File this under “Obvious”.
The Centers for Disease Control, killing time while trying to cure AIDs or cancer, is set to publish a study this October in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine about links between gaming, and health and personality.
This just in: Gamers tend to be fatter and sadder. Yes, mostly causation vs. correlation takes a backseat, but the pattern remains. The psychological and physical profile of a gamer fits exactly with the stereotype: a socially awkward 35 year-old, tending to be male, with a proclivity towards cheetos and frozen burritos, although it mentions nothing about living in their mothers’ basements. They should have asked about that, THEN we’d have a punchline.
But anyone with half a brain can tell you that statistics SUCK. I’ll grant, statistics can be useful, but statistics paint a very cold, and even judgmental picture without telling you the whole story.
PC World brings up valid arguments about how gamers lifestyles and career preferences do lean more toward the sedentary side (usually tending to being chained in a cubicle farm for many hours, like Mario, and after those long hours, you want nothing more than to continue sitting on your ass and pwning some n00bs until it’s time to get 6 hours of sleep).
Not just gaming, but jobs can make you depressed and overweight, life events can make you depressed and overweight, genetics can make you depressed and overweight, cruel school bullies can make you depressed and overweight, that asshole who cut you off on the highway the other day can make you depressed and overweight, and your Mom’s famous tuna casserole made with cream of mushroom soup can make you overweight (but depressed?).
Too. Many. Fucking. Variables.
C’mon CDC, you should know this shit by now!
And the BMI system is an antiquated and flawed one. Schwarzenegger, at the height of his bodybuilding days, was at his peak of health and nothing but kick-ass muscle …and would have been considered obese. FAIL.
A different angle — How about the argument that we humans, despite how technologically advanced we are, are still primitive creatures. We hoard. We gorge. All because our monkey brains have no clue when our next meal will be, even if we are aware it’s spaghetti and meatballs night when we get home from work, yet we’ll still reach for that candy bar because we feel drawn to. Who knows, maybe your car will break down on the way home in the middle of nowhere. Your brain is not fully aware that you also have a cell phone and maybe some flares in your trunk.
Also in spite of technology and how much time it has saved us, we’re still always in a hurry and that hurry seems to just get worse and worse (thanks entirely to a globally-connected economy that puts pressure on business, that in turn put pressure on its employees — not saying being global is bad, I’m just saying HOW it’s being handled is unhealthy). It’s breakfast, but we’re in a hurry–Let’s choke down some pop-tarts. It’s lunchtime, but we’re in a hurry–Where’s the nearest microwave so I can nuke this mega-sized meat and cheese burrito? It’s dinnertime, but I’m in a hurry to relax from my hectic day–Let’s get pizza delivery.
We no longer have to hunt or forage (or, hell, even cook a meal from scratch), but tell that to our primitive brains. You can’t. And I believe THAT is the biggest reason why so many people are overweight or obese. We have advanced technologically faster than we humans have ourselves, creating a large disconnect that we can’t possibly catch up to. Not to say that we’re not responsible for our own damn actions. We absolutely are, just saying there’s more to the story than just making poor choices or blaming genetics (which I feel most people use as an excuse rather than a real explanation. Don’t tell me it’s freaking genetics when you’re getting your third helping of fried chicken and mashed ‘taters doused in country gravy. Save it)
Technology could also be a reason for depression as well. Going back to the cubicle farm and all the globally-connected pressures, this causes stress, which in turn causes depression. This could also then cause a thirst for violence without actual harm, or for simple want of an addiction turn to gaming (or alcohol, or drugs, or food, or hookers, or putting babies on spikes).
That is ONE way of interpreting the statistics. ONE possibility. Another is that gaming itself, regardless of technology and life, causes depression. As far as we know, the study mentions nothing about causality, making the statistics sound nothing more than just pure coincidence.
I fit a great deal of their profile: socially awkward, depressed, connect mostly online, lowered health status, although I am considered a normal BMI, and I am NOT a gamer. I’m trying, but it’s just not in me to be a “gamer”. I haven’t touched Halo 1 in over a week, and I feel no pull to play it even though it’s a damn good game and I greatly enjoy it.
