“You are who you choose to be.”

I’ve only known of three movies that cause me to tear up at the end almost every time I see them. I’m not ashamed to admit that one of them is animated. As far as I’m concerned Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant is nothing short of brilliant.

I introduced this wonderful movie to my two sons tonight and it was a great experience. At first, they didn’t know what to expect and fear reigned through the first half of the movie. But just like their ol’ man the emotions of the giant and the quirkiness of the movie started to win them over.

Then the giant died. How do you explain sacrifice to a five year old and a 2.5 year old? I really have no idea. However, one thing that they did realize is that using guns in the wrong way is bad. Our oldest had been running around the house over the last month pointing at random people and and yelling, “BANG! Your dead!” He didn’t understand the concept of death, and we didn’t want him flippantly thinking it’s OK to shoot things all the time.

We have a moratorium on certain things in our house while the boys are awake. This mainly includes violence of all forms in the areas of games and television. It just doesn’t happen. I think it’s worked for us. Actually, I think it’s worked for me. I don’t relate well to violence. It’s not that it makes me violent. It’s just that it agitates me. It changes my attitude. It changes the way I view things. That’s not good for a person who’s the head of a household and responsible for raising two boys (especially in an increasingly acceptable, violent world for younger agesthere’s always been violence.)

In short, in generally affects me for the worst.

Occasionally, I’ll make room for Half-Life or a quick FPS walkthrough. However, the last FPS I’ve completed was Half-Life 2it’s episodes and Portal varianta long time ago (Call of Duty 4 and Metroid Prime 3 came close). I think I’ve just learned to pass up on games with a sense of immediacy, especially in terms of violence.

If you’ve got to have that violent rush, I say take a break for a while. Find a different genre to play. See if it changes the way you act; who you are. As for me and my boys, we will take it slow and keep playing racing games.

The other day, while traveling down the highway my son asked me to ram into a rig we were passing. Maybe we won’t play any Burnout for a while either.


  1. But you get 3 times the money for a big rig than you do for a little compact car 🙂

    I agree about Iron Giant. That is tied with The Princess Bride and Blues Brothers at the top of my all-time favourite movie list and cemented Brad Bird as my favourite modern animator (well, after Miyazaki, that is).

    As for violent games, I won’t play them when my kids are up, though we do play lots of Smash Brothers. That said, I don’t have a problem with violence depending on how it’s depicted. Granted, I live in Canada and videogames and movies are about as close as I’ll ever get to a gun outside of joining the army or walking around in Downtown Toronto 🙂

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