Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), a ministry often associated with ethnic reconciliation across the world, has joined the campaign against media violence in America.The Chicago-based group opposes the decision of the Chicago Planning Department to give a $2.2 million economic development grant to Midway, the firm that manufacturesMortal Kombat. Protesters in downtown Chicago wore royal robes and sang Christmas carols with rewritten lyrics during a demonstration in January. Dressed to represent the wise men from the Epiphany story, the protesters had traveled from as far as Vancouver bearing "Games for sharing, dolls for caring, never for violent play."Denouncing guns, tanks, Power Rangers, and graphic video games, CPT protesters outside a Toys R Us store drew strange looks and large crowds with their message against violent entertainment.In theMortal Kombat video game, players may decapitate or rip out the hearts of their opponents. The makers of two other violent video games,Quake andDoom, were sued last year in connection with a 1997 school shooting in Paducah, Kentucky.Educators, child psychologists, and profamily groups have heavily criticizedMortal Kombat and other violent games and toys for their content and suspected role in promoting violent acts. "Our goal is violence reduction, whoever it is linked to," says Mervin Stoltzfus, CPT director. "Games that focus on killing raise kids who think it is OK to kill."The organization's position on violent games and toys is backed by experts, including psychiatrist Thomas Radecki and Arnold Goldstein, director of the Center for Research and Aggression at the University of Syracuse. "Playing with war toys legitimizes and makes violent behavior acceptable," Goldstein says.A ...1
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