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No more video games

Megan O'Neil | Tuesday, November 11, 2003

It’s Saturday night. The football team has notched a win, and despite being exhausted you are in a celebratory mood. You look anxiously at the pile of textbooks sitting on your desk, but instead turn to your robe and caddy and head for the shower.

You scrub, shampoo, condition, shave, exfoliate, blow dry or straighten (depending on the weather), moisturize, pluck, deodorize and perfume. You try on a minimum of three different sets of clothes before settling on the perfect outfit.

Two hours later, looking more preened then a peacock, you head over to one of the male dorms on campus with a friend or two, expectations high. You climb several flights of stairs and head down the corridor, careful not to trip on your heels. You approach his doorway, and after taking a deep breath you knock and enter.

But something is amiss. There is no dancing. There is no music. No drunken welcoming hugs. No evidence of partying what-so-ever. You say your hellos and make a quick assessment of the situation.

It doesn’t take long to identify the guilty culprit of what looks like it will be a lackluster evening. Female college students’ enemy No. 1: The video game consul.

You silently groan and sink back into the futon. You make a teasing but sarcastic remark to the hosts, something to the effect of “video games on a Saturday night?” They grunt a half apologetic response, but their fingers remain glued to the controllers and their eyes to the screen.

Although the outlook is grim, you are not ready to throw in the towel yet. You make a timid attempt at conversation, commenting first on the previous night’s activities and possibly on the array of assignments you have due in the upcoming week. Your efforts are fruitless, however. You suspect that there is something about manual stimulation which leaves your friends unable to do anything more than utter a few phrases of profanity at the animated characters with which they are so enthralled.

In a desperate attempt to engage the boys you might ask to be permitted to play a round of Halo. After 15 disorienting minutes of running around a death mazes and registering zero kills, you are done. You don’t even think about making an attempt at NCAA Football; if you can’t hit a human target with an automatic weapon, you certainly will not be able to complete a virtual pass to a speedy wide receiver.

It is nearly two by that time anyway, so you leave your friends to their games, knowing that they will continue to play for several more hours. You return to your room, flop down on your bed and fall asleep, praying that next weekend arrives quickly.