The Gaming Luddite: Or How I Choose Not to Embrace the Joystick & Stick to My Book

The Gaming Luddite: Or How I Choose Not to Embrace the Joystick & Stick to My Book

Campbell Faulkner
Aug 18, 2010

Gaming is a popular past time enjoyed by individuals from all walks of life. From casual gaming to those who spend hours playing Starcraft, gaming is considered a normal activity. My friends often stay up late playing Call of Duty together after work or between graduate school classes. With all of the peer pressure one would assume that I would at least own a gaming console, much less a portable gaming device. Yet, I am a gaming Luddite which is even more bizarre considering I am tech blogger.

My gaming past most would consider strange: I started out playing basic computer games in 1995 like Sim City. These games I found stimulating but quickly bored with their buggy nature on old windows computers. On occasion I would play games on consoles with my friends at their houses enjoying my time but never feeling as though I needed my own gaming system.

Entering college nearly every guy and many girls I knew had gaming consoles. Their time spent playing games varied, but I never was seduced by the temptation to join my friends in college. When I moved into a house with fellow fraternity members (all of who were regular gamers) I still failed to yield to the temptation to join them in their fun. Now much is the same, my friends wish I would game with them and I resist for some intangible reason.

My reasons for being a gaming Luddite seems to boil down to a few things: money and reading. I to this day am astounded every time I see the price of both gaming consoles and individual games. $50.00 – $60.00 a game nearly gives me a heart attack. And considering how little entertainment value I have previously derived from games makes me hesitant to ever spend money on them. Second I enjoy reading books, the news, websites and various other materials. Other than exercise and the occasional television program, relaxing by screaming, pointing at things on a screen, and mashing buttons just does not have any appeal. I find that particularly confusing since I love all things techy especially the programming bits.

Tech for me is about connivence and novelty, not stimulation. The elegance of an Xbox means little which is slightly disconcerting and reassuring all at once. Viewing technology in my and others life is fascinating in so far as how we interact with it.

I understand if you are a gamer and find my rhetoric inflammatory. Let me reassure you, I am not anti gamer. I think if you find it a fulfilling way to spend your time then go for it. Largely my aversion just seems natural as your desire to play must feel the same. So for that I wish you luck, happy "fraggin" and that you enjoy your time manipulating characters on screen.

Disclaimer: I did not know until recently what Starcraft was or consisted. A friend was kind enough to point what a big deal the game was/is.

(Top image: Flickr member dalangalma licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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