Friday, January 14, 2005

...Life is But A Game

In a recent article in Wired magazine, Daniel Terdiman highlights the bizarre effects gaming can have on one's life, particularly when the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred. He describes several instances in which gamers have trouble separating real life from their games.

After many years of gaming, I have had my share of bizarre experiences.

The most vivid of these occurred last year, when I was living on campus - in dorms that happened to be right across from the baseball team's practice area. I had a couple of hours to kill in between classes and decided to play a couple of rounds of America's Army, the super-realistic FPS designed by the Army themselves as a recruiting tool for young, impressionable youths. Turning down the lights and donning my trusty headphones, I sat down, intent on killing some terrorist scum. Cut to several hours and many deaths later, I glanced at the clock and realized it was almost time for class. Hurrying out of the door into the blinding sunlight, I am startled by several loud, metallic bangs - one after another. Convinced that I am taking fire from a unknown location, I dove behind some cover and waited. Then it hit me - this is real life, those were aluminum bats hitting practice balls over in the batting cages, and I am an idiot. Glancing around to make sure that no one saw my masterful dive into the bushes, I hurried to class with my tail between my legs.

Other, less embarrassing stories include:

  • Wondering if there is a redeemer on the top of Century Tower, because if campus was a map in Unreal Tournament 2004 that's obviously where they would have put it.
  • Thinking that the people direct-connecting on their NEXTELs are really Combine soldiers from Half-Life 2.
  • Looking down on the countryside from the window seat of a 727, thinking that I could have designed a much better city.
  • Scoping out good skateboarding spots... and wondering how many points I could rack up if I skated them in Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
  • Thinking that the church that I attend back home would make an awesome map in Counterstrike.
  • When playing Doom III in the middle of the night, my brother comes into my room and yells "ITS ONLY A GAME, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SCREAM SO MUCH!"

Ok, maybe less embarrassing is not the correct choice of words.


Neil said...

That's why I've given up on good old fashioned human interaction. Why worry about blurring the lines between electronics and the real world when you can erase them entirely?

5:19 AM  
Anonymous said...

[Drviving down University]
Hmm, that row of parked cars would increase my katamari by about 5 meters. Let me just swerve towards it...


1:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

my friend kelly's thought's on brian garner from his blog: "pretty funny blog. a little nerdy." atta boy brian, looks like you got yourself a female fan!

3:06 AM  

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