Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Mimisms ~ Plants vs Zombies

Baby Boy and I were playing Plants vs. Zombies on his iPad this weekend, well, he was playing. I was watching. Until I couldn't watch anymore.

"Ummm....Baby Boy, what is the object of this game?"
"You are supposed to stop the Zombies from attacking."
"Attacking what?"
"Plants. My plants."
"But Zombies aren't real. You know that, right?"
"How do YOoooooooouuuu know, Mimi?"

"I just do. "

"Are you sure about that, Mimi? Are you suuuuuuuure?"

"Zombies are not real, Baby Boy. I know because...because...I am LOTS older than you and have lived a LOONNNG enough time to know that Zombies are not real."

"But what if they are?"
"They're NOT, Baby Boy."

"But wouldn't you want to protect your house if Zombies attacked it?"
"That is not going to happen. But yes, if something attacked my house I would do what I could to protect it."

"See. I told you. They're in my backyard right now. See?"
"You don't have a backyard, Baby Boy. (I look at the screen) You have a bunch of cartoon plants that make no sense attacking walking ugly things with their limbs falling off and the only thing you've "won" so far is an imaginary taco. I find this game highly ridiculous."

"But I have to keep the Zombies away!"
"Why, Baby Boy, what did they ever do to you?"
"They are trying to eat my plants!!"

"Do you have to kill 'em, Baby Boy? Really? Is that necessary? Because I'm tellin' ya sweetie I don't think it's good for you to attack a decayed person with a dandelion and watch his head roll off......."

"He's not dead, Mimi. They stand back up. See?"
"But you killlllllled him."
"Yes!!! Because he is trying to climb over into my backyard and eat my plants."

"Is eating plants a crime, Baby Boy?! Do you have to resort to such violent means?"
"I'M not killing the Zombies, Mimi, the plants are. I'm just winning the game by making the plants hit the Zombie in the head until he falls down."

"....and his head rolls off...."

"Of course. He's a Zombie. He wouldn't die if his head didn't fall off, Mimi. It's not a real head. It's a Zombie head."

"A-ha! But I thought you said Zombies were real... Baby Boy. Which is it? Are they real heads or fake heads? Real blood or fake blood? Dead or deader? Does your mother know you're playing this game? And besides Baby Boy

I don't care if he eats the cabbage and all the ragweed and every tomato in the garden, why can't you just build a fence?"

 *more frantic head rolling on screen and eye-rolling offscreen*
I literally have to turn my head away to escape the sight of headless corpses and rolling zombie heads. I kid not.  But I was on a to speak.

"And really, Child, must you use sunflowers to do the deed? I never saw a sunflower kill anything in my entire life. Sunflowers are gentle creatures ya know."

"I'm JUST trying to protect my property, Mimi. Wouldn't you?"
"Yes, I would. If a Zombie ever comes here I'll let you know."
Then I gave him the we-are-going-to-have-a-long-frustrating-conversation-whether-you-like-it-or-not look. The same one I gave him preceding the Angry Birds lecture. 

"Why is it fun to knock people down and watch a decapita....errr....heads roll around, Baby Boy, even if there is not much blood shown, why is that fun to do. That is the part I do not get. Why? Why? Why? Why???!!!!"

"Because it is. It's fun. I have to protect my house from the Zombies. That is the game, Mimi."

Games. Schmames! Shame, I say! Everybody in the known world knows that you don't go around smacking zombies with mushrooms. It's against the laws must be. So, just to prove my point I asked Plants vs Zombies is highly acclaimed in the gaming world, winning awards for its "addictive nature."  
 Thank you, Homer. I rest my case.

 It is an "animated blood cartoon violence" rated E10+ for 10-year-olds and up, a rating that is just one level below the Teen rating. Oh, how lovely. Baby Boy is half past eight. It includes "fantasy violence"... definition: Fantasy Violence - Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life.

Baby Boy does not know the difference between Zombie heads and people heads.  

The director wanted to create something "sickeningly cute" (per Wikipedia). I'd say he succeeded. I'm sick already. 

Nowhere in the dictionary of my loooong lived life does it say that someone's head - imaginary or not - must fall off to entertain me.

I'm dead serious.

Public domain images

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Mark In Mayenne said...

I really don't know if violent games are good or bad. I find realistic war scenario games quite shocking. Real people died (and die) that way. But if your knowledge of war is just what you read about, perhaps this helps bring it home?

Zombies and plants? Don't know.

The Gal Herself said...

I'm no fan of censorship, but I am a fan of ratings and keeping violence away from kids. Stanford prof. Dr. Albert Bandura has been studying this for decades and the results are sobering. If the dr. is to be believed, your instincts are right on. It's about intrinsic vs extrinsic morality (you know, whether doing something is bad because it hurts others, or bad because if you're caught you'll be punished) and suggestibility and how the content is taken by those around the young person. He concludes that children and teens are exposed to things that thrill them before they are mature enough to put it any context.

I'm a barren spinster, so maybe I don't get a vote, but I wish kids would go back to playing Yahtzee on their iPads. You know, like in the olden days.

Megan@MondayMorningMusings said...

That game creeps me out.

I agree the above comment about Bandura and add Systematic Desentisization. It's the same principle with which phobias are treated, slow and gradual exposure to more and more of the object in question (the phobia, or in this case violence) habituates one to it. Do we really want our kids to think that violence is no big deal? Do we not want them to be shocked by death?

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

ah heck...don't look behind you there is a zombie there

Travis Cody said...

I can't play zombie games. I already know I won't survive the zombie apocalypse and I don't want to be reminded all the time by a game.

Mimi Lenox said...

Folks...thanks for weighing in. Did you know that the Norwegian shooter last year just stated that he trained on video games?

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