UKC

/ Laser quest - kids' parties

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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018

What do people think?I am totally against this sort of stuff. I am a pacifist. I hate shooting (and shooting games etc) and I don't think we should train 6/7/8/9 or any year olds to kill each other even if it just a game. I was totally cornered this week. I had already invented some excuse for the party, as I don't want my son, 8 years old, to go to shooting parties. But then the dad came with another invite ( I had said we never got one..I should probably work on my excuses;-) ) and it would have been really rude to say no at that point in time, but honestly I really find this stuff bad - particularly as I live in Dunblane. Or am I over-reacting? I wish they would ban stuff like that for under 18s (or even over 18s...)

 

 

 

 

Post edited at 17:08
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MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I think you are over reacting  a bit. It's  more like hide and seek with lasers really than shooting. Nothing like paintball, for example.

2
Bulls Crack - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Appreciate you might be sensitive to such things where you live but I'm sure a session it wont have a detrimental effect on him.

 

Best not to get cornered in Laser Quest btw

1
Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

You think? But why teach people shooting each other in the first place? How about teaching them to be nice to each other or to be a good climber? I just don't get it. I never have...I am just not very comfortable with the notion of having fun shooting each other....

And then in addition people always give me this crap that me being German by birth I should like it ;-) Hmm. I don't understand humans  I think ;-)

 

Post edited at 17:26
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MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Get past the shooting idea - think of it as laser tag or something.  The "shooting" bit is really very notional

 

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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Ok, I'll suck it up this time, but I don't think I will make this a regular haunt. Yikes

 

Post edited at 17:38
timjones - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> You think? But why teach people shooting each other in the first place? How about teaching them to be nice to each other or to be a good climber? I just don't get it. I never have...I am just not very comfortable with the notion of having fun shooting each other....

 

You are  overthinking this.

You can teach kids to be nice to each other and coach them in any sports that you choose as well as allowing them to enjoy a bit of simple fun at Laser Quest.

 

2
Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

How can shooting be "notional".  So, if you get some 18 year olds going on  a high school shooting spree because they have learned and practiced in computer games and laser quests. Would you say to them it's notion ( Sorry, I am being obviously provocative). I just think that doing stuff like that desensitises people. 

 

10
Ridge - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Get past the shooting idea - think of it as laser tag or something.  The "shooting" bit is really very notional

Agreed. I understand the OP's viewpoint to an extent, but it's not like the kids are being taken to some US gun range and getting let loose with Glocks and Armalites. 

What are the child's views? At 8 they might well resent being kept at home as all their friends go have fun and feel excluded from subsequent conversations about it. He also might wonder what the fuss is about, and start reading gun magazines under the bedclothes at night...

He can't enlist at 8 years old so isn't going to become a child soldier. If he develops an interest in the military as he gets older then that's the time to have a conversation about how horrific actual combat is.

1
Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to timjones:

That's exactly what I don't get. What's fun about shooting people? I am not overthinking it, I just don't like it. I don't deny people fun. But shooting people - real or imagined is no fun to me...OK, maybe it's just me..

 

4
MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> How can shooting be "notional". 

Because it's a bit of light in a dark room, not projectiles or pain or anything like that!

 

> So, if you get some 18 year olds going on  a high school shooting spree because they have learned and practiced in computer games and laser quests. 

Really, this isn't going to happen. 

To be honest I'd have more concerns about aspects of pseudo military groups like scouts than laser quest when it comes to militarism.

 

10
Martin McKenna - UKC - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I used to love going to birthday parties at a local independent laser quest called Megazone, that was in Falkirk so quite near you. I turned out alright, I think...

Honestly, I don't think kids who go to laser quest grow up wanting to own guns and go around shooting things/people. I remember it as a good time with all my mates from school, just a big game that we all enjoyed. I'm still friends with all my old school friends and they are all what I would class as successful and have good morals. Basically, I wouldn't worry about your son. In my opinion you'll probably do more damage not allowing your son to hang out with his friends.

 

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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Ridge:

Well, he is not being kept at home (so he is not suffering a trauma being kept away) as I took him to that place, but honestly, I found this place horrible and all the shooting and stats own how many people you shot etc on a screen is truly horrifying, particularly in our day and age when unfortunately we have to deal with real shooting atrocities all the time. Well, I am clearly on my own in my view, but I was really not liking it. 

