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Video Games Have No Place in Intelligent Society

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[Note: This item is getting a bit more positive response than I expected, therefore I am cheating it back to the top just this once. Forgive me and I will not repeat this little date/time alchemy.]

Now that I have the attention of every gamer who reads Blogcritics, I’m proposing a new project — follow up to the recent disastrous Blunt Swords debacle. Blunt Swords was to be a discussion forum for writers that actually works. But it didn’t work. It didn’t work because online forums for writers don’t work. I knew this. I also know that if I get very drunk I will have a three-day hangover, yet I’ve indeed willfully intoxicated myself to great extent in the past. So I guess I just had to stick my hand in the fire to discover that writers’ forums are too hot — or not too hot, as the case may be — to manage.

But this new gig, this is all about fun: We are forming a video gaming league for writers. If you’re laughing now, piss off. There’s a precedent for pen-wielding gamers. Alex Garland and Martin Amis. And Martin Amis and Alex Garland. And Trent Reznor — okay, he’s a songwriter, which is not exactly what we’re after; but if Trent Reznor wants to join and be my new best friend, he’s in, baby. However I’m sure there are a great many writers who don’t quite have that sort of name recognition who pine passionately for pastimes popular perhaps betwixt periods of perpetrating purple prose and violating virginal volumes with venomous verse. You get the picture.

The rules, because there are always rules:

1. You must be a writer. This does not mean that you must be a published writer, or work in a writing-related field; you must only aspire to the writer’s life. And keep after it daily or at least weekly. If you put food on the table by working at Blockbuster or as an automotive mechanic or a soft-porn star, so be it. You simply must define your avocation and potential vocation as writing.

2. You must have Internet access. That one should be easy. You’re reading this.

3. You must have a PC, Mac or Xbox with Xbox Live subscription. You’ll need some games, too; but we’ll start matching up the haves and the have-nots when the league is formed. We’ll try to accommodate Mac users as much as possible for game sessions; however, realize that if you’re Mac-only you may not be able to participate in every league night. Once everything is underway, informal sessions can be scheduled in addition to the formal league nights.

4. Membership is by application only. Application is an essay in one-hundred words or less on why you belong in our little club. Judgment of essays will be, shall we say, less than strict. We’d just like to know that you’re interested enough in the concept to bang out a hundred words and submit it for review. Hopefully, submission of an application implies that you will actually participate.

5. Submit essays to the Game League Secretary. Essays must be in English or French, though English will be the default language for all league communications and sessions. (For those applying in French, keep it damn simple, please: meaning, more or less, a French children’s story.) There is no deadline, as recruitment — conscription? — is ongoing; but please, if you’re interested, hop on it.

You’ll be notified of your acceptance — very likely — or rejection — a spare few of you who really shouldn’t write anything, ever. Details to follow. Please give this serious consideration. If we build a largish membership, we can hold tournaments: pay $10 to enter; 20 entrants; that’s a $200 Amazon.com gift certificate to you should you win. The more, the merrier, and the better the prizes.

Get to it, people. This is my last gasp at some community-building.

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About Martin Blank

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree with your intro

  • Eric Olsen

    at least the time wasting part

  • Dew

    Xbox? I was so excited right up until that word. I wouldn’t play Xbox for free. I guess I will explore your PC option.

  • san

    Xbox is just an option, especially for people who don’t have a game-ready PC and don’t want to upgrade. PC is cool and much will be arranged around PC gaming. Do not fear that PC will take a back seat to Xbox Live. If anything, we’ll have a league night for each platform. Macs are really the only platform that will get short shrift in this deal. And I use a Mac for my work, with a PC for gaming. But there’s just not much we can do to include Macs in every event.

  • jadester

    i’d like to join but really cannot spare the money for “serious” tournaments. Will friendlies be held too?

  • Fyodor

    I am a time-squandering man. … I am a spiteful man. No, I am not a pleasant man at all. I believe there is something wrong about playing video games. The truth is, I refuse to stop playing video games out of spite. I don’t suppose you will understand that. Well, I do. I don’t expect I shall be able to explain to you who it is I am actually trying to annoy in this case by my spite; I realize full well that I can’t “hurt” you productive people by refusing to stop playing video games; I realize better than any one that by all this I am only hurting myself and no one else. Still, the fact remains that if I refuse to stop playing video games, it is only out of spite. I am wasting time — well, let me damn well waste time — the more time I waste the better

  • Eric Olsen

    dude, you deserve some damn punishment for your crime

  • san

    Friendlies are the primary focus. Tournaments with entrance fees will only be held if members seem to want them — and they will not dominate the schedule by any means.

    Submit that essay. We look forward to hearing from you.