Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soap Box

For the same reason I believe swear words like “dang” and “shoot” are pitiful attempts to veil an angry heart with “Christian” sounding appropriateness, I believe people’s disdain for video games (and other geek-related entertainment) is hypocrisy of a similar kind.

People love tolerance, except when it interferes with their ideals.  If my ideal is to have fun, then shoot man, I'll drink 'til I puke.  I’ll urinate on this sidewalk if I want to.  But if your ideal is to tolerate everyone, then God forbid you have to deal with someone who is openly intolerant.  I am a tolerant human being and proud of it.  And I love everything, especially nature.  Going outside brings me closer to God because nature is spectacular, and we all should love and care for…do you hear that?  What the hell is that sound?  My god!  Is someone banging on the fake drums of Rock Band?!

"Was I mistaken in thinking my outfit made this look cooler?"

Oh Rock Band...

Video games make for easy comedic fodder.  Most gaming nerds are imagined as tubs of lard drowning in potato chip grease, and who doesn’t love to make themselves feel better by ragging on the fat man?  As someone who loves to play Halo with my friends, I’d like to iterate that it’s entirely possible video games are a waste of time.  But seriously?  What’s with all the venom for those people who love to blow up some alien ass in the name of freedom?

While sitting around a picnic table one day with friends, I off-handedly mentioned that hobbies like biking, kayaking, or mountain climbing could easily be considered just as much a waste of time as videogames, and I got the “is he talking about infant cannibalism” look.  Now I realize that as the reader you might be asking yourself the same question, so let me explain.  Someone told me that these activities increase your well being, but who decided that the definition of well being was written by how many miles you’ve run?  I’d like to mention that just because your idea of “well being” involves some sort of holistic Oprah based approach, you aren’t necessarily right (also, how much do you have to run before it's "running?"  Until you breathe hard?)  Nerds, Rednecks, and doctors might disagree with you.  Are they wrong? 

I'm House, and your temperature tells me that  you have some rare, incurable disease called  hifalutinitis.

Now everyone knows a little exercise is good for you.  No one in America is suddenly falling over in shock due to that bit of information.  Gym class pretty much ensures this truth is humiliated into every kid in elementary school.  Get out there and walk around fatty.  Drink your milk and eat your vegetables.  This is so ingrained in the American psyche that we have thousands of books, schedules, infomercials, and ironically enough Wii and Kinect games to remind us of how guilty we should feel for avoiding it.  But somehow this has also translated to “if you don’t go outside all the time you’re worthless,” like the fourth installment of Indiana Jones, whose title I refuse to utter here.  

This might be an obvious overstatement, but I think most people subconsciously swear by this.  I’m not one to bash outside-going (especially since I love the outdoors,) but for those individuals who enjoy the inside activities, we’ve done them a disservice through our attitude of disgust for technology.  If your love is biking, go for it bro, I just don’t want to hear about how much healthier you are than me or how tight your bike shorts are.  I believe dropping 3000 bones on a used road bike is a little ludicrous, yet most people are happy to overlook a possibly unhealthy obsession because it improves your ability to move long distances under your own power…because screw cars and their stupid, cheating pedals.  An Xbox costs 300 dollars, and I can play with more than one person.  Just saying. 

Video games bring people together.  Laugh all you want, but it’s true.  World of Warcraft doesn’t care if you’re black, white, or a troll with an internet connection: it only cares if you are a good paladin with epic healing gear (I think—can’t say I’ve played this one.) 


I heard a sermon recently (that I liked) where, about half way through, the speaker faulted the Christian guy for not taking more initiative in pursuing women for marriage.  Women, therefore, are delaying marriage because men are dragging their feet, afraid of commitment.  Apparently it’s the man’s duty to ask the woman, like that’s been the cultural norm for thousands of years or something (sarcasm people, calm down.)  But what, do you suppose, was the disease he mentioned as being the primary cancer in marriage growth?  (Well to be fair, it was “fear of commitment,”) but if you guessed video games as the first symptom of that disease, you win!  Congratulations, if you are a fan of Zelda or Madden, you hate marriage.  Like the silly book readers of yore, constantly distracted from the real manly work, video games are a new, thinly veiled evil. 

The question shouldn’t be “how can we embarrass these nerds out of their unhealthy habit?”  It ought to be “can any hobby or pursuit escalate into a monstrous waste of resources?”  Absolutely.  It doesn’t matter where you start.  Anything you pursue can grow to become an old George Lucas; confused and soul-crushingly insane.

Oh George...

No comments:

Post a Comment