Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Household's Gaming Atmosphere

As you may or may not know, playing video games is one of my primary hobbies. I feel I cannot sanely live without interacting with something highly intuitive and gratifying in order to to alleviate any of my pent-up stress throughout my school day. And for better or for worse, video games have always been recipes for disasters at my house. Skepticism, fury and rage are three things my father expresses to convey his vehement disapproval of the general act of playing those so called 'life-ruining' video games. Whenever I would be caught in the midst of playing a video game, my father would make a pessimistic, dismayed look, where he would turn around in disgust of this addictive activity. Apparently, his generation never grew with video games, and he never began to accept them as a viable form of media that can be enjoyed responsibly. Had he ever caught me watching any given television program, there would be absolutely no argument. I think his great dislike for all things video games stems from his memory of me playing Call of Duty 4 on Xbox 360 last year well past the world's bedtimes. I would do this on school nights, weekends, and holidays.

Given the fact that I now attend a college prep high school, I suppose his position on the matter is somewhat more justified, but hear this. On a daily basis, I go to track practice in Chicago (which is far from my suburban house), which means I have to take the train to get home, and will reliably get home by about 6:15 PM. And because of my free periods, I will rarely do my homework after track practice, considering my amount of energy as well. But on this day, I do my arduous homework for nearly two hours, taking a half hour break to play Battlefield 2 to clear my mind. (Especially since I no longer have a functioning Xbox 360 to play Call of Duty 4, but that's another story of my father's fury) So my father comes in the room yells at me as fiery as ever, clearly biased by his opinion regarding video games. Then I am offended by his blatant disrespect of the media and stand up for myself, yelling at him at an equally deafening tone. Then, I run out of the office, only to be chased by my father at a moderate pace. Afraid by the thought of being beaten, I never stop to allow myself to be caught by him throughout my house. You see, my father can either be in a very jovial, cheerful mood, or a rather tribal, barbaric state; and anyone who witnesses him in such an enraged state is sure to get out of his way. He then tells me that if I go to my room, I will be safe from him. Sounds ironic, right? Well I believe him, and ultimately, everything is fine. Video games have been the catalyst for many contentions in my household lately. And while I continue to enjoy them, if my enjoyment during the weekend, (which is supposedly when video games are intended in my household) ever carries over to the workweek, something traumatic is bound to happen in one fashion or another.

By: Michael Lenoch

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