Tag Archives: waste

What Have We Become?

I just read this article published by Bungie, makers of the Halo series of video games. According to this article, the total amount of on-line playtime on Halo 3 (just Halo 3, not including the first two games, and just online multiplayer, not including the single-player campaigns) in man-hours equates to over 64,000 years of playtime. Sixty-four. Thousand. Years. YEARS. That’s more than ten times the total span of recorded history. In 64,000 years, every major human empire has risen and fallen. Every invention has been dreamed and realized. Over 100,000,000,000 (that’s one hundred billion, kids) human beings have been born, lived, and died.
Now, imagine all of that time, all of that history and progress and accomplishment… and replace it all with Halo 3. Nothing but Halo 3. Over. And over. And over.


How is there any surprise that American society is witnessing it’s highest-ever rates of suicide and depression? How can we be surprised when millions of American teenagers spend their lives, literally, playing video games?
Obesity at historical levels.
Diabetes so common that testing supplies get full-page ads in Wal-Mart flyers.

When immeasurable lifetimes are spent on a fantasy-world? And this is just one game, people! Factor in the dozens of other games with similar degrees of playtime (Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, etc) and the amount of life that has been wasted on mindless video games is simply staggering. Imagine if all the time spent playing Halo 3 had instead been spent on worthwhile pursuits: 64,000 years of advancement to medicine, alternative fuels, social equality, poverty reduction.

To be fair, I play video games. I spend maybe 6 hours, ten if I’m feeling especially lazy, on video games every week; and I’m not saying that video games should be shunned as horrible devil-spawn single-handedly causing the downfall of Western civilization. They are a worthwhile entertainment, but only when used in moderation as with anything.

I feel I am beginning to ramble, so I’ll wrap up my comments now. It’s time to live people! Our generation is living longer than any previous generation… but our lives are so much smaller. Let’s do something about this. Let us rage:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night