Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Video Games, Politics, and holy shit...what was that..

VIDEO GAMES......that's right


Since I'm steeling myself (sounds like something a character on one of those cheezy late night movies on Cinemax would say doesn't it?) to try my best to contribute to this blog every day, here goes my Saturday through Tuesday wrap up.


My weekends are usually pretty full from February to October.  I coach baseball and that eats up a lot of time.


So when I do get actual time off, I usually have a lot of stuff that needs done around the house etc.


This weekend was no exception, but since it was cold AND rainy, and since my wife was working (She works a rotating schedule for her days off and normally works evenings) I decided to waste some serious time and play the latest Call of Duty offering on my PS3.


Yes...I'm a grown man and I play video games...well game.


IT's a great stress reliever.  Nothing like dealing with difficult situations and people all day, then fighting idiots on the drive home in rush hour traffic, to get home and take your frustrations out by shooting and blowing up people...on a a video game.


I know..I know.  There are those of you out there right now questioning me simply because I admit to playing a video game. For those who play it, or at least those will ADMIT they play it, we've pretty much given up trying to explain it to people who don't play or simply don't get it.


I know there is a faction (who big I'm unsure of, but it's probably much too big for its own good) of people out there that are totally against "violent" video games.


I wonder if the children of these same people who protest "violent", "Shoot 'em up" video games watch television on a regular basis?  Just a thought.


I must be considered a bad parent, because my son plays FPS (That's FIRST PERSON SHOOTER for those who don't know) games.  He's really suffered because of it. Let's see:


- He's a Honor Roll Student
- He's well adjusted and doesn't get violent or act out
- He's an exceptional athlete 
- I get nothing but compliments about my son from other adults


No to clarify, my son is also very familiar with firearms and I've taken him hunting multiple times.  I used several demonstrations on how serious of a responsibility owning and operating a firearm is, and the catastrophic effects it can have when used against a living creature.  He understands the difference between REAL LIFE and VIDEO GAME violence.


Video games should not substitute for responsible parenting, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.


I'm not going to post links, but if you take the time to look, there have been more than a few studies recently that actually are finding out that people who play fast-paced games (such as most FPS video games) actually tend to become better at decision making and multitasking.  It also improves hand-eye coordination.


So that being said, don't knock it until you've tried it.


I have a fried who's a few years younger than me, and he's never been much of a gamer.  He recently played some cooperative mode COD (Call of Duty) with me on night when we were having a few beers.


He called me a few days later to cuss me out.  He has since bought a PS3 (Craigslist to the rescue) and the latest COD game.


And honestly, if parents want to find out how their kid REALLY acts when they aren't around, they need to buy the same video game console as their kids, find the game they play online, but that, and play a game with them (without them knowing it's their parents online) and listen in.


I think a lot of parents might be shocked.  


I know someone might be reading this right now and already thinking how much of a better parents they are because they don't play video games. Well I witnessed how my son interacts with other people online when I'm not around...and I'm pretty damn proud.  Will you be?


Politics...or lack thereof


Seems steam is picking up in relation to the 2012 Presidential Election.  Definitely my LEAST FAVORITE time of the year at work.  Now I will have to begin the herculean task of listening to otherwise intelligent (for the most part) co-workers begin to regurgitate the things they see / read on the television or the internet.  Sometimes almost WORD FOR WORD.  Not to mention all the blatantly idiotic politically motivated emails which will start being forwarded.  I think people who use email must pass a test before being allowed to use the FORWARD button.  It would save millions in wasted bandwidth, not to mention man (and woman) hours.


There are no CLIFF NOTES for your own political views.  You either KNOW what a candidate has done in the past (Voting record or stance, bill signings etc) or you don't .


Repeating what you heard on the evening television show doesn't make you educated.  It makes you dependent on mainstream media outlets that are as close to non-biased as having a jury of University of Virginia alumni in a trial for a Virginia Tech alumni. (insert your favorite college rivalry if it makes more sense to you that way)


I'll address the State of the Union in a separate post entirely. I want the furor to die down.


You know you're getting older when...


I'm NOT YET forty years old.  I'm not obese.  Granted I'll readily admit I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I can still see my belt buckle without sucking my gut in, and I don't have to crane my neck to see my feet when standing up.


I exercise some, but I know I need to get back in the gym on a regular basis, which will be much easier now that my son is old enough to go with me and is already working out.


I know I drink too much diet mountain dew.


I also get more than my share of nicotine.


THAT BEING SAID.


I've never had high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  I have NO Family history of heart problems.  I don't get out of breath or anything like that.


I also don't get sick.


The other day at work my heart started feeling WEIRD.  Not pain.


The only way I can describe it is that it started acting like it was beating out of rhythm. Not super fast, just off.  It worried me for a bit, then it just stopped.


It happened again later that night.  So I ended up talking to my doctor, he told me Heart Palpitations are pretty common....and mostly are caused by issues that aren't deemed serious.


He told me to come in to see him if it happened again.


I've vowed I'll actually put my health insurance to good use and start getting a yearly check up.  


Yes  I do feel old now.







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