You see, I’m a casual player and a voyeuristic enthusiast.
That sounded dirtier than intended. I like it.
~PeachRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
((Before I get into the article, I will NOT be playing GTA IV. I tried. I failed. Immediately. Mario recommends Halo 1. Any ideas for a beginner such as myself? Please nothing cutesy. Had enough of that.))
Here’s a little entertainment for you during this post. The title’s a play on the title of the awesome collaboration between Handsome Boy Modeling School and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, “The World’s Gone Mad”:
I came across this article a few days ago, Addiction Therapists Signing Up to World of Warcraft.
The funny thing is for most of high school, I wanted to become a therapist (people always came to me with their problems because I’m trustworthy or some shit, so why not legitimately make some money off of it? Oh, and help people. Right). Mario becomes addicted to games easily and focuses intensely (he’s currently driven to finish off Fallout 3). He’s even been knocking around the idea of joining WoW again after he finishes building his computer.
Never thought I’d actually say this, but THANK GOD WE ARE POOR BASTARDS.
But who needs WoW, when Star Wars: The Old Republic will be out next year? And that’s when Princess Daisy and I both become MMO widows.
So the deal with the article is therapists are actually JOINING MMORPGs, observing patients, and administering therapy in their patient’s addictive environment. Tricky business, especially if the therapists may become addicted themselves, then all hell breaks loose and there are suddenly no more boars to slaughter, so no more backdoors to level up, pussies!
But probably going (NSFW, duh) Clockwork Orange on all their asses would be best for WoW addicts. (God, I love that soundtrack. Ludwig Van)
The program sounds both simple and convoluted at the same time (as all sciencey things invariably do). Therapists join the game, create avatars, play the game, and all that jazz. They also recruit what they call “peer mentors” from those who do indeed play WoW, but are somehow miraculously NOT addicted –Isn’t it usually a cycle where you play 16-hour days for weeks, then just get burnt out and not play for several months to get another job to support yourself –that is until you pick up the latest expansion pack and then quit your job and resubscribe? I thought with WoW, you’re either an obsessed current player, or else an obsessed player on furlough.
Here’s what makes me itchy, though: Therapists are crossing their fingers that Blizzard Entertainment will give them discounted rates, or else all together WAIVE the fees because it’s–OH NOES!–pricey.
But that’s the cost of business, right? It would be written off as a business expense come tax time. I don’t know how it is in the UK, but in the US therapists get paid around $200-something an hour, and that’s a middle-of-the-road therapist, so why the hell can’t they pay the $19.99 for the game disk, and the $29.99 and $39.99 for the expansion packs ONCE upfront, then the 15 bucks per month to subscribe? Really? And I would hope that the people they would be treating on WoW would be paying them through their insurance and co-pays for their in-game therapy.
Technically, they are being PAID to play.
As an aside, I recognize that the $200 therapist fee does not go straight into the therapist’s pocket. It goes towards their receptionists, rent, bills, etc as well, but it’s all in the cost of business, and with WoW, there’s A LOT of business to be found. So I say the cost of playing WoW is far outweighed by the business that would be generated in their practice through WoW.
How CAN you get cheaper than 15 bucks a month on such an immense game as WoW? That’s $180 a year, granted, but they’ll make that one year’s subscription all back in ONE HOUR. At least their addicts aren’t hooked on something like cocaine. Then their immersion therapy would be a hell of a lot more expensive, and you could NEVER get a discount on that shit, even the stuff cut with baby laxatives. …Not that I know, but I could imagine. Then again, one of the therapists in the article is quoted saying that WoW is “more addictive than crack cocaine.” Would HE know?
And, let me guess, those “peer mentors” aren’t paid, but are “volunteers”. Am I right? Every time I’ve ever worked with the title “peer mentor”, it’s been on a voluntary basis, and the fact that I improved another person’s life was my payment. No indication one way or another in the article, but I think I can be safe in my assumption, or perhaps their only compensation would be a free month depending on the number of hours they put into peer mentoring, and a liter of Mountain Dew with a long crazy straw.
