When I was little, there was a “friend” who pretended to shoot my puppy with a toy gun.
When I got upset, I was told it was “just make-believe.” But it turns out that “friend” and the other children like him grew up to be adults who thought killing puppies was alright in reality.
The things we excuse in “make-believe,” we will excuse in real-life.
Maybe not immediately, but given enough time, it will happen. A kettle on low heat still boils if nothing changes. It’s not just with children playing, either.
This rule applies to books, movies, songs, TV, and other forms of entertainment, too. What we can justify happening in a story, we can justify in the real world.
Life reflects art and art reflects life.
When we find ourselves sympathizing with or wanting to emulate a story’s villains, when the line between protagonist and antagonist is blurred…we know there’s a problem.
We can’t ever let ourselves forget the difference between right and wrong. Not even in make-believe.