CASE: INTERACTIVE COURSE FOR TERRORIST TRAINING
The following case, though inspired by real events, is fictional. A team of iconoclastic gamers, all former military people with considerable skills in artificial intelligence and virtual reality programming, designed a game that teaches would-be terrorists tactical and strategic techniques of urban warfare. A group of concerned citizens want to have the game banned because they claim that the game promotes violence in minors. The team’s designers argue that the game is protected by free speech. They point to the lack of any conclusive studies establishing a link between violent video games and the behavior of video game players. They argue, further, that just because the nature of the game bothers certain citizens, the government does not have a right to ban it and thus destroy the business of the company that created it.
The citizens’ group argues as follows: The techniques used in this game are simulations of pedagogical methods that have been successfully used for teaching a variety of subjects. Because we accept that it is possible, using the educational methods involved, to teach children conceptual material that is more complex than a mere collection of facts, it stands to reason that this game is also teaching them. In this case, what is being taught is how to kill the maximum number of civilians. The game is further teaching them, by implication, that such violence is an acceptable way to promote a cause. Such an education constitutes a clear danger to our society. It is against community standards to teach children to be terrorists. Hence the game should be banned.
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