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In the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, an eighteen year-old boy named Wade is addicted to playing a videogame called the Oasis. The game is a virtual reality of the world of 2045 except everything is more happy and bright, because in this time, the world is on its death bed. Global warming, energy crises, starvation, and unemployment are just some of the issues in the current world and playing the Oasis is a way to escape the horrors of the world. This is fairly similar to snooker player Neil Robertson who says he’s addicted to a game called World of Warcraft, in an article entitled As Addictive as Gardening: How Dangerous is Video Gaming. Just like Wade, this game has distracted him from his real life, absorbing him into the flashy colors and graphics of a 2004 MMORPG, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It just so happens that the two games are of the same genre, and are as equally addicting to both Robertson and Wade. Neil describes that video games has distracted him from his job, it’s consuming the time of teenagers, and how parents have disagreed on children playing video games.
Neil Robertson believes that video gaming can be seen as an addictions, almost similar to heroin or other forms of hard drugs. This is because of how time consuming it is and how hard it is to stop, once you’ve started. In the novel Ready Player One, Wade locks himself in his one room apartment, and doesn’t leave it until the end of his novel. Everyday Wade spends hours logged into the Oasis, escaping reality. Which is exactly what Robertson was describing, videogames took Robertson to a new world, a world of fairytale and it was difficult to escape the world, because of how fun and entertaining it is. However in the book, Wade has a secondary motive, which is to find the easter egg left by game designer James Halliday, but even before the easter egg went live almost everyone in the world played the game to enjoy its realistic graphics and its endless possibilities.
Neil Robertson describes that videogames are distracting kids from their school work, especially kids in Asia. An example would be in South Korea where gaming is basically a sport and the gamers are treated like singers or TV personalities here in America. In South Korea the government has taken precautions to help young people to get over their addictions to video games so that their scenario doesn’t escalate to what’s going on in 2045 in Wade’s America. In 2045 everyone, not just young kids are playing on the Oasis. Mrs. Gilmore one of Wade’s neighbors is in her 70s and still logs into the Oasis everyday. In this time period everyone has began to become addicted to the Oasis, which is already happening in Asian countries like South Korea and China, where gaming has began to take over the country.
Unlike in the future, now in current America, older people like kid’s parents hate it when kids spend almost their entire day slouched over their computers playing video games. Parents believe that it’s a waste of time, when they could be doing better things like studying or going outside and also parents believe that playing too many games can mess up kid’s vision. This is one of the things that separate our generation of gamers to Wade’s generation of gamers. Video games are similar to the addiction to comic books and rock music that began in the 80s. People who dislike gaming see it as an addiction that messes with the child’s head, but if anything it enhances their ability to work their way out of obstacles that are introduced to them in a gaming format, that they’d actually listen to and complete because it’s apart of a game they love. Just like in Wade’s world, teaching online through a game seems like a way to make kids actually listen, the programming prevents kids from talking and disrupting class.
Neil Robertson sees the dangers in gaming, but also the positives. There are always going to be skeptics about video gaming, but as it seems to be growing now it’ll soon become a nation phenomenon. Video games are already consuming kid’s time, energy, and are hated by their parents and people who don’t understand video games. This is why people think videogames are harming children, because they don’t know what’s going on when a child is playing a videogame.
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