The Obnoxious World of Video Games

Saturday, November 25, 2006
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Nintendo has released its new Wii, and there are already complaints. What about? Well it seems that the console’s motion-sensitive remote controller is such that gamers must act out the movements of their characters – swinging swords and tennis rackets and such – as body movement is integrated into the games. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article wherein gamers compared playing this new Nintendo technology to “working out.” Gamers are reporting sore backs, sore shoulders, and “using muscles they’ve never used before.” (I’ll refrain from comment.) There’s even such a thing as “Wii elbow.” Gamers are even swearing to adhere to daily “Wii workouts” to help them “get back into shape.” The Technology Free Press asks, “How long before some sharp plaintiff’s attorney files a lawsuit on behalf an injured player and seek class action status? “

What a bunch of losers.

Rebecca Hagelin once wrote a piece proclaiming that a certain Senator was a bold man for stepping up to explore the effects of video game violence in order to “protect our sons and society.” The usual patter – from your typical republican statist – proclaiming that we must have government to save us from ourselves. However, almost as ridiculous as this busybody’s call for safety is Vox Day’s very memorable quote that video gaming is a “last male bastion.” Now I like Vox, and I don’t like Hagelin, but I thought this statement was a stretch, and slightly silly. A last male bastion?

Vox goes on to say “What is highly annoying is the way in which women simply won’t leave men alone to pursue their chosen forms of entertainment in peace. They’ve largely chased men away from television by turning it into a wasteland of stupid, soppy, male-denigrating slop; if it wasn’t for sports, I wouldn’t even bother to own a television.”

Now, the world of couch-potato gaming is nothing more than “stupid, soppy, male-denigrating slop” in and of itself. I think it’s embarrassing to claim that this unproductive and lazy, do-nothing activity is a stronghold for manliness. Surely, Vox is not your typical gamer, and he is intelligent enough that his occasional gaming isn’t turning his brain into lazyass slop, however, look at your average gaming consumer and that notion doesn’t typically apply. I see thirtysomething and fortysomething brain-dead, sloppy-looking, overweight losers chucking down $200+ – half of their net paycheck for the week – for several gaming cartridges at Best Buy on a Saturday afternoon. They show up at Best Buy in their sweat pants and morning hair, unshaven and unshowered, and all they care about is getting to their juvenile little games. I’ve seen marriages completely stressed – and broken – because the male can’t pull himself away from the Playstation during his time at home. These people live in a world of fantasy, where life imitates art, and reality is too difficult to have to deal with. So they retreat to blowing up cars, killing people, and making dunk shots on their plasma screens or computers as a way of drawing amusement to their boring lives. That is not a “bastion.” It displays slothfulness and a lack of ambition.

And more loserism was exhibited by the idiots waiting in line for the new Playstation Three – people got mugged, shot, and beaten over this piece of garbage toy. Police in McLean, VA had to fire pepper pellets on overly-rowdy crowds outside of a Circuit City. Imagine harming or aggressing against another human being over a frickin’ game.

And the biggest loser-o-rama of all concerning this garbage? “Some people camped out for a week to get their hands on the game console.” I saw it at my local Target a day-and-a-half before the damn thing went on sale. Save for the few smart entrepreneurs that hope to buy and sell this garbage to high-time preference losers at a hefty profit, most of these types are people that have no opportunity costs – their free time presents them with no other productive alternatives, which is why they can camp out for a week to be the first one to own a new toy. Then imagine these people who cannot wait til, say, January to buy a game, but must have it now, even if it means paying 3-to-4 times the retail price. And these types are not the high income sort, but rather, they tend to straddle the lower spheres of both success and wealth.

I’ll await the hate mails from those that cannot stand that I would dare criticize The Great Bastion of Gaming. But I will continue to criticize and make fun of it and everything that the typical gamer represents. Though, obviously, I do not paint all gamers with the broad brush of loserdom. There are intelligent and productive gamers that understand moderation and balance, and game wisely.

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