Sede Vacante

The light is on but no one is home.

The allure of video games

Like many in our short-attention-span instant-gratification world, I am a hardcore video/computer game enthusiast. Don’t dismiss the allure of video games. The fact that our youth is spending more and more time and money playing video games should tell you something. The fact is video games provide a very real need that the disgruntled, disenfranchised youth of today hunger for–a comprehensible path to success, and a fair shot at getting there through hard work and effort.

Games are all about growth and fairness. The in-game environment is probably the only place where all our proverbs and overused clichés actually work with any predictable regularity. Unlike in the real world, in games, you actually reap what you sow. Hard work *always* pays. He who works hardest and smartest becomes the best. And cheating only gets you scorn and humiliation. Unlike in the real world.

In fact, if you look closer, the games that are most addictive and successful are those that conform implicitly to this notion. From games as simple as Tetris to the most complex such as World of Warcraft, all of them succeed because of it.

Let’s face it, human beings are driven by a very real need to grow. We are insatiable. We always want more or better. Scores and levels are nothing more than a human abstraction that allows us to quickly and immediately assess growth. Why else do we count how many gifts we receive at birthdays, how much money we make, or how many men/women we have slept with? Although misguided, these are just ways to keep score. Even the most altruistic of endeavors such as charities and non-profit organizations will provide for itself a means to measure it’s own success.

So why would kids rather play these games if it’s pretty much the same as garnering high grades or getting promotions at work? That’s my point. It’s not the same. Learning to play and get good at Metal Gear Solid isn’t the same as trying to learn Calculus from an incompetent teacher. Games won’t try to make you work like a dog, and then give the points to somebody else.

Now before mobs of parents or school administrators start chanting outside my door with torches and pitchforks, let me be clear. I’m not endorsing that kids should just play games instead of work hard or study. For the morons who thought that, let me say it clear: our youth are willing to work, but we need to treat them fairly and we need to keep our promises to them.

That applies to everyone, actually.

Granted, the real world is a tough place. It always has been. I just find it silly how far “progress” has gotten us. So now, instead of having to keep an eye on the the lions and the hyenas, we have to keep an eye on each other–our employees are the new hyenas forever trying to steal from us, our bosses are the new lions forever trying to live off of our herd. And every other kind of motherfucker in between.

I’m not preaching about Utopia or any other impossible absolute fuckery such as that. I’m saying that the world has become a far tougher place now, and let’s not add to it. Stop fucking everyone else over, and just give them the bloody chance to shine or die.

Just like the game.



  George wrote @

Kaya dapat tirisin ang mga negosyanteng kumag!!!

  The Pope wrote @


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