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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the my-dad-took-me-to-a-turtle-farm-before-i-could-play-super-mario dept.

Games 419

Z00L00K sends this excerpt from The Local: A Swedish father has come under fire for taking his two sons on a trip to Israel, the West Bank and occupied Syria in order to teach them the reality of war. [Carl-Magnus Helgegren is] a journalist, university teacher, and proactive dad. And like so many other dads, Helgegren had to have the violent video-game conversation with his two sons, Frank and Leo, aged ten and 11 respectively. "We were sitting at the dinner table last autumn, and my kids started telling me about this game they wanted to play, the latest Call of Duty game, and told me about the guns and missions," Helgegren told The Local on Friday. So Helgegren struck a deal. The family would take a trip to a city impacted by real war. The boys would meet people affected, do interviews, and visit a refugee camp. And when they came back home, they would be free to play whatever games they chose.

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Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (5, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679341)

I love how people insist on commenting on what fathers or mothers do to teach their children about reality. If you did not hand them weapons or put them in the line of fire (keep in mind in some countries even that is perfectly acceptable for a 12 year old), then mind your own freekin beeswax. Why is this even a /. story?

Side note? I would do the same with my kids if I actually got up off my ass and stopped typing on computers for 10 minutes. Sad.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (5, Insightful)

WinterSolstice (223271) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679393)

Great dad, in my opinion. My kids grew up involved in hunting, fishing, and shooting sports - but a trip to a refugee camp would probably have cured them of the FPS BS faster than anything.

Fortunately, they were never really into videogames.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679537)

FPS are games. If your kids think there's anything real about these games, you need to help them understand, but not letting them play these games will only make them more attractive and give credibility where none is deserved.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (5, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679559)

Why would this cure anyone of FPS BS? What correlation is there between FPS and real war? Who plays an FPS because they wanted to go to war, but didn't like travel?

I don't mind shooting up some virtual people, I want to be as far away from real war as I possibly can be. You can like, die there. And I hear that's not the worst possible outcome by far. Down here in Texas the number of people with missing limbs and purple heart license plates is staggering, especially considering what wars we're in aren't really that large scale.

Kids are going to grow up and say "Yeah, Dad is kind of a stick in the mud. We wanted to CoD:BLOps on a new XBox, and he took us to the West Bank and showed us decapitated people. We just went over to friend's houses to play games after that."

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679887)

I think you need to take a trip to real war to find out.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679955)

Who plays an FPS because they wanted to go to war, but didn't like travel?

Lindsey Graham? Bill Kristol? Dick Cheyney?

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679463)

Would you do it if they were reading comic books about war? Watching movies? Watching 50s movies with John Wayne about war? Reading novels about war? Playing war in the yard? If they started playing cops and robbers in the back yard with the neighbor kids, is it time to haul them off to a Scared Straight session at a prison, to impress upon them the harsh realities of a life of crime?

This whole story is a tale of over-reaction that only seemed to have occurred, because "oh my god, video games!".

Wanting to expose your children to realities beyond those as depicted by popular media is a thoughtful thing to do. Not so much when it's a swift over-reaction to "OMG VIDEO GAMES!".

And, really, the truth seems more to be "freelance journalist does a freelance journalist thing and uses his kids as fodder for more freelance journalism". What do you figure the odds are he'd be doing this and documenting it if, say, he were a flight mechanic or a plumber and there weren't some other benefit besides that to his children?

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (4, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679567)

Would you do it if they were reading comic books about war?

If the US DoD were spending enormous amounts of money developing those comic books with the express purpose of making war look as glamorous and consequence-free as possible, then yes, I would still let my kids read them, because I disagree with intellectual censorship in any form, at any age. But you can bet I'd talk with them about what they were reading, who wrote it, and why they might have written it.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (2, Insightful)

Zalbik (308903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679789)

If the US DoD were spending enormous amounts of money developing those comic books with the express purpose of making war look as glamorous and consequence-free as possible, then yes, I would still let my kids read them, because I disagree with intellectual censorship in any form, at any age. But you can bet I'd talk with them about what they were reading, who wrote it, and why they might have written it.

And what does this have to do with the article? As far as I can tell, the US DoD has nothing to do with the development of Call of Duty.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679901)

You are wrong. They have definitely influenced the development. STFU

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679615)

> What do you figure the odds are he'd be doing this and documenting it if, say, he were a flight mechanic or a plumber

Parents teach what they know. Would you be bitchin about a flight mechanic showing his kids a crash shite?

