Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Love of Warcraft

I got to play a lot of video games yesterday, it being Sunday and the lack of any scheduled activities. Mephistopheles was a little angered by my chosen pursuit for the day but it was something that needed to be done. Brantley has reached level 60, where he will stay for a very long time. I will post more about WOW perhaps later, but for now I want to talk about something else.

I might've talked about this before but it's something that always bothers me. Why is the playing of video games an awful thing to do? It's judged to be a juvenile hobby. "There are so many better things to do with your time." A man who enjoys videogames is somehow "not-grown-up" or deemed immature. I really don't understand where this negative portrayal came from.

Video games are a new medium. They were really only conceived less than 30 years ago. Their use of computing technology has always been at the forefront of the industry, pushing the limits of what processing power was available to the consumer. Games have been popular with young men who, I would suppose ( I don't have the stats to back this up but it seems reasonable), have a higher than average IQ. Nerds and Geeks basically. These nerds and geeks, as everyone past the age of 18 knows by now, grow up eventually to become the most productive parts of our society, the engineers or the software designers or the doctors. Why then is the playing of videogames always a bad thing?

I may be stretching logic there, but the truth is that I prefer playing videogames to sitting and watching TV. The hours spent watching crap like "Newlyweds" and "American Idol" is somehow more valuable than playing Civilization 3. In one, I can learn that Jessica Simpson is retarded, in the other, I learn that the Mayans can indeed take over South America with the right combination of Javelin Throwers and Spearmen. Why is it preferable in some people's eyes to veg out and not move or think for hours, rather than having your cognitive ability constantly firing while making decisions in a virtual world?

Many may argue that TV is no better than games and that we should all go outside and enjoy the open air. This is valid and I must say that balancing indoor activities with outdoor ones is always preferable. But that's not what I'm talking about. If you say to an average housewife (and here I'm really just talking about my own Mephistopheles yet saying it's a cross-section of society, sue me), "Hey Hon, I just watched 4 hours of Comedy Central," or if you say, "Babe, I just played 4 hours of WOW non-stop and made level 60," which do you think will bring more derision?

And I think that's fucked up. This is a rambling, not well thought-out post. I'll admit that. But what I'm saying is true. Video games is a medium no different than Film, books or TV and they should be judged the same. We need to end this irrational, Motherly hatred of something we don't understand.


Frankie The Hack said...

Yeah, there's too much close-mindedness about video games.

I brought this up a while back, but not much has changed.

I tend to ignore negative comments about video games until legislation is considered.

People tend to make stupid comments about stuff they can't understand.

You're right, Greg, videogames are much better and more interactive entertainment than Idol, or any other crap on TV.

The freakin' Army spends millions of dollars on its own game based on Unreal to use as a recruiting tool.

I think the people who bitch about videogames should apply their energy to real problems, like why public schools suck so much.

For example, over 10% of the high schools in Rhode Island are currently on accreditation probation.


Bob Jingle said...

That's quite an old post, Frank. How old is it? It's pre 9-11.

Time to resurrect the blog my man.

Frankie The Hack said...

Yeah, I had a blog called "Frank In Exile."

Yes, in the before times, before I got canned by cowards right after the trip to Africa and Mar's wedding, with the Great Unpleasantness three weeks afterward.

Not that I think about that time much...

Can't believe its almost four years since all that.

Okay, the blog.

There's about 20 mixed-quality posts, which I started to repost to


Besides the bonus of the word having the subtlely vulgar quality, the policy of post-WWII Yugoslavia to run things a little differently than the USSR was named Titoism.

Would you like to know more?

So I figure that I can procure this 20th century term as a personal description of my attitude, which despite being positive and cooperative, is contrary to what seems to be important to most people.

So yeah, I need to write more.

Any advice/reading material for writing for non-English majors?