Saturday, September 16, 2006

Five Years and Five Days

Tonite at work, some guy from the Netherlands was asking me why my company's game doesn't have a mission involving the actual events of 9/11. First I said it was because the game deals with the conflict in the Middle East, not crashing planes into buildings. He didn't understand why we'd leave out such a big event. He thought it was "cool" and it would make the game "better."

Next I said it was a touchy subject and would upset a lot of people, trying to recreate and mess around with what happened that day, even in a make-believe environment. He still didn't seem to get it, and I was starting to get pissed at him. Making a "game" out of the actual deaths of ~3000 civilians seems endlessly fucked up to me. Maybe I'm taking it personally.

Other wargames revolve around fighting soldiers, not civilians. Of course, with the current global situation, the enemy IS civilians, making it ever more difficult to pick out the innocents from the malcontents.

Then it occurred to me that this was probably a kid, maybe age 10 or 11, and he wouldn't even remember 9/11. There was no way he could comprehend the significance of what happened that day, if he even remembered it now. There are already people walking around the planet who just see 9/11 as a page in a history book, something that's not important or relevant anymore, something old farts like me and most of you will talk about till the day we die with a reverence and solemnity that those whipper-snappers will never have a grip on, nor will they bother trying to understand.

Maybe this is how nations heal after events of this magnitude happen. Memories fade. Generations pass. It goes from being an experience to a memory to a footnote to a legend or tale. Maybe then it doesn't hurt so much. Maybe then we can find common ground instead of exploiting our differences.

Then again, while with each generation we forget our wrongs, we also forget the things we got right, and so the cycle continues. Will we ever get it right?

On an unrelated note, I think it's horseshit of Bush to block stem cell research because he "will not support the destruction of innocent life," but then turns around and orders the bombing of more civilian targets in Iraq. Apparently he's only interested in saving innocent life that doesn't interfere with his global agenda.

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