peeking in, saw two kids synchronically dancing away with ferocity on a “virtual dance floor”. That’s odd, I thought. When I was younger, I seem to recall video games being designed toward far more productive pursuits, such as training children to kill. And now, just because some company made an interactive video game, kids are playing it and learning to dance. And to dance incredibly well, I might add.

In fact, kids seem to play just about anything video game related, even fishing and golf games. That can be the only explanation for the fact that Advanced Bass Fishing 12 exists. Now, children can pretend to sit there and do nothing even more realistically. The designers probably don’t even have to program any fish into the game because, chances are, the more realistic the game is, the less fish they’re going to catch.

But, taking into account youth’s fixation with anything game related, perhaps reaching them and their attentions through this medium wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

For instance, it’s my intent to begin designing game proposals for the likes of such games as:

Advanced Surgery: Cadaver Edition: Using the “virtual scalpel”, children can spend hours slicing through dead human tissue. There can even be differing levels of proficiency such as Harvard Medical School’s advanced surgery procedures, Penn State’s rudimentary-level slicing attempts, and B.U. level, where philosophy majors sometimes slip into the program as a fraternity initiation.

Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy: Learn how to negotiate peace settlements in the Middle East by shuttling back and forth between the various countries that hate each other. Children will also experience the thrill of pulling out of Vietnam, or the option of continually initiating the Tet Offensive until they get it right (or, until everyone in the United States is speaking Vietnamese and a damn communist).

Drinking: By drinking massive quantities of “virtual alcohol”, children will learn how much alcohol their bodies can absorb before liver failure occurs. Exciting features will be the ability of players to induce “virtual vomiting”, momentarily forget their sexual orientation and make some “zany” mistakes, and the ability for players to “virtually” pee in their pants. A phone will actually be installed into this game unit so that children will be able to call up real police officers, swear at them, and then get arrested and brought into jail where cops will beat them with batons; but the children will simply think that the cops are just “virtually” beating them as part of the game.

Virtual Lawyer: Children will gain valuable real-life experience as they are presented with a chair to sit down in. They will keep putting quarters into this machine until they realize that nothing is happening and they can’t get their money back. Two weeks after they play this game, they will receive a bill at home charging them proportionally $150 for every hour that they sat in the chair.

Virtual Priest: Children will have hours of fun learning about God and making zany sermons. Children are also in for an additional treat. This game will be programmed so that one in every ten machines molests them!

Virtual Lawyer 2: This game will be almost exactly like the original Virtual Lawyer, except it will charge those children who play it an hourly rate of $200 and request a $3000 retainer.

Rock Star: In this game, children will learn to play one of four “virtual video game instruments” (electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards). The hours they spend learning “virtual instruments” distracts them from the time they could have spent learning real instruments. Once children master their “virtual instruments”, they lose the game. This game is designed to successfully prepare children for the inevitable failure of such a worthless profession.




Copyright © 2000-2002 Jacques. All rights reserved.