Universal Oddities

October 31, 2002

Violent Entertainment

Often, it seems that we continue to discuss the topic of violence in the media and in games and in popular entertainment, yet we neglect to analyze its roots. One of the most interesting factors to this equation of violence being, of course, the fact that violence is so violent. It probably wouldn’t raise so many eyebrows were it not the very definition of violence.

Yet the odd thing about our fixation upon this matter is the manner in which we choose to promote violence. For instance, war is very violent and traumatic to the minds of our young. Nevertheless, they can be sent off to war while we continually attempt to bar them from playing violent video games or watching violent movies because we think it will promote violent tendencies in them. So, supplying them with heavy artillery is permissible as long as they’re “real” weapons and not “make-believe” weapons. In this sense, perhaps war itself is a useful thing, completely wiping away a person’s desire toward any violence whatsoever by dropping actual bombs on them, scaring the shit out of them, and killing them.

Nevertheless, even more than easily accessible weaponry, one game has gone quite overlooked as the cause of centuries of violence. One game of unsurpassed brutality and deviousness. One game played by conquerors and villains, promoting and glorifying violence, megalomania, and evil. Of course I refer to that vile game of chess. The very game that coined the term “pawn” and thus desensitized us to the realities of conflict.

That being said, chess is the fundamental blueprint for all violent games, and thus the coolest, most suave game ever. For instance, you can pretend that the bishop is a postal worker and then go around killing pawns with it. Or, you can pretend that the queen is a prostitute and have the knight “execute” her. Or you can just take your rook and stab someone in the eye with it.

A game of murderous delight.
Chess Fun Corner: Black will be at checkmate in 17 moves.
Hint: Use your pawns.

But, considering how old the game itself is, I’m surprised no one has realized it could stand a few updated versions and add-ons. As an example, how much more intense would the game be if the board was simply filled with 16 white knights poised to fight against 16 black knights? And then there can be a special rule that allows you to “challenge” another knight that has offended you and have those two knights go off onto a separate board for a duel against each other, hopping around in L shapes, avoiding each other ad infinitum. And you can even challenge your own knights to duels when they sufficiently piss you off, to demonstrate how you will “not tolerate failure”.

I challenge you to an infinite duel!
Chess Fun Corner: Kill your opponent’s knight in a duel.
Hint: Use your horsies.

Maybe “special missions” can be constructed in which a rook is sent to assassinate the king, except he ends up befriending the king and must then choose between loyalties; color or friendship. Wouldn’t it also be more realistic if certain pawns run away when the game begins to go badly? Perhaps after a certain amount of pieces are cleared from the board, a coin can be flipped after every other piece removed to determine who stays and who doesn’t. And perhaps pawns might be debilitated for a round or so if they’re crying, or they might simply go insane and start killing pieces on their own side. Or perhaps a knight can start thinking about all of the pieces it’s killed, get drunk, and fall off the board. Maybe torture can even be incorporated into this melange of notions somehow.

And even better, we can insert new pieces into the game, like “the ghost”, who can move off the board (so that the other player doesn’t know what happened to it and where it is) and then reappear at other locations, draining the color from its victims. Or perhaps “the ghost” is the only piece that can actually kill a player.

If we’re going to promote violence, let’s do it right.

Chess 2
wipe your ass on your opponents self esteem

Now that’s what I call a game.




Copyright © 2000-2002 Jacques. All rights reserved.