Eat My Dust, Garithos!

June 26, 2009

“After all, the Reidr team’s distinction is never having been assigned an easy mission before.”

*cough**wheeze* LOOT! Well, anyway I finally have time to do the final episode review for Linebarrels. After a few good months or so… 😛

Anyway, this being the holiday season, I bet a lot of kids out there are gorging themselves silly on games. Yes, you heard me right, games.

I can also hear the mums screaming at the same kids to drop those controllers in favor of something less mentally-destructive, like going to the library.

Mentally destructive? Ha!

Games aren’t mentally destructive. Sure, there might be one or two of those weirdos who huff the console so much they practically mummify themselves there, but within a group there are always one or two of those, don’t mind them.

What I’m here to talk about is CONTROL. C-O-N-T-R-O-L. Over one’s gaming habits. Be it at the arcade, home console, or the latest PC hit title you have, everything is about CONTROL. And it’s for both sides; the kids and parents.

Firstly, the parents. I’m not worried about the new age mums who can work, take care of the kids and cook a decent meal, those are fine, they’ve got an open mind. What I’m worried about are those who take one look at the newspaper, see that someone stabbed someone and the assailant happened to play World of Warcraft, and they immediately throw the newspaper down and scream:

“Ah Boy/Girl ah! You see, this guy play and play and in the end he go kee-siao! You ah, play and play and play also, one day you also go kee-siao like him then you know!”

Now, if your kid was playing 20-24 hours of games and 95% of the time you see him huffing the game instead of crack, then your words are well-said. I lose, hands down. But if he’s not, then you’ve got some explaining to do.

Contrary to mums’ belief, games do NOT turn your child into an axe-crazy murderer. They don’t. Really.

Tell that critic on the news to shut up now.

Instead, the thing that turns them into axe-crazy murderers is a lack of control. you might have taught him well and that he was just exposed to bad friends, or you might have let it slip his early gaming years and now your son/daughter is trapped in the bottom of the addiction well. Whichever the case, it is up to you to pull him/her out. Left alone, your child might very well be huffing the game instead. So, what happened that made it this way?

Here’s the psyche that drives a modern gamer; it’s a need to immerse in a world of fantasy. Call it sanctioned escapism.

I can hear the critics rummaging for Tolkien books to throw at me now.

Sure, books had the primary role in illusion-giving back in the days. But you must know that when someone thought of interactivity + fantasy, the gaming world was set to go. Novels, game books, tabletop, cards… they’re good in their own niche corner, but none of them offer the sheer fun that is gripping a controller and running headlong towards that red dragon in the horizon(even though you’ll probably save at the nearby town after 2 hours). You can’t flank a team of Spec-Ops aliens with your equally unbelievable team of SPHESS MAREENS with just a game book. Heck, not even the AI of some games allow for that; you need human players and godly teamwork.

Anyway, the point of playing any game at all is to immerse yourself in the universe of that game. So you’re a sickly kid who can barely step out of the house without suffering over 9000+ allergies. Well, here’s your chance; be a 7-foot tall, death-spewing bone-crushing superhuman who laughs at the aliens by writing Old English insults on the wall with alien blood and bullet holes!

So it really pisses me off when I hear or see comments like “It’s just a game, and yet you’re so immersed in it.” That’s the WHOLE POINT! You chide us for being addicted to the game, but that’s your own judgment. What, you want us to finish something like Halo in a month’s time with even sessions of a half-hour per day and with a straight face? Don’t kid yourself, do you go shopping in monthly sessions of 15-minutes each with a poker face?

Now, a break for the people around the gamer. We gamers are thoroughly immersed in a game, and then the kid brother/sister comes by to block your view of the TV.

Don’t lose your cool now, big bro, they’re just kids. Just pause the game and tell them in your sweetest voice to go to their own room and read a book; or better yet, tell them to join you… though you should scale down the difficulty a bit.

I bet it really shreds your nerves when mum’s doing the shouting in the most shrilly voice ever. Cuts through the bone and all, eh?

Well, that’s YOUR fault, young gamer. Especially when your mum spent the last 15 minutes calling for your help with the chicken which is now smoking in the oven. Every game has a pause button; USE THE DAMN THING!

I’ll admit it, I was once a victim of that as well. It takes time for a gamer to mature up and realize that game !=life . It’s a different matter if your mum uses the shrilly voice right from the start, which means two thing; you’ve ignored her normal queries for 15 minutes before, or she just doesn’t like games. Let’s assume it’s the former.

I don’t want to hear anything from the basement-dwelling gamers. They’re exempt from this.

Gamers, control. Remember, a family is just like a multi-racial country; everyone has differences. Simply put, you want to keep a steady financial base for your games, you’d better start to keep that financial base happy; in other words, keep your mum happy. Buff your grades up to higher-than-average and keep them there. Listen to your mum when she’s calling. Don’t make a face that could curdle cheese (all over again) when she asks you to help her with the chores. Lastly, if there’s a time limit for your everyday gaming fix, adhere to it. The “one more minute” phrase will only put cracks into the wall, and ignoring her completely will kill your gaming life at home. You’ll be spending the rest of your teen years telling your friends on Messenger than L4D will have to wait until you can sneak out to the nearest cybercafe next Saturday.

If any gamer goes into cardiac arrest after reading the last sentence, you’ll know they’re addicted.

So when it comes to games, both sides have to compromise a bit.

Parents, step back a little, let the kids enjoy it while they still can. Educate them so that when they go to the store for Christmas they’ll head for Viva Pinata instead of Gears of War II; this is especially important for the younger kids. I’m plain sick and tired of the moronic media having a field day with a kid, a loaded Colt, and a sibling’s corpse with a smoking bullet hole smack in the center of the head just because the kid was playing Counter-Strike from the age of 4. Teach them the value of earning for their own things; tell them that they want a game, they have to save up at least half of the money to pay for it; adjust that amount according to age. Tell them that certain games are off-limits; teach them that just because their friends bought a game doesn’t mean they have to too; there’s plenty of fish in the sea. And finally, DO NOT GIVE IN TO PUBLIC WHINING! I bet my talking auto-shotgun that if you do, you’re royally screwed for the rest of your child-rearing life; you’ll never hear the end of that tactic and you’ll never be able to defend against it.

And gamers, exercise restraint. Look at the time; nearing the end of the session and you’ve completed the stage? Save and quit. You’ll impress mum by being in control, you’ll feel good from being praised, and chances are you’ll do the exact same thing next time. Pause the game if mum calls for help in the kitchen or with the chores. Don’t pick over the small details like asking for an extra 5 minutes because you were in the kitchen.  Don’t even bother to ask for a spare 5 minutes to complete the level. Do your research; find out what games are favored by the community and what aren’t, because a gamer’s worth isn’t measured by the number of games he/she has, it’s his/her skill, sportsmanship, and control. And lastly, be a mature gamer. See that n00b on XBL spouting shit about how he owned 343 Guilty Spark with a M6K? Ignore him. The n00b taunts you in a match? You reply will be a foot in his visor/his flag at your base/your bomb in his base/his teammates will kick him out. Finally, if you don’t have at least a half-hour to spare; DON’T PLAY A GAME AT ALL. When I say a half-hour, I mean a half-hour before you have to leave, not a half-hour before you reach the destination. Trust me, this can save your skin in more ways than one.

Be a sensible gamer. Help us keep the politicians out of our only safe haven in this world of deceit! >:O


One comment

  1. AMEN BROTHER! Well said like a pro! =D
    If only more parents could grasp the whole ‘gaming isn’t evil incarnated’ concept.

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