What. The. F##K? Maybe I should become a therapist so I can exploit WoW users and even Blizzard themselves.
Let’s say Blizzard does indeed give a discount (or even waives their fees) in an effort to cure gaming addiction. Does this mean therapists and even doctors can now count on Jack Daniels to help foot the bill at the Betty Ford Clinic, or maybe Big Tobacco can pay for Grandpa Jim’s double-lung transplant? But all the while the patient and their insurance still pay, so they get paid TWICE.
So Blizzard would be literally PAYING to lose customers because those unfortunate souls got a well-intentioned but misfired therapy that the patient is ALSO paying for that cures them of wanting that specific addiction, rather than treating what DRIVES them to addiction. Once their WoW addiction is supposedly cured, the poor sods will find an addiction elsewhere because many people are hardwired to just be addicted to something; anything. And then they have to pay for more therapy.
I was at first intrigued and even in support of this online therapy idea, but now after reading the article and seeing all the WTFs involved… Let me say, I am amazed I have defended WoW. Holy hell.
I’ll take The Rapist for $400, Alex.
~PeachRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I have a new favorite site, You May Also Like…, that finds the shit people trick you into buying after either a drug-fueled binge or getting your AARP card (or both? Tweaking grandmas?). So, out of sheer curiosity and wanting a good laugh, I went to one of their usual haunts, the Taylor Gifts website. Honestly, I have gotten a few ideas of what I need to spruce up and organize our little apartment in the Mushroom Kingdom that are actually useful (like an over-the-door pantry rack, or this decorative rack, and something to create more counter space in our teeny tiny kitchen) but I REFUSE to buy anything from them because I can find it elsewhere for much cheaper and be able to return it much more easily and directly without ponying up s&h a second time. Screw that.
All they are good for is a roaring laugh at the expense of people being duped into debt (not that I’m one to talk, I have student loans).
But then I paused–I froze, much like this device probably will–when I came upon this gem: The Zone Wireless Game Station (yet it is curiously labeled as “Reactor”):
What… the… hell?
For 60 bucks, you can go to GameStop and get a used PS2 or 2 Gamecubes, which would be SOOOOOO much better than this. There aren’t even any reviews up for this yet because their loyal customers are nothing but a bunch of grannies, but maybe during the holidays they’ll get this because their Social Security checks unfortunately cannot cover the extra $190 (honestly, whose paycheck can these days at all? Even if the full $250 is affordable for a brand new current gen console, but still, get a freaking Wii or get something else entirely. But not a shitty-quality Michael Jackson commemorative T-shirt that looks like something Jermaine bedazzled and sells from the trunk of his 1973 shit-brown Ford Pinto–I’m only guessing. Don’t sue me). Better yet, just give the precious snowflake the 60 bucks.
…Actually, now that I’m looking more, that shit-inspiration is really the SECOND GENERATION. The first gen (with 7 games instead of 32) is on clearance for $39.99, so get it now while supplies last!
*facepalm* btw, it’s 16-bit. As much as Sega Genesis was awesome, the point is to progress technology, not to regress.
And OMFG, they are BATTERY-powered–even the consoles! No indication of an AC-adapter. TEN AA batteries. Cannot possibly be ALL for the wands. Just pure batteries that will suck you out of money. You only THINK you’re helping the environment by not using the electricity through your light socket, but no, they will end up in a New Jersey landfill. Fail. You lose, good day, sir. Next time you’re at a beach in Atlantic City using your preferred-player casino-hotel nights, wave hello to that pile you wasted. And, no, this shit never works.
However, if you do have a REAL Wii, the fine folks at Taylor Gifts also offer some shitty peripherals:
Only $9.98 a pop. Sorry golfers, only the bat and the racket are left.
Whew! That site exhausted me. Let’s see what else is on the internets…
The box says:
No, it’s not saying it’s going to excellently and enthusiastically dismember you so you end up in a hospital and are subjected to playing this piece of shit until you recover.
- It enjoys
That’s the literal translation according to Babel Fish. A console that’s hospitable? So it offers you a drink whenever you are at its house? In that case, make it a double.
