Thursday 11 August 2011


Recently a woman ran over her boyfriend with her car (as opposed to her tractor or helicopter) – twice I might add – leaving him with brain damage; basically, she was convinced he was cheating at a computer game and this made her angry. Road rage angry. Her boyfriend, having thankfully recovered from his more serious injuries of a fractured skull and bruising to the brain, is now left with memory loss, headaches, dizzy spells, and concentration problems. And of course has a lifetime of rehabilitation to undergo. I'm thinking this woman is NOT someone you want to play angry birds with anytime soon. 

You see, here is yet another reason why I hate video games of any kind. My partner and I have an ongoing debate over the benefit of video games. Yes, he tries to tell me there is indeed a benefit and rattles on about hand-eye coordination and nonsense like that. I’m on the side of the fence that thinks that video games are destroying society's brain, concentration and social skills, not to mention are turning people into rat like junkies that sit in front of screens all day and lose a total grip on reality. And then of course jump in a car and run people over. Fine, perhaps Ms. Anger Issues had a fundamental problem with cheating – and who knows, maybe her partner was always the type to embezzle money in Monopoly – but as far as I can tell, most of these video games, be it on the computer, iPhone or an Xbox type apparatus mean the human playing them is in an altered state of some sort, and the end result is not always pretty. 

Take kids for example, have you ever seen their little eyes glaze over like a vegetable when they are playing their handheld Nintendo DS? It's a pretty frightening thing to witness. The entire Star Wars figuring collection could be on fire, but if they're not done with their turn, there is nothing pulling them away from that thing. Not to mention, try taking one of those handheld things away from them, or telling them they can only play it for a half hour after dinner. You’re going to hear the words, ‘please can I, can I, CANNNNNNNN I!!!!!!' more times than a parrot with Tourette’s. In fact, suddenly they forget there is a world out there, or other toys on the planet, and the only thing flashing before their myopic little eyes is Mario and Luigi.

My partner and I for the most part stay away from video games of any kind. Not because he doesn’t like them – in fact, he downright lusts after them – but because thankfully we know ourselves well enough to avoid situations that could end in one of us running over the other with our bike (we don’t have a car, thankfully). I kid, we’re not that bad. But he knows that I hate video games of any kind and refuse to play, and I know that the two of us competing at something other than Scrabble would end in a scene from War of the Roses. We are bad enough when he places a made-up six letter word on a triple word score at the eleventh hour (he loves making up words and then stares at you with this serious look of, yeah, I use ‘M-a-g-x-f-a’ everyday in conversation. Don’t you?)

So note to those of you out there desperate to engage in a little console play with your partner, a) for the love of god, don’t cheat, and b) hide the car keys. Just to be safe. Or take my advice and opt for a nice book instead. It may save you wearing a helmet for the rest of your life.

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