Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Online Games and Horses-- Where is the Disconnect?

Hi I'm Haleigh and I was looking at your web site. I play on a game called horseland.com and lot of me and my friends on there post messages to stop horse slaughter I think it could help. Sometimes on horseland.com people pretend to be slaughtering there horses by not feeding them or going to the vet or farrier. Its like there mocking it, its annoying and scary. The horses on horseland (virtual) can get sick and either die (slaughters say they go to slaughter house) or they can be rescued by a group me and my friends made to save them. :). its sad to see them lowering there heads it almost looks real:(. thanks for reading! bye!

This was the post that caught my eye this morning and it got me to thinking about the disconnect between fantasy and reality. I guess the purpose of fantasy, is just that an escape, where there are no rules, boundaries or remorse for your actions. Haleigh, I would suppose can't be much older than a pre-teen and she is displaying a level of maturity with her post that many should paid heed to.

I went to the Horseland.com website to learn about this online community. The description under 'Learn More' said the following:

Horseland is an online community and virtual world. You can care for, compete with, breed, and trade your very own horses and dogs. You're the stable manager! It's the oldest and biggest online horse game.

Hmmmm nothing about the fun of disposing of your horse as the stable manager after its no longer useful. Now while it appears that I am passing judgment on the makers of this site, I am not. They can't possibly be held accountable for what is done, said or created on their online community by the several thousands playing the game. What I am passing judgment on is the moral compass that is constantly being pointed in the wrong direction and the disconnect between reality and fantasy for kids.

If a young girl like Haleigh is distressed about the uncaring fictional world she finds herself in while playing her online game and the uncaring, disposable approach her fellow community members use towards the horses. How can we help her? How can we help the other "Haleigh's" of the world that need to be reached ie. those that don't care?. How do we has a society teach that animals are living, breathing creatures that are dependent upon us for their care?. How can we teach as a society that we are not going to continue to be a disposable world be it diapers, paper plates or horses. There is too high a price to pay for that animal, that human, and the earth when we treat even a "virtual" game with such disregard. I am past the age of the generation that loves video games, virtual games or starring endlessly at building a farm or caring about Mafia wars. I do not understand the appeal at all. What I do know however, is that these games have desensitized people to "truth". Where else can the Haleighs of the world, kill 30 alien predators before going to school at 8 a.m. in the morning? Nowhere but in a fantasy. And sometimes we know that perception is reality, look at Columbine for instance. Does this seem like I am over reaching here, I don't. The ugliness of horse slaughter is real, and if the message purported in Haleigh's' post is any indication, we aren't doing a good job as a society of deciphering real pain from fantasy.

Haleigh's post to me is a cry for a rally to teach children from their earliest remembrance that we are responsible for our actions, our thoughts and for the animals given to us to have dominion over, but in a responsible, caring manner.


  1. Check out howrse.com, another sim game. They have an option to send unwanted horses to the "Safe Haven" which is supposed to be a lovely paradise for all the horses the game produces that are outdated or undesireable for other reasons. There is another option which allows you to collect a "pass" if your virtual horse lives to the age of 30 before dying of natural causes. However, a "pass" is worth real money, as you can buy them for about $1.50 USD to buy various accessories and game advantages.

  2. Thank you Kate for sharing this site with me. I am learning more and more.

  3. I suppose every one should switch to games that don't consider the factors like age group of horses. I play game http://www.horseracegame.com/ it don't include any such factor. I suppose slaughter house for horses in virtual should be discarded totally. Its totally illogical and create no sense.

  4. Horse or any animal slaughter is inhuman and cruel. I dont like people treating horses badly. Like Aaron i too play horseracegame.com which is a great game for everybody.


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