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Arriving home from my summer job, the familiar sound of quick movements from the joystick of a game controller met my ears.
Listening harder, I could also make out the faint noise of gunfire and explosions from the television in my housemate’s bedroom.
“A little to your right, Bear,” he said through his headphones to his online partner, who was called Bear for a reason I will never know.
He was at it again.
The past six days I had gotten up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready and be at work by 9 a.m. by means of public transportation in San Francisco, California.
Each morning found me colliding with my housemate in the bathroom as he was just going to bed after playing video games through the night.
Initially, it amused me to see him going to bed as I was getting up to start my day.
He had long, summer days to conquer the challenges of fantasy worlds, develop level 99 characters and sell them on E-Bay while I worked 40-hour weeks to save money for fall semester here in Boulder.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, 53 percent of game players expect to be playing as much or more 10 years from now than they do today.
I suppose my housemate’s perpetual playing was benefiting him to an extent too.
Video games increase basic defense strategies and visual-motor skills.
I mean, who doesn’t want to enhance things like that?
Forget those biceps and quad muscles.
After two weeks of the reoccurring bathroom routine, I was more disgusted than amused at his passion for the World of Warcraft.
Quite plainly, video games are a waste of time– a security bubble for people with nothing better to do, looking for a little gratification.
By raiding digitized war zones, winning battles and accumulating fame and fortune on a screen in a world that doesn’t exist, video game players feel better about themselves.
How many more people can I kill in this round?
Can I blow up that helicopter?
Why do video games like Call of Duty, Halo and World of Warcraft appeal to so many people when one’s purpose in the game is to kill people?
Such games grant people the power to legally murder animals and people, even if they’re only virtual characters. Next, users get the same idea about their dreaded math instructor or disliked classmate.
Unlike a James Bond movie where users observe the violence, video game users are part of the violence-the person doing the killing.
I envision video game-obsessed users blowing up gas stations and schools. Columbine-like incidents perhaps…
I realize that video games are downtime, the equivalent of somebody reading a book, running, bike-riding, or something similar during their free time.
The problem is that video game addicts are so involved that most don’t think about “outside” activities. Their heads are solely in the game.
They sit on their ass and move their thumbs and eyes. They are not getting any smarter, richer, or making an impact to anything or anyone in the world but their video game.
Observing how my housemate’s video game behavior became habitual rapidly has made me believe that video games are electronic crack–a legal, addictive drug for losers.
Now, go chase those little specs of red, blue and green across your screen and feel good about yourself.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Heather Koski at firstname.lastname@example.org