April 3, 2008

Reality has left the Building

Has anyone else noticed the modern obsession with "life-based" computer games and social sites? Everybody wants to be somebody else, or has a desire to stretch themselves into the virtual world.
I remember when the game "The Sims" first came out in stores, it was addicting but boredom came quickly. You could only make the little virtual person do so much, than they came out with add-ons and more "Sim" games. Now your Sim can have hobbies, a high profile job, go dating around the world, go to college, etc. It's amazing how involved this game has become.
I recently started playing Sims 2, it's amazing how intuitive the game has become, but it doesn't compare to real life at all.
There are now various websites and programs completely devoted to this time of "gaming". People are making new friends, networking, opening stores, and everything else you can do in the real world in these virtual worlds.
I'm still a firm believer in keeping games just that, games. There are thousands of people worldwide becoming so engrossed in the virtual world, they start to neglect themselves, their kids and their lives in the real world. There are even addiction clinics for this now. How in the heck did we go from playing games to becoming the games? You really need to step back, make sure you real life is taken care of, and spend a little bit of time playing. There's no reason to delve so completely into this other world that nothing else matters.
I came to the realization I was getting into games a bit too much when, just by random thought, I realized that I was accomplishing squat. Sure, I had a beautiful house, a million bucks, a super street racing car, and plenty of top scores.
But, all of this game stuff doesn't do anything for you in the real world. I still have a relatively cheap car, no where near a million dollars, and nice house. None of the game accomplishments mean anything. We need to realize that the old saying we've heard again and again is still universally true, "Relax, it's just a game".
Wake up and realize that a high logic level, a huge house, and a good job in a virtual world just don't translate into college credits, a paying job or a real life, and none of that translates onto a resume or college admission form to well.