Only ONE of the controllers is a rumble pack, but I wonder, wtf kind of games could you play? You couldn’t play a 360 game because it is a network (and has a way higher graphic quality, I’m sure, than this sad knockoff can handle). Perhaps PS2 games, or maybe Gamecube? And bonus: this “console” comes in black or white, so you can choose to coordinate that shitty hardware with whatever else (either as black as the heart, or white as the hair of the person who buys this for you)
Oh, and btw, they’re only available in bulk orders of 1000. You do have 999 friends, right? No word on the price, but I imagine it’s much higher MSRP than anyone would be willing to pay for that dust-collector. Psh! I’d rather see it used as a portable toilet.
I found knockoffs I could actually love: The Retro Duo and Gen X
It plays Sega Genesis, NES, and SNES cartridges. My favorite childhood consoles!! Found something like it for 80 bucks, but they’re way overpriced since a brand new Wii console there will set you back 275 clams. Might as well get that Zone Wireless Game Thingamajigger. Wait, no. No. Just no.
There’s no school like the old-school.
…but… wtf is this shit?:
I can’t even tell what it is or what it (supposedly) does, but I read in this very short gizmodo article that this circa early-90s-lunchbox-looking “console” claims to play 999,999,999 games. You really couldn’t do just ONE more to get to the full billion? FAIL.
I know there’s a shit-ton more knockoffs, but these are the ones that amused me/saddened me most.
After going through all that, I’m gonna need one of these:
Of course, I can find it cheaper than $29.98. Or, shit, just give me the freaking bottle. No need to dirty anything else.
Yes, Xbox-PS2-Atari-wtf-are-you knockoff, I WILL take that drink now. Screw the rocks. I’ll take it straight.
My shit counter is at 21, including that last shit.
Shit. 23.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
So, Mario gathered up a bunch of games and decided to do a trade-in to get something. He just wouldn’t tell me what it was. He was being all coy and playfully secretive about it (trying to play into my obsessive love for all things leading to the living god and my other boyfriend Alton Brown) by saying he intended to get something multifunctional instead of unifunctional. I’m all for practicality and multiple usages. This somewhat comforted me — somewhat — but since we’re still dealing with the gamerbf here, I still had heavy reservations that weighed upon me until he returned.
And then he dropped this gargantuan beast onto the bed when he came back, complete with a huge shit-eating grin.
The poor bed. I stared daggars at Mario because our Mushroom Kingdom is not that plentiful. At all. (plz be to hire me!) Mario started explaining himself, but it was all in gamerspeak, so it was just blah-blah-blah. Daggars. Still staring. My hand lunged towards him and he cowered in fear. I merely wanted the receipt. With all his discounts, he ended up paying around 50 bucks. I know to gamers that’s not all that much in terms of such goods, especially periphirals, but daaaaaamn. 50 bucks is approximately one utility in one month, or 1-1/2 tanks of gas. I seriously asked him how he pulled the money out of his ass and if it was because he had a secret second butthole, and if the later, why didn’t he tell me before?
The funny thing is, Mario made fun of people getting this device of the devil. Now he has one. Granted, the major difference is he didn’t drop 150 clams before tax and got what was essentially a 60% discount. But still, Jesus Krispies. I can name a lot of things I can get for 50 bills. Like… 50 items from the dollar store (not counting tax of course).
But Mario’s sitting in front of the tv, playing his Street Fighter IV and having a ball (and kicking major ass thanks to the new, still pricey, but awesome peripheral!). I’m glad he’s happy. He’s had a rough couple of weeks at work. That and he’s going to make us some mac ‘n’ cheese with peas and turkey dogs tonight. Mmmm…
~PeachRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Yeah, yeah, yeah, there’s been a parental control on the 360, but how the frick was I supposed to know?? You think Mario would tell me? Psh!
But now there’s something else… Invented by a grandparent, no less.
I find it amusing that the headline and the entirety of the article refer to children playing too much being not so kosher. And only the precious snowflakes.
Naturally, I hear about it just 4 days after making a pledge to become a pseudo-gamer to better understand my gamerbf. Now this shit’s just teasing me.
