With all due respect to Roger Dorn, the all-father of TFM and the rightful King of blasting a dookie in your trousers, “growing up” does not necessarily mean growing out of your video games. It’s not time to chuck your Xbox One out the window, smash your PS4 with a hammer, and set fire to your Nintendo 64. In fact, if you hurt one cartridge on your Nintendo 64’s console, I will find you and send the Goombas after you. Final warning.
While Mr. Dorn makes some fantastic points on going out, being social, getting active and living life, the fact of the matter is that you can’t always be on. You’re not always going to want to go to the gym, go out drinking, play in some boring-ass awful rec kickball league or climb a freaking mountain. It’s just not realistic to go all in every day. You can push yourself all you want, but you’ll just end up burnt-out and depleted, at least one of those days in a week. Even AFTER you go to the gym or whatever and you’re exhausted, then what do you do?
Go home and veg out on your couch, watching ESPN/Netflix/Hulu/HBO Go and just let your brain turn to mush? It’s fun, but not exactly engaging. Go on a Tinder date? Maybe, but why go out and spend money on a CHANCE at sex that’s probably gonna suck and leave you with a stage-five clinger? Feh, who needs it? Porn’s free and easier. But you can’t beat off the rest of your life, can you? (No, seriously, I need an answer on this. Asking for myself.)
Why not try something that’s at least a little bit engaging, fun, and takes you out of the pressures of life for a while? That’s where video games come in.
As George R.R. Martin wrote in “A Dance With Dragons,” “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” So surely a video gamer’s gotta be somewhere in between the two, right? Mario games max you out at 99 lives. So let’s say 99. Games can take you wherever you want to go: from the Mushroom Kingdom to a space ring orbiting the planet Reach; from the beaches of Normandy to the field in Superbowl XLII, embarrassing the almost-undefeated Patriots all over again.
Granted, it’s not quite as intellectually stimulating as reading. At all. I’m so not advocating burning your books and picking up a Wii remote. But it certainly beats sitting in front of the TV all day, and it’s a fun way to escape without having to leave your apartment. Certainly cheaper than an average date, and probably more fulfilling. If you know what I mean.
Video games can also be an incredibly fun social icebreaker and activity. Nothing makes people flip out faster than dusting off your Nintendo 64 and popping in Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64 or the OG Super Smash Brothers. EVERYONE gets excited for that; men, women, and everything in between, nothing can pick up the mood faster than a return to childhood competition. Except for a drug-fueled orgy, but who has the time or money for that?
Just yesterday, after brunch, I had friends chilling in my apartment, and two of the girls piped up and said “Hey, can we play Mario Kart?” Boom. Hours of excitement, competition, cursing and laughter.
This advice isn’t for the neckbeards living in their parents’ basements playing World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is a blight on society and should never have been brought into this world. It’s a taint. Fuck it. Fuck it with the intensity of a thousand suns. You gotta live your life, meet real people, get a job and fit in with society.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not okay to pick up a video game once in a while. They can make a boring commute on public transportation a lot more fun, turn any party into a Mario Party, and give us a brief escape from the crushing pressures of adult life. All we do is pay bills, repay loans, work long, insane hours for less money than we deserve and exist in a lockstep march inexorably closer to death. Why not break up the monotony with an occasional game of Madden or start an adventure by replaying The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time?
Time to put away your video games? I don’t think so. Pick up a controller and jam out, chief. You deserve it. .
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