It’s Not Game Over—Until It’s Game Over


Let me preface this by saying, I was anti-blog… until I saw Julie and Julia. I have a weak spot for feel good chick flicks.

I am old-fashioned, conservative (non-politically?), like to read newspapers and fawn over Maureen Dowd and not one of those Carrie Bradshaw types (did she have a blog?). Sure blogs hold valuable opinions. Call me elitist but I like to hear commentary from people in authority and not Joe Smith from next door who lives in his self-absorbed world. I was explaining to my debate kids (I coach debate at Boston’s Public Service Academy and am that possessive over them) how the expansion of the Internet could be antidemocratic. It basically boils down to this: people who are politically active on the Internet tend to be on the extreme sides of the spectrum. You have your KKK fan sites and your free Tibet groups, and they drown out those in the so-called silent majority, where arguably democratic decision-making should be made. For these reasons, I was anti-blog, pro-NYTimes.

I guess I realize now blogs don’t have to be either completely fluffy or serious, they can be sweet, charming and inspiring. Thanks Julie and Julia!
Now my boyfriend tells me that my blog posts have to have a theme. You mean, it can’t be a flow of consciousness a la Faulkner, complete with incomprehensible sentences and whatever happens to be on my mind?! Okay. After a brief discussion, we settled that this blog would be about video games.

At one point in my life, I was anti-video games (yes, I am in general a very anti-__ person).

Then I got the Wii for my six year-old brother. Now I am in danger of failing the MCATs.

Video games are addictive.

The funny thing is, video games are addictive because you are motivated by the desire to win, beat that level, kill the monster, and not have GAME OVER flash before you again—the same forces that drive us to succeed. The sad thing is, while it is totally reasonable for us to spent hours and hours playing the same level, going down the same obstacles despite failing so many times before, in real life, we give up so easily. Dejection and rejection bring us down. We don’t always pick ourselves up and try again.

Last intersession, I went snowboarding/skiing with my friends. The slash is there because I tried to learn how to snowboard, then fell down the mountain a couple of times (like around the thousands), and finally gave up, walked down the mountain with board in tow, traded in everything for a pair of skis, and gracefully skied down the hill. If this were a video game, I would have stuck to it, just for sparkling sign at the end that said, CONGRATULATIONS! It might have two hours of my time and a couple of points off my MCAT score, but I would have done it. I wish life had sparkling signs that said, CONGRATULATIONS!

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, but if I am going to get into video games and write about them, I resolve at least to adopt more of a gamer’s attitude towards life. Instead of being Debbie Downer all the time, I am going to adopt the personality of my alter ego, Mario. Here we go again!

The State Dept doesn’t think I am good enough for an internship? Well, I’m gonna shoot back with these flame thingies I’ve got!

The Indy wishes to reassure the State Department that Marion in no way intends to actually shoot flame thingies at it. She will be shooting Bowser instead, as Mario.