'The Veldt' is a short story written by Ray Bradbury in 1950, first appearing in The Saturday Evening Post, and then in a Ray Bradbury anthology called 'The Illustrated Man', and it was originally titled 'The World the Children Made'.
'The Veldt' is the story of the Hadley family: the parents, George and Lydia, and their children, Wendy and Peter. They live in a futuristic time in which technology has advanced to the point where people don't have to do any work if they don't want to. And the Hadleys don't want to. To this end, they live in "The Happylife Home," which is a completely automated house in which all every day tasks are done by machines. People no longer have to cook their meals, bathe or dress themselves, or even tie their own shoes. When buying their home, the Hadleys also opt for the bonus feature of the "Nursery," a kind of virtual reality playroom to which the children can connect telepathically and produce any place or scene they imagine. It's an expensive addition, but hey- nothing's too good for the kids, right?
Liberated from the drudgery of household chores and child- rearing, everyone should be happy, but George and Lydia are becoming uneasily aware that something is wrong with their perfect little world. For one thing, Wendy and Peter basically do what they like, come and go when they like, and regard any interference by their parents with resentment. Also, the Nursery seems to be permanently stuck on the setting of an African veldt (open grassland) where, unnervingly, lions in the distance roar and feed on carcasses.
In addition, Lydia expresses dissatisfaction with their free- from-responsibility life. She would like to do some parent-like things: feed and bathe the children, maybe rock them to sleep or read to them. But, she says helplessly, the house does all these things more skillfully and efficiently than she could, and anyway, how can she compete with an African veldt? As for George, it has gradually been dawning on him just how spoiled and bratty their kids have become. He has been trying to impose some discipline by using the limitation of their Nursery time as a punishment, but this results in major temper tantrums from the children, and craven folding of their parents'resolve. By a weird coincidence, it is about this time that the veldt becomes the default nursery setting, and George and Lydia begin hearing distant screams coming from the room, and finding replicas of some of their belongings- scarf, wallet- in the veldt. Huh. Well, I'm sure there's no significance to that.
The Hadleys have a friend, David McLean, who is a psychologist, and they ask him to come to the house and advise them on what to do. After listening to George and Lydia's description of the situation, and checking out the Nursery, David has a diagnosis. He tells them that they've let the house- especially the nursery- take over their role as parents. The kids, therefore, have transferred their affection to the house, and when threatened with having it taken away, react with hatred. He advises them to shut down the house, move to the country, and learn to care for themselves and their children.
George and Lydia break the news to Peter and Wendy, which goes over about as well as you'd imagine. Traumatized by the very idea, the kids throw massive tantrums and their parents cave, telling them they can visit the nursery one last time before it is shut down. When George and Lydia enter the room to fetch the children, Wendy and Peter, who have been waiting for them, lock them in the nursery from the outside. Those quirky little tykes. As the lions advance on them across the veldt, George and Lydia belatedly realize a couple of things: one, the kids have imagined this scene so often and so strongly that it has become real, and two, the lions haven't been feeding on animal carcasses. When David arrives and can't find George and Lydia, he enters the nursery and finds the children playing happily while the lions in the distance feast on what is obviously the remains of their parents.