“Back in my day…”

Man, online pc video games have come a long way, haven’t they?  I mean, thirty five years ago, when two teenage stoners left over from the sixties were high and playing pong on a tv, do you think that one of them said to the other, “Dude, what if there were some big… space or something that we could play on against people that we don’t know?”  Also, when he said this, do you think the other one replied with, “You’re way too baked, man.”  Well, look where we are now.

I remember my first few online games.  Age of Empires was one of my favorites.  I’m sure you know what this classic is.  Two to eight civilizations team up (or not) and compete for resources and land to build the biggest empire.  One team defeats the other?  Glory.  Well, for about a minute, when you call your friend up and brag, until he says, “I want a rematch.”  I also played Fireteam, which was a first-person shooter viewed from a third-person’s eye (above).  This game had a simple setup and an even simpler objective.  You picked from three different types of people: scout, which was fast but had little armor and didn’t hurt that much, gunner, which was moderate to all effects, and heavy gunner, which was slow but had heavy armor and a powerful gun.  The objective?  Kill as many of the opponents as you could.  I played games like this for hours and hours on end growing up.  I wish I could say I’ve gotten over this, for lack of a better word, obsession, but with the recent advent of Halo 3, I still waste hours of my life at a time playing video games online.

Every couple of months, you hear of people neglecting their children or forgetting to feed their pets resulting in the pet’s death, due to the fact that the person was so hooked on a video game.  As I was reading another blog for inspiration, I noticed that the person mentioned a video game rehabilitation clinic in Amsterdam.  Well, I have to say, I’m proud of us as a society.  Our video game technology has become so good (or life, in fact, has become so dull) that we can get someone obsessed enough with a video game to become hooked on that game.  Will there become a time in which we don’t even participate in life any more, we just get online and pretend?  I hope that I live to see that day…



One thought on ““Back in my day…””

  1. As much as people want to make books, movies, and games into a form of reality escape, they are still part and parcel a dynamic and real aspect of the tangible world. Social expression and story telling might take a different form around an aboriginal or Boy Scout campfire, but the fiber optic campfire around which we all huddle is no less real.

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