Father Takes Kids To Israel To Teach About Real War

Father Takes Kids To Israel To Teach About Real War

When Carl-Magnus Helgegren's young sons revealed how obsessed with Call of Duty they'd become, he decided it was time to teach them some things about war. And have them taught by people in the business.

"They were talking to me like it was a cool game, and everybody else was playing it, and it had all these cool weapons.", he told The Daily Dot. "Then I started asking them, 'What kind of weapons are there?' And they started telling me these, you know, brand name models of different automatic rifles."

"And I was amazed that, 'Oh my God, if I would show them the leaf of an oak [tree], they probably couldn't tell me what tree it was, but if I showed them a silhouette of an MP5 Heckler and Koch they would tell me right away what it was.' And that started worrying me."

So he made a deal: if they wanted to keep playing Call of Duty, they had to learn more about real war. Having already planned a trip to Israel (he'd once lived in Palestine), Helgegren's boys tagged along and met and spoke with a number of Israeli soldiers about what it was like to actually be shot at.

Now that they're home in Sweden - and taking a bit of flak for his unorthodox teaching methods - Helgegren says, surprise, his sons aren't playing Call of Duty anymore.

Dad explains why he took his Call of Duty-obsessed kids to real war zone [Daily Dot]


    He took them to Israel to show them what it's like to play Call of Duty for real - you know, where you're not in any especial danger of dying, everything is stacked so you win and the enemies are vastly underpowered.

    If he wanted to show them what real war was like, he should have dropped them off for a day in Gaza.

      That's a bit unfair considering Gaza picked the fight. Now not saying Israel is not without it's own problems, and could really be a bit better in treatment of Gaza. But this is solely Gaza's fault atm. The West Bank is not shooting of rockets, just Hamas in Gaza.

        Solely Gaza's fault? Nothing to do with Israel expansion AT ALL? http://cluster3.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/maps/isra-3.jpg

          Never said that, just saying you start a fight then lose it's your fault.

        And I guess if an occupying nation drove your people out of their homes you'd just bend over and take it quietly?

        so who did you think built a nation on someone else's land and continue to take over other territories by force?

        hint: not Palestine

          Yes but how come Jew and Muslim can live together in Israel but not in Hamas controlled Palestine?

            Not Palestine just Gaza. The PLO are the democratic leaders of Palestine. Hamas took over Gaza.

              and you think Hamas would exist if not for the existence of the state of Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land?

              now tell me, who really fired the first shot.

            They surely can live together peacefully in Israel. If you don't count the fact there is systematic discrimination against Arabs (less funding goes to Arab compared to its population, benefits only available to Jews, Arabs are more likely to be charged and put into prison for longer...etc).
            I am sure they don't mind that.

          The West Bank controlled by the PLO live fine with Israel. It's just Gaza where all the trouble is. Due to Hamas who the PLO have distances themselves from.

          by that logic Australia and a lot of other countries are at fault - taking land/territory from someone else's land - the natives.

          look, the Jews bought the land off Arabs and cultivated it. All legal means. Many seem to ignore this fact. However, when the state of israel was declared the arab nations attacked starting the 1948 war.

        His point still stands. In all of these games the antagonist is the vastly underpowered, undermatched 'evil' force who just line up in waves to be mowed down by the player. Invariably, they are also the 'aggressor'. The parallels are all there, if you ignore 50+ years of historical context.


        There's very simple equations when it comes to the conflict of two or more groups of humans over limited resources in a defined geographical area. These rules have not changed since we fell out of trees.

        Most likely scenario is one group wipes out the other, entirely (or as near as makes no difference). We generally call this 'genocide'. Aspects of the defeated competitor may remain in the dominant one due to forcible breeding/cultural theft.

        Less likely is a more peaceful integration, generally known as 'sharing', where a compromise of some form is worked out to divide resources with relative equity. Note this can still result in extermination of a culture/race over time based on internal dominance, or to put it more accurately a likely melding of cultures/racial traits that sees certain aspects become dominant.

        Even less likely is a delineation of resource boundaries (like a wall) and the provision of support and guidance by the stronger party to bring the weaker one to a level of relative parity, with strict negotiation on development of peaceable relations. Not sure if that's ever been pulled off.

        I'll leave it to you to decide which one of the above is what the leaders of Israel are working towards. Assuming you guess the same as me, the irony is they will be unable to achieve it due to sheer lack of numbers.

        Should they progress it past a certain point, the overstretch on their own resources would make them vulnerable to the extent where other nations could not help but attack, with plenty of acceptable Cassus Belli..

        Here's the disgusting, vile thing.

        They know this. They can count. They have some of the world's finest strategists who, ideological blinders notwithstanding, can work out the basic interplay of forces on such a massive scale as to leave no doubt to the outcome.

        Which is what makes what they are doing in Gaza right now all the more horrific.

        It's just for votes, and for $$$ into the military industrial complex. All you need to do is track the spiking of hostilities each time there's a US/Israeli election coming up and look at which companies are shovelling money into the pockets of Israeli politicians.

        But as long as people like you treat it as a schoolyard issue caused by those naughty Palestinians as per News Corporation's direction, this isn't going to stop.

          Nice long rant absolutely remiss of the the HAMAS charter clearly calling for the end of Israel. That too is a call to "Genocide" and is acted upon on a daily basis whether it be rockets firing, kidnappings or tunnels built for full scale incursion. Add to that Irans and Saudi Arabia backing.

          But blindly ignore that. It's the big bad Jews with their greed. It's not like they've been persecuted for as long as.... well to turn a phrase "since we fell out of trees".... Oh wait they have.

          The Jewish have been a minority all their existence, not one race on the planet has had to fight for survival for as long as they have. All for a country about twice the size of the ACT.

          I don't agree with their response, but I understand it.

            Wow... Downvoted for that... Go the new level of Australian anti-semitism.... Couldn't both be at fault could they.

            So true. I dont agree either but I do understand. Is Gaza was off the coast of New York and doing this they would be wiped out no questions asked.

            Have you even GLANCED at the relative death tolls, both militant and civilian? That tiny dot next to the massive red bar? That's the Jewish losses compared to Palestinian. And that's just from direct military aggression, let's leave aside the economic oppression.

            Hamas is a radical organisation that represents a fraction of the Palestinian population - mainly those who have lost loved ones to Jewish aggression.

            The Israeli Government is a mainstream body that represents the majority of its nation, and acts at the behest of corporate interests.

            These are not the same thing.

            And anti-semitism is truly the most pathetic excuse to be used for the systematic murder of civilians. For some reason, you'd think the Jews would have a keener appreciation than most that the mass targeting of innocents is NOT A NICE THING TO DO.

            The truth is that people like you, who believe the loss of a handful of Jewish lives is equitable to thousands of Palestinian lives, are the bigots.

            Because we all know why you value their lives less.

              Rubbish... You again completely ignore the actions of HAMAS who have been proven time and again of using schools and hospitals (including UNHCR facilities) as bases of operation, warehousing and firing from civilian laden areas. They booby trap building with explosives causing civilian deaths and massacre those that have stood up to them in Gaza.

              I value no live any less. You, however, continue to deny any of the blame to an aggressor.

              When they aren't attacking they are busy building a complex tunnel network and it's not to visit and buy pizza.

              You are a bonafide tin foil hat wearing anti-corporate anti-semitic bigot laden with conspiracy theories. You blindly ignore any portion of blame to Hamas from the safety of your lounge chair.

              There's a reason for the unequal death toll and it is not entirely Israel's fault.

                My goodness. This thread is the funniest thing I've seen since that dickhead Mike Carlton was sacked. :D

                So to equate your line of reasoning, if you bump into me on the train I get to follow you home, smash your door down, murder and molest your family, skin your pets and set fire to everything.

                But it's justified since you bumped me *first* and OK as long as my ethnicity is the correct one?

                Sounds legit.

                Last edited 14/08/14 3:36 pm

                  Just keep rolling on with hyper-exaggeration and hyperbole....
                  You'd actually be purposely taking swings at me while holding up old women and children in front of you.

                  Last edited 14/08/14 3:58 pm

                  You know those tens of thousands of dead Palestinian women and children? Not from being used as human shields.

                  It's because the Hellfire missiles purchased by Israeli politicians from Raytheon using US aid aren't particularly discriminating.

                  But what the hey, BROWN PEOPLE MEH.

                  Don't play that racist card with me you prat. "Brown people" are killing "Brown people" at a greater rate ( x 1000) and in much more barbaric ways in Iraq and Syria and only for their beliefs without providing any aggression.

                  But it is you being selective about who matters, only when they are killed by a Jew do you care.

                  As I said, it's not only Israel contributing to this death count (and they are). You are being a bigot devoted to your own prejudices by blaming one side due to your racial intolerance (and conspiracy theories).

                  Firing from next to a hospital/school/shelter/market is using people as human shields. And the death toll is at 1959.... Not "tens of thousands". There are over 160,000 "brown people" dead in Syria and Iraq that you don't care about.

                  Last edited 14/08/14 7:21 pm

        mightyjosh, the mistake you're making is assuming an entire area and population is responsible and deserve punishment.

        Hamas who runs the place didn't actually fire any rockets until after Gaza was being bombed and hundreds of Palestinians were being arrested with out charge.

        Going back and saying, 'this person or that person started it' is useless when it's a long on going conflict. It all goes back to the displacement of Palestinians who have been forced into ever shrinking areas with no future, and what little future they have left is constantly getting bleaker.

        What will bring peace? The colonial oppression and expansion isn't working. It doesn't work unless you wipe out those original inhabitants. As that clearly is not an option unlike most colonialism, a different solution needs to be worked out. Everything now with the Palestinians is because it hasn't worked, it doesn't work. So coming down harder with that mindset and those policies will only make things worse for everyone.

    Considering Israel is currently on a very real campaign to 'gamify' their own real war, this seems slightly ironic.

    He destroyed the fun the kids had with videogames because they wouldn't be able to name a type of leaf.

      He should have got his kid call of oak leaf or COOL :)

      Next family holiday will be to the south american rain forests to teach the kids about real deforestation.

        "You like your paper and car parks so much, how do you like it now!"

        Last edited 14/08/14 11:54 am

        I would hate to be the kid when its time to learn about the birds and beez lol

    So the kid wants to become a real soldier instead?

      I don't really see how visiting the Israeli military would inspire him to want to be a real soldier. Might inspire him to do better at the shooting gallery next time he's at a fair.

        I went to the open day at RAAF air base when I was younger and after that wanted to join the military. Luckily I failed the physical :) and wisened up after that.

    Poor kids. Next trip for them will be the slaughter house when they try bacon for the first time at a friends house.

      I dunno.... that's not such a terrible idea... If you are going to consume a product, you shouldn't be protected from seeing how it is produced....

      That goes for lots of products consumed in western society.

        You don't like bacon. I don't expect you to understand. :P

        But I do agree with you to an extent. However, if you want to research about a product before you try it, I'm pretty sure you can find enough about it on tinternet to make an informed decision without actually having to experience it first hand.

          Oh man, so people remember me as the 'doesn't like bacon' guy? lol.

          You can read all the information you want though, nothing beats personally experiencing something. The bacon and consumer products thing you can put aside, sure, but warfare and the act of shooting and killing other humans is something which shouldn't be trivialised by a game.
          I'm not saying FPS's are evil and should be banned; heck no, they're fun as hell. But I do think it's important that people that play these games are of a mindset to make a distinction, and know how fucked up it really is in real life.

          Honestly, he probably just should have not let his young kids play a violent video game. At least let them get some perspective before playing such games. But, yeah, I guess that's easier said than done.

    They look a bit young to be playing that anyway.

      Yeah maybe there was an intermediary step between taking them to a warzone and nothing... like, encouraging them to play age-appropriate games?

    if it gives them some perspective that war is not the detached version they play in COD (though we are getting closer to that detached version of war with drones and such)then i see no problem, its not like he was having solider take pot shots at them.

    probably the first "father takes his children to a warzone" picture I have seen in the past few days that doesn't have a blurred out severed head in it >.>

    Not war, genocide.

      I dunno. The IDF's "shoot first, who cares who you hit, and forget about the consequences-- there are none!" mentality fits in with the average Call of Duty combat scenario.

    "These kids are playing violent games they're legally not allowed to play! Rather than actually take the games away and teach them responsibility like a normal parent, I'm going to scar them for life and take them to a warzone! That's the right thing to do!"

      Exactly right, the father shouldn't have allowed his children to play a restricted game that they are clearly too young for.

    Well, it's pretty dangerous putting ones son in a war zone area to teach him something that you want him to learn from your side of perspective. If let's say, *touchwood, that something unexpected happens, who will take responsibility?


Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now