First Nerf Battle of 2012, Violence, and Killing
Weapons cocked, we darted amongst the piles of trash in the void deck of the soon-to-be abandoned HDB flat, gaining ground on the enemy. The tell-tale rustles and long shadows emerging from behind pillars gave away their hiding places away. We flanked them, whooping, and just as i was thinking “Operation Desert Storm“, my ammo fell out of the Nerf Recon CS-206 Blaster and while stupidly bending over to retrieve the errant ammo clip, was taken out with a head shot from the back.
In land-scarce Singapore, Nerf battles conveniently take the form of fighting in built-up areas (FIBUA). I was more familiar with Carl von Clausewitz than close quarter combat (having had to present some papers on the matter), but was duly enlightened by an excited taxi driver who moaned that his wife had banned him from buying such “toy guns”. Parkour was optional, though Vibrams were useful for uneven terrain and for preventing give-away foot-falls.
The discs fired from the Vortex range of Nerf blasters (Proton, Praxis, Nitron) seemed more accurate than the darts from the N-Strikes, which lost steam and dipped considerably at the tail end of a certain distance. Despite the recoil, the foam edged discs aren’t too dangerous – i took one in the teeth at close range and the gnashers are still intact… though as a very curious passerby pointed out when he stopped to chat, a hit to unprotected eyes might be more serious.
We had great fun coming up with different permutations of gameplay:
– tag (or zombies): person who’s shot joins other team
– capture the flag
– free for all (every man for himself)
– terrorists + ticking bomb vs counter-terrorists
All in good fun of course, but playing or enacting things does teach or reinforce those things in our consciousness. In light of our recent reading of Genesis 9, I was wondering afterwards whether we should be doing this on a regular basis.
In Genesis 9, God states his extreme disapproval of the killing of humans:
And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image. (Genesis9:5-6)
If an animal or a man kills another man, they would face the most extreme judgement possible – the forfeiting of their own lives. The reason for this severe punishment is that man is made in the image of God (see Genesis 1) and so precious in God’s sight. And the destruction of one of God’s images must surely be an act of rebellion against God himself. (Later in the course of human history, we see that accidental killing by a human does not require capital punishment so this must refer to premeditated planned murder on the part of the human perpetrator. There is no such defence for an animal who kills a human i think, thereby demonstrating the hierarchy of value in God’s creation.)
Does this pretend violence and mock killing (not with a mind to defend the country – eg. as in national service, but just for the joy and fun of it) alter our perception of other humans and make them merely playthings and targets?