 

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Ridge - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I take the point about things like call of duty and grand theft auto creating a 'cartoon' view of violence, and perhaps leading to fantasies of doing it for real. However to make the leap to going on an actual shooting spree I think something that has to be badly 'broken' with the individuals in the first place.

Plus you can't buy semi automatic weapons at ASDA in the UK

 

Post edited at 17:49
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Bulls Crack - on 13 Jan 2018
MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

I knew it

Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

I don't worry  about my son, I just don't like the idea and don't think we should support stuff like that. But that's just me clearly, I was just trying to see what people think. It's just a little step that we don't need IMHO, I am sure most people won't turn to become mass murderers because of Laser quest. But why have it in the first place? I just don't get it. There is no benefit in it, just an education about weapons.

 

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timjones - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> That's exactly what I don't get. What's fun about shooting people? I am not overthinking it, I just don't like it. I don't deny people fun. But shooting people - real or imagined is no fun to me...OK, maybe it's just me..

Do we need to "get" everybody elses choices?

I think it is great that we have such diversity of choice when we come to choose our leisure pursuits, a little tolerance goes a long way.

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timjones - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> To be honest I'd have more concerns about aspects of pseudo military groups like scouts than laser quest when it comes to militarism.

How on earth do you perceive Scouts as " pseudo military" and which aspects concern you?

 

1
MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

>  But why have it in the first place? I just don't get it. There is no benefit in it, just an education about weapons.

I think we all sympathise with your point of view and aims.  But it is really just  fun like most games with cunning, hiding and chasing are fun. The "weapon" is just a marker

1
MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to timjones:

> How on earth do you perceive Scouts as " pseudo military" and which aspects concern you?

Uniforms, hierarchies, group over individual, "in" language, etc are all things the military encourage.. The whole movement sprung from military origins. See the first picture here

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scouting

Post edited at 18:06
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ceri - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

When we were kids we weren't allowed toy guns. That was fine, sticks worked as well, and when he was old enough to be in a toy shop with money and no mum my brother bought himself a toy pistol. Mum was not happy.

Horror of horrors, my brother even went on to join the marines. Not for long though, before going on to become a mountain leader. 

So, what I'm trying to say is that sometimes if parents are totally against things that are "normal" to other kids, you can just get a backlash. 

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timjones - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Uniforms, hierarchies, group over individual, "in" language, etc are all things the military encourage.. The whole movement sprung from military origins. See the first picture here

Many team sports and the actions of their supporters have those attributes too, are they "pseudo military" or is it just down to the tribal element of human behaviour?

 

1
MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Just as a point of interest, the army encourages mountaineering because it simulates soldiering quite closely (small teams, arduous, can't stop if things get tough, some danger). I don't think they encourage Laser Quest.

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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Hahaha

Post edited at 18:20
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JEF on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Uniforms, hierarchies, group over individual, "in" language, etc are all things the military encourage.. The whole movement sprung from military origins. See the first picture here

Teamwork, empathy, self-reliance, self-respect, respect for others.

Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Ok, if you say so. ;-)

 

 

1
spenser - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to timjones:

Drill, uniforms, rank structure, the fact that it was set up to prepare boys to be competent outdoorsmen who could go on to serve in the military, it's cadets from a younger age without the explicit military involvement (not saying this is a bad thing, I was a cadet for 5 years and a very heavily involved adult leader with cubs, scouts and explorers for 2).

For what it's worth I consider the friends I made as a cadet to be some of my closest and fondly remember the many hours lieing in ditches on Otterburn training area (also, rather less fondly picking gorse out of various places after visiting Catterick!). Just because people enjoy being a cadet doesn't mean that they will go on to join the army, 2 of my group of friends are now engineers, 1 is a social worker, 1 a journalist, 1 a doctor, 3 or 4 vets and 4 army officers off the top of my head. 

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Blue Straggler - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Playing a bit of Devil's Advocate here but also genuinely curious.... Most sporting activities have a historical basis in war/combat.  Would you discourage children from track and field athletics? Would you discourage from team sports such as rugby, which are all about using tactics to overcome an "enemy"? Would you discourage from archery or karate?  

