Bitch Please: Internet Gaming


( Daily Iowan video feature )

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It will rot your brain

The digital generation has found its own way to get its kicks: Internet gaming. For many, playing little arcade games on FreeArcade.com or AddictingGames.com was as much a part of their early education as biology class or lunch-room banter. Every night, millions of people log on to mass multiplayer online role-playing games such as Diablo or the lesser known Farm Town on Facebook or the severely pointless Epic Pet Wars. These addicting entertainment tools have advanced time-wasting to a whole new level.

The days when people would sit and stare at the TV for hours and hours are giving way to a global arena of game addicts. When TV was the way to go, at least some kind of informative content was inevitably absorbed by the viewer — not the case with Internet games. No valuable skills or fun facts come from shooting virtual pheasants or leveling-up your pet T-Rex. There is nothing to show for the time spent toiling away on a digital illusion that can be lost forever if a server happens to crash. Go read a book, go outside, watch TV for god’s sake, but whatever you do, stay away from the black hole that is Internet gaming.

Everything comes down to choice

I’m tired of hearing people bitch and moan about what others are or aren’t doing with their time these days. Some say we’re not reading enough, some say we’re watching too much television. But really, it’s all bullshit. People who get angry about Internet gaming are exactly the same as those who complain about anything else.

Those who partake in Internet gaming do so purely by choice. Folks either choose to play or they don’t, which is exactly the same as deciding whether to watch TV, read a book, or even ride a bike. It’s all about what individuals choose to do with their time. If they want to spend days online playing Internet games, then they should be left to do so without negative input from anyone. I may not necessarily agree that it’s a waste of time, but it’s not about my own beliefs. It’s about individual choices.

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