Ever since the first shooters came on the scene, concerned adults everywhere have railed against them as being a bad influence on children. Granted, we don’t have tons of automatic weapons lying around — oh wait, I’m in America, yes we do.
Still, most of us wouldn’t use the kinds of weapons we see in video games, and the link between video-game violence and real-life violence remains tenuous, at best.
Utility poles, on the other hand? Those represent the real danger to society, right?
The Israel Electric Corporation has sent a letter to Epic Games, directed at CEO Tim Sweeney, expressing concern about the “disturbing and worrying phenomenon” of players who “climb up electricity poles freely and without restriction” in Fortnite: Battle Royale. According to the letter, the IEC “invests enormous resources in educating the public about the dangers of climbing electric poles and careless use of its facilities.” As a “leading international game company,” Epic should “remove dangerous content that encourages life-risking situations related to the use of electricity, such as climbing poles and public lighting facilities,” the letter concludes.
I have to say, I didn’t even know you could climb poles in Fortnite — or “Fortnight,” as the letter calls it once — but now I’m worried about the youth of Israel. Is there a pole-climbing epidemic going on there, like one of those “I saw it on YouTube” challenges? If so, is Fortnite to blame?
In any case, of all the bad behavior that video games have been blamed for, this seems like one of the least worrying. Sure, climbing poles with electrical equipment carries the potential for danger, but probably less so than gunplay, drug use, reckless driving, and fighting dragons. I used to fight dragons, too, until I took an … online self-help class.