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Is this guy related to Michael Moore?

January 8, 2008

Oh man. Every now and then an article comes out written by someone who is so clueless as to what he’s trying to talk about that it basically sounds as if it’s filled with catch words he stole from the internet or commercials. We have another one. Nothing boils my blood like this kind of bullshit, because people are going to read it and assume “oh he works for the Wall Street Journal he is an expert”. I’m going to tell you that Stephen Moore is no expert. An article of his popped up in the WSJ a few days ago that was about his kids’ addiction to video games, or something like that. Please be seated, this might take a while.

First of all, this half-wit is making a new year’s resolution. I already hated him. But let’s not get caught up slinging ad hominem insults around, as it gets worse, and I’m going to rape him with bullet pointed retorts.

My new year’s resolution is to get my two teenage sons back. They’ve been abducted — by the cult of Nintendo. I’m convinced that video games are Japan’s stealth strategy to turn our kids’ brains into silly putty as payback for dropping the big one on Hiroshima.

The trouble began last summer when my sons started spending virtually every unsupervised hour camped out in front of the computer screen engaged in multiplayer role games like World of Warcraft and Counterstrike. At the start of this craze, I wrote it off as merely a normal phase of adolescence. I was confident that, at 14 and 16, they would soon be more interested in chasing real-life girls than virtual video hoodlums.

  • I hate when people pretend like Nintendo is still the only company producing video games (and their respective hardware) for home entertainment. If you want to be taken seriously don’t act like a 90 year old woman who doesn’t know what the fuck has been happening for the past 20+ years.
  • World of Warcraft is NOT made by the Japanese. It’s made by Blizzard, who are a North American and European company.
  • Counter-Strike is NOT made by the Japanese. Long story short, it was made by Americans.
  • Neither of these are “role games”, which isn’t a real term. World of Warcraft is a “role playing game”. Counter-Strike is a first person shooter type of game. This guy isn’t even fucking close on that one.
  • THIS IS A NORMAL PHASE OF ADOLESCENCE. Your kids are not addicted to single player games. They are addicted to multiplayer games. It’s the social aspect that they crave. Oh my god! 14 and 16 year olds want social interaction. VIDEO GAMES ARE TAKING OVER OH MY GOD THE ROBOTS ARE COMING RUN FOR YOUR LI…*dead*
  • Computer (and console) video games were out in the U.S. long before Nintendo, and nobody here plays Japanese computer games except for weirdos who like dating simulators.
  • Of course they want to sit inside in the summer it’s HOT AS BALLS OUTSIDE.
  • God these bullet points are sexy.

Boy, was I wrong. Their compulsion became steadily more destructive. They grew increasingly withdrawn, walking around like the zombies from “Night of the Living Dead.” Unless I pried them (forcibly) from the computer, they would spend five or six hours at a time absorbed in these online fantasy worlds.

It’s an addiction you dumbshit, what makes you think you can just take it away and have them shrug it off and be totally complacent?

My wife tried to calm me down by observing that “at least they’re not out having sex or doing drugs.” But how would that be any worse?

Really? I can think of a few reasons why that would be worse.

  • AIDS
  • Other STDs
  • Pregnancy
  • Abortions
  • More addictions
  • Introduction to reggae

Both are decent athletes, but their muscles began to atrophy right before our very eyes; their skin tone paled from lack of sunlight. Their idea of playing sports these days is inserting Madden football or the NBA slam-dunk game into our Xbox.

  • They must be really shitty players if all they are doing is scoring dunks on each other.
  • Buy a basketball hoop seems the to be a logical solution to this problem. But I suppose acting like video games should be parenting your kids is another avenue.

We recently considered purchasing the new Nintendo Wii, because at least its games — simulated bowling, snow boarding, guitar playing and motorcycling — require physical activity. Nintendo even advertises this product as good exercise for kids, and I have colleagues who swear that they get a great workout from Wii boxing and skiing. Alas, a new study from the British Health Journal suggest that Wii is no substitute for the real and vigorous outdoor exercise that adolescent boys need.

  • I’m sure a lot of us have heard this claim that Wii is good for exercise, and it’s mostly directed at people who can’t get out and play football with their friends very often. He needs a health journal study to tell him that waving a remote around isn’t a replacement for adolescent exercise. Brilliant.
  • Simulated motorcycling? What the christ? What would that controller look like? Another “fact” Mr. Moore pulls out of his ass.

My wife and I aren’t entirely inept parents — our 6-year-old seems fairly well-adjusted anyway. Back in October we established for the older boys strict screen-time limits. It was then that we discovered the true extent of their addiction. They ranted and raved and cursed and even threw things — almost as if demons had taken possession of them. These are classic withdrawal symptoms; they craved a fix. When we installed parental controls on the computer, our boys scoffed. It took them about 15 minutes to disable them. We’ve become so desperate that we may have to get rid of the computers entirely, though that may hamper their school work.

  • No not entirely inept, just mostly.
  • My god, they’re addicted to something and react like crazy people when it’s taken away. I’ve never heard of this. Oh wait.
  • Whatever you do don’t try to wain them from the addiction. Just cut them off and tell them it’s the devil and bad for them. Kids always fall for this.

It turns out that we’re not alone in our predicament. A parent down the street confided to us that his 12-year-old son was so obsessed with video games that he wouldn’t take even a three-minute break from gaming to go to the bathroom — with unfortunate results.

