“Does it have a start button?” The little boy asks. Grandpa replies with an assertive “Nope.”
“Does it have a reset button?” The little boy asks. Grandpa again answers: “Nope.”
“Does it have a flux capacitor?” The little boy sounds annoyed, now. He continues: “Does it have a transmogrifier? A dark-matter hyperdrive? What about a jetpack, or a giant robot lion representing one-fifth of Voltron, or a pocket dimension with which it can store inane things to surprise people with so at the least expected moment Jar-Jar Binks can jump out and ruin your perfectly good sci-fi series?” The Grandpa looks depressingly at his Grandson and says, “No, it doesn’t have any of those things. It’s just a fishing pole.” The boy finishes with “Fishing sucks.” Aaaand, Cut! That’s a wrap.
The above is how I envision the situation playing out every time I hear that stupid commercial on the radio. The advertisement is for a sporting equipment store much like a Bass Pro Shop. The commercial makes it sound like the Grandpa is some wise sage bringing the child valuable and ancient knowledge of a tradition long lost by our fast-paced society. What it sounds like to me is that a sporting equipment store is focusing their advertisement campaign by making adults feel bad that they (and their children) don’t get outdoors more often. Just as country music would have you believe that driving a gas-guzzling pickup truck on an underdeveloped roadway while under the influence of alcohol and a memory of younger days is all you need in life, this notion is wholly misleading.
I get my outside time, and I am talking outside of work. I know that some gamers play for days on end, even to the extreme of dying sometimes due to lack of sleep. Some gamers really could use some unplugging, let’s get that fact out of the way. Most gamers, however, have lives outside of their digital ones. Especially in respect to games like MW3, well, how do I put it…a LOT of military personnel play MW3. You wanna tell them to go outside? They do. For a living. How many fishermen do you know that can run three miles in twenty minutes? I’ve watched the fishing channel, the chances are slim and their waists are not. Let’s face it, fishing IS the video game of outdoors activities!
I guess my big issue is the misnomer that gamers are inactive or lack real-world skills, or the even bigger misconception that video games cause people to be inactive and lack ambition for real things. The truth is that video games have a single purpose, and that is to entertain us. If there are people out there (and yes, they ARE out there) that let gaming take over their lives, then so be it. I don’t, and I challenge everyone who reads this to validate their activities outside of gaming as well. Not with me, mind you, but with yourself. All those people who criticize us for gaming and then watch a four-hour marathon of Swamp People on Netflix can say what they want about how outdoorsy they are.
“Grandpa, you wanna play WoW?” Grandpa smiles, “Let’s go pwn some bitches in PvP. Tell Grandma to grab her healer.”