(I see MG has also made a similar point earlier, using mountaineering as an example. Would you discourage people from climbing "Commando Ridge" at Bosigran? )

Post edited at 18:37
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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I discourage people from killing each other. I just don't support it. Competition is one thing, killing each other another.  As I say, I am pacifist.is clearly just me then...

 

 

Post edited at 19:06
Blue Straggler - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Well then given that nobody is killing anyone in LaserQuest, how is it different to being trained to throw a pointed spear as far as possible? As for "clearly just me then" - erm, no. You aren't unique; furthermore you are petulantly twisting EVERY poster's words and accusing them of being bloodthirsty warmongers. Get over yourself. 


If your views are so important, why did you make up an excuse to exclude your son from the party instead of politely saying "I don't believe in this sort of encouragement"?

Did your son know that you had received an invitation on his behalf and that you had lied to the people who'd invited him? Did he want to go? Have you had the conversation with him about how you don't like the idea of children shooting? Does he understand all that? Does he have a view on it? Did he go to the party reluctantly?

Post edited at 19:14
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keith-ratcliffe on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

When I was a kid we played Cowboys & Indians and hung out in our local woods with guns (firing caps that made a bang) & tomahawks (rubber). We would stalk each other and accept a strange unwritten protocol for who shot whom or scalped whom. I do remember one incident when Texas Tony claimed to shoot Apache Dave and we had to suspend activities to have a discussion about the outcome - we voted and Tony hit the dust! What a great way to learn about democracy.

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Dax H - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> That's exactly what I don't get. What's fun about shooting people? I am not overthinking it, I just don't like it. I don't deny people fun. But shooting people - real or imagined is no fun to me...OK, maybe it's just me..

Its not just you but I would say you are in the minority. As a kid playing with water pistols was the best fun on a hit day, as a teen laser quest was excellent fun. At 18 I took up paintball and ran a local team until I was 29. Using speed, agility, cunning and ability to mark your opponent before they mark you gets the heart pumping and the adrenaline going. 

For the record I also a gun owner, I have a shotgun and regularly shoot clays. I have been asked to join a few different syndicates to carry out pest control on farm land and though I know full well that bunnies and certain birds cause hundreds of thousands in damaged crops I can't find it in myself to shoot anything that is alive. 

1
plyometrics - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Shooting aside; always remember it’s ok to say “no” to stuff. 

Difficult sometimes, I appreciate, but often easier than making up excuses.

2
TobyA on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I understand your point but just be prepared if you want to take a very firm line on these issues that you will need to deal with lots of them as your kids get older  - particularly if they are boys! Computer games, movies etc. etc. As a sociology teacher I can perhaps reassure you that there is little evidence linking video games or movies that represent violence to actual violence. My oldest (13) plays first person shooter games (although everyone is an alien or android or something weirdly scifi, not people) and seems OK. Interestingly, neither him nor his younger brother are excited about the fact they will have to do military service at 18 and learn to use actual assault rifles! In fact rather the opposite. 

Plus we are fortunate to live in a country where firearms violence is very rare, in part a legacy of the Dunblane tragedy, and the Hungerford one before that. I was talking with colleagues at school the other day about how schools in Finland all had to have 'active shooter' plans like US schools do, after the school and college shootings there. Of course Dunblane was a school shooting, but in one of the UK's better moments the collective response was not to teach children to hide under tables and tell teachers to barricade doors, but rather to remove even more firearms from civilian hands.

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Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Sorry, this reply is totally unwarranted. I didn't twist anything, I asked for people's thoughts. I accept that most people seem to disagree with me. But I can still put forward my opinion, no?

1
Timmd on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> Sorry, this reply is totally unwarranted. I didn't twist anything, I asked for people's thoughts. I accept that most people seem to disagree with me. But I can still put forward my opinion, no?

I didn't think you were being petulant in the slightest. Seeing things through the prism of your own point of view, perhaps, but not petulantly twisting things. 

Post edited at 19:57
Heike - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Well, deserves me right for putting anything on UKC ;-) I really need to learn my lessons....

