What We're Playing, and: A Question of Blame

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
Last week was a rough week for video gamers, and I'm not just referring to the Great Sony Home Debacle of '08.  Rather, the FCC denounced World of Warcraft for allegedly increasing college dropout rates, while employers were screening interviewees with WoW listed in their hobbies; then conservative author Bill Croke blamed the "video game generation" for wildlife "thrill kills."

So this week we're asking you, the GamingNexus faithful (and lurkers alike), What's the closest you've come to committing a crime (or engaging in some other ruinous behavior) that you could spuriously accuse video games for causing?  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by our sense of whimsy.
  • Ben Berry:  I was addicted to Star Wars: Empire at War during part of my first marriage, especially when it was falling apart. It didn't destroy the marriage, but it didn't help matters either. I have downloaded a video game illegally. Technically, the game being so good is what caused me to want to do it.  [Now Playing:  NHL 09, WiiFit]
  • Elliot Bonnie:  I rushed through a college final because it was the day that Metal Gear Solid 2 came out.  Luckily, I had the next week off to enjoy the game.  [Now Playing:  Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, Gears of War 2]
  • Sean Colleli:  A game has never actually influenced me to commit a crime, but every time I see a wooden loading pallet I feel strangely compelled to smash it into tiny splinters, and it's all Half Life 2's fault.  It's probably a good thing I don't own a crowbar.  [Now Playing:  WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, Team Fortress 2]
  • Randy Kalista:  Only two years ago, my then-supervisor had to have a chat with me -- twice -- about my EVE Online habit.  At first I was only cracking open my home laptop during morning and afternoon breaks, as well as filling up my lunch hour with the sci-fi-themed MMO.  That part was fine.  Then I started leaving the game client on during the rest of the workday, sitting next to me, humming away as I spent about four hours of the workday doing data entry, and the other four hours fidgeting with EVEMon (short for "EVE Character Monitoring and Planning"), reading the game's sometimes above-average short fiction, and serving as a low-level recruiter for my in-game corporation.  Plus, MMOs in general can make a player narrow their entire gaming horizon down to one, single $14.99/month subscription and getting zero exposure to any other games -- which, in and of itself, is ruinous behavior for a gamer.  [Now Playing:  Prince of Persia, Mirror's Edge, Civilization IV: Colonization]
  • Matt Mirkovich:  I almost got in a car accident because I was speeding to get home after I had purchased Suikoden 2 and Resident Evil (Dual Shock Edition, BABY!).  This is why you don't let kids get behind the wheel until they are at least 18, people!  [Now Playing:  Master of the Monster Lair, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Beamania IIDX 15: DJTroopers]
  • Nathan Murray:  I have been advised by my lawyers that answering/commenting on this week's question would put several legal cases in jeopardy (that damned Trebeck and his evil schemes) instead they have prepared for me the following response:  "I did not have sexual relations with that Asari."  [Now Playing:  Civilization Revolution, Quantum of Solace, Fallout 3]
  • Sean Nack:  I joined the Army.  [Now Playing:  Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Fallout 3]
  • John Yan:  I'm trying to remember the dumbest thing I've ever done because of a video game and the only thing I can think of was skipping my midterm and finals preparations with my teacher associates and classmates because I wanted that one more round in Quake II CTF [capture the flag]. Yeah, it didn't help my grades and it did cost me a class or two that I had to retake. I shake my fist at having cable modem when it first came out in the Columbus area. Online Quake II CTF was the death of me back in the early college days.  [Now Playing:  Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2]
  • Charles Husemann: When the original X-Wing came out a buddy of mine set a new land speed record getting from the northern suburbs of Cincinnati back to Oxford.  Thank god he was a decent driver and his Eagle Talon had fresh tires or we would have ended up in a ditch somewhere. [Now Playing:  Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, Destroy All Humans:Path of the Furon]
While no one wants to pile incriminating evidence at their own feet, maybe you'll remember a particular instance that could've landed you on the wrong side of the law.  What's something you did that could potentially prove the FCC right about their miguided assumptions regarding video gamers?  It's time to divulge those secrets.  They're safe with us, here on the internet.

[Pictured:  The Asari that Nathan Murray had (alleged) sexual relations with]