Okay, so over the past few months I have witnessed and been engaged in some conversations about VIDEO GAMING and the many issues around the culture, technology, etc.  Many folks at MBCC are connected to gaming via playing or working for the industry.  As I have learned about my experience (or lack there of according to some of the members) I am a TOTALLY out of my realm of reality when we enter Video Game Land.  Often times I don’t even understand the words by themselves let along when they are strung together in a sentence.  Yes . . . I am THAT Gamer-Stupid.

Mostly because I want to find out if there are others out there who are as disconnected as I am, I am interested in what other’s experiences have been around gaming.  There are a few questions at the end of this post, but to give you some juice for the comments here are some things I have learned about myself . . .

  • THERE WAS SOMETHING AFTER DONKEY KONG? – So apparently my break from video games was before they left the Arcade (TimeZone in Old Town, Sacramento anyone?)  and came into the home.  I was big into Galaga, Donkey Kong, DigDug, Tempest, Joust, etc.  Never really played Zelda, Prince of Persia, etc. as those games came onto the PC and home console scene.  I did play the old school Atari with Combat and had a GameBoy, but that was about it.  I wonder why?  There was never a “No Video Game” rule in our home as we now have with our girls, so maybe it was because my friends were not big gamers . . . or, hmmm, maybe I had a LIFE (I just couldn’t resist) that included important stuff like chasing girls, fixing up my 1979 Toyota Corona (Yes, I said a CoroNa, complete with $800 Stereo system in a $400 car.) and Drum Corps (My hidden past.).
  • I MUCH PREFER SHOOTING ALIENS AND PEOPLE I CAN’T SEE – So this whole “First Person Shooter” thing . . . as much as I love “Guy” movies, explosions, car chases and a good shoot-out or brawl in the movies, I still get queasy about the shooting/blood/dying thing.  I GUESS one could argue that it is more real so you understand the significance of killing more, but it still just weirds me out to be THE shooter.  Yes, I killed things in Galaga, but, come on, those where non-descript aliens trying to take over the world, they HAD to die.  Now I am in no way on the censorship wagon, I just find it interesting that there is very little urge for me to engage in these latest rounds of games.
  • I just might not be even cool enough to be a dork – This one is difficult for me to handle, but alas I may just have to admit it.  While I am a techno-geek in some areas, even the video game dorks are making fun of me.  Age, intelligence, my floods and plaid shirt . . . what is it?  I think I will just have to embrace my “Not cool enough to even be a dork” status.  Maybe a t-shirt or something will make me feel better . . .
  • I GUESS I CHOOSE MY ADDICTIONS AND VEG-OUT MEDIUMS – In the end, I think many folks use gaming as a means of escapism and entertainment.  I suppose like any activity, if it begins to ruin your life, relationships and/or health it has become unhealthy and addictive.  I have learned that one of the keys to surviving is to choose and monitor your addictions well: motorcycles, TIVO, Oakland A’s, eMail, Shoes. Dog the Bounty Hunter, L&L . . . oops am I typing out loud?!?!?

So . . . I would love to hear some response from some of you:

  • Do you game?  How much?  What has determined your level of Gamer-ness?
  • What do you think about the first person shooter games and issues around violence, sex, etc. in video games?
  • How could/can/has gaming been helpful to your life and/or society?
  • Do you want to join my “Not Even Cool Enough to be a Dork” club?

Later, I am off to non-Gamer therapy . . .

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