Not a vid-game

Network TV has added a new twist to the tube's potential for callously dehumanizing the tragedy of war. It has been illustrating the Falklands and Lebanon conflicts with animated films that show combat like something from a video game arcade. Drawings of airplanes attack. Drawings of explosions flare. It's as if you could clear the screen and start another round after a bottle of pop.

Show one of these to the British officer in the Falklands who said, ''War is about people dying, people being wounded.''

Or, rather, don't show it. The people in any war deserve more than darting drawings of battles that look no more serious than a game.

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