Video Games Are Gad For You
Sometimes, I like to play video games. In fact, I sometimes like to play them a lot. I can tell if I have played too many hours in a single day because people say things to me like, “Hey, why are your eyes so bloodshot?” or “Aren’t you going to wipe that dried blood off your face?” or “Sir, you have to let the other Toys R’ Us customers play.”
My favorite games are savagely violent ones that allow me to wreak havoc on a citywide scale, so that I can pretend the people who are getting run over/chainsawed/sealed in concrete are delinquent clients of mine, or that guy who peed on the bus and ruined my annual Arby’s anniversary reunion trip. But it wasn’t always so easy to simulate massive carnage. Before the 1990s, if I wanted to incinerate hordes of pedestrians and shoot helicopters out of the sky with an automatic shotgun, I would have had to actually go outside and do it, which is different than playing a video game, and requires more blinking, which during my simulation I am currently able to do at an impressively infrequent rate of once every seven hours.
I also like sports games, but for some reason when I play them they seem to universally evolve towards some kind of demented, nontraditional challenge, like trying to set the record for most broken legs in one quarter, or trying to score a goal while masturbating. My favorite sports video game of all time is Joe Montana NFL Football ’94 for Sega Genesis, because the announcer sounds like a robot with Alzheimer’s Disease. “First down, here comes the kicking team and… Whoops! I can’t believe it! What a mistake!” Meanwhile he doesn’t even blink when I run a single running play for ten minutes while managing to avoid the defense and run the length of the field endline to endline six times. But what really pushed this game to the top of my all-time list is the fact that the replays are totally different than what actually happens during the game. Especially from the blimp view.
When I was much, much younger, and also yesterday, I had a serious problem with video games. My parents wisely limited my access to our Sega Genesis, but unwisely told that they had hidden it in the house somewhere, which of course forced me to scour every room, and especially their closet, for the system. I found a bunch of disturbing objects that I didn’t understand at the time and inexplicably developed a nervous tic which would activate at any subsequent mention of the word “titmouse”, after which I was forced to seek therapy and never found the damn Sega.
But since I could not fully satisfy my craving for simulating record-shattering referee attacks at home, I was forced to seek gratification elsewhere. So anytime I spent the night at a friend’s house who had any kind of gaming system, I would wake up as early as possible (<5 am) and play as much as I could until my friend’s mom or dad would eventually wander downstairs with a troubled and slightly fearful look on his/her face and say “Adam? What are you doing up so early? Where are your eyelids?” What they didn’t know was that since my parents also limited the number of unhealthily sweet/colorful cereals in our house, by that time I would have also attempted to fill this hole in my life by downing entire boxes of whatever sugary pseudograins (cookie crisp, fruity pebbles, etc) they had in the house and would be so amped up that I resembled a howler monkey on some kind of crazy speedball. Putting me back to bed at that point was probably not such a good idea, as I was more likely to bite a hole through the mattress than I was to come anywhere close to falling asleep.
But video games are really cool, especially ones where the object of the game is to sexually harass women, if by cool you mean totally fucked up, which no one does, so I don’t know why I said that. But despite their undeniable coolness, claims have been made that video games are bad for you. Can you believe that?! Some people say that playing violent video games can actually make you more violent, like that time I tried to play croquet with cat heads. Well I couldn’t believe this, so I decided to run a personal trial to test this cockamamie allegation.
First, i measured my baseline level of violence for one week to act as a control. During the week of November 15-22 , I spit in twenty-five people’s faces, and headbutted one bus driver. Then, the next week, I allowed myself free, unrestricted access to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Due to the fact that I forgot to eat and developed a crusty, opaque shell over the front of my eyeballs, I became incapacitated and was hospitalized for most of the week, which rendered me unable to commit any violent acts of destruction, though I was able to steal my nurse’s underwear. The following week, I tested whether playing altruistic video games would cause me to behave in a more generous manner. I forced myself to play a game designed to teach fundamental concepts of socially appropriate behavior like sharing, through a series of lighthearted mini-games. After playing this game a single time, I firebombed a church bus and murdered a policeman. In summation:
Control: 25 Face-Spittings + One(1) Headbutting
Playing Violent Games: One (1) Pair Underwear
Playing Altruistic Games: One (1) Church Bus + One(1) Murdered Policeman
Just for the sake of (my) argument, let’s reduce these seemingly incomparable incidents to pure numerical expressions. Control(No Video Games)=25+1=26, Violent Games=One Pair=2, and Altruistic Games=1+1=2. Well, whaddya know! According to this incontrovertible, scientifically sound study, violent incidents are 1200% more likely to occur when no video games are played! Looks like video games aren’t so bad after all, except for of course Rapelay, which as we discussed earlier, is technically considered “cool”.