Social Suicide

“Are you serious?” I nodded; preparing myself for the inevitable onslaught that was to ensue. And, predictably, it came. “Worlds of Wordcraft? You are such a nerd. You realize everyone’s going to judge you for this class and yada yada yada.”

I got this response from everyone after telling him or her my English seminar class choice. To be honest, I didn’t really understand why I wanted to take the course. I had stopped playing videogames after freshman year (aside from the occasional super smash bros. on N64) and I really had no burning desire to learn about gaming. The nagging doubts persisting in the depths my mind shut up long enough for me to finalize my decision and send in my course request form.

I walked in to the first day of class apprehensive, but excited. The room was pretty much what I expected, two large screens, lots of wire, laptops out and powered on, being controlled by normal kids who had a guilty pleasure for gaming and knew it. My slightly embarrassed classmates took sheepish glances around the room, attempting to figure out who else was brave enough to sign up for this class and commit the social suicide we all were convinced would be the inevitable result. I smiled and grimaced at the same time, sat down, and accepted my decision, suddenly optimistic about the rest of the semester.

The class, unlike the people in it, was not at all what I expected to find. Rather than focusing on videogames, the class has proven to be a useful way to integrate the future of professional and academic communication with good writing practice and stimulating class discussions. Videogames seem to be solely supplemental to the class and I find there to be much more to the class than MMORPG gaming. Instead of spending copious amouts of free time in an attempt to level up for the class, I have discovered how to use Microsoft Office Live, Bootcamp my computer, use a Windows operating system, relate qualities inherent in creating a game to real life, and more than I ever want to know about Lord of the Rings. I would venture to say that he videogames I have played as a result of the class have enriched my social life. I now analyze the concepts behind game design for everything I play and as a result, I understand gamers better and can relate to them better than I could before. Rather than look down on gamers, I have broadened my perspective and can now see the world through their eyes and understand them. Plus, I get to play videogames for a class, who can argue with that?

By Aneel Henry

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