Daily Prompt: Video Games and Psychology

I’ve always been slightly bothered by all the articles I’ve read describing gamers as murderous timebombs waiting to happen. Said articles always seem to indicate that video games can work a person into such a rage as to murder everyone they knew and loved. Being a bit of a gamer myself, I’ve never once thought of killing someone by running them over with a car while dressed as a hotdog after playing Saints Row, nor have I ever considered punching a cow to death for meat and leather after playing Minecraft. When I saw the Daily Prompt (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/daily-prompt-wrong/), a nifty little feature really, I just couldn’t help myself.

Man Raises Empire, Video Games to Blame

   Jeffery White has raised an empire of over 1,000 men seemingly overnight, equipping an army and conquering his previous neighbors before settling in and raising a city next to Baltimore, MD.

White used to be a small-time accountant with Gregarian Accounts, an accounting firm based out of New York City with branches all along the east coast.

With the release of Rome II: Total War, a video game where you play as an ancient European culture an attempt to conquer parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, White changed his career path to Emperor.

Experts report that White completed the video game precisely one hour before he began his conquests, leading them to believe that video games are the cause.

“We already know that video games create criminals and psychopaths, so it’s not surprising that they can create warlords as well,” says John Noah, expert in video game violence.

Noah explains that this isn’t the first time a warlord has popped up because of a video game. “It wasn’t anywhere near as large as this, but when Starcraft 2 came out we had a kid try to make an empire of insects. He got as far as the end of the street before he was stopped.” Starcraft 2 is a real-time-strategy game featuring an insect-like race.

White’s empire now takes up most of western Baltimore and is expanding towards the heart of a city at a freighting rate. The Army has been called in but has yet been unable to make a dent in White’s Testudos, a Roman defensive formation.

“White’s micromanagement, that’s his army control, is off the charts,” said expert Starcraft gamer TLO. “It’s actually quite impressive.”

US casualties are up to 500 and continue to rise, while White is seemingly gaining more and more men.

Army sources say that if White’s army isn’t stopped soon, it may conquer the East coast. Carpet bombing of Baltimore has been approved, however Army officials hesitate to use this tactic in what is still a heavily-populated city.

Fellow employees say that White was always a bit strange, but nothing indicated that he would switch careers to warlord or emperor.

“This is all too sudden,” said White’s boss, Lilly Thomas, “He was always a good employee, and we aren’t paid that much. I have no idea where he got the funds for this.”

White’s funding issue has yet to be answered, and no one has spoken to the man since the empire appeared.

A Man of Extremes: A Review of a Review

I guess this is my first real post. How exciting! At any rate this is an essay that I was assigned in my Feature Writing class, and actually kind of fell in love with. It’s definitely one of my most entertaining and humorous essays, and I’m incredibly proud of the result. 

A Man of Extremes

Dana Goodyear is an incredibly clever woman. In 2009 she published a piece entitled, “James Cameron: A Man of Extremes,” and wrote it, entertainingly enough, in an extreme way. Topping 10,300 words and with more history than an average WWII poem, her piece is so undoubtedly extreme that it’s difficult to believe that the title wasn’t purposeful. It’s almost poetic. At any rate, however, the profile is a titanic piece that focuses on director James Cameron; his past works, and near failures, as well as his, at the time, present work Avatar, or, more lovingly, Smurfs in Space. The topic is certainly interesting, seeing as the man is a diver-director with a romantic chip on his shoulder, but what is more-so is the way that Goodyear went about writing the piece.

Garison, according to the textbook required by the class, which, in turn, requires this paper, clearly outlines the “correct” way an aspiring author/journalist would go about writing a profile article. Goodyear must have read the book as well before deciding it was incomplete and adding to it with her own flair, for she sticks to the formula quite well. Mostly. Goodyear certainly begins with an lead, follows that up with a news peg and some biography before ending with a conclusion, but the strange part is that she does this more than once.

Goodyear, deciding that one profile isn’t enough, wrote several, at least three, before slapping them together in a way that shouldn’t work but does in a very, very good way. The article begins with an introduction that paints Cameron not as a hero, or a magnificent movie-maker, but a no-nonsense, harsh-talking director, intent on getting things done. Goodyear then moves into a nut graf that clearly defines what Cameron has done, Terminator and Titanic, and mentions information of note and the awards concerning each before moving into some biographical information. From there, Goodyear presents all three of her pieces smashed into one another like a car crash someone decided to weld together and turn into a jazzy stretch limo; clearly made up of smaller things but so pretty you don’t mind. Bits of an article on Cameron and Terminator are scattered throughout the article as a whole, drawing little threads and comparisons between his big three works Goodyear focuses on, and Titanic gets its own section altogether which includes how it was made, the critics’ reaction to it, and then Cameron’s reaction to the critics, as well as his reaction when said critics were proven horribly, horribly wrong. All the while, however, Goodyear never deviates from her true article: Cameron and Avatar. Goodyear covers the creation and production of the film in greater detail than the two other mini-articles, and glories in the opportunity to show her readers what kind of man Cameron is in clear, foul-languaged detail.

Goodyear’s article covers her topic in exquisite detail and clearly gives the reader a glimpse into the entertaining, and more than a little frightening, mind of James Cameron. She does so, however, in her own way, meandering along a path that only she can see, all the while making her readers want to follow slowly behind her, starting at the blue-skinned beauty that is Cameron’s creation all the while.

The Actual Introduction

This section is the one I always struggle with. It’s easy to continue something you’re in the middle of, and even ending something is pretty straightforward. Beginnings though, beginnings can be tricky. Beginnings require energy and time, not to mention they’re new, and new things tend to be both intimidating and scary. Like quantum physics or an angry woman. Fortunately, there are decent enough books published on both writing introductions quantum physics, and so I find myself at a crossroads, a place where a decision can be made: continue or run away like a little baby, and I am no child.

I am, in fact, a college student; I am a junior currently attending a lovely little college with growth issues in a backwards, mostly-unknown state called Maryland on the eastern coast of the United States, home of Apple Pie and obesity. I am, first and foremost, mostly human, and I love words. Words, words, words, insert Hamlet reference, make my world go ’round. I love writing, reading, and speaking about writing and reading almost as much as I like writing and reading. Almost needless to say, this puts me in an interesting situation, for what college student in their right mind writes for fun anymore, let alone read? And while I love my friends dearly, I made the mistake of not befriending a single person who enjoys books of any kind nor in any capacity, and so I am stuck in a bit of what one would call a snafu.

You see, dear reader who may or may not exist, in the words of some very clever comic artists I met at Otakon, I do not participate in artistic masturbation; I do not write for the sake of writing. I write because I want my words to be read, and seeing as how so few of my friends read, and how not everything I write is a story that could be hosted by, say, Tor in any timely fashion, I made the decision to post my random thoughts, works, stories, poems, and, yes, even essays, on this site in the hopes that someone out there shares my bizarre tastes and reads them. The way I see it is that words exist to be read, and if they are not, they are not fulfilling their purpose. And I want them to fulfill their purpose.

So come, dear reader or reader-to-be, join me in my epic quest for meaning and entertainment, join me in this frivolous journey of self-discovery, join me, please, so this is not solely literary masturbation. Join me, and read for awhile.

<3 Chickens

This post is proof that I am, in fact, of poultry decent and that I can, in fact, type.