And I said to myself, "Self, what is it that bothers you so about this? Is it the fact that they are nerds? Why no, that cannot be it, for you, yourself, are quite an intense nerd yourself. Case in point: American Idol. Other examples include Harry Potter, knitting, Buffy, Kevin Smith, that sort of thing."
I continued to ponder to myself and said, "Heck, self, you yourself are a huge fan of some video games! Take, for example, DDR! What is that if not a video game that you are obsessed with? You will also waste hours upon hours of your day playing the Sims, and I seem to recall a little lady who spent the better part of five months sitting zombified in front of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. So why are you so down on these folks who also enjoy the playing of video games?"
It's really been bugging me what it is that gets to me about it, so I've tried thinking about it, because if there's one thing I hate being, it's hypocritical about stuff*. And also, I was in a random bitchy mood yesterday, which doesn't really happen that often, but when it does, I feel bad for the people who I'm hanging out with because even I piss myself off.
So, since this intro was long enough already, I'm going to tuck the rest of this analysis behind a pretty cut, which you can choose to read if you want to. I'm mostly doing this for my own benefit, anyway.
Reasons I'm Not a Big Fan of Video Games and the Obsession With Thereof
An essay by Jessica Wagstrom
1. They suck your time away. This reason, first of all, is conditional. Sometimes you have a chunk of time where you just say to yourself, "You know, I'd like to spend this time doing a whole lot of nothing." However, I feel that these times should come few and far between, when one has been particularly busy. I'm totally not saying that I don't waste oodles and oodles of time when I could be doing more productive things? Because I do. Constantly. But there's something about video games that just...I don't know...FEELS like you're more actively WASTING that time. Maybe it's just me. But by their nature, they are time hogging fiends, sucking away hours of precious time without you even noticing.
Right now, my time is excessively precious. I have a grand total of one day off a week, and since swim team is over, I'm going to have very, very, VERY little time do goof off during the rest of the day. So the time I DO have, I want to spend hanging out with buddies, working on little projects that I've been putting off, getting my apartment clean, possibly eating, sleeping and taking care of personal hygine. Even when I WANT to play the Sims? I usually don't let myself because turning on that computer pretty much gurantees three hours being flushed down the toilet of irretrievable time.
2. They are completely unproductive. I think this is my biggest issue with them. You can spend hours and hours and hours playing these games, and when you are done, you have accomplished, in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely nothing. I mean, okay, maybe you defeated the super obnoxious slug monster that has been stumping you for the past several tries, maybe you've added a second story to your house, or maybe you've finally made it to generation 6 of your legacy challenge. But when you sit back from the game, after it's all said and done, you have earned no money. You haven't cleaned anything. You haven't paid any bills. You haven't even created anything, except for maybe a cramp in your hand.
I have the same beef with television and movies. Now, I LOVE watching TV and movies, but every time I do, I feel like I'm just this giant slug who should be doing something more productive. That's one reason I like DDR: I'm having fun, and at the same time, I'm getting excercise! I'm killing two birds with one video game-shaped stone! And that's a big plus. But for the vast, vast majority of video games, including the ones I play, they are a big, unproductive waste of time.
3. They are, in general, a solitary activity. This reason is a little iffy, even for me, because I know as well as you do that there are plenty of two player games out there, scads of "party games" (Mario Party is a pretty sweet game to play with your friends), and enough massively-multi-player-online-RPGs to choke a horse. But a large chunk of games require only one person to play. So now you've completely cut out social interraction from the list of "things you can do while playing a video game". This is not to say it's completely useless to try and talk to someone who's playing a game, but for the most part, if you are playing a video game you are focused on that game. Other people sort of aren't as important. And I LIKE hanging out with people. So the solitairy aspect of some games isn't a big turn-on for me.
4. Some of them are portable. I don't mind spending a few hours sitting in front of the TV doing nothing at home (okay, I'm lying, I DO, but I'll still do it), but there is something...I don't know...excessive about bringing it along with you? It's one of the big reasons I haven't really played with the Tamagotchis I got, um...two Christmases ago. I love the heck out of the things, that's why I asked for them, but I forgot that taking care of the little buggers is a full time job. Leave 'em at home, and they die!
Point is, if you're going out of the house, that's a good thing! You're getting some rays of actual sunlight, at least for a little while! Breathing in fresh air! Stretching your legs! You should take advantage of that and appreciate it, and leave the dang video games at home!
Folks, I'll be the first to admit that I have a Game Boy Color sitting at home, for the sole purpose of playing Pokemon. But in my opinion, the portable gaming systems are for when you have to kill a lot of time. Examples: Waiting in line at the DMV. Riding the bus to state meet. Waiting for your event at state meet. Taking a long road trip. Taking a long plane ride. Stuff like that. No problem with that whatsoever. But there's something irksome about whipping out the game to play just because you can.
5. They's expensive. Like time, I also don't have a whole heck of a lot of money. And video games run, on average, what, $30 a pop? About? Ballpark figure? Hence the reason I play so few of them. Also, there are so many dang systems to play them on that ALSO cost money. Say I got a Play Station 2 to play DDR on. In my opinion, shelling out the cash for the PS2 should entitle me to play any other game I want! But no, if I want to play Animal Crossing, I've got to shell another stack of monies out on a Game Cube! GEEZ LOUISE. That drives me mad. I'd have less of an issue if all games could be played on one uber system. I mean, you can watch any DVD you buy on any one DVD player, why isn't it the same for video games? ASLDKFJLDKFDLF. I never realized until just now how much that one particular aspect of video games bothered me.
And that, friends, is about it. I'll be keeping my eye out now for death threats in my mailbox and flaming arrows at my door.
DISCLAIMER: I don't mean to imply with any of this that I don't COMPLETELY ADORE Ms. syntheticjesso or Mr. specific_chris and their video gaming posse. I'm just workin' through some of my own thoughts, here. And also, you should take all this with a grain of salt, as it's coming from a woman who doesn't believe in refridgeration for perishable food items and has an apartment full of cat shit despite being cat free for almost half a year.
*This, of course, requires the addendum that my opinions change rapidly from day to day. I might say "Fuck spaghetti" one day, and the next eat nothing but spaghetti for six hours straight**. The only thing for which this addendum does not apply is MySpace, which I shall loathe until the end of my days.
**For the record, I love spaghetti.