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English Times writer verbally assaults your hobby

April 2, 2008

Giles WhittellGiles Whittell, the subject of this post, is also a book author. This explains everything.

I hate video games, on or offline. I hate the way they suck real people into fake worlds and hold on to them for decades at a time. I hate being made to feel hateful for saying so, and I hate being told to immerse myself in them before passing judgment, because it feels like being told to immerse myself in smack and teenage pregnancy before passing judgment on them.

This is not because of anything wrong or bad about video games or heroin or teenage parents. It’s not even because of game-induced homicide or web-grooming of little girls by perverts – serious problems, but statistically low-risk. It’s because, compared with everything else on offer in a kid’s life, video games and heroin and teenage pregnancy are a colossal waste of time.

I have to admit, i’m a bit too… cool for round-the-clock gaming. I just don’t feel good about it. (And yea some of it has to do with peer perception, but there are few other ways of spending time that leave me with as much of a feeling of stagnation and slow decay if too many hours are relinquished to it. Working in a 9-5 would probably top it slightly.) I’ve been close to it in my younger years, and i’ve seen its victims both on the net and on the planet. Some kids and shamefully, adults, actually live their lives inside of a videogame bubble and call it living.

To each his own, but i just can’t stomach sometimes how intensely devoted some dudes are to their game machines, not to mention companies but that’s another (few, massive) editorial(s) altogether.

Excuse me for editorializing and halfway agreeing with this guy, but it’s my blog and i do’s what i damn well please. I know this point of view isn’t new to any of the intendoship, but the internet — and GameStop counters — can be a sickening place. Unbearable even. And maybe it’s wrong of me or whatever, but there’s a videogame club in my school, and whenever i see one of them i get nauseous. Does that make me a bad person?

Your thoughts? I’m not touching the teen preg/heroin thing.

(Note: that book is the best picture of him i could find. Like i said, he’s an author!)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2008 2:41 pm

    I can almost see his point, but I’ve been already sucked into video games more than I wanted to… These days, however, I can’t muster more than two hours at a time, and most days (in days that I actually play) I use up only about an hour.

    The amount of time you have to invest in current (non-“casual”) video games is spiraling up. And they are evil not for the reasons most politicians tell you, but because they appeal to the part of your brain that craves the intellectual reward of solving a puzzle (yes, even first-person shooters do that). So, in that sense, Giles might be right. I would admire his will and resolve, but then I just realized he is too old to have video games imbedded in his culture and brain, so for him to avoid them is a piece of cake!

  2. Franky C permalink
    April 2, 2008 2:53 pm

    Does that make you a bad person?

    Lets see… You get nauseous because you see someone who enjoys video games? Why yes, I do believe that qualifies you as a bad person. I don’t understand how you can logically berate video games without doing the same to books, watching TV, sculpting, photography, model planes, or any other hobby. They are pass-times and they are totally fair game as long as you have time to pass.

    Regardless, judging people by their hobbies is unacceptable. You need to be a little more open-minded. I think it would do you some good.

  3. April 2, 2008 3:44 pm

    Oh, whoops. I forgot to describe the members of this club. They’re basically what i described in the paragraph before that. The dudes who drown themselves in the videogame/geek “lifestyle” and do nothing else. The kind of people so involved in their “lifestyle” that it affects the way they look, generating visual cues of the fat, sloppy gamer stereotype.

    Color me bad, but there’s something about wasting massive amounts of time away with videogames that is heavily unattractive to me. I guess it’s since you’re not really developing a talent, skill or knowledge to express ideas or create something like you would with sculpting, making photographs, modeling planes, or whatnot. The fact that the experience is basically just in your TV and in your head makes it kinda deplorable. Same with watching tv too much.

    But as i stated, to each their own. Gamers are ok. Most anyone born in the 80s and beyond are gamers. We’re gamers, too. Nothing intrinsically wrong with it.

  4. April 2, 2008 4:46 pm

    The fact that the experience is basically just in your TV and in your head makes it kinda deplorable

    Rollin, what about Gamer Achievement Points in Xbox LIVE??


  5. April 2, 2008 6:12 pm

    Games are almost as bad as wasting your life in the gym or in bars having sex with strangers.

    How can one waste something as pointless as life? Or, less cynically, what’s the point of life? If you can’t identify an end-all-beat-all purpose of life, then one can’t waste it.

  6. April 2, 2008 10:29 pm

    That i agree with, but i suppose it’s just something that rubs me wrong due to my upbringing and life experience. Btw, if that first sentence of yours was sarcasm, it was ineffective. You just played against this stereotype with the opposite, insecure stereotype.

    Ant, don’t get me started.

  7. April 7, 2008 3:03 pm

    I, for one, was being sarcastic… Gamer achievement points will be used one day against you as a measurement of how much you wasted your life…

    JB’s final question is deep… REALLY deep! (No sarcasm here!)


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