A little boy who looked about four—he was definitely much younger than my six-year-old—sat down next to us playing some sort of video game. I think it was on his mom’s phone, but I didn’t get a good look and I’m not familiar with most game systems. The game this kid was playing wasn’t flying fruit or Angry Birds or Spongebob; it was a violent Lego game that involved shooting everyone in sight. It even included blood spatter to make it look more authentic.
Really, Mom and Dad? This is what you give your four-year-old, who certainly doesn’t need these images in his mind? This is what you provide as entertainment, even as studies show that violent video games alter brain function in boys, even as bullying is rampant in this country and the world’s not getting any more peaceful from our part? Are you trying to raise a terrorist, folks?
Surveying this room of people—parents who ignored their kids to play on their own cell phones as said children dangerously perched on the bars of the mezzanine viewing area or the stairs or the bleachers, falling and being told by distracted parents as they cried, “See, told you not to do that;” the flicking mom, the violent video game kid, and everyone else in the room—I tried not to feel judgmental (even as I could feel their fat-hating judgment from afar, as I always can; we all have something to judge, don’t we?). I tried to remind myself that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, that I don’t know any of them personally and have no idea what they are going through.
But then I just turned to my husband and said helplessly, “This is why we’ve stopped evolving.”