 

 

Post edited at 19:59
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Brownie on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Girlguiding policy ( from website )

War games, including laser tag, virtual reality war games and paintball - this includes all games in which players simulate a war or battle situation by firing at other players.

Girlguiding does not allow games where weapons of any form are fired at human- or animal-shaped targets. This activity is prohibited because Girlguiding feels it does not fit with the aims and objectives of guiding. However, paintball guns and laser guns are permitted if fired at other objects, for example, in a coconut shy activity.

B

1
Timmd on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

If anybody needs to get over themselves,  I wouldn't have thought it was you. 

skog on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

> I used to love going to birthday parties at a local independent laser quest called Megazone, that was in Falkirk so quite near you.

It's still going strong - my daughters have been at several parties there recently.

In fact, I'm not at all sure anything will have changed since you were going!

 

Heike - it's really up to you, of course. But be aware that, as said, it isn't real violence. And like it or not, your son will be experiencing worse in games and online soon, whatever your preferences are.

I'd suggest you're best educating him, explaining why you feel the way you do, and letting him decide - if you prevent him going to parties with his friends where everyone's having a great time, and don't give him a reason he can understand, it's probably going to come back to bite you.

Also, pacifism, if you mean real pacifism, is a rather extreme viewpoint (far more so than wishing to avoid gun use). With no wish to attack you, again, if you can't explain to him why you have such an extreme view, and it's impacting on his life, it'll probably cause a lot of resentment later. If you feel you can't be honest with people about your reasons and have to make up excuses instead, it does suggest this needs a bit more thought!

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Ridge - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to spenser:

Anyone who has 'fond memories' of Otterburn is clearly unfit to be allowed near anything more lethal than a blunt crayon.

SenzuBean - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

It's worth considering the "backfire" effect. If you tell your kid something is so super bad, and that they should avoid it - there is a high chance they will investigate for themselves, and if they find your claims unfounded (which they will if you've heavily exaggerated), then their default assumption on that topic will be to assume what you said was wrong - which can be worse than just simply being honest up front.

Ben Sharp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> What do people think?I am totally against this sort of stuff. I am a pacifist.... I wish they would ban stuff like that for under 18s (or even over 18s...)

You can split issues like this into two parts, whether or not you like and support the activity in question and then what you should do about that. I can totally sympathise with your opinion on not supporting laser tag (although I disagree) but I don't really have any sympathy for wanting to ban it. It's a worrying puritanical trend we seem to be going through where it has become acceptable to ban something which people might find offensive or distasteful. Education and discussion as a means of creating a better and more caring society are much more powerful tools which seem to have gone out of the window.

It must be one of the most challenging and disturbing aspects of parenthood to see your child go out into the world and be exposed to cultural influences that you yourself might prefer they weren't. Is banning something really the solution though? The only sure thing is that you can't ban everything you don't agree with. Isn't it better to have the confidence that your child has had the education and upbringing needed tp allow them to take part in any kind of game without any risk of them going postal instead of hoping they never need those skills because everything has been banned?

As a society we can either censor, ban and criminalise or we can educate, discuss and engage with. You cant really have both. Personally I would prefer to live in a country where all it's citizens are educated to a level where they are capable of enjoying a game of laser tag or a shoot-em-up video game while understanding the confines in which they are played. Surely that ability to differentiate is an essential skill to foster in children as they grow up. As another poster mentioned, there is very little evidence to support the idea that violent video games creates violent people. I will always side with education and policy based on scientific study over the archaic "ban it all for the sake of the children" approach which seems to be returning (not aimed directly at you btw).

I work at an activity centre that provides outdoor laser tag along with other outdoor activities. We chose to add laser tag because it is painless and can be enjoyed by small kids up to pensioners and is also suitable for disabled people and the wheelchair bound. It's a family game wtih silly sound effects and it's a pleasure to watch people having fun together outside, planning tactics and using team work to win. I would say it's a much healthier learning experience than some games of monopoly i've been involved in!

Some youth groups we see through our doors come from really disadvantaged backgrounds and have barely set foot outside of the city. Laser tag is often the only activity they will do at first. It's really disheartening to see someone who obviously gets a lot of pleasure from being outside asking to ban one of our most accessible outdoor activities which has left positive memories for people who perhaps get very few chances to have fun in the great outdoors. Some people need a very large stepping stone to move away from their phones and for example, put a wetsuit on and get in a kayak. Laser tag is an incredibly valuable activity for our instructors in breaking the ice, getting people having fun, working together and at a stage where they're in a positive enough frame of mind to try something more challenging and outside of their comfort zones. Please let other people enjoy outside and active fun however they like without calling for it to be banned because it's not your cup of tea.

Post edited at 10:16
deepsoup - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Uniforms, hierarchies, group over individual, "in" language, etc are all things the military encourage.. The whole movement sprung from military origins. See the first picture here

Quite so.  Hence the origins of the modern alternative to the Scouts, in a reaction against their perceived militarism in the aftermath of the first world war.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woodcraft_Folk

jonnie3430 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Curious to know what your concerns are?

I was a scout from 5 up until 18, it took me to Hungary the year after the wall came down, Switzerland twice, taught me climbing, put me in charge of group of 6 teenagers at 14, including a week every summer looking after ourselves (cooking over an open fire everyday for a week, led by a 14- 15 year old, with everyone having responsibilities from collecting firewood, to chef and dish washers,) met people from around the world and in the process of badge collecting, got interested in loads of things. What's your concern about that?

jonnie3430 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

My mum didn't like my BB gun until I taught her to shoot flies with it, then she loved it. 

Have a go, see how it affects you and then decide if it is suitable or not. (Paintballing is good fun too.)

Personally I think pacifism shows a lack of understanding of human nature, history and the state of the world today, but that's another discussion...

4
becauseitsthere - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

What about films like Star Wars where there's lots of shootings? Do you stop him from watching them? 

1
Steve Perry - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I used to take my daughter when she was 11/12. We used to join in with big groups and we both really enjoyed it. When I see my daughter now (just finished uni as a veterinary teacher) we always joke shall we go Laser Quest. The fact we say that means it meant something for us both, good times I guess.

Post edited at 12:29
becauseitsthere - on 14 Jan 2018
wintertree - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

 

As a pacifist, you might consider how viable your present way of life would have been been had the whole country had been pacifist 80 years ago.  For that reason, I have no problem with people being pacifist - indeed it is one of the most important states of being for all of humanity to aspire to.  However, for the same reason, I do have a problem with someone trying to push pacifism onto others, for example by asking for things to be banned.  

There are constructive ways to take peace to the world.  One would be to do the best to raise your kids to be good, caring people and to trust them to be able to seperate a fun game from going all stabby.  I hardly think laser tag is the toughest challenge to their world view that they are going to face. 

Post edited at 14:19
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cb294 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I agree with you, even though I am not a pacifist. I think war is a serious business and not a game, and should therefore not be emulated in games. That said, all my children wanted and got toy pop guns and squirt guns, even my girls, and my son for a while spent most of his pocket money on Nerf guns (which are now lying unused in some box in the attic).

In general, incorporating war and fighting into play is just as natural for children as is playing family. Any three year old will pick up a stick and turn it into a sword or gun. 

I therefore cannot really pin down why sticks and Nerf guns are OK for me, but laser quest, first person shooter video gamess, or paintballing are not. Maybe the latter are too close to the real thing, so the desensitization towards violence outweighs the beneficial effect of practising in play dealing with conflicts. 

I have not let my children join such parties the few times they were invited, and would support banning paintballing or similar activities for under 18s. My solution was to thank the parents for the invitation, but decline with the explicit reason that I do not condone commercial shooting games.

I have also been invited to go paint balling with some guys from the institute, but again thanks but no thanks. Been there, done that, during my military service 30 years ago. Shooting actual weapons at targets that pop up behind windows as you make your way down the main street of a deserted village that had been converted into an infantry shooting range was much more exciting anyway!

CB

 

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skog on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

I've played swords with sticks, and I've played Laserquest. I'm going to have to take issue with which one you say you think is closest to real violence!

Paintballing might be different, I've never actually done that.

 
girlymonkey - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

My mother in law is Zimbabwean and remembers the Rhodesian wars of independence. She had a strict no toy guns policy in their house. My husband says it just meant that bananas, fingers and sticks became guns. It's just part of being a child I think. I get why you don't like it, but I think it's just a bit of fun

Martin Hore - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

>  Well, I am clearly on my own in my view, but I was really not liking it. 

You're not on your own Heike. I wouldn't take the first few responses as representative of the UK climbing fraternity. 

Martin

 

1
Dave the Rave on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

We used to do something similar as kids but with .22 air pistols. We would go up the woods and have a good game of army. No shots from closer than 20 yds and not above waist level. Good outdoor fun.

I’m not over fond of guns, didn’t want to join the army and don’t want to harm anyone.

Let kids have fun and they will turn out alright.

Oceanrower - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Dave the Rave:

If you can hit ANYTHING from 20 yards with an air pistol, you should consider yourself world class!

Bulls Crack - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to jonnie3430:

To be fair, the Hitler Youth and Wehrmacht  gave a similar experience of East European countries ????

Dave the Rave on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Oceanrower:

We were quite adept with our Webley Tempests and Hurricanes, and I’m sure 20 yds to a kid was probably 10;)

spenser - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Ridge:

That was where I was introduced to hillwalking/ camping/ bivvying etc so I think I'm allowed some leeway. I do remember some truly abysmal weather conditions and the training area is definitely not the most beautiful part of the county I'll give you!

You'll be pleased to know that I work in the rail industry as a compliance engineer now and work on things like this:

http://www.docbrown.info/docspics/northeast/haltwhistle/Img_5304.jpg

 

winhill - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> I don't worry  about my son,

Maybe you should do? The reason pacifism is a not an ethical position is because if your son was in danger and you could save his life but choose not to because it involved violence, then we could say your lack of ability to use violence was worse than the other options hence pacifism is an unethical position. It's not something we should aspire to.

> I just don't like the idea ... It's just a little step that we don't need IMHO...But why have it in the first place? ... There is no benefit in it, just an education about weapons.

There's an interesting book called Killing Monsters, written some time ago by a comic book author to respond to the cartoon/comic book/video game violence haters who thought it was destroying America's youth. It makes the point that these sort of safe environments are useful for providing places where play informs kids about themselves and their ethical choices, not much different to kittens play fighting. The science tends to support the idea that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

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jonnie3430 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Sorry, you've lost me, you're suggesting we invaded them (west coast Scotland scouts have a reputation, but it's not that!)

MeMeMe - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

Often there are influences in society in general that we feel are detrimental to our kids yet socially it's difficult to avoid them. This sounds like one of those.

We tend to 

 - Avoid the situation (We might have something else planned if our daughter got invited to a princess make-over party say)

 - Talk to your child (They might go but we might talk to them about it first so they have a more rounded view of the activity, or we might talk to them about why they are not going)

 - Grit our teeth and bare it. You can't control all the influences on your kid. They might go lazer questing and find that they hate it and in any case it's probably a small influence on their life.

Anyway, it's your kid and it's for you to decide, I'd pay scant regard to the misfits who post on UKC! (I guess that includes me!)

trouserburp - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

You'll do a lot more damage by excluding them from social activities and making them the butt of their peers' jokes than by letting them play shooting

It's an opportunity to talk to them about your values - same as if they go to a McDonald's party, football match or to watch High School Musical 4 at the cinema

2
cb294 - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to winhill:

I do not buy that at all. In almost all cases of high school shootings the perpetrators had intensively played first person shooter video games. I know that quite a few people play these games, and the vast majority will not end up running amok, but still there seems to be a correlation.

In the absence of proper statistics (fortunately there are not that many school shootings, at least in Europe) I cannot see a plausible reason why such video games would not desensitize a child towards using violence to settle conflicts.

The same goes for watching explicit violence on TV. I find it bizarre that in the US but also increasingly in Europe nudity is considered more problematic than violence, and specifically gun violence where you can e.g. see bullets hitting the victim in the face. Again, the problematic issue is desensitisation.

CB

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Dr.S at work - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

I find paintball and laser quest a good educator in war. 

 

I always die loads - it puts me right off.

 

maybe discuss the real life outcome of the activity with your son after the event?

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nufkin - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to winhill:

> The reason pacifism is a not an ethical position is because if your son was in danger and you could save his life but choose not to because it involved violence, then we could say your lack of ability to use violence was worse than the other options hence pacifism is an unethical position

But it's hard to imagine a situation of this nature where the danger was objective - which surely means, strictly speaking, the source of endangerment is really the problem? 
The arguable difficulty with pacifism generally is when it's not recognised or respected by other parties

duchessofmalfi - on 15 Jan 2018

Like jet-skiing, motorised scooters, paint-balling, and office meetings, laser quest falls into the category:

"less fun than it looks"

A painful lesson for all concerned but a valuable one if you handle it properly.

 

winhill - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

> I do not buy that at all. In almost all cases of high school shootings the perpetrators had intensively played first person shooter video games. I know that quite a few people play these games, and the vast majority will not end up running amok, but still there seems to be a correlation.

Correlation also proves he who smelt it dealt it but we don't use that to assign the origins of intestinal gases.

> In the absence of proper statistics (fortunately there are not that many school shootings, at least in Europe) I cannot see a plausible reason why such video games would not desensitize a child towards using violence to settle conflicts.

You could try Why Kids Kill by Peter Langman. He gets to assess about 2 kids a year to see if they're turning into killers. He's only a psychologist but has about 20 years experience. He was given one child,  just 10 days after Columbine, who had made suicidal threats and drawn up a target list etc but he didn't go ahead and do the deed.

He looks in depth at 10 people but also mentions some of the prevented attackers that you won't have heard about. It's not an academic work, more his notes on 10 years of study.

A couple are so young (11+13) they were tried as juveniles and are back out of prison now.

He dismisses desensitisation pretty quickly, because the science isn't there, it's just above old wives tale and also the school shooter kids are so f*cked up a bit of 'desensitisation' is lost in the background.

Drew Klebold, for example, the minor partner at Columbine, wasn't allowed to play with guns as a child because his parents thought it too violent.

 

The New NickB - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Brownie:

That is probably one of many reasons why 30% of my Scouts are female.

Jon Greengrass on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

But not the reason I don't send my daughters to Brownies/Guides, which is because they discriminate on the basis of gender.

 

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Bob Hughes - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

> In the absence of proper statistics (fortunately there are not that many school shootings, at least in Europe) I cannot see a plausible reason why such video games would not desensitize a child towards using violence to settle conflicts.

The last time I looked into this most of the studies found that violent video games do increase aggression but only in the very short-term. i.e. for a few hours after playing. There tends not to be any long-term effect. 

cb294 - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Hughes:

The last time I looked into it almost all studies on the topic were complete rubbish, independent of their conclusions. 

It is of course impossible to do such studies in a rigid, experimental way, but my feeling with lots of such psychological studies is that they are "designed" to confirm a pre-existing bias, so you may as well use your own gut feeling.

CB

 

Blue Straggler - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Heike:

> Sorry, this reply is totally unwarranted. I didn't twist anything, I asked for people's thoughts. I accept that most people seem to disagree with me. But I can still put forward my opinion, no?

Sorry for being so late to reply to this. 

I used the word "petulant" because despite many people explaining that Laser Quest isn't about pretending to shoot to kill and is instead more a tactical hide and seek with the lasers being used to "tag" people you've caught, you repeatedly said variations on "I don't think teaching to kill is a good thing". Petulant in that context refers to repeatedly throwing back that same answer without addressing peoples' explanations.

I felt you were twisting peoples' words because you repeatedly said "clearly it's just me", in direct reference to "I don't think teaching to kill is a good thing", which unambiguously implies that people you are responding to think that teaching to kill is a good thing. Admittedly that's a bit of semantics and I am aware that you are writing in a second language, but if I'd taken the time to explain that Laser Quest isn't a "pretend to kill" game and you'd replied directly to me saying that "clearly it's only me that thinks teaching to kill is bad", I would have been a bit annoyed. 


It also took monumental effort to get you to say anything about your son's thoughts on the matter and you still haven't explained why you initially "made an excuse" instead of just saying "no thanks" in the first place. Fair enough if that's complicated or private, but at least have the courtesy to say THAT, if that's the case. 

For the record, I feel uneasy seeing my nephews (5 and 7) engaging in any sort of shooting game.

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