Dear Gaming Industry

I don’t remember when I said you could come to my home.
I can’t recall the invitation.
Actually, you aren’t even here for me.
You had the audacity to show up for my boys.
The youth I call my own.
There you are in your military fatigues and
your machine gun slung over your shoulder
to impress upon them your prestige of dissonance.
Amazing how you don’t discriminate —
you bring all color and gender into your call of duty
luring young men and women into
a game of shooting strategy
to take aim at one another.

“It’s only a game”, you say.
“Lighten up, will you?
This stuff doesn’t affect violence in our kids.
I mean, really —
there is no evidence of connection
to video games and youth violence.
None. I promise.”
This is the story you tell.

Now, can you sit back and listen to my story
as a mother and advocate of peace?

I’m tired of your war games.
I’m sick over the violence you sell.
I’m pissed that you have any type of influence
with the children who were gifted to me
and the many who bow to the altar of your disease.
As a sensitive image holder, I know how images affect my being.
They stay with me and with me and with me.
This is why I spend my days creating images of beauty
to place back into the world.
You are an information seller.
(In) formation.
As in, what I take “in” from you,
has the power to form my interior beliefs.
What my children take “in” from you,
has the power to form their interior beliefs.

Do you realize the opportunity you have for good in the world?
Instead, you use it to bleed competition and superiority
into the minds and hearts of our youth—
and call it fun.
To numb them to the effects of violence with one another.
Can you take any responsibility for the impact your industry makes?

You seriously sent a magazine out to your subscribers
with characters holding assault rifles less than one month
after two separate mass shootings (less than twenty-four hours apart)
that left 75+ people dead or wounded in Ohio and Texas?
How disconnected are you with what is happening in our country?

Whether videos games are or aren’t linked
to real-life serial shootings isn’t the point.
The point is, how can you be this insensitive?
This separate from how images of characters with assault rifles
is an affront to all families who have lost loved ones
to mass shootings in our country?
This removed from all the people who are wrestling
with what we need to do about gun control in the USA?
This callous to the imminent “next time” our nation holds its’ breath for?

I ask you, is war really the answer?
Is gunning down humanity as entertainment solving anything?
What type of influence do you hope to make in this world?
Do you believe your virtual world has an impact for positive change?
If so, why aren’t you fighting the good fight?

You make images of war look “cool.”
But, I’m not buying what you sell.
War isn’t “cool,” war devastates.

Listen, next month,
why don’t you skip coming to our home
and head to the ocean. You know,
take off your military fatigues,
lay your gun down,
dip your toes in the water. Take a rest.
Mother Ocean is waiting to reconnect with you,
to welcome you to her sandy shores.

She may just have a secret to share with you —
about how to treat her and the children of the earth.

And, it’ll be good.

I promise.

I plan to open enrollment for new workshops next week! Stay tuned!
Blessings to you this day. XO Ally

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