Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My World

I was sitting at my desk a few minutes ago, labeling parts by the cavity number that they were molded in. I was pulling multiple shots from each cavity and was using the numbering scheme of 'cavity number-shot number'. After doing a few of these, my mind was running '7-1, 7-2, 7-3,...etc.' A few parts later my mind was running 'World 8-1, World 8-2, World 8-3, World 8-4...wait was there a world 8-4?' I was trying to remember whether or not Super Mario Bros. had 3 or four levels within each world. It is sad how my mind functions, sad but the truth.

If you know much about me you would have known that I did not play many video games growing up. Do not get me wrong, I think I played more than your average kid growing up in the nineties, but still not much based on today's standards. My parents always told us that we didn't need a Nintendo. Naturally we did need one. They didn't want us playing video games all the time. I think part of it was that they couldn't afford one. But alas, they finally broke down and found us not one, but two of them used, but cheap. We had our Nintendo.

My parents, sticking with their notions that we did not need to play it all the time limited us to a couple hours a day. This was fine by me. Back in those days I was covered in mud and grass stains and I was red and bleeding from mosquito bites. I was an outdoor kid. Our neighborhood had a fair share of us nighttime wanderers. That I believe was good for us.

So now I wonder, how is it that my mind reverts back to Mario, when I had far more hours clocked playing outside? I never beat Super Mario Bros. and neither did my brother or sister. The only person I truly know to have beaten it while it was on a NES was my father. He did it in one long spree, no save points back in those days. I wonder if his mind ever reverts itself back to NES gaming mode?

As I grew older, my video game time increased. I had computer games that I would waste hours upon hours on. At friends houses we would widdle away sunny days indoors playing the SNES and Playstation. I still was an outdoor kid. I loved to run and be free. But my surroundings were growing smaller as I grew bigger, and I escaped to digital worlds.

I feel as though my childhood was wasted sitting and playing these silly games. All I got out of them was a poor set of eyes and some pop-culture references. But it worries me, if I played few video games, gradually working my way into more as I grew older, what then will our current generation turn into? My four and six year old cousins have a Wii to play with. My uncle bought it for himself, but they play just as much as I did, if not more. Those two also have been playing games on the computer ever since they could hold their head up and press a button. This worries me. It truly does. I have seen my friends, ones who I grew up with, turn into nothingness. My neighbor, a fellow nighttime wanderer, sits in his basement by the glow of his computer screen each night until four in the morning. My dad sees him as he leaves for work. I rarely see him leave the house on his own accord, when he does he is hauling his computer with him over to some LAN party where he will, no doubt, sit and play more games.

I know the horrors of video game addiction. It was only this past year when I could be found sitting by my computer questing in an MMORPG. I left Breseis, my level 52 Night Elf Druid, in a state of dormancy. Yes dormancy, merely asleep. I know that the urge to take her out questing will come again, she only waits for my to click the button to login. But, thankfully for now that time is not ripe.

So now, I will declare for all the world to see. My kids will play less video games than my cousins. Less video games than my neighbor. Less video games than I myself ever played. I want then to be active. I want them to be able to distinguish between a sunburn and a tan. They will be athletic, but not jocks (I cannot stand jocks). So if my future wife is out there reading this, be warned of how our kids will grow...and give me a call so I can stop looking for you.

But for now I must get back to work. My World 7-2 cavities await. But when I get home I will run into the night like I just double tapped right on the D-Pad.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I share your concern for today and tomorrow's children. I, too, am determined not to allow video games in my and my future husband's home. I grew up entirely without video games. I was scrawny, tan, callused, and could run like the wind. I refuse to let any child of mine sit in front of a flashing screen all day long, no matter how quiet it keeps them.

I've heard it argued that playing games helps kids use their mind and develop strategy and problem solving skills. That's fine, but a healthy mind and a neglected body? Parents should be expected to cultivate both. Mine will be healthy, active kids, scrawny, tan, and callused, just like their mother.

1:47 PM  

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