Tag Archives: reading

The Boring Machine

Max was reading a book that he couldn’t put down. He flipped through pages while he sat on his couch. He was so focused on the pages before him that his eyes could have burned holes through the paper. Simon, his loyal cat, read but three words from the book before his eyes became heavy and slammed shut. Simon curled up in a ball and purred. Only Max and the book seemed to exist.

Suddenly, Natalia appeared in front of the door frame next to the couch. “Hey baby! How’s that box?” she asked. Her pearly white teeth showed her excitement. And her smile betrayed her confidence: she knew she had given him something exciting.

“Huh?” Max replied as he looked up from his book. He looked at the book shelf straight ahead; it was so full that books would sometimes spill onto the ground. He focused on the black box atop the shelf only for a moment before returning to his book. “Oh, you mean that boring machine. I…” He didn’t get a chance to finish.

“Whaaaa? And after all I went through!” As she stormed off, her rumbling and grumbling seemed to rival that of the thunderstorm brewing outside.

Max’s eyebrows arched upwards. He put the book down. “What was that about?” he asked himself, scratching his head. His eyes returned to the black box: it was an experimental and miniaturized tunnel boring machine he had brought home from work. He looked to the right of the machine seeing, for the first time, a new video game console sporting a pretty red bow.

Max’s jaw dropped. “Uh oh!”

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You Learn by Playing

The stairs told a story about the family living there with each creaky step that Sandra took. The staircase could fill volumes with details about its occupying family’s life. It saw laughter strong enough to hurt one’s sides, as well as tears of sorrow and joy. Each step Sandra took was deliberate and firm enough to startle a nearby centipede, which scurried into a corner before disappearing. Her steps were firm enough that any person, not just insects, should have been aware of her approach, yet Ryan hadn’t noticed.

Sandra reached the top of the stairs when, from across the hallway, a hot, white light almost seared her eyes. The light came from behind a crack in a nearby door. Though squinting, Sandra relied on the light to guide her on the path to the door. Meanwhile, flickering images from somewhere behind the door cast ten-foot-tall shadows with giant jaws and towering teeth. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw these monstrous images and got giant goosebumps, but she pressed forward, focusing on the door. She took a deep breath, pulled the door knob, covered her eyes for a moment and entered the room.

She smelled funky gym socks, heard strange sounds that sounded like explosions, saw a dusty calculator and several dog-eared paperbacks of Plato’s dialogues. Then she looked deep into the source of the white light: it was a T.V.., and Ryan was playing video games.

“Ok dinner’s ready in ten,” she said. “Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t you supposed to be studying?”

Ryan said, “Uh, well, I was talking to this really old guy named Socrates, and I realized all I know is how little I know. So I decided, as a starting point, to learn more about my video games.”

Sandra tilted her head, raised her eyebrow and rubbed her chin in response to Ryan’s comment.

“Well,” she said, “that’s fine as long as it came from Socrates. You can keep playing before dinner and some more afterwards.”

Then she walked out the door with a smirk on her face. When she had closed the door behind her, Ryan snickered to himself.

“Pfft! She thinks I actually talked to a dead ancient Greek dude.”

Meanwhile, as Sandra closed the door behind her, she laughed to herself.

“Haha he actually thinks I bought his story about speaking to Socrates. But I’m glad he’s reading.”

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To Turn the Page or Play the Game? That Is the Question.

reading vs. video gamesWhen you think about books, what image pops into your head? Dry and dusty tomes covered with cobwebs. Librarians, with fingers on their lips, shush you.

However, adrenaline surges through your veins and your heart pounds at the thought of games. The amazing graphics knock you off your feet. The HD visuals fan your hair back like your couch was sitting on a roller coaster. You can’t turn a page in an atmosphere like that.

But get off that roller coaster sometimes. You should always find time to both read and play. After all, you don’t want to become a mindless zombie from staring at a screen all day.

  • A lot of people see gamers as zombies who lack social skills and a life.
  • A lot of people like to take pot shots at video games. We gamers don’t need to give these haters more ammo.
  • A lot of people don’t know what they’re babbling about.

Tips for Reading Books and Playing Video Games

We can prove that we’re well-read – maybe by starting a blog like me! – and remind others that gamers are just like them.

Here’s some things to keep in mind about balancing these two activities:

1. My Blog Doesn’t Count

Look, I’m flattered that you like it, but it just doesn’t cut it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop showering me with praise.

2. Dialogue and Subtitles Don’t Count as Reading

Yeah, not even really wordy games. That includes old-fashioned text games too.

3. The Best of Both Worlds

You can start reading books based on video games. Check out the Halo Books if you’re into sci-fi.

4. Gateway Drugs

You know, those books based on video games could be like a gateway drug. Start with these and then you can go on to real literature and war stories, like the The Red Badge of Courage.

5. Books Aren’t Saints Either

Are you a teen? Still not convinced you should read? Well, teen novels have more swearing than video games, according to one study. You can get your fill of profanity in book form.

6. Balanced Diet

Don’t get too much of video games or books. Aim for the golden mean.

7. Now get out there and read, zombie!

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