Today is a serious issue.
Today is the violence in the video games.
It bears repeating: video games have come a long way since Pong. Two bats one ball. Monochrome. The faintest whiff of steel. Those fragile components. The transistors, rubbing together like primitive sticks. That friction. What wonders it would manifest. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods themselves, he screamed LET THERE BE LIGHT into the abyss of man’s imaginations.
And there it formed. There it lay festering.
The video game.
But now there is the violence. The video game has the violence. And much like Prometheus and the gift of fire, the video game is both a gift and a curse. It grants us the pleasure of that dancing flame, the warmth of its heat, but also the ability to manifest our violent nature on the grandest of scales.
The bombs. The fires that boil and brand. The video game gun that goes pop-pop-pop.
And the Mortal Kombats, on the Nintendo Gigabox. Who could forget those Mortal Kombats; that fistic tradition? It speaks to the very heart of man doesn’t it? That we might celebrate and chuckle as a man’s spine is separated from his flesh.
Poor Prometheus. What punishment hast thou wrought? Chained to thy earthly plane, thy liver chewed upon daily, only to replenish as you sleep. Are you any different from the Johnny Cage, his heart ripped out, his body frozen, his bones frazzled and ground to dust. Oh Sub-Zero, you are a cruel demi-god. Your methods are unwieldy, your hands cold to the touch, your heart an icy block. Who can plumb the depths of your lost humanity, how can it be done?
Why must we be punching? Why must we be kicking? Why must we be hurtling balls of psychic energy at one another? What if we could talk to these demons? What would they tell us? What marvellous stories could they share? We may never know, doomed as they are to punch, to kick, to make strange kung-fu noises. Doomed to die endlessly, like Prometheus in his chains.
My own son, little Jonno Jnr. I pray for little Jonno.
I pray for little Jonno in this world of demons, of demi-gods, this world of fire and light. Little Jonno, will you ever master the pixel? Will you find the strength to capture the polygon, or will you yourself become the slave?
Will you be able to separate the facts from the fiction and liberate yourself from these video game chains? Are you doomed to the same circle of violence into which Johnny Cage himself was succumbed. Doomed to punch genitals for all eternity. Can you even do the splits Jonno Jnr? Can you?
It’s hard to say.
Poor Jonno Jnr, light dancing upon your innocent face, eyes glazed over. How you suffer for my sins. The sins of humanity. The sins of Prometheus and the lure of that dancing flame.
I’ve worked so hard for you Jonno Jnr. Daddy hasn’t always been there. Daddy was reporting. Daddy was wearing a tailored suit, striding towards a camera with intent. Daddy was breaking the big news — foreigners stealing jobs, foreigners buying up Australian land, foreigners driving boats…
Jon Jonno Jonson, reporting.
It was all for you Jonno Jnr.
And for you I must vanquish the video game – for you Jonno Jnr, for Prometheus, for all the childrens.
Johnny Cage, you have suffered enough. The heart that beats within that brittle ribcage, let it beat gently into that night, towards a painless death. May the children run free; free to dance in the dirt, free from the dancing flame, free from the cruel wrath of the gods and the gift of light.
The childrens. Someone must think of them.