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As Seen in the Image: McBay sacrifices his video games, from “Breaking Habits”

Garrett McBay, Reporter

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Living in a neighborhood with a handful of kids, growing up occasionally got a little boring. However, this changed after the year my parents decided to buy a Playstation 2. Ever since, I have been hooked on video gaming, probably at an unhealthy amount. Some days, I come home, study a little, and then play with friends from school for the rest of the night. Gaming has been a  fun way for me to hang out with people who I normally don’t get to see after school, and has introduced me to some of my favorite stories of all time.

 However, for my one week of resolutions, I decided to give up playing video games. Though I have done stints of offline time in the past, I normally at least play something on my phone or watch Netflix on my Playstation. But for one solid week, I unplugged my systems and moved all of my apps into a folder labeled “DO NOT TOUCH.”  I survived, but some fun and painful moments ensued. Through out the week, I wanted to see if what parents everywhere had been saying for years was true,and sought to find if all that extra time I could instead be using studying would actually help my grades.

Day 1: I woke up and did my routine, and was welcomed to what would probably be the largest challenge of the week. Everyone on my twitter feed was exploding about what was to some the worst, and other the best, game of all time, Flappy Bird. Interested, i asked friends at school about the craze, and was quickly shown the addicting ball of fury. It appeared to be exactly the type of thing that i loved. Quick, easy to learn controls with extreme difficulty, but with no penalty for losing. Just an infinite loop of fixing your mistakes whenever you failed. My friend offered me his phone asking if I wanted to try, and Ialmost broke my promise on day one. I snapped back my hand as fast I could, and walked away swiftly. This was going to be difficult to avoid.

Day 2:  One thing did help with the boredom of having nothing to do after school. Theatre. In my free time I had volunteered to work on sound crew for the spring musical, “Shrek, the musical”. After school rehearsal normally went until at least 5, some days untill 7. I would work and study during the rehearsal, but that still left 5 to 3 hours from after I got home till when I went to sleep to fill. Trying to find a loophole in the “no Netflix on your Playstation” rule, I started to instead watch Netflix on Roku. Roku is basically a small computer that you hook to your TV, and is made mainly for watching streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. I felt a little dirty that I was getting around the rules, but quickly got over it once I started to get into Breaking Bad.

Day 3:  I quickly became acquainted with the term “spoiler alert”. On the sunday before the challenge began, my friend talked me into finally playing the game “Bioshock”. Despite the fact that the game had been out for years, I had never played it. My friends had told me that it was great, and that the story was phenomenal, but I knew very little about it. I was like someone who had never seen Star Wars. Everybody knows that the Death Star gets blown up, but it’s the small, awesome details that only the people who have seen it know. In the same sense, I knew how the game ended and all of the major plot points, but my friend told me that to truly enjoy the story, you had to experience it. I had only gotten 2 or 3 hours into the game before I had gone to bed Sunday, but my friends at school wanted to know how I liked it so far. I was continually questioned throughout the week.“Has this character died yet?” “Has this character revealed who they really are yet?” “Has that big, crucial to the plot, totally amazing thing happened yet? Oh? You haven’t gotten that far yet? My bad bro, my bad.”

 Day 4: This day truly hurt. After doing some tests at school and working at play rehearsal, I returned home and checked through the news. I eventually stumbled upon what might possibly be the most painful part of the week. To thank their community of fans, Nintendo, a video game company, decided to give every person who owned a Nintendo 3DS a free copy of the game “The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition” to download to their 3DS, but only until that upcoming Sunday. Being one of these people, I got excited. Then, the nervousness kicked in. Would my free copy be there when i was finished on Friday? What if it wasn’t? What if something went wrong? What if I straight up forgot about it and ended up forgetting to download it before the deadline? Only time would tell. Anxiously, i returned to studying for an upcoming history vocab test.

Day 5: The end had nearly come. It was finally friday, and I would be able to start playing again once I got home. I checked my Infinite Campus, and saw something strange. Even with all of the studying, I got around the same grades that i got on a normal game filled week. That aside, I still had one more day of school to survive. By this point, the flappy phenomenon had started to die down, and all of my friends had gotten a firm yelling at to stop asking about “Bioshock”. This day was going to be a breeze. First through seventh hour flew by, and after rehearsal, got home at 7 and binged. I played online with my friends, caught up with “Bioshock”, and even watched a movie on my Playstation again. I had done it.

Despite the extra studying, not much changed. Sure I knew a little bit more about this and that, but still got the same scores on my tests. I will almost definitely study more in the future, just in case, but will feel just a little less guilty whenever I sit down and play with friends.

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