On the plus side, it’s only 30 bucks; half as much as a brand new game, fresh from the pressers. Yeah, you know you all loooove that new-game smell. They should make it into one of those tree deoderizers for your car. That stuff would make me gag, though. I hate new smells: new game, new car, new baby… All those things need to be either used many times, or cleaned before I’m no longer feeling barfy. Hey, babies can fit into washers with your other delicates, then they can drip-dry to be economical and eco-friendly.
But Mario has mentioned this before; whenever we have little ankle-bitters of our own running around, he will play games WITH them and EXPLAIN to them that it’s all fantasy (like with more violent video games. Even I curse that Thompson guy! Turd sandwich, or douchenozzle?) and we will set boundaries.
Of course, we still have yet to test that brilliant plan, so we’ll see what actually happens…
But a major con to this is I think the 30 dollars is too high a price to pay to simply put your foot down. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Easy for me to say since I’m childless, but I’ve got a gamerbf so suck on that, toots!
Does this technology come in MMO-size? I know Mario’s dying to get back into WoW. Oh my.
~Peach!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
I’m a gamer girlfriend. Yes, I am in love with a video game-loving, comic book-collecting, heavy metal-obsessed, car-minded guy. We’ve been together for nearly 3 years now, though it seems like much longer (in a GOOD way). I’ve always kept an interest in his interests and try to educate myself even the teeniest bit. I sometimes go on kotaku, I thoroughly enjoy The Angry Video Game Nerd, and I simply watch him play and we get pretty into ripping apart crappy games *cough*Fuel*cough* and praising the really good ones, like Super Mario Galaxy, one of my personal faves, and I was absolutely excited that he was able to go to E3 this year. I would have loved to have gone myself and be neck-deep in geekery in gorgeous weather (despite the shitty traffic), but, alas, could not drop the dosh.
Thing is, every now and again (seems like every 6 months) I feel like video games are his mistress and I feel almost, dare I say, neglected. It kind of hurts me when he says that video games are how he unwinds after a tough day at the office, but he does it every night, like I can’t help him unwind. Then by the time he’s done unwinding, he has to go to sleep to get a decent 7 hours of sleep before work. It just sometimes makes me feel crappy, even though I respect his interest. He does know this, as I’ve told him, but I can’t change who he is and I don’t really want to. It’s not like we never spend time together. Most of the time when he does play video games, I’m either surfing mindlessly on the internet killing time, or I’m watching him and we bond that way. But, you know, I’m a chick; sometimes I just want no distractions and a nice, warm fuzzy snuggling with his scruff scratching up my face, and for that there simply are no substitutes.
I’ve never wanted to change him. I want him to keep playing video games. Yeah, I sometimes get frustrated and feel like the “other woman”, but this is who he is and I love him regardless. Yet I want to feel closer to him. So I’ve resolved to playing video games. After all, I haven’t got a job in the world (thanks Recession!), what else can I do to kill the time? I’ve probably already viewed every single web page out there twice and I’m just intimidated by unpacking our stuff into our new apartment (kinda can’t since we have a leaky moldy sink in the kitchen and a possible infestation in the bottom cabinets…) And, well, since it’s used as a therapeutical distraction, I could use some of that myself. Why not? I’ve tried everything else.
So, since I can’t afford to buy my guy anything for his birthday (TODAY!!), and because I want to be closer to him, this is what I’m thinking: I will dedicate every week to one video game. As I am NOT a gamer (but wouldn’t be surprised if I become one… I did grow up on video games, it just never stuck beyond high school, really) but am a gf of one, I will also do stuff on cheap, easy recipes and experimenting with that (and asking for suggestions. …Wait… I might regret that. Bah. You only live once), maybe seeing a shitty movie or two that the bf likes since I’ve forced him to watch such gems as “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Terms of Endearment”. –Hey. Don’t knock ’em.
And just for fun, I’ll refer to the gamerbf as Mario, and I’ll be Peach. What the hell. Why not. I’m of the femme-variety. I’m allowed to be kyoot.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIO!!!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )