No, the title is not a spelling error. Just keep reading.

Ever since my dad came home with an original Nintendo (despite him actually wanting an Atari), I’ve been a big fan of video games. Now that I have kids of my own, my playing time has been reduced to almost zero, but I still like to keep up with the latest news (or, in some cases, the depressing state of video game culture), and even manage to fit in a few games here and there.

Video games were a new medium when I was growing up, and they occasionally became the fall guy for horrific acts. As a teenager, I always thought such casual correlation was more or less bunk.

Side Note: The Columbine shooting happened only months before I entered high school in California. Now, my boss’s kids goes to Columbine. It turns the shooting from “something that happened far away” to “oh, this is a real place.” It’s kind of odd.

Anyway, I’ll leave the correlation between violence and video games for others to debate. Right now, I want to talk about another serious consequence of video games, caused by Catlateral Damage.

For those of you unfamiliar with this indie title, Catlateral Damage is a whimsical kickstarted game where you play as a kitten knocking everything off the shelves for your feline pleasure. I’ve been trying to get my son into games basically since the day he was born, and haven’t had much luck. But when he saw this, he wanted to play the 10 minute demo over and over again.

It was a proud day in parenthood. I was about to invest in the game.

And then this happened:

That is our closet. If you can’t tell what’s going on, it’s a pile of about 10 pairs of pants heaped onto the floor, topped with a serving of ties. The scene was much worse before, but I wasn’t in the state of mind to take pictures when I first walked into the disaster.

When I asked my son (in as calm a voice I could manage) why he threw all our clothes on the ground, he laughingly responded, “We were playing Catlateral Damage!”

Unfortunately, this was not the first time he’s adapted that game to real life. And it wouldn’t be the last. Two days later, I was almost jumped on by my son as I walked in the door from work. “Daddy!” he said in that excited, guile-free voice that only preschoolers can have, “We played Catlateral Damage in the basement!”

I took a deep breath, not trusting myself to respond to his claim. Instead, I decided to see what happened, reserving judgment as best I could. I walked down the steps towards the basement, each even footfall drawing out squeals from staircase like a scene from a horror movie. What I saw at the bottom was so much worse than pickled brains or surgically altered creatures:

It’s not clear from this angle, but that unicorn is straddling a castle. Which is extra disturbing.

I’m afraid what would happen if we loaded up Trauma Center or Goat Simulator for my son. Unless they come up with a game about cleaning the house and being obedient to your parents, I think video games are not on the docket for my son in the near future.

In all fairness to the creators of Catlateral Damage, our son likes to destroy things even without getting ideas from games. For example, he spread an entire bottle of mustard over the basement carpet (side note: carpet cleaners do not remove mustard from white carpeting).

But knocking all the clothes off the rack? That’s totally Catlateral Damage’s fault.