Hit Escape for a second

I am writing this to a few of my best friends. I do so knowing that they will not see this because they are almost certainly playing video-games right now, which is the very reason I am imploring them to stop in this plea. The irony of this is not lost on me, and it wouldn’t on them either, but they’d have to look up the word irony first, which would require them to pause playing the video-games, and…you get it.

Let me preface this by acknowledging that video-games do play an important role in this world, that I am notably devoid of that kind of virtual experience and that, in this regard, I am undoubtedly a hater. Growing up, my parents didn’t buy me any consoles or computer games, and I was honestly content to do my own thing. For those curious, my own thing usually consisted of me digging a hole and seeing how deep I could dig before I couldn’t jump directly out of it. 

Which is why it boggles me that I’ve managed to insert myself within a friend group where a significant cohort of the guys play video games for hours in a day. Now they would all retort that statement, saying that during the workweek they only play for a few minutes, maybe a half hour per weekday. That might be the truth, but they’ve omitted the weekend days; during this part of the week, they play Mission Alien or Super Smash Brethren as if there is a final on those games that Monday. So on average, they are playing at least two hours of video games per day and — in all likelihood — far, far more.

If you asked me “how they are doing,” I wouldn’t really be able to tell you. Between class, extracurricular activities, striking out at bars, sleeping and cleaning so as to avoid studying, that leaves hardly any time in the day to catch up with these guys. Don’t even suggest trying to talk to them WHILE they’re playing video games. That’s like trying to strike up a conversation with one of the tellers at the DMV on a Saturday afternoon: you can’t, the DMV closes after noon on Saturday, idiot.

The most flabbergasting element regarding this phenomenon of utter devotion to shooting robots and sniping “suckers” which don’t exist is that these guys have girlfriends, who are real. I can’t imagine being a successful, beautiful woman that’s taken some measurable chance on dating another guy, only to have to assuredly be late to dinner reservations YOU made because your boyfriend is trying to figure out which Pokémon ball to throw at a deformed reptile named Snorlax that looks suspiciously like that girl you know is in that class with your boyfriend. For the love of the Master Chief, ladies, date a guy that holds your hand more than a controller.
This isn’t to say that gaming doesn’t pose any benefits at all. Problem-solving, improved reaction and teamwork are all elements which certain games and consoles are conducive to improving. I get that it’s an escape from…reality, I guess? Jeez, though, if that’s your reason for throwing on a video game and not opening a good book, that’s pretty sad. Is pretending to impale innocent and unexpecting strangers in Grand Theft Auto more “dope” than, I don’t know, pick-up basketball?

Fellas, if by some chance reading this article becomes the key to unlocking the final control point in Overwatch, then please heed these words. Go call your mother. Take the real Madden recommendation and throw the football with the boys. Follow a real narrative other than Skyrim and read “The Odyssey.” And in the name of Sargeras, call your girlfriends. Because they’re hanging out with me right now, and they think this article is pretty great, if you know what I mean.

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