Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vidiocy

Calimachus, on getting sucked into computer RPG's by his son:
As I was racing off to save the world, other characters kept coming up to me to engage me in side quests, whose purpose I now see, but I kept blowing them off, thinking, "No time for that, I gotta go find that prince and stop those demons"
Hi. My name is Pooh, and I'm a vidiot.

I have a confession to make - I was in Best Buy last weekend to buy blank tapes for my "own the World Cup" project (will take approximately 24 tapes to capture the whole shebang - if you miss a game, you know where to find me)...and I almost impulse purchased an XBox360 just to get the new FIFA World Cup '06 video game - the graphics look better than do the games on TV in HD, and the announcers are real life (pre-recorded) Brits, damnit. No Marcello Balboan meally-mouthed idiocy (any announcer who talks about 'good fouls' in soccer is off the island). No Tommy Smythian barmy blarny. Luckily for me, though they had the console in stock, they were fresh out of the game itself (apparently I'm not the only one.)

In any event, I have long been a confirmed vidiot, though my tastes differ from Cal's son in that I prefer the grand scale of Civilization or Transport Tycoon (vastly underrated model train-set type game) to RPG's and sports games to 'shooters' (though Halo and Goldeneye and Doom will always have special places in my heart...) My vidiocy has had two main consequences.

First, despite what people tell you about rotting the minds of our young, I fully believe that video gaming has done as much as anything to develop my problem solving and spatial reasoning skills. Or, more specifically, given the design of the LSAT, Super Mario Bros. got me into law school.

Second, despite the obvious fiction of the game-world it's never been difficult for me to find 'meaning' among the pixels and sprites, whether building empires or seeing how many consecutive years I can win the World Series with the Red Sox (helps when you engineer a massive trade for Ichiro, who's not quite video-Bo, but in the right hands (and with Papi and Manny and...whomever else I trade for hitting behind him) is good for 300+ runs per season.)

So here's to both vidiocy, and Best Buy saving my credit card balance by not having the game in stock...

1 comment:

Vector said...

As soon as I'm done being a physician, running my five or six miles and spending the evening with my kids, I play Guild Wars on my PC. This has kept me from turning on the XBOX360 power every night but two in the past three months. I promise I'll turn it back on soon.