Shooting for Entertainment

In an earnest attempt to get to know my students; I asked one of them how their weekend was. This student is a shy individual who would avoid an instructor at all costs and speak only when spoken to. Knowing this, I went ahead to probe and get him talking about how his weekend went.

Fort nite is an online survival game whose essential goal is entertainment derived from the satisfaction of self defense delivered by guns. This student I was speaking with had had a relaxing fun filled weekend and it was grace a cette jeu ( because of this game ). This game whose sole purpose revolved around shooting for self defense and ultimately fun derived from killing opposing forces. I walked away feeling unsettled. What subliminal messages were these games pushing?

The conversation blog which I follow ardently published a post based on the logic behind fear. In this post, the main idea presented revolved around the illogical nature of fear. It maintained that fear, specifically xenophobic and fear of the other, rested not on the logic of otherness equaling humanity but rather an us against them mentality which encouraged an attack on different groups if the one group wanted to survive. I see the same idea in this game.

A quick online search showed that variations of the Fortnite game features zombies who must get shot at if the player wants to stay alive. Many games that even I have played innocently feature this idea of self defense against the being that is new, foreign, terrifying and out to get regular people or take what they have. Zombies are feared and need to be quelled before they multiply. Read related post also featured on the conversation blog. Around the world, and especially in South Africa, immigrants who even have the same skin tone have been targeted because of their otherness; with the idea being that though African, they aren’t technically South African. They are different, Nigerian for example, and dangerous. Just like in South Africa, zombies are everywhere in their indecent numbers and must be stopped. America’s zombies are as usual its foreign immigrants whose skin tones are different, – little heed paid to other immigrants who have the same skin tone as the man. This society is a place where entertainment in the form of online games, marketed and meant for younger members of society equals shooting at other BEINGS WHO ARE DIFFERENT in order to survive. This is the society where a lone armed shooter walks into a grocery store just because he knows that that part of town will certainly have DIFFERENT people aka zombies. In this space, I continually remain eager to understand what entertainment there is, for example in a game that rests on shooting others.

Mental health pulls the trigger not the gun. Where does this statement fit where young people are getting unconsciously wired to derive fun from shooting at the other with aims no matter how benign.

Published by Efua R. Armstrong

Efua is from Ghana and is interested in society and culture as well as conversations on gender and sexuality. While sitting through a speech by a professor at Kenyon College, I agreed with the idea that the limitations of the human mind aren't necessarily burdens but gifts! I couldn't agree more! I am curious and love to process and reexamine information. I also have absolutely no restraints in admitting that I don't have all the answers or that I am still thinking about something! Go ahead and leave me a message!

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