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Video Games are Crack Cocaine

Sometimes SPOnG comes across the manic rantings of an anti-games fanatic and we just don't know where to start. With the opinion piece that went up on Canada's National Post website yesterday from a Roman Catholic priest, we're just going to have to start at the top. "The crack cocaine of the electronic world" reads the strap of yesterday's 'Lessons Learned'. Father Raymond J. De Souza - the author of the piece - is, of course, talking about games.

The good father goes beyond simple criticism, however, openly agitating against free choice at this time of spending by stating:

"This Christmas, do the poor kids of all economic levels a favour: Don't buy them video games."

Not happy with leading his flock against the free market, he then goes on to regale us with a parable of conscience: apparently a well-meaning anonymous Christmas gift giver gifted an Xbox to De Souza's parish. The papist priest gave the gift to a family. Of this fine act he writes that he, "...assuaged my conscience with the fact that video games are not intrinsically evil. But they are close."

"If that sounds like the zealotry of a convert", he goes on, "it is." Yes, Father De Souza used to have a bit of a games problem. With Tetris.

Apparently, the classic puzzler contributed to De Souza's struggles with further education. "My capacity to waste time with Tetris was prodigious; how many hours were lost is unknown", he says. There was only one way out. He went cold turkey and deleted the game.

"So Tetris was gone. Life improved immediately. Since that hard-disk-deleting day back in 1991", he waxes fondly, "I have never played another video game. It's too dangerous. Video games take what is most precious -- time and thought. And they are making kids fat." Come on, that last one was a bit cheap...

"Video games are like a black hole into which time disappears", he goes on. "Students today often confess to wasting a couple of hours a day on them. Corporate Canada likely loses whole weeks of productive work to those who are playing games at work. Video games have some kind of addictive allure that means any number of hours is not enough. It is always possible to play again -- to rise to that 'next level' which somehow acquires near-mystical importance. They are the crack cocaine of the electronic world."

Oh, one more thing: "Did I mention that far too many video games celebrate graphic violence, multifarious delinquency and borderline pornography? I don't have to. Tetris had none of that, and it was deadly enough."

We were going to take the piss out of the whole thing, take a little bit of a pop at Father De Souza. Really, though, what can we add? Let us know what you reckon in the Forum.

Source: Spong.com

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Article publication date: 1 Nietzschôse Ray80 (16 Dec 2007)

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