Virtual Violence

June 8, 1998

Tired of the Spice Girls? Well, you can slap them senseless by hooking your computer to the Internet. Simply go to the Slap-A-Spice Girl web site, choose the picture of the pop star you hate the most, and click the mouse. This smacks her right in the face. And as you continue to click the mouse, you will hear the sound of flesh hitting flesh, as her face gets bruised and bloody.

Welcome to the world of virtual violence. Computer games, web sites, CDs, and video games are adding a whole new dimension to our entertainment. Some of the most popular web sites these days are devoted to celebrity bashing. The Media Dunk Tank site, which allows you to immerse celebrities in a vat of acid, gets 100,000 hits a month and was named Yahoo Site of the Week.

One of the most popular computer games is Grand Theft Auto. Players steal cars, mug innocent victims, and kill cops. The winners are the ones who create the most mayhem and steal the most cars. Another game is Postal where a player pretends to be a berserk postal employee, killing men, women, and children.

All of this of course is supposed to just be a fun diversion. After all, nobody gets hurt, right? Wrong. The Bible says, "as a man thinks, so is he." Even if nobody is actually hurt in these games, the game is conditioning the mind of the player. He or she is engaging in acts that would be criminal in real life.

And even if these games are merely fantasy, we know that eventually people act on their fantasies, and these violent fantasies are scary. Do we think that this virtual violence will have no impact a decade from now? If we do, then I guess we are the ones living in a fantasy world.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International