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Attention Gamers: An Important Message About Socialization

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

As someone grappling with the techno-crazed reality of today’s culture, I naturally am terrified by the world of video games.  Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo…it’s all overwhelming to me, and frankly I have absolutely no desire to even try to understand what makes these games actually addictive.  However, I did receive my fair share of exposure to this foreign realm of virtual games this past summer.  During the latter part of my senior year in high school, I became best friends with three hardcore gamers, although I certainly didn’t know the extent of their gaming lifestyle upon befriending the quirky trio.  As I spent more and more time at their respective houses, I began to catch on to the daily routine for these gentlemen: roll out of bed, eat, play video games….play more video games, eat, and, you guessed it, play more video games (whilst eating).  Their particular drug of choice was Call of Duty, in which they would challenge each other to heated battles in the virtual “field” of war.  Their bloodshot eyes glued to the screen, it was only until I would peel their pupils from the glaring screen that I could finally force them to emerge into the warm California sun.

Oh, how wrong I was when I thought I had won by coaxing them out of their houses.  Much to my dismay, I was soon introduced to the haven for these hardcore gamers outside of their homes: Howie’s Game Shack.  I grudgingly entered the techno-sanctuary and was met by rows and rows of flashing flat screens and computer monitors, with sleep-starved boys in bulky headsets staring fixedly at them.  It is clear where the attention of these boys is fixed, and it is not on normal socialization. 

Someone should tell them that green flourescent lights don't produce an enviable summer glow.

 What I identify as so problematic is that since my initial exposure, I’ve found that these kinds of “game shacks” are very common, and are only growing in popularity.  It’s become a normal, fun activity for teenagers across America to spend their Friday night “going out” to a game shack to stare monotonously and silently at monitors.  And most problematic is that it is almost equated with a social activity because it is outside of the house and a gamer is in the company of other silent drones.  Honestly, gamers, a little regular socializing wouldn’t hurt.