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Monday, July 10, 2017

We’re losing a whole generation of young men to video games

One night in the mid-1990s I tried out a computer game called “Civilization.” You started with a screen that was completely black, except for one square of land. As you pushed outward from this base, you’d make discoveries about the land around you and its inhabitants. You’d start to build a society, first primitive stuff like granaries, then advancing to roads and weapons.

Trade-offs would arise: Should I build a library or a cannon? As your world advanced, you’d run into other civilizations. It was disconcerting to discover somebody else had a battleship while you were working with catapults. As I was journeyed through all of these fascinating challenges, I discovered to my surprise that the sun had come up. Something had gone haywire with time. It was already 7 a.m.

If you had asked me at any point in my relationship to “Civilization” whether I was happy, I would have said no. I was ecstatic. I was euphoric. Making simulated granaries. Building simulated roads. Firing simulated cannon. These were my obsessions.

After a while I realized that becoming master of a fake world was not worth the dozens of hours a month it was costing me, and with profound regret I stashed my floppy disk of “Civilization” in a box and pushed it deep into my closet. I hope I never get addicted to anything like “Civilization” again.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very true. I had a huge collection of things to sell, sports cards, hot wheels, etc. I sold a great deal of it to parents looking to buy something to get their kids, mainly boys, off the computers and video games and interested in something that would get them up and out of the house.

Anonymous said...

I'm old and play games for hours. The graphics are awesome I love it. I didn't have games growing up so I'm making up for it. Buying a game chair soon.

Anonymous said...

Know a lot of women that want to take a hammer to the playstations. Between the lazy sons not doing chores and disengaged husbands it's getting upsetting, phones and tablets are just as bad, people need to limit exposure to these things and get outside. We have a culture of fat, lazy people who don't work and play fantasy games all day.The kids are too lazy to even work labor jobs like construction, moving, and cleaning.