Movies Don’t Prepare You For Real Life

Sunday afternoon, in broad daylight, in a respectable part of New Haven two kids tried to mug me. One knocked me down while his buddy (I’m assuming it was his buddy, assault and attempted robbery don’t seem like something one would do with a stranger) hit me in the bed with a tree branch. Once I got up I repeated that I didn’t have any money and tried to keep my distance from them. I was hit maybe once more, threatened some more then they ran off and the whole thing ended. It all happened so fast, probably under five minutesI called 911 (because you shouldn’t be allowed to randomly hit people with tree branches), walked back to my apartment, gave my report to a police officer and drove to a grocery store. I’m fine, I just have a few bumps bruises and scrapes. I don’t think this was targeted at me, I think it was a opportunistic thing: two kids saw a a skinny guy walking down the street and assumed I would be an easy mark.

I’m not writing this because I want sympathy, nor am I writing this so I can tell people to look at my website instead of telling the story. I’m writing this because I finally have a viewpoint on violence in popular media. The debates have raged as long as I’ve been playing video games: violence on tv and in video games makes people more likely to use violence, less likely to help victims and more violent in general. I’ve played violent video games and watched R-rated movies and I had no desire to fight back. Even though I was outnumbered, the thought of violence against those who were attacking me didn’t register. Also no matter how many fight scenes I’ve seen in movies or how many brawls I’ve played out in video games, I was completely surprised by the sheer savagery of being attacked. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I hope that I never have to experience it again or that anyone as to experience it in their lives.

In the movies, this type of action is usually followed by some reaction. Maybe I would have decided to become a vigilante. The people in the houses near this incident would have some out and helped me. An obscure Asian man down the block would have volunteered to teach me karate. Grandma Smith would have made me feel better with some homemade brownies. We’ve all seen these movies, but none of it happened. I’m left to deal with looking over my shoulder when I walk down the street and taking leaving credit cards at home.

Life is not a movie. Life is not a video game. No matter what you watch/play you will always be unprepared for real life.



  1. delvyncale said,

    September 17, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I think I follow your theory. I DON’T play violent video games…but I would’ve had more than just a desire to kick the shit outa them! …I say that now, but in the heat of the moment, one never knows how they’ll react! Just be glad nothing worse happened to you! :o)

  2. exploringinteractivecommunication said,

    September 17, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Wow, that is crazy! This is why I hate violent video games they are up to no good.

  3. kia said,

    September 21, 2007 at 2:35 am

    Violent videos games are an outlet for the violence we never can do in real life. When I am in a dangerous situation I don’t think of fighting back, I think of prtecting myself and getting away to safety again. The two were probably also not motivated by video games, as I know of no games where you can use a tree branch as a weapon. Maybe a trash can, but not a branch.

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