in the name of virtual reality

Chalk this story up under the stupid shit people will do for video games… someone was shot in Connecticut while waiting to buy one of the new PS3 systems.

I realize my normal life might not qualify for Bond-grade exciting, but ever since my NES kicked the bucket and my Tetris obsession cooled, I haven’t been much for video games at all. Sure, once every few months, some friends will come over and we’ll engage in a little friendly Marvel vs. Capcom, but my mind is boggled by the people who will spend hours upon hours on the business end of a video game controller, wearing their thumbs away in the name of shoot ’em ups like Halo or any of the NBA franchise games. (Get it, shooting, basketball…?)

Yes, I prefer to wear my thumbs away on my Treo, but that’s a different story entirely.

Couple all this with the phenomenon they call Second Life, an online realm that has a real economy and has people setting up virtual businesses in cyberspace… I even heard on the news the other day about a woman who has a virtual party planning business, and makes real money from it!

Technology is great when it brings you in contact with those you know in real life, or introduces you to ways in which you can improve your real life. But when your real life becomes secondary to your Second Life, have we become too much of a hedonistic, escapist bunch to appreciate the simple things?

I know that reality ain’t exactly a bed of roses. I was talking to Ryan last night about how sad I am that the gorgeous hills and valleys along a 3-mile stretch of rural Texas highway on my way to and from work is now falling under the poisonous spell of real estate developers. I have seen them clearing trees, and now they are clearing land in the predictably random pattern of cul-de-sacs that will soon be yet another generic housing development, with names such as Prairie Sunrise or Hill Country Glen or something likewise sickening. (This part of the country is not prairie by any means – not flat enough – but I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before they run out of tree species after which to name streets in neighborhoods from the $130s – $160s.)

Sometimes reality is boring and predictable. We all sometimes (or often) work long hours, come home to a pile of laundry, and have enough time to veg out and watch a few Friends reruns that we’ve seen a couple of hundred times before falling into bed and starting the whole thing over again the next day. But we love getting paid, we love the feeling of finishing the laundry, and we still laugh in all the same spots during Friends.

I wouldn’t trade my real life for a virtual one in a million years. Even if, in a million years, I am still sitting next to my husband, drinking Lipton Cold Brew and laughing at the same old jokes on Friends, at least I will be able to taste my tea, feel him next to me, and hear him laughing.


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