> uses his kids as fodder for more freelance journalism

Why do you think that's the truth? He didn't write the article. If this was "fodder" where's the commercial benefit for him?

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679673)

This whole story is a tale of over-reaction that only seemed to have occurred, because "oh my god, video games!".

Overreaction, indeed. If they were US citizens, I'd like to see them testify and hear what they have to say the next time Congress wants to weigh in on violence in video games.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679687)

Would you do it if they were reading comic books about war? Watching movies? Watching 50s movies with John Wayne about war? Reading novels about war? Playing war in the yard? If they started playing cops and robbers in the back yard with the neighbor kids, is it time to haul them off to a Scared Straight session at a prison, to impress upon them the harsh realities of a life of crime?

I think that every American should have to take a trip to the war zone to see what our tax dollars go to supporting.

This whole story is a tale of over-reaction that only seemed to have occurred, because "oh my god, video games!".

Or maybe it's just a father trying to raise his children to be good humans. Nah!

Wanting to expose your children to realities beyond those as depicted by popular media is a thoughtful thing to do. Not so much when it's a swift over-reaction to "OMG VIDEO GAMES!".

How do you know it was an over reaction? Were you there when they were discussing it? Maybe they're just a really thoughtful family. Also, what about the children who are already in the middle of the war zone? I don't see anyone wanting to try to mitigate that.

And, really, the truth seems more to be "freelance journalist does a freelance journalist thing and uses his kids as fodder for more freelance journalism". What do you figure the odds are he'd be doing this and documenting it if, say, he were a flight mechanic or a plumber and there weren't some other benefit besides that to his children?

A plumber or flight mechanic going there with their kids? Maybe. Documenting it? Doubtful, as they generally tend to not make documentaries.

I like how you stated it as "uses his kids as fodder." I'd put it more as "Family man sees opportunities to teach his children to become good stewards of the planet, and documents it to try to help others do the same."

I guess it all depends on your perspective.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679795)

I know right, I once caught my son using an iPhone so I sent him to work in a Chinese sweatshop for a year to teach him about the human suffering that went into making it. Nothing over reactive about that.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679711)

I was going to take my kids to Krypton, to show them the horrors of comic level destruction...but I couldn't find it.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679721)

This seems to be the most insightful thing I've read the whole day today.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679735)

I think you've got a persecution complex. I would bet that if his kids were watching something that either glorified or trivialized war, he'd have a similar reaction.
 
Many years ago a famous person said that every movie about war couldn't help but glorify war, no matter how much it tried to portray the horrors; and later we had films that overcame that. Thus far I've yet to see a video game about war where the ads didn't make it seem like war was really, really cool.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679669)

What are you talking about? The dad in the story is a journalist. He's the one sharing his family business with the world in hopes of making some profit off of it.

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679769)

You are the worst parent in the world for letting your kids see what real life is! They're CHILDREN! They don't need to be ADULTS until they're 35! Tell them SANTA IS REAL!

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679873)

So what you're saying here is that it's all well and good to 'teach your kids a lesson' by dropping them into a war zone and exposing them to potential harm. Be it from a stray rocket, random explosion, or imagery that may give them a LIFE TIME OF PTSD... all because some guy got all bhutt hurt that his kids like Call of Duty?

Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679975)

Why? A game isn't real, it's fantasy. You play it for fun and for competition against others, not because you want to experience real combat.

Reality. (-1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679345)

It sounds, to me, like the father has an issue of his own with discerning reality from fantasy and fiction.

Re:Reality. (4, Insightful)

gothzilla (676407) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679529)

If he did then he wouldn't have been able to come up with the idea of teaching his kids the difference between fantasy and reality.

Re:Reality. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679589)

/posts selfie on Twitter taken in front of "ARBEIT MACHT FREI" sign

Awww thats sweet of him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679351)

I wish my dad was that cool. Thats awesome. I hope his kids enjoyed their trips.

Wow (2, Informative)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679361)

Uhhm, OK, uhhh...I'm sorry, why is this on Slashdot?

Re: Wow (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679429)

because we all grew up playing violent video games and studying it's impact and how we handle others growing up on them is worthwhile; even if the impact is nil.

