This piece, entitled “Plastic Commander”, examines how children absorb and attempt to deal with violence in the media and on the global stage. In its examination, it focuses specifically on the use of violence and war-themed toys in our society, posing the question of why children are so attracted to forms of entertainment that glorify violence and war.
In today’s democracies, the media has become an instrument used to manufacture a desired political reality. For this reason, the media plays an important role in the socialization of youth; the everyday lives of citizens; and in the political decision making process. Through the representation of violence and war in the news, movies and games, most children are confronted at a very early developmental stage with these subjects.
Children play games simulating war, assault, robbery, and murder. These games, however, are not of their invention. They are rather a mirror of our adult world, affected by television, newspapers, and everyday conversations, contributing further to the socialization of our youth. I believe the idea of war first begins in people’s minds and is nurtured from there.