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Killing: A Hobby? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Got a little time to kill?" screams the banner advertising the video game "Duke Nukem." Out of curiosity, I click on the graphic link. Instantly, I am taken to a web page with a muscle-bound man, a grim expression on his face, pointing a gun at me. Below is another graphic link of a girl in a skimpy bikini, with the phrase, "Can't pick up chicks? Learn from the master himself." Next to the man, there is another link which provides a psychoanalysis of Duke Nukem himself.

Just as I am about to shut the computer down, I notice the shortcut to the game "Quake," which is similar to "Duke Nukem." I realize it has been six months since I last played. Now I realize why I didn't feel like looking around the website ... I didn't need to. I wasn't hooked on that game, I wasn't intrigued that they had done a study of Duke Nukem's brain patterns and I did not think of him as someone to take advice from.

There was a time when I argued with my dad about which games I was allowed to play. He was against video games, but tolerated them. When it came to games with fighting, however, he didn't care whether I threw a tantrum or got down on my knees and begged. He just wouldn't allow it.

Parents always have a weak point, an Achilles' heel; so did my dad. After much begging and whimpering (by me, not him), he finally gave in ... and told me he'd let me play these games once in a while. According to him, even this was too much. So I played and he kept me in check.

I could never understand why he was overprotective and stubborn about these games. After all, I was a responsible kid, I could take care of myself; I could keep myself from getting addicted to these games ... right? Then, I understood.

I met a 12-year-old boy. He was an average guy, who got good grades and had hobbies - actually, he had one hobby: video games. He spent more time in front of video games than anyone else I knew. He played fighting games - "Duke Nukem," "Quake," "Goldeneye," etc. And the effects these games had on him were apparent. He became obnoxious, mean, annoying. I didn't feel like hanging around him anymore. When I thought about this kid, I realized this was how I would become if I played fighting games too much.

If this piece is published, odds are people will reply to this article; most will argue against my opinion. Let me assure you, I have nothing against video games. I love them and play when I get a chance. What I don't agree with, however, is the notion that games with fighting and killing are the only good games. Of the video games I have, only one is pure fighting ("Quake"). The rest are sports, card games, etc. I enjoy these, and I am a hundred percent sure there are many others who also enjoy them. I play "Quake," but only once in a while. The difference between that kid and me is that "Quake" is not the most important thing in my life. I actually have a life! There are other hobbies out there, you know. Try, you might enjoy some. After all, is killing really more fun than scoring a game-winning goal or playing a concerto? ?<


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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1617almost said...
Jan. 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm
man this is good! My parents were the same way and I thank them for that. I have a cousin who always had the cool games. First playstation, then playstation 2. I would stay over to play and when I would leave I would realize I only played like mabey twice. Now its xbox live. And my cousin has been playing games since we were kids till now. Xbox live is his reality, I have tried to get him out of video games but he just won't stop. So now I have an xbox but barely play it because it just doesnt c... (more »)
 
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