Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reflections about Video Gaming

Inspired by (well, okay, straight copied and pasted from) an email exchange with Nick:

I honestly don't play video games that much anymore. For one, I don't have a television, which makes things a little tricky. Secondly, I don't really have time for them. Darn "homework" and "classes" and "housing job." The only new-generation console that I even considered getting is a Wii, and that's because of two things: 1) virtual console and 2) new incarnations of Smash Brothers and Mario Kart. Seeing as how the virtual console isn't at full capacity yet, and the other two haven't been released, it's not worth buying for the time being. I basically hate the Xbox (except for this brilliant thing on their classic arcade called "Geometry Wars" which is like Asteroids on LSD). I don't see the value in spending any money on the PS3, let alone $600. Ooh, it does Blu-Ray. Because I care about that.

Some people might attack any sort of video gaming at all as a waste of time, a completely non-constructive futility. I agree that doing nothing but play video games isn't constructive, hence my dislike of WoW, which I believe lends itself to doing nothing but itself. But I think that about pretty much anything. A frat guy who spends all of his time at the "house," an athlete who spends all of his time at practice or in the gym... none of that seems like a good idea. The primary values I get from video games are either the "this is slightly more intellectually stimulating than sitting on my chair and staring at a towel" single-player idea or the "this is slightly more interesting than watching a movie and talking about D&D" with my friends. The first case, I have approximately zero time for anymore. I'll start the day with 8 am Numerical Methods, finish at 9:45 pm with a staff meeting, and at that point, sitting in my chair and staring at a towel isn't out of the question.

As for multiplayer games, my main "group of friends" isn't really that into them (except for my favorite game of all time, Halo, and even that they're not as interested in as they might have been a couple of years ago). We might play video games, or card/board games (my friend Walter frequents game shops and regularly has these crazy games that shouldn't be nearly as fun as they are), or play D&D, or talk about D&D, or watch a movie, or have the occasional 4 am talk about morality and ethics. I don't see any of those as inherently better or worse than each other, and in fact an evening/night with that group of guys might well encompass most or all of them. The question is whether or not a social event is an end in itself or rather a means to some sort of more significant goal. I would argue that if it does further some sort of other goal, wonderful, but if it doesn't, that doesn't mean it wasn't worth doing.

Currently listening: "Plane Crash in C," Rilo Kiley


Andrew said...

I feel like Rilo should be doing songs for children. Don't you?

-- Zach said...

Video Games better than movies and D&D talk?!?! Andrew would smack you for that statement.