Teaching Our Kids to Kill' Author Takes Aim at Video Games
By David Marsh, MetroValley News Service
only with a felt pen and a microphone, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
laid siege to the entertainment industry Saturday at a BC
now an author and sought-after speaker after retiring from
a 24-year career with the U.S. military, gave a passionate
performance of his theory of "killology" - that
violence in TV, movies and video games is teaching our kids
need to stop an industry that's selling death and horror
and destruction to children as entertainment," Grossman,
43, told a BC Crime Prevention Association training conference
held last weekend in Surrey.
humor into his intense arguments and dressed casually in
denim, the wiry Grossman won a standing ovation from the
several hundred police officers and others in attendance
with a ruthless attack on violence in the media.
said young children are being desensitized and brutalized
by watching gory TV shows and movies in much the same way
new recruits are desensitized by the army to prepare them
for battle. He said violent video games, especially the
"first-person shooter" genre, are training youngsters
in the skill of killing.
said studies throughout the world have shown increases in
violent crime as the first generation of children with easy
access to media violence grew up. He said young shooters
in school massacres in Colorado and Kentucky, among others,
were avid video game players.
net effect, Grossman argues, is that media violence is an
addictive and destructive product comparable to tobacco
he has prepared a three-pronged counter attack: educating
the consumers and parents, regulating the products and suing
the corporations responsible.
going to sue them down to their socks," he said, likening
the proposed case which is gaining political support in
the US, to big-dollar cases against major tobacco manufacturers.
"It's just another industry we have to reel in."
visit came as momentum builds in BC toward controlling media
violence, especially video games. The provincial government
is developing its own classification system for violent
video games and the provincially owned BC Ferries recently
banned arcade games featuring hand-held guns from its vessels.