Monday, November 26, 2007

Boys and Girl Club...of Halo?



Recently I had a discussion with my friend's girlfriend (and by discussion I mean I was right and she was definitely wrong) about online gaming. It started because another friend of mine was telling us a story of how he met this chick on World of Warcraft and how after spending a long time getting to know her on WoW, it escalated to myspace friends, then to talking on the phone, then to quasi-dating. Strange yes, but she was actually pretty hot. She contends that online gaming is not actually interacting with people and it is a downfall of society. She thinks people staying in to meet up with their online friends and play WoW or any other game online is a joke and that essentially people need to have real live contact with others to qualify it as interacting.

As an avid player of Halo I disagree. I feel that spending time with people online is just as much of an interaction as going to the bar with your friends if not more so. When I play Halo, I often meet up with real live friends of mine who play and we are put on teams with other people from around the world. You can't tell me that every time you go to a party or the bar or any in-person social gathering that you interact with people from around the world. People that don't even speak the same language as you, but are on your team to achieve a goal.

I bring this up because over the weekend I realized that aside from being the source of hours of endless enjoyment, it's also a haven for some people. My brother and I had a Halo weekend. We probably spent 30 hours playing online from Thursday-Sunday. On Saturday afternoon we met a couple of kids who were hilarious so we teamed up with them and spent the next couple hours with them killing other people. Later that evening when we got back online around 10, they had also happened to just get back on so we teamed up with them again. We started talking about where we were from and just general small talk. These kids, who were 17 and 18 seemed like pretty cool kids. They don't swear or throw around racial slurs like way too many 13 year old punk kids do. They live in Arizona and they might be the funniest high schoolers I have met since I was 17. I told them about me and since my brother isn't very good yet, I told them that he was a girl. After they found out I was 25, they jokingly asked me to mail them some alcohol. I then realized it was Saturday night and asked them why they aren't out at a party having fun doing the whole social high school thing. They told us that they don't live in the best neighborhood and all the people who go to parties are thugs who bring guns and do drugs. They also said there are a lot of gangs so they just stay in and play Halo.

These kids use Halo to stay out of gangs. That's probably the coolest thing I have ever heard. More useful than a Boys and Girls Club of America, Halo is now saving lives. If that doesn't prove me right, then I don't know what would. Go big...



-M, p, z & shredder

oh ps - new movies and dvds coming out. movie reviews soon, tomorrow the Futurama Movie comes out, go buy it. It will be hilarious. The Namesake also comes out on dvd so if you didn't get a chance to see it in theaters, hop on netflix or go rent it. If you loved the book as much as I did, go buy it. It's worth it for the last scene in the movie.

5 comments:

Muki said...

Dude, no better way to spend Thanksgiving (besides seeing people from high school, playing Cranium and watching my Lions lose yet again). Anyway, a much welcome break from endless studying. And while it's not exactly the Boys and Girls Club, Halo rules. People should stop hating on the online interaction, mostly because they're in no position to judge. It's not intimate or physical, but you can chat up old friends and new ones and have a blast working in teams (or not working in teams and getting worked because of it). I feel that people stigmatize video game players - especially online players. The idea is that video games are their life, that they play it too much and can't interact with people outside a fictitious realm full of aliens. Balderdash. As I said to a friend last week who chastises her fiance from playing, "How is it different from the E! you watch or the hours you spend checking out celebrity gossip?" If anything, it has to be a better way to enjoyably spend a few hours.

All that being said, did we really play for 30 hours?! It's a good thing I can only play every month or so...

Kelsey said...

Okay so good for the kids staying out of gangs but...I do know way too many people that stay in and play Halo and WOW and have no face-to-face real interactions what-so-ever...and they're LOSERS. For instance, someone I know has two small children, no job (even though he passed the BAR in IL), and no friends except those online. He stays home all day ignoring his children and gaming, while his wife completely supports him. He's a loser. I think online games are a fun hobby but when they start to control your life and you never leave the house you have a problem...and you probably smell.

Kelsey said...

Not saying you or Muki are losers, or that you smell.

Anonymous said...

Wow, brainy dialectic of Halo. I have never been so proud to have gone to Greenhills.

Our family played Scrabble. Is that more or less nerdy? (It kept me from joining a gang.)

Caitlin

Brown Guy said...

Losers.