Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thoughts on "Second Skin" ... thus far

Please keep in mind: My facility with video games is limited to things like solitaire, computer chess, and free cell. And I'm not good at any of them because I don't play them all that often. The closest I've ever come to playing an MMORPG was the ten minutes I spent loosing a couple of games of internet checkers.

I would also like to point out that my complete unfamiliarity with the video game world means that I have absolutely no basis for knowing how accurate the movie's image of video gamers is.

This isn't to say that I don't understand wanting to escape, to get away from the world for a while. I understand that the world can be a very unpleasant place. I don't begrudge anyone the desire to go somewhere else, be someone else, in only for while. I don't know anyone who doesn't try to escape in some form or another from time to time. However, escaping from problems, like a dead - end job, or obesity isn't a solution. Solutions to these problems aren't easy, in fact, quite the opposite. Finding a new, more fulfilling job, getting exercise and eating healthier aren't easy. Escapism is. In fact, I think that it would hit the nail on the head so to speak to argue that the excess of escapism portrayed in the movie actually prevents people dealing with these types of problems from actually going out and solving them.

That said …

My first reaction to the movie "second skin" was "I need to go out and get a healthy dose of reality." Chalk this as an example of someone being influenced by media if you want, but if I ever had any sort of a desire to play any sort of video game, which I never have, this movie would have cured me of it. It's scary how much time it seems that playing a video game can suck up. Again, I have no idea if those statistics are real, but I think I remember the video running through the amount of time. I remember about four hours of sleep. I remember about an hour a day to do everything else. I also remember somewhere over ten hours of video games. I have no desire to spend over ten hours a day in front of a screen. Maybe this was just an expectation I was raised with, but if I spend too much time (more than a couple hours) watching TV, or a movie, even reading something for fun, I HAVE to stop what I'm doing and get up and do something productive, or do something outside, or both.

So after class I went out and got myself that healthy dose of reality. For the rest of the day, the most complex electronic thing I turned on was my car. I didn't even turn on my computer or my iPod. I had no desire to do anything on my computer, watch any TV, or even listen to my iPod. I studied, read a book, spent some time working in my garden, and went for a walk with my dog. To me, the saddest part of the movie was the image of the person sitting at their desk playing a video game, their dog curled up next to the desk. I mean, why even have a dog if you are going to spend your time playing video games and never going on a walk and playing with your dog?

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