Monday, 11 July 2011
Video games are strange things. They are in a unique position of teaching their audience both lessons that are usually associated with art in addition to teaching skills usually associated with games. This means that gaming is, more or less, the convergence of all human endeavors. (Sure, the content's often a little weak - but the framing is there.) As the newest form of art, gaming is impressively potent as a vehicle for cultural enrichment.
I propose that any girl who really wants to my heart of hearts should consider playing with me. These games are my current field of study, coming off of a five-year post-War theater high, and make up most of my time in terms of writing and thinking. To say the least, I need a girl who is going to at least try to appreciate this field of art I'm dedicating my time and efforts to.
That being said, gaming gets a bad rap. Admittedly, gaming publishers and developers aren't the only ones pushing forward a culture that glorifies quasi-pornographic displays of sexist bullshittery and thinks very little about the worth of human life. A core cadre of boys-club gamers troll the hell of virtually every game. However (!), we can't blame the tool for its users. Video games are the real deal. (Just look at Flower...)
It differs from game to game, but I really unwind and show off my real qualities when I'm online playing a shooter. I drop whatever inventions and masks I subconsciously carry around and get intensely buried in the circumstances of the game. I work for my team, sacrificing everything I've got to press the objective. I try to reinforce in myself the basic human qualities of sacrifice, community, and improvement. I want a girl to see me in these moments, these sacred and intimate hours of spitting profanities and squashing some brew while I check my bullet drop and ever fully empty a clip. To me, sharing this moment of learning means growing together into something impossibly important - a real human connection.
I want her to at least know how it feels to knock off a Hunter who is trying to burrow out my liver or give me some sniper support in a round Bad Company 2. Hell - you really want to ramp it up? Play a combat sim/tactical shooter with me or a round of Killing Floor. (If you're playing Killing Floor, maybe we can get married afterwards because you're the coolest person ever...)
If she can't dig it, so be it. But it's the thought that counts. She wanted to know how I learn and how I develop as another human being - that so basic existential level of connectivity. Sure, we can read the same poem together, but unless we both buy all that Roland Barthes crap together (which I don't), it isn't exactly interactive. If I'm gonna tap that, she needs to tap into me first. (Ah yeah.)
So - let's boot up the PS3 or log-in to Steam. It's go time.
Do you and your significant other share hobbies together? How do you and your significant other work to learn together?