Re:Wow (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679491)

Because, Slashdot desperately wants to be the new Gizmodo, Engadget, and The Verge. Stay tuned for tomorrow's big posting about another shitty cell phone update.

Re:Wow (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679965)

That was literally yesterday if i remember correctly.

Re:Wow (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679881)

Uhhm, OK, uhhh...I'm sorry, why is this on Slashdot? again

Just fixing that for you

Whatever games they chose?? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679373)

Back in my day, parents would say, "you want that? Save up your money! I'll pay you 50 cents every time you mow the lawn, now get to work." And I was grateful!

Re:Whatever games they chose?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679497)

You forgot to tell us to get off your lawn, grandpa. :)

Re:Whatever games they chose?? (5, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679665)

You forgot to tell us to get off your lawn, grandpa. :)

You can stay on it, if you mow it. I'll pay you 50 cents. Then you gotta get off.

Re:Whatever games they chose?? (3, Funny)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679861)

/Oblg. "Get off my LAN" (Update for the new millennium)

Re:Whatever games they chose?? (2)

robsku (1381635) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679525)

If I said to my son "you can play any games you want", I certainly would not mean (and he certainly wouldn't think I meant) that I will buy him any games he wants. He would still have to buy, pirate (or download, if it's free), or otherwise acquire the games by himself - or talk me into buying the game for him (it's not like I won't ever give him anything for free. but that promise isn't promise to give any game(s) to the kid for free).

Fiction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679381)

Man doesn't realize that games are fictitious.. News at 11.

Re:Fiction. (5, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679495)

It's a grayer area than that. Blasting Nazis on Mars or whatever was one thing, but the US Department of Defense now throws millions of dollars at game developers, tasking them with making war look like just another extreme sport.

IMHO (and in the opinion of most credible researchers) even these games are not directly psychologically damaging to young people. But I don't like the message they are engineered to send. It sounds like this father has found a great way to give his kids an inside look at the game they're really being trained to play.

Re:Fiction. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679621)

but... but US is the "global Force for Good"
are you eeeeveeel?

Re:Fiction. (-1, Troll)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679857)

If you are too stupid to understand real gun battles are NOTHING like Call of Duty (or whatever FPS is your fetish), you kinda deserve to die horribly....

Problem is (1, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679391)

If they see themselves on the winning side, they'll want even more war. They get to leave the war zone, the refuges are stuck. A week will teach nothing. They need to know years of war and what it does.

Re:Problem is (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679607)

A week will teach nothing. They need to know years of war and what it does.

That's an interesting point -- what time range imparts which lessons?

  • A week might familiarize you with the issues
  • a month and you'd experience first hand some of the day-to-day logistics problems
  • beyond this point you might run a not-insignificant risk of injury or death from attack
  • a summer vacation would let you bond with the locals and put you through a few close calls
  • a half a year would probably imprint a lot
  • years and you'd be indistinguishable from the locals

I'm sure this is wrong, and definitely not accurate for a 10-year-old. But is there a rough cut for the actual timeline of changes that someone from a developed nation would experience?

Re:Problem is (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679879)

Assuming they don't become casualties in that week from shrapnel or a suicide bomber or an errant rocket.

Great dad, "Hey kids, you want to play a video game? Let's go mindlessly risk your lives first!"

Re:Problem is (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679885)

If they see themselves on the winning side, they'll want even more war

That statement seems intuitively true. If you investigate more deeply, I'm not sure it holds up.

Consider for example, world war 1. The British and French won, but had no more appetite for war at all. "Wanting war" seems to be determined primarily by other factors than 'winning' or 'losing.'

Re: Problem is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679891)

The refugees are only stuck because the surrounding 'countries' want them there, as props. Every country in the Middle East is fabricated out of borders drawn by the European powers in the past. Arab brothers need to quit pretending there is a Palestinian nationality. Open the border, let the people held hostage in refugee camps in, and get over it.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679407)

They all came back whole and unharmed, right? So what's the problem, other than his kids now have a much better sense of perspective?

Re:So? (2)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679905)

Actually, if you RTFA they had to respawn twice.

Think of the children! (4, Insightful)

jargonburn (1950578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679413)

No, seriously. This guy was thinking of his children.
I think it's great that he wants to give them a dose of reality. I think a lot of us in the US (and not just kids) could use that kind of experience.
Does it pose some risk to the kids? Yeah, sure. Growing up has all sorts of risks.
Which is why some of us never do.

Re:Think of the children! (-1, Troll)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679649)

I think a lot of us in the US (and not just kids) could use that kind of experience.

If you really think that, there's an easy way to get that experience: enlist, serve, spend some time doing something for your country instead of whining about what it should be doing for you.

Re:Think of the children! (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679817)

Doing something for your country? Like committing murder for political theater?

It's been a long time since the US was in a war. We're not out there fighting to protect good people from bad people; we're out there fighting to protect politicians from voters who have too much time to think, and bankers from beardslims who buy their oil in gold.

Re:Think of the children! (2)

jargonburn (1950578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679981)

there's an easy way to get that experience: enlist, serve, spend some time doing something for your country

From TFA:

two sons, Frank and Leo, aged ten and 11

I don't believe they are eligible for enlistment in Sweden; indeed, Iran is in a three-way tie for youngest military service [wikipedia.org] at age 15.

I don't fault your recommendation. Rather, having a limited but real exposure to such situations might even encourage them to serve in the military.
Let's not forget there are other ways to serve your country and the people around you. I don't think Military service is even the best way (although I do think it a good one).

Re:Think of the children! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679671)

Honestly, I think every single student should be exposed to these horrors.

Schools are too busy teaching less important things and hiding them from experience they need with the REAL world around them.
There should be a whole class that actually introduces people to world events, from war to disease to world economy.
These things are important and should be learned, even if only at an introductory level.
But they never are. (or rarely so)

How are people going to learn about the atrocities and mismanagement that happens around the world, the disasters of disease, natural disasters, what happens when the economy breaks down, how to prevent it, local currencies, local jobs, the dangers of over-dependence on welfare, benefits and public services, over-taxed economies, under-taxed, tax loopholes, black markets, resources, trade, etc.
You bet your ass things would change in even 10 years time if such a course were introduced. (10 years from leaving school that is)
Put that age at, say, the secondary school stages. (usually 10-12)
One extra course. 6-8 years of education. 16~ years for results. Literally fund it.

thanks, dad, for sucking all the joy out of live. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679423)

Dad: let's risk our son's lives to make a point.
Mom: cool.

Re:thanks, dad, for sucking all the joy out of WAR (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679695)

Fixed title for you.

Re:thanks, dad, for sucking all the joy out of WAR (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679889)

Not really, video games AREN'T REAL!

RapeLay (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679431)

"And when they came back home, they would be free to play whatever games they chose."
That opens up so many possibilities...

Tetris (4, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679435)

"Kids get in the car. We're goin' to the box factory!"

Re:Tetris (2)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679457)

"Kids get in the car. We're goin' to Ikea!" Fixed that for ya.

FTFY (4, Insightful)

roninmagus (721889) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679453)

"A Swedish father has come under fire for interacting with the real world."

Did they get a T Shirt? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679459)

Perhaps a self-referential one: "My dad took me to a war zone and all I got was this stolen T-Shirt?"

Re:Did they get a T Shirt? (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679915)

"And the shrapnel from an attack only cost me an arm AND a leg! Just call me"Stumpy"!"

I couldn't go to a war zone... (5, Insightful)

mrbcs (737902) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679467)

So I showed my kids the multi part color documentary on world war two.
We discussed all kinds of issues:
Bombings, genocide, gas chambers, blockades, dictators.

They get it. They know war is horrible and they know what a game is.

It's called parenting. I applaud this guy's efforts.

Re:I couldn't go to a war zone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679667)

They get it. They know war is horrible and they know what a game is.

It's called parenting. I applaud this guy's efforts.

And because he's done it in a way that's made the news, people around the world are having the same discussions amongst themselves and with their kids. Bravo for the multiplier effect.

Re:I couldn't go to a war zone... (2)

ogunsiron (3785819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679709)

I remember asking mom about wars and things like that at around age 5 or 6. While she probably didn't go into every detail, she tried to explain those topics to me and didn't tell me that kids shouldn't think about such things. If you have smart, resilient kids I see no good reason for all the coddling and shielding.

Re:I couldn't go to a war zone... (4, Informative)

tippe (1136385) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679809)

Not sure if the one you watched was "WWII in Colour" (by the History channel) on Netflix or not, but I watched that one and it was absolutely amazing, both in terms of its content, as well as the video production. Some of the film clips were still of poor quality even after restoration, (IIRC, a lot of clips they would have gotten from Russian archives were really bad), but in general the quality was phenomenal, all things concerned. You can also watch it for free online [ovguide.com] , apparently. Definitely worth your time, and I also plan on (re) watching this with my kids when they get a little older, too.

Re:I couldn't go to a war zone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679819)

You don't need to go to warzones to know that war sucks.

Go on youtube, search for "Threads" or "The Day After (1983)" or watch "Hotel Rwanda", not this WW2 outdated old-timer stuff.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt03... [imdb.com]
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

One is about modern genocide. The other two are about how idiotic we are to build up nuclear weapon caches. M.A.D.? Fucking crazy! 300 nukes is enough to kill off all major cities, so why is 10,000 called a "nuclear weapon reduction"?

War is what you get when retards want to play soldier. The majority should shoot them all and then plan the future rationally for a change.

Because "How dare he" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679469)

As in, "how dare he expose those impressionable children to the dreaded reality of what war really is! Why, it was UNSAFE! Those children's safety is NUMBER ONE! Civics and a proper perspective of reality have no place in this conversation! ONLY SAFETY FOR CHILDREN! He TRAUMATIZED those poor, innocent dears with the harsh light of real world violence! The illusion of perfect happiness and contentment that is EVERY CHILD'S RIGHT was denied! How dare he!"

Never mind that he was wanting his children to MEET OTHER CHILDREN IMPACTED BY WAR, to better understand them, and in so doing to KNOW what war was; War places far more children at risk because of people who have no concept of proper civics, than his taking exactly 2 more children to a warzone does; If those two children then work to stop future wars, with their now greatly expanded understanding of the civics involved, which is the least morally objectionable? One directly contributes to a problem where war is considered a good thing--- and the other exposes exactly 2 additional children to a situation where they can learn about war in all its infamy, then safely return home. So which is the proper answer again?

Oh, fantasy candyland, where war never happens, even though people dont comprehend what it really is... I see.. Yes, I suppose if you think that outcome is possible, then yes, his actions were objectionable. What's that? He might have simply told them about war? How many here have war vet relatives, and how many of you have actually paid more than just passing interest to what they had to say? What's that? I see a few hands back there in the back--- For you folks back there, do you think you are enough to sway popular opinion away from thinking that war is "cool"?

Didn't think so.

Clearly, this dad is ahead of the curve; More parents should do this. It would make it substantially harder for world governments to spuriously get wars started.

Re:Because "How dare he" (1)

JoeSchmoe999 (782579) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679821)

Yes, lets teach our kids that war http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_genocide [wikipedia.org] is always bad, that there is no good reason http://bergen-belsen.stiftung-ng.de/ [stiftung-ng.de] (german) for war. That a kind human being http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler [wikipedia.org] ,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot [wikipedia.org] would never unjustly war upon people. So when the next meglo-manical dictator comes along with the urge to rule the world, lots of little "war is bad" people will refuse to fight http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_powers_during_World_War_II [wikipedia.org] and make everyone's job easier.

Re:Because "How dare he" (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679925)

Little problem there, pal.

If EVERYONE did this, then there would be a scarce few idiots to join in behind dangerous, power-mad people, like the ones you mentioned.

Why? Because they would know that what that guy wanted, would lead to war, and know exactly what it is.

What REALLY contributes to those kinds of atrocities you cited, are people who think war is OK for "the right reasons".

Those people can be made to commit atrocities.

http://www.goodreads.com/quote... [goodreads.com]

Wow! Some people have too much money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679471)

If I had that kind of money I would not spend it scarring my kids. I would take them to Disneyland!

Work smart not hard (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679521)

I would just teach my children the difference between reality and fiction. This might be a useful lesson for the dad as well.

Re:Work smart not hard (1)

reikae (80981) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679847)

Isn't that just what this dad is doing? You just stated the same goal without telling how you would do it.

Re:Work smart not hard (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679935)

What the dad is doing is trying to influence his kid's decision to engage with a fictional version of war by taking them to an actual war. What I meant is that the experience of the reality of war has nothing to do with the experience of playing a war video game, because one is an experience of something fictional and the other isn't. It's the difference between having sex and looking at porn, between watching the food network and eating, between watching CSI and being murdered. When you watch CSI, you know that no one has actually died, because it's fictional. When you're shooting someone in Call of Duty, all of the aspects that make that a serious crime in the real world are not present, and so using the context of the real world to judge it is moronic, because it's fictional.

Therefore, what this dad is doing is not so much teaching the difference between reality and fiction, but rather conflating the two. He wants the experiences of actual war to influence the relation of his sons to fictional war.

Re:Work smart not hard (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679933)

Would make more sense than taking your kids into harms way to teach them the same lesson...

I'd tell dad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679555)

...that I wanted to play Leisure Suit Larry...

Americans don't know what war really is... (4, Insightful)

Yakasha (42321) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679569)

I've heard that a few times over the years. Americans don't know what war is like because we've never had to suffer it personally. Our soldiers always go somewhere else to fight.

So, I say this sounds like a perfect education. You kids like playing war? Lets go see what war really is because games & stories don't do it justice. Look it in the eyes and you won't treat it like a game anymore.

When they're adults, these kids will be able to look back and use this experience to make an informed decision on whether or not to fight in whatever conflict their country gets into. Sweden's next generation of decision makers will be better equipped because of the presence of these kid's experience.

Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679749)

Our soldiers always go somewhere else to fight.

Speaking as a 'Nam vet, that sounds real good to me! The best place to fight a war is always on somebody else's territory.

Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (0)

sribe (304414) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679751)

I've heard that a few times over the years. Americans don't know what war is like because we've never had to suffer it personally.

Yeah, people forget that little skirmish 1861-1865 which killed 600,000 soldiers, and devastated large regions.

Granted, none of us were alive back then. But the U.S. has certainly experienced war in our country.

Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679825)

Also: 1812-1814...

Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679919)

And 1775 - 1783..

Re:Americans don't know what war really is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679983)

And 1774-1778....

Or even 1754-1763.

Americans don't know what war really is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679913)

Except those in and around Ferguson, MO or anywhere else the police forget they are civilian and not military.

Game Over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679575)

What are the kids supposed to learn ?
If you want to play Call Of Warfare 15 dad will try to get you killed ?

Re:Game Over (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679947)

Take your kids to a VA hospital or a VFW hall, not to a freaking war zone. Irresponsible, over-reacting parent...

Criticism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679625)

Criticism? Sounds more like this guys should be nominated for good parent of the year. Sounds like his kids got a healthy dose of reality, were not put in harms ways, and learned a lot of valuable life lessons. These kids are probably more adapt at handling the real world than the people complaining about the actions of the father..

I applaud this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679627)

I'm a big fan of video games (more than I would like to admit) but there are a lot of games out there that make you trade your sensitivity to people's problems in exchange of hours of fun.

I'm all in for games, be it a war zone simulator, RTS, or FPS, but only as long as my kids, nephews, and cousins don't lose that sensitivity.

Taking the kids to a war zone to know first-hand what war is about was a good move, albeit a risky one.

I'm not sure they'd start *playing* games (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679635)

For some reason, what goes through my head, is that on return they'd want to write a war simulator from the civilian perspective.

I would've taken my kids to a warzone... (4, Funny)

ADRA (37398) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679647)

But I took an arrow to the knee.

The real question (1, Troll)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679651)

What would the dad have done if this were around eight years ago and his kids wanted to play Persona 3? Live demonstration of how shooting yourself in the head with a handgun doesn't cause physical manifestations of Jungian psychology to come out and fight demons and/or date unrealistic Japanese girls for you?

unusual parenting but ok (1)

ogunsiron (3785819) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679679)

Intent matters. Did he intend to harm his kids ? He didn't. He was putting them in harm's way to some degree, but he did that in order to teach them valuable lessons and to make them more experienced, wiser kids. I can't say that I think parents can expose their kids to *any* level of risk for any reason, but I'm also not at all a fan of the idea that kids need to grow up in some kind of silky coccoon, always protected from any and every slight or danger. There's merit in overcoming fear and danger, imho. It's a view of course not shared by those with a more utilitarian view of what life is about.

Let me fix that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679689)

And *IF* they came back home, they would be free to play whatever games they chose.

War zones, 3rd world, disaster struck regions... (4, Insightful)

gwstuff (2067112) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679691)

Ask someone, anyone, who has been to a region in which people fight to survive, and has to the smallest extent, even by simply talking to those people, shared their experiences. Unfailingly, the person will tell you that the experience changed his or her perspective, and that since then he is better, larger, more generous.

If you starve for a few days for the lack of food, a spoonful of plain, white, unsalted rice will taste better than the richest gourmet meal. My memory of the bowl of rice I had after 4 days of hunger is a calming, delicious memory. It was not the relief of having got food - but my whole body rejoicing from the taste of the soft, wholesome, starchy taste filling up in my mouth - a taste that I had not recognized until then.

We in the west are shielded from the harsh realities of life, little do we know that we are not exempt of them, we only ignore them, until one day it becomes impossible to do so. But if you have to face such realities then the perverse suffering caused by banalities - Internet connection going down, personal relationship problems simply dither away into insignificance.

I think it would be beneficial to society as a whole if every education included such encounters which teach people that life cannot be compared to the boom and splat of video games.

a poor parallel (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679701)

Call of Duty is nothing like actual war. instead, you should make the kids go camping for 3 days with nothing but ritz crackers, peanut butter and beef jerky. at the end, when they want to come home, phone them and let them know they did a great job so they get to camp for 3 more days. Occasionally drop off toilet paper and a roll of smartys, tell them its good for their morale. At the end of this 3 days, insist they stay 3 more days but this time leave a gas generator running next to the tent. If this is done in July, remember to stop by and stand near the generator telling bad jokes. Insist that they should appreciate it because its part of your effort to boost their morale as well. replace the beef jerky with baby food randomly. At the end of the week, take them a package of socks, gatorade and deodorant, then remove it and apologise as its for another kid with the same name also camping.

Re:a poor parallel (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679903)

Not to mention in an actual war you occasionally run into insane people. Like me. I have some weird form of sociopathy that prevents me from meshing with people and forming cohesive social groups; I'd tend to turn violently on anyone who commits moral atrocities, and protect anyone who appears weak and harmless. You just can't do that in America.

Flack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679719)

He sure caught a lot of flack...ZING!

Total approval (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679725)

as per title .. this is a superb move. i totally approve the father .

Next stop, Foxccon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679757)

After seeing what a real e-sweatshop is like full of misery and suicide, the kids won't scoff at their education anymore.

My eye opening moment... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679759)

...back in the early Unreal and Quake days, we used to death match constantly. Of course rocket launchers were a favorite. I vaguely recall some mods that increased the number of bots and the number of gibs - the bits of body pieces that would be flung around from a kill - to ridiculous amounts. Add in some gravity tweaks so we could jump, bounce, float and it was pretty ridiculous. But we kept playing, kept getting better, twitch shooting faster and more accurately, and the whole thing got an almost comical sense to it.

Then I saw Saving Private Ryan. While I was already very familiar with WWII, having seen many documentaries, I'd never seen something that so graphically depicted what the D-Day landing was "really like". SPR showed it in a way I just hadn't seen before; Gruesome. Brutal. People getting chewed up by machine guns, really blown to bits, the infamous scene of the guy picking up his own arm and stumbling off with it, etc.

Sometime later that eve I picked my gaming back up but on the first rocket launch it was no longer fun. I literally had the movie scenes haunting me in my mind.

Over time I lost my sensitivity again and, to some extent, got back into ridiculous first-person-shooting (boom! pow! gibs!) but never to the extent that I had. Almost always at some point that moment of clarity comes back and bugs me. I've also gotten older and just don't have the time to waste gaming any longer, but that eye opening experience sticks with me.

You gotta see the girls of Gaza Strip! (1)

yayoubetcha (893774) | about a month and a half ago | (#47679917)

It is true you are more likely to die in US traffic accident than to be killed in a terrorism attack in Israel. I've investigated the numbers and it is indeed true.

A side note... My wife and I were returning to Tel Aviv in 2012 when the Palestinians began bombing. We rode a bus with a bunch of young men and women soldiers all armed with automatic weapons from Eilat. They all got off at Be'er Sheva (on way towards Gaza). We continued on to Tel Aviv without incident. Most bombs in that incident ended up hitting sand in the desert.

or...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679937)

just adhere to the PEGI stickers you bad parent.

Neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47679941)

So we get to go on a vacation AND get to play all the video games when we get home?

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