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I decided to do this week’s Rantable a little early for two reasons: first, the subject is fresh in my mind, and two, I will probably forget to do it tomorrow since I nearly forgot to write one last week, and I don’t want to deprive all zero of you of the chance to hear one man’s take on the little things in life that really shouldn’t bother him as much as they do.  But I sit here ready to rip on yet another subject that makes me cringe with pain at the thought of it.

I realize that we are in a fast-changing world, especially in regards to science and technology.  Every day, something new is invented that will improve our lives just a little more, be it a new drug to combat a disease or a new safety device in our cars that will help prevent serious injuries resulting from a crash.  But sometimes, technology can be thought of as wrong.  I’ll give you an example (taken from Patton Oswalt’s 2007 album Werewolves and Lollipops):

A 63 year old woman gave birth sometime that year or possibly the year before.  It’s like saying, “Hey, we made cancer airborne and contagious!  We’re science: we’re all about ‘coulda,” not ‘shoulda.'”

What does this have to do with the subject at hand?  Actually, I kind of forgot.  The point of all this is that technology has gotten to a point where kids no longer go outside to play.  They sit in their rooms, staring at their computer screens, playing games all day.  Some of you may say, “But Rantables dude, don’t you do the same thing?”  Well, yes, right now I do that.  But I’m a mature adult who’s learned to spell and use proper grammar.  And I’ve finished my education (for now, anyway).  It’s my choice to dick around on the internet and be antisocial.  But kids (we’re talking preteens here) shouldn’t be doing this.  It sets them up for a life of no expectations, either from themselves or from their peers.  They should be interacting with their friends outside, face to face, tossing a ball around or drawing stuff in the dirt with a stick, not playing some stupid flash game or (god forbid) playing a MMORPG like WoW.  Hearing about all the 12-year-olds supposedly playing WoW makes me sad.  Especially when they play A LOT.  As in, more than I do.  While I don’t believe that video games should not be played by kids, I do, however, believe that if they do wish to partake in the newest national pastime, that they have some self-control and only play a little while.  Maybe a half hour a day tops.  When they get older, they can choose to play more often.  I don’t want to see kids wasting three, four, five hours a day playing a stupid waste of time like WoW (yes, I know, I play it too, but I’ve terminated my subscription with then and I’ll be ending my torrid relationship with the game in about two weeks.  It sets them up for a lifetime of laziness.  Just look at me!  You don’t want kids to turn into someone like me, do you?  I don’t think so.  Which is why I firmly believe that if a child wants to entertain themselves, they should let their own imaginations entertain them, not the ideas of a 35-year-old programmer who enjoys making huge polygonal tits on women that would probably fall over forwards because of the added weight to their chests.

Keep in mind here, I am no way against video games at all.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  I support the creativity that some of the designers have, and I respect the word that is put into most of these games.  I am not, however, a proponent of the embarassing way certain companies are treating their customers when it comes to installing and playing PC games.  Companies like EA should be burned to the ground for some of the ridiculous shit they’ve imposed upon their loyal customers who will jump through far too many DRM hoops to play the latest shitty game.  But that’s a topic for another day.

What’s that?  You want me to sum up my rant in a few words at the bottom of the article so you don’t have to go back and read all the insanity I’ve been spewing for the past ten minutes?  Well, here ya go:

Kids should go play outside instead of inside.  Let their imaginations entertain them.  Don’t just plop them down in front of a screen five times bigger than their head and say, “Go play this.”  That hinders creativity (most of the time).  Let them have fun on their own.  Don’t let them derive pleasure solely from a big electronic box that will become obsolete in a month.  Letting them sit at home and play computer games all day will probably lead to them doing the same thing in 30 years.  And I most certainly don’t want to see anyone living in their parents’ basement at 40 playing the same stupid games they’ve been playing since they were 10, no job, no significant other, no prospects of any kind.  If you know a child between the ages of 9 and 12, for the love of god tell them to go outside and have fun!  Don’t just put them in front of a computer or a TV and leave them!  It’s bad for them!

I know, that last paragraph was supposed to be a one sentence summary, but I got carried away.  Until next time.

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2 Comments

  1. …I have to imagine it’s worse in Taiwan. Teaching here now, there are a couple kids in my class, age 8, that like to pull out their invisible CS weapons and blow each other – and teacher – away. I usually try and teach them the vocabulary for the stuff they’re doing (“gr- gr- grenaaaade. 2 Syllables, please repeat…”)

    I’ve also seen the masses of people that while away their days at PC cafes playing CS (which as I understand it, is actually a solid game) or worse, cutesy “Dance Superstar” rhythm games… on a PC. Not EVEN DDR. My American housemate pointed it out to me one night when he was saying “How much does your life suck when you’re at an internet cafe at 3am, playing solitaire?”

  2. I wonder if their behavior is a result of years of training (if you will) in doing nearly nothing in their spare time besides playing video games. Especially those people who are at internet cafes at 3 AM playing solitaire. I’m finding that tough to believe, but I’m not surprised it happens. Kind of makes me happy I’m not like that.


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