So you think video games lead to violence?


This year, political opportunists have tried to turn video games into the scapegoat culprit for humankind’s violent tendencies.

To those of us gamers who value a healthy prefrontal cortex, that seems like an obfuscating stretch.

But let’s assume such politicos have a point: That children parrot everything they see in a video game.

If that is true, then let’s imagine what kids will do in real life after they play “Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.”

In this game, you portray the cute little raccoon character Sly, a talking cartoon of the Bugs Bunny variety.

Sly is a master thief who breaks into museums and steals stuff from evil people, to repair the world. So I guess we can all assume children who play this game will now finally want to visit museums, although to steal stuff for a cause.

Sly has a wry friend named Bentley who is wheelchair-bound, truly a rare physical disposition for a game hero. Bentley’s wheelchair flies for brief amounts of time, an aspirational quality.

On the one hand, anyone who isn’t a willful Neanderthal may find this big, charming game to be a treat — a comical, animated tale of friends who time-travel in order to stop a really bad guy from doing bad things.

On the other hand, I don’t enjoy how slowly some actions happen.

When I bang on a garbage can to find gold coins, for instance, I have to wait for the gold coins to appear, and then I must run over the coins to collect them. Those coins should automatically zip into my pocket, because waiting is no fun.

And I don’t totally enjoy the jumping system. When I jump onto landing points, the animation is slow.

But those are quibbles in this delightful distraction, which is especially suitable for preteens and for teens who are nostalgic for their preteen years.

On the third other-hand, perhaps you are that person who proclaims video games are the devil, in which case you will find this game more objectionable than actual violence in the real world, because you are an out-of-touch, unglued, scapegoating nincompoop.

Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at http://www.lvrj.com/columnists/ Doug_Elfman.html. Twitter at @VegasAnonymous.

 

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