Today, I brought my two elder sons to see
the Malaysian Games and Comics Convention, at KDU University College, Damansara
Jaya. The reason for doing so was simple: Ainan was participating at the
Astromedia stall, as an animator. In his one hour in the booth, he created a
comedic animation – a short tale about the life and times of two rabbits. It
was very funny. Yet, that is not why I write...something else is.
Whilst I was doing a tour of the booths at
the convention, I came across one that was clearly marketing an online game. It
was by Garena. I looked curiously at the game paraphernalia on display. At that
point, a young man in attendance approached me.
“Have you ever played computer games?”, he
asked, in a curiously condescending manner. He seemed to look at me as if
no-one as old as me could possibly have ever experienced such pursuits.
“Yes.” I replied very mildly and softly, though well aware of what he thought about me.
He seemed hesitant, as if he still didn’t
“What have you played?”, he asