If only people listened to videogames more

For a long time, video games have been the target of the media, often blamed for violence, crime, and hate because games “teach” these ideas to impressionable children and teens. These people tend to look at games with violent base concepts or general stress relieving games, and conveniently ignore games that do in fact have deeper meaning to them.

In my own humble opinion, I believe that the world could learn a lot from video games. In order to demonstrate this, I would like to call the memory of a game cube game from long ago; Tales of Symphonia. This game has a strong story, but more importantly it hits on a hot button issue that is incapable of being discussed in real world terms in any civil way.

In the game, you begin living under the oppression of a group called Desians, who view humans as cattle and are comprised almost entirely of half-elves. Through nearly a third of the game, it’s hammered down that Desians are evil scum who wouldn’t think twice of murdering a human. You occasionally encounter though as you play a half elf or two who isn’t a Desian, but because of the Desian’s actions against humanity they are usually treated with distrust and hostility.

As the game gets to a third of the way in however, something changes. You are introduced to the flourishing world. In this world, magic is abundant, and thanks to technology and the destruction of the Desians long ago, humans are in control. Half elves are slaves, to the humans now, and any transgression is punishable by death.

Kratos said it best when he imitated the great question that has kept philosophers pondering for centuries. Which came first? The chicken or the egg? As the balance of power shifts back and forth between humans and half-elves, each group begins to abuse the other as revenge for the abuse they suffered for generations before.

Right now in the real world, equal rights and racism are major hot topics. To the point where you cannot declare your opinion within earshot of anyone with an opposing opinion without a major disturbance. Long ago, African Americans were slaves. Just as humans were slaves to the Desians. It took many years, a war, and many great people to end this oppression.

However, after attaining freedom, it seems that people have come to the conclusion that either minority groups need to be repaid, or protected. To this end, members of a minority are given certain protections and additional rights to ensure they will have ‘equal’ rights. I won’t get into them in detail as I’m sure many of you are aware of them.

What I fear we are not learning here is that to move past racism, we can’t allow ourselves to fall into the idea that we need to get revenge or get extra privileges in order to make up for what happened in the past. If we cannot handle the idea of a white human and a black human being treated exactly the same with neither having any race based benefits, we’re never going to be able to deal with space aliens. Well, unless the fact that practical technology is taking a back seat means we’ll meet aliens when they show up here with such advanced tech that we won’t have a choice other than to play nice.

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