Have you ever bellowed “I need that sandwich NOW!” not two minutes after whining about how you overdid it at dinner yet again? Just because a Burger King ad had showed up on the TV screen?
Have you ever met someone who was so unattractive and unpalatable to you that you wondered how they were allowed to be seen in public… but who turned into a great friend after you realized how much y’all had in common?
(And once you’ve gotten used to their interesting face and form and fashion sense (or lack thereof)…)
Oh, I know! My latest book is called Trick Them Into Learning; it’s all about how teachers can trick students into learning without the students (or the teachers) suffering from the pain and misery of boring lesson plans and stuff that has nothing to do with real life.
Because if I make a student think he is the guest on a talk show or the rock star getting a Grammy, it gives him permission to be sulky or moody or annoying or even shy. He might even have fun with the skit and gain confidence that he’s never had before. (I teach communication, btw, usually Public Speaking.)
Because I love my students – and because I was the shyest and most “socially-awkward” person you have probably met, like ever, in the whole world (I still am, btw) – I am delighted with the “make learning FUN!” strategy…especially since it works.
Oh, it seems that I have like five more seconds online so I’ll finish the blathering bit later, but for now, let me share the bottom line about Hitman Sniper:
It’s a very fun and well-done game.
It’s addictive, appealing (especially) to questing folk who don’t mind playing the same level over again for extra spoils of war.
The thing is, to get those spoils, you have to kill.
Does it matter that the marks are (painted to be) filthy, murderous, and conscienceless humans who “deserve” to die, who would likely have gotten the death sentence (if they’d been caught, tried, and sentenced, that is)?
It does to me.
“But Sally, don’t you ‘kill’ dragons and villains in your precious RPG adventuring?”
There’s a difference, though. First and foremost, because none of the games I am willing to play look realistic in the least. The weapons aren’t commonly-available today, and there is never any blood. Furthermore, some games say defeated rather than killed, and the wounds aren’t fatal or even dangerous. ‘
What I’m trying to say is that there is no chance in the history of the world that the kills or battles in the games I’m willing to play could EVER be mistaken for actual combat, meaning that I at least would never be desensitized to the point of confusing the game with reality.
Hitman Sniper, on the other hand, is too realistic – at least to a civilian who’s never shot a creature, anyway.
It makes the tracking and the hunting and the killing so realistic that by the time you’ve finally cleared that frustrating first mission, you’ll be too busy celebrating (that you have finally succeeded) to realize that you were just muttering things like “now who else can I kill?” under your breath a second earlier.
So where was I going with that Burger King Whopper thing from, like, two seconds ago?
Here. Here’s where I was going:
If ads make you hungry, if HBO gets you frisky, if you’ve ever “caught” a yawn from someone or something around you…
If you’ve ever been able to get past your first impression of an ugly hellion who became your beautiful best friend, if you’ve ever acquired a taste…
If you’ve ever learned anything from an educational game or online training or whatever, and especially if you’ve improved dramatically through repeated, like, repetition of that game or training…
Then you really shouldn’t play this game.
Especially if you have ADD or an anger problem or a spending problem.
Or an addiction to addictions.
Or a dopamine deficiency.
Or an “obsession with perfection,” even.
I played the game for an hour, friends…an HOUR!
And in that hour, I completely forgot that I was a complete pacifist.
Bottom line: Pandora isn’t music…