I won't lie to you, I wrote this rant about 10 months ago and just plain forgot about it. There's no use in letting it go to waste though because although specific events being referenced are clearly old, the overall subject and story are timeless. So please enjoy my 2009 adventure in an Ottawa Walmart.
Last week my fiancée and I hit up one of our many local Wal-Marts. We went in with the intention of buying a few groceries and some snacks to sneak into the movies the next morning (yep, we’re those kind of people). Of course I also walked out with the Star Trek bluray and the Master Assassin’s Edition of Assassin’s Creed II…because I’m also that kind of person.
Anyway that’s not why I’m writing this. While perusing the Xbox 360 games, a father and his son (I’m saying the son was 9 but he very easily could have been younger) came walking up with a Wal-Mart employee. While walking the father somehow managed to knock a slew of DVD’s off the shelf and onto the floor. His response to this?
“Fuck! Fuckin’ things. (starts picking them up) Fuckin’ things just fuckin' jumped right out at me.”
The kid didn’t even bat an eye so obviously this is an all too common occurrence (the language I mean, although presumably the same goes for knocking shit down). That’s not the end of it though as somehow this guy managed to knock down MORE DVD’s off the shelf. Not the same ones he had put back mind you, but completely different ones. After all of this had gone down I stared at the DVD’s and struggled to figure out how this guy even pulled it off. The mechanics still escape me. The only two logical conclusions are that he did it on purpose or he’s a witch. Or maybe he was right and the fuckin’ things really were jumping out at him. And that just leads to a whole new world of problems, not just for him, but for society.
Anyway, I don’t think I have to tell you that this second incident was naturally followed by a few more curses. It brought the total up to at least seven or eight within about 20 seconds.
If the story ended here, you would still walk away thinking the man was not exactly father of the year. I doubt you’d even consider him in the top few million. But I’m not done there folks, not by a longshot.
So they have the Wal-Mart employee open the glass case for them. Dad asks the kid which game he wants and the son points to Left 4 Dead 2. Now even if you had never heard of the game I’m sure you could conclude that hey, that doesn’t sound ok for a child. As someone who has played the game I can confirm that no, it is most certainly not.
That’s not even it though. After that the kid then pointed to another game and said he wants that one as well. That game was of course Assassin’s Creed II.
I could maybe let Left 4 Dead 2 slide. I mean the violence is all being done to zombies and if anything children should be trained for this sort of thing as when the zombie apocalypse comes we’re going to need all the help we can get so it’s best to harden the youth now so they’re ready. Assassin’s Creed though, I think that just might cross the line.
Now before you get up in my face about how this kid is probably mature enough and how you played violent video games at this age (and I did too, don't get me wrong), etc, let me pose a question to you. Sure he very well could be mature for his age. But what if he’s not? What if he is part of what most people consider the worst part of online gaming – the homophobic, racist youngsters who scream the most insane, offensive things at you in a non-stop barrage that kills any hope you had for the younger generation. Do we really want it to be that easy for these wee bastards to get their hands on these games?
Anyway that’s not really the point of this post, since yes many of those same people are well into their teens/twenties/sadly sometimes even older. My problem isn’t that this child could be part of the downfall of our society, but that the dad seemed to have no idea what the hell he was actually buying for his son.
How do I know this? Because he referred to the two games his son had selected as “yea them there games there.” Do those sound like the words of a man who knows what the hell he’s talking about? Correct, they do not.
I mean seriously parents is it really too much to ask to at least have a vague idea what your child is up to? This one is easy. The games have “assassin” and “dead” in their titles! The work is pretty much done for you! If the game was called “Teddy Bear Cupcake Factory” and featured the same content I could see how it could be deceptive. Also, someone make that game.
Seriously these are the same parents who after buying the game, will turn around and say how horrible it is and how kids shouldn’t be allowed to play these violent video games. Yet if somebody were to point out that it was in fact the parents who got the game for them, they would say “Well how am I supposed to know these things?!” Because you’re a fucking parent! GOD!
I thought maybe the employee would step in and say “Sir I’m not sure if the stabbing and decapitating of others is appropriate material for your son. Also how DID you manage to knock those DVD’s down because that’s just astounding.”
The employee however did no such thing. Instead he just started telling the kid how awesome the games are and the cool stuff you can do in them. I mean talking with the kid about the cool murders and such. Dad seemed oddly disinterested and was more focused on a light this was blinking on the ceiling (not kidding). Maybe that says everything about him that we need to know actually.
Now I’m going to get side tracked for a moment and focus on this employee. I didn’t like this guy. Not one bit. His voice, his presence, his general existence, everything just rubbed me the wrong way. It didn’t help that he then called Modern Warfare 2 “the greatest game ever made”. It’s a very good game (must…resist….Billy Madison quote) but come on really?! It’s not even the best game I’ve played this season. It could also be that he ignored other customers who were waiting for help so he and his friend could open the game display cases and look at the game boxes. It was like an odd time paradox since each game they took was proceeded by “Dude this game is so fucking awesome.” I’m not kidding, they did it 5 times, I counted. The quote only changed for the aforementioned “best game ever” quote.
Anyway, perhaps you had to be there but my god this guy deserved a slapping.
However a fun side note, that Assassin’s Creed Master’s Assassin edition I mentioned earlier? I bought it immediately after this guy expressed how fucking awesome it is and how after his shift he’s going to get it. Even better? He had to sell it to me. So a happy ending overall!