Letters

In many computer games, violence is 'meaning' It was startling to read about Johnny Wilson's interpretation of his "mission" as editorial director of Computer Gaming World magazine ("Bringing new depth to computer gaming," March 4). If he is, as he says, "a prophet calling out for more meaning in games," a reader has to browse only a few pages of the magazine before he or she begins to wonder whether Mr. Wilson's quest is quixotic.

Ads for the game "Kingpin" boast: "You're gonna die. Target specific body parts and actually see the damage done - including exit wounds." Ads for another game, "Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver," says "Being betrayed by your creator doesn't make for bad blood ... it makes for bloodshed." And so on.

If there is any meaning in these ads, it is that killing is thrilling, and I am puzzled why Wilson feels a source of pride in promoting these games. The vast majority of them emphasize not cooperation, communication, and understanding, but ways to destroy, eliminate, and blow apart aliens. With names like "Gangsters," "Myth II: Soulblighter," "Rage of Mages II: Necromancer," and "Odium," the meaning in these games seems ominously clear.

Wilson feels that the violence in some games is funny, but I find it tragic that he feels no responsibility to curb either the number of hideous ads, or the escalating competition over who can create the most amusing, horrifying way to kill. To blame parents for not monitoring their child's computer time is an extraordinarily easy escape route. Does he feel no responsibility at all as he accepts money for the ads, and places them so liberally throughout his magazine?

I wish Wilson would be honest enough to admit that his new calling is the antithesis of his former one as a minister, and that it is not meaning, but money that propels his new mission.

Ann D. Cornell Bethesda, Md.

Mrs. Clinton's many options Columnist John Hughes advises Hillary Rodham Clinton not to run for the open Senate seat in New York primarily because she doesn't have the experience in elective office ("Why Hillary shouldn't run," March 17). Mr. Hughes argues that Mrs. Clinton lacks the political know-how of a Christine Todd Whitman or a Dianne Feinstein, but he fails to mention that both Whitman and Feinstein lost major races for the US Senate and the governorship of California before they won their current offices.

Hughes's conclusion, that if Clinton lost the New York election she would be finished, is ridiculous. Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Jefferson, and Madison all lost major elections and came back to fight another day.

Clinton has a good chance of winning this seat, but should she lose it, there are still many important jobs for this bright, talented woman, including running for elective office again.

George A. Dean Southport, Conn.

Return the Olympics to Greece I read with great interest Tom Regan's opinion essay "End the Olympics?" (March 22).

In order to preserve the Olympic ideals -sporting excellence, brotherhood, fair competition, peace, and understanding -perhaps the Olympic games should be returned permanently to Greece, birthplace of the original Olympics. This way countries, cities, and multinational corporations won't have to be involved in haggling over where the games take place and risk becoming objects of scandal and bribery.

Dino Siotis Boston Press counselor, Consulate of Greece

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail, only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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