For My Nephew: An Argument FOR Video Games

April 28, 2008

Please indulge me as I address a response to my tween-aged nephew who requested some advice on how to write a persuasive essay which would convince people to play video games.

“Not a good topic,” he wrote, “but they say stick to what you know.”

Oh, no. I would say that this is a freaking fabulous topic, my nephew. FAB-U-LOUS. In fact, I would say that there are actually two very compelling angles you can take with this topic. Allow me to elucidate:

Argue that playing video games can help keep you phyically fit AND promote family togetherness.

Booyah! Fact! Sort of!

With the emergence of games such as Dance, Dance, Revolution and Wii Sports and EA (Wii) Playground, you are no longer a passive participant in video game playage. No, indeed! Instead, you are working up a sweat getting down with your bad dancey self, and swinging that Wii remote around, bowling, batting, golfing, boxing, playing tetherball, skateboarding, and battling your friends and family in dodgeball. DODGEBALL, people. Without actual BALLS being hurled at you at warp speed by sadistic jocks who are only happy when they are inflicting pain upon those smaller than them in the form of dodgeball-sized welts all over said smaller people’s torsos. Do you hear me, Coach Carter?! DO YOU?! Welts! On TORSOS!

Plus, tetherball is way fun.

I confess, I was sore after I spent the afternoon playing Wii Sports with my friend Paige. (Yes, I play video games with my friends on my days off! While my kids are in school! Hoo! How do you like them apples?) I think it was the boxing that did it. Ouch. It was like an intense Tae Bo workout, but with sound effects and fits of giggles. And everyone knows that laughing is an AWESOME abs workout.

It is. Look it up. I can’t do everything. GOSH.

And don’t even get me started on the fun that is Rock Band, which is essentially Guitar Hero on crack, with not only guitar and bass, but drums and vocals. Oh, you got me started!  See, it’s educational, what with budgeting all the gig earnings so you can buy new songs, outfits, tattoos, instruments, you know, important rock band stuff. Not to mention the fact that many kids who play Rock Band are inspired to try out the REAL instruments, thus developing a previously untapped musical talent. Plus there’s the traveling, the practicing, and the working together to be the Best Rock Band EVER. That’s all I’m saying. These are valuable life skills. It’s the school of rock, baby! SCHOOL. OF. ROCK.

Basically, it’s all about family togetherness.

As an added bonus, playing some of the instruments–especially the drums, which, FUN!– are quite the workout. I’m not kidding here. You will sweat.

OF course, there’s the old standby of developing your hand-eye coordination blah blah blahdy blah, but whatever. Physical fitness! Family togetherness! Those are the key!

(An upcoming TechnoGeekery vidcast episode I am working on involves this very topic, so feel free to cite my show as a resource.)

There. I believe I have made my point. I rest my case.

Um, amen.

Street Cred

April 7, 2008

Crap.

I may have just been spotted–at work!–air guitaring along with the (wicked awesome) song playing on my iPod.

Hey! I can’t help it! The music is in my SOUL, so kindly step OFF me, yo?

Well. This can’t be good for my street cred with the urban cubicleland demographic.

Guitar Hero: Stars in Her Eyes

April 18, 2007

Nothing says family togetherness like Guitar Hero. Just sayin’.

Surrender

February 8, 2007

It’s wrong that I’m SUPER excited to hurry home and play Guitar Hero… right?

Time.

January 24, 2007

I had the house to myself. I decided to do a little meditating—indulge in quiet contemplation, if you will—before Alli came home from school and disrupted the stillness, so I lay back on my bed enjoying the view of the small patch of grayish blue sky I could see while staring through the slightly parted curtains of my bedroom window. It was soothing feeling the soft down duvet under me, and the smooth expanse of well-worn cotton against the palms of my hands while my thoughts were drawn upwards and out. Unfortunately, my thoughts never will stay elevated for any great length of time, and soon I lost myself in smug contemplation of my developing Guitar Hero skills and wondered if I ought to try out a new song before any of the kids came home. Frustrated, I closed my eyes, which I usually find particularly helpful in shutting out the inane. Peace. Gradually, however, my thoughts slipped into imagining what I would buy if I won the lottery—not that it mattered as I never play. I bought TGIM that American Stratocaster he’s been eyeing—after buying myself a snug little six-bedroom cottage with a large wraparound porch, naturally—and had almost settled on the widescreen LCD television for our bedroom…

I opened my eyes. The clock across the bedroom stared at me with silent condemnation: “Look at the time you wasted! LOOK!” It was time to join the line of parents at the elementary school Kiss and Ride. One second I was redecorating my newly purchased lottery home, spacious yet somehow tiny enough to feel safe and snug, much like a cathedral at the holidays; the next instant I was looking at my own little bedroom, small yet somehow big enough to hold all five of us on the bed, eating popcorn and watching cartoons.

Smiling ruefully, I rolled myself off the bed, cast one last wistful glance out the window, and went in search of my keys.

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