Tag Archives: idealist

You Deserve a Playday

video game holidayWe need a video game holiday all around the world.

The purpose – wait for it – is to play video games. Play with friends, strangers, online or offline or by yourself. Not everyone must play, but everyone who plays will have a positive impact on the world.

This day will make the world a better place. Playing games will unite people of different races, classes, genders and ages from all over the world. They’ll forget all their problems. The world will sweep up and throw out silly squabbles into the dustbin.

What concrete steps could we take? We could start a series of gaming contests with a huge jackpot for winners. Gamers could play for a charity, and the winner could donate their cash prize to their favourite charity. A tense enough contest with interesting gamers might also be fun to watch at home. It might be something like “Iron Chef” on the Food Network, except controllers would be flying everywhere instead of cabbage.

Even if people cannot compete in this contest, they could rediscover the joys of friendship. Playday will make that happen. Playing team games will act like a glue that binds people together.

For those not interested in team games, organizers will feature games that cater to everyone’s tastes in public meeting places. These meeting places would stock up on every genre. My hope is this will reel in a wide catch of people who previously dismissed or could not afford to play games. The meeting places would also allow people to play games for free. Of course, I have no idea how to carry out this free feat, but I can still dream big.

My realistic goal is to encourage people of all ages to try games. To attract a younger audience, organizers will likely hold the holiday during the summer. That way kids will have more free time to both think about and play games. Developers, or any volunteers, could also bring games to retirement homes.

I hope everyone plays a video game on that day. There’s no reason to restrict video games to an exclusive elite. Everyone deserves to play games, to forget life’s petty problems and enjoy a hobby.

All of these people will be celebrating video games – some for the first time – on Playday. Some might begin to appreciate that games draw on both art and science. They might have questions about this entertainment. Those questions might lead to broader discussions about the role games play in our culture. Then Journey’s beautiful landscapes and poetic code might strike them as a work of art.

But you don’t have to play games. You still have free will. The police won’t knock on your door to make sure you’re playing. You won’t receive a fine for reading instead of recreating American Civil War battles on your computer. The thought police won’t track your thoughts either. You’re free to clear your mind or pursue other things on Playday.

I would think that playing free games is a good enticement. Maybe I’m wrong. However, I think you’ll come around eventually and pick up a controller. If you’ve never done that before, I’ll feel especially happy if you do it on Playday.

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Level Up Everything Until You Drop II

Video game hippieOur fun deprived world needs video games. Great games are fun, they might inspire us to ponder life’s big questions, and the game industry employs so many people. But what if video games could make our lives a little easier too?

We could borrow the concept of leveling up – a video game term – and use it to make life easier. When you level something up in a game, it’s usually a joy to do it. You might then customize or upgrade that thing to improve it. You could level up your character, a weapon or a vehicle.

Now, imagine if you could level up things to help you in life. Here’s a fun list of things that I wrote:

1. Level Up Chores

Garbage

Taking out the trash is a time-consuming and stinky affair. I can think of many other things that I’d rather do.

If I could level up doing the garbage, I would get a robot. R.O.B., that delightful Nintendo creature, could do the job. He would organize my garbage, recycling and leaves, and wheel it out to the front lawn on collections days.

No need to get my hands covered in rotten vegetables when the bags break. No flies buzzing around me. No fishy smell from the garbage bin.

Everything would smell rosy. That is, of course, unless my robot turned on me and dumped the garbage all over me. I’d better hire another robot to keep an eye on R.O.B., just in case.

Washing dishes

You might wash dishes with your hands. Or you might use a dishwasher that runs on foamy soap and leaves your dishes sparkling clean. Either way, you’re spending a lot of time and money to do this chore.

I think Pokémon could help us here. If I were to level up doing the dishes, I would use a Squirtle, or something similar, to get the job done. I think a Blastoise might just destroy any fine china you have. Then I could do all the dishes without spending a dime on water for this chore.

What about if you’re catering for a party? How would you clean up all of your dishes? I would level up a Squirtle until it evolved into a Blastoise to spray all the dishes at once. Step back and put on your safety goggles first.

Cutting grass

Level up and then use sonic supersonic speed to cut the grass. The neighbours would feel dizzy as they watch a blue blur cut everything in under a minute. But then they’d have a smile on their face and the neighbourhood would seem like a happier place all because of my lawn.

2. Level Up Transportation

Deflection shield

Imagine if you could level up a shield to keep people or objects from bumping into you. Pedestrians would feel a lot safer crossing the street. Cars wouldn’t crash into each other. Cyclists could ride safely on the street without fear. Children could run into the street to pick up a stray soccer ball.

Ok, I think you get the point.

Cars without damage

Alright, drivers wreck their cars all the time. What if we could borrow the idea of damage-free cars from racing games? I’m talking about old school games here. Also, race car drivers no longer need to fret about totaling their cars when they crash into a will.

Hover Boots

You need to move from point A to point B as fast as possible. How are you going to do that? Running on your feet is so pedestrian, and hover boots are so much better. They’ll get you where need to go to save the day. Start saving up those experience points today so you can level up your plain old boots.

3. Level Up Time

No more time-wasting. That means more time to love others and more time for this blog and my short stories.

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Imagine a better world with all these things leveled up. I wonder if you can…

Just call me the video game hippie.

 

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