(NECN) - Just two weeks after tragic images of the Boston Marathon bombing attacks dominated news across the nation, an online site on the Internet is shocking people with a free video game using pressure cookers, bombs and explosions in a way that seems to make a competition out of the tragedy.
Why would someone make such a game? What would cause someone to play it? And what can you do about it?
Dr. Michael Rich has some insight. He is the director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital.
“I think two things are going on here. It’s in some people’s nature to respond to stress… with giggling, with laughter,” says Dr. Rich. “The delayed response is more concerning perhaps, that we’re trying to distant it, make it safe, make it manageable by laughing at it. What that does is denies the empathetic part of ourselves.”
What about the people who play it?
“It’s probably different for everybody. It can range from trying to master the chaos, trying to master the unmasterable…part of it also might be to try to numb ourselves, to distant it, to laugh at it, to be edgy and cool, to say this is fun. And that’s what worries me because it makes us a meaner people, it makes us a meaner society,” Dr. Rich says.
How do parents handle this?
“Talk about it. Say, what’s going on here…talk about the whole picture. What are the outcomes of those bombs going off? What are the outcomes of that person in the wheel chair missing a leg and let’s think about it from a compassionate human perspective and not just the fun of the game.”
Can we do anything to deal with this?
“Certainly not play the game, not go to the website, but we also perhaps can go to our Internet service providers and say I don’t’ want this stuff online for my children, for me. We have the choice of what we consume as media consumers, and that can be just in the home but it also can be with those who provide us these services.”