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'Ender's Game' movie empowers kids, but not the way parents might hope

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(Read caption) 'Ender's Game:' Asa Butterfield (l.) and Abigail Breslin star in the movie version of Orson Scott Card's 1985 science-fiction novel, 'Ender's Game.'

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The movie 'Ender’s Game' may delight tweens, but parents are bound to cringe at the concept of encouraging ruthlessness and brutality in young children via a video game-like platform motif.

The books and film trade on the nature vs. nurture idea that children are born with an innate instinct for the kill, which we as parents work hard to educate out of them and Card’s adult characters capitalize on to weaponize kids into virtual soldiers.

However, the book and film twist the Old Testament quote of Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” The actual quote means a child will lead the animals in a harmonious way, not a child being chosen to lead adults in war and slaughter.

 
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