He couldn’t find a save point? Doesn’t sound that unreasonable to me. Or maybe there’s another reason he pissed himself: he’s fucking insane. Or maybe this lady is also a shitty parent.

The other day we saw a kid at church, in a semi-trance, going down the aisle to Holy Communion while clicking on a hand-held Game Boy. Talk about worshiping a false god.

  • Read the first sentence without the bold part if you want to see something that would be off-putting to me but probably normal to these freaks.
  • All Game Boys are hand-held. How did this get past a copy editor? This reminds me of “explosive diarrhea”. Really, the adjective is unnecessary…what are the chances that diarrhea is not explosive?
  • What makes his Game Boy any less of a god than the sky-person you all woke up absurdly early on Sunday morning to go and patronize? Prove to me that Game Boy is not a god. It grants wishes! Just because it’s battery powered? Seriously.

I’m not one to blame every human frailty on some faddish psychiatric disorder. But I’m persuaded that computer games are the new crack cocaine. The testimonials from parents of online gamers are horrific: kids not taking showers, not eating or sleeping, falling behind in school.

  • Yes it’s the new crack. Your kids are going to wind up homeless on the streets doing sex favors for a hit of World of Warcraft.
  • Really, they’ll end up in your basement with no friends and no job because you didn’t have the gall or foresight to put a foot down and get them socially active in the real world.

Some parents are forced to send their kids to therapeutic boarding schools, which charge up to $5,000 a month, to combat the gaming addiction.

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Paying $5,000 a month so that some place can re-introduce them to real life socializing?

The war lords of the gaming industry tout research on the positive attributes of gaming — and admittedly there are some. One study published this year in Psychological Science finds that gaming improves eyesight. A famous 2004 study by researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, found that video games improve manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination: “Doctors who spend at least 3 hours a week playing video games,” the researchers reported, “made about 37% fewer mistakes in laproscopic surgery.” Fine. I’ll give my sons the joysticks back when they become orthopedic surgeons.

Hello and might I introduce you to “cause and effect”. Your kid is not going to become an orthopedic surgeon if his hand-eye coordination development is limited to masturbating. You don’t play World of Warcraft with joysticks anyway. These doctors are clearly not talking about addictive multiplayer games, but twitch games with lots of action and movement (like the games on that Wii and PlayStation he won’t buy his kids). Well at least it should be clear. With a fully functioning frontal lobe.

November sales for the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, and the games that go with them, were up a gaudy 52% over last year. In my neck of the woods, Wii’s were such hot sellers that they weren’t available in the stores at any price. I’m proud to report that we rejected our youngest son’s pleas for a PlayStation for Christmas. He pouts that we’re the meanest parents in the world. Someday he’ll thank us. A mind really is a terrible thing to waste.

If you get him a PlayStation he’ll play games using joysticks and developing hand-eye coordination. It’s a great alternative to sitting in front of a computer and clicking for 12 hours in a row, and it’s much less addictive. You might even persuade him to go outside and make a fool out of himself on the basketball court with his horribly atrophied muscles and translucent skin.

This is what you get when you write an article on something you know nothing about, using “research” that amounts to little more than talking to your idiot dysfunctional church friends and Googling a few things. You can’t treat an addiction like it’s not a real addiction and expect to come out victorious. Like any addiction there is no panacea for what his kids are experiencing, but there’s much better ways to go about it. You don’t try to strike it rich by sifting for gold in a puddle of shit on astroturf.

I know nothing about neurosurgery but later today I’m going to tie one on, blindfold myself, spin around a bat until I’m dizzy, and perform a lobotomy. But I’ve played a lot of video games so I’m sure I can just wing it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    January 8, 2008 2:13 pm

    You continually out do yourself. One of your best blogs yet.

  2. andy permalink*
    January 8, 2008 2:34 pm

    I would just like to say that parenting is very hard. Forcing your kids to socialize and hang out with other people can be hard, because it’s easy for them to pay $12 a month and have 6 million people to hang out with online and play with. But it’s something that a lot of well-adjusted people do without a problem.

    The Game Boy thing on the other hand is 100% ludicrous. The kid has it with him because Church is boring the hell out of him. There are no two ways about it. You can’t throw religion and this huge, long, wordy book with archaic word usage and expect him to want to do that over Pokemon. If he doesn’t care about religion, forcing him to not play his Game Boy is not going to change that. He’ll daydream about playing it.

  3. Hipster Honduran permalink
    January 9, 2008 1:21 pm

    I suppose this is funny if you enjoy watching a dumbass extracting the urine out of another dumbass by taking everything out of context and using poor language. This is probably one of the poorest articles I’ve had the misfortune to read – and before you say it, don’t worry, I’ll not be coming back.

  4. andy permalink*
    January 14, 2008 11:23 am

    Well I did go to public school and my chromosome pairings dictate, as far as biology is concerned, that I’m actually a sailfish. A retarded sailfish at that.

    But don’t worry, this was just a one-off. The usual programming of berating 3rd world hell holes is due for a return any day now.

  5. Justin - steve's son permalink
    March 3, 2008 10:40 am

    Andy, thank you for shooting down everything my dad made up.

    On a sidenote, however, you are also completely retarded… As a writer for the WSJ my dad realizes his audience is not going to be the gaming generation. He is writing for people, much like himself, who have no clue which company makes which game, etc. The facts that I dont play WoW with a joystick, or all gameboys are handheld are completely irrelevant to the message of the article. If you have a grudge against my dad thats fine, i dont really care, but next time you attack his work try to get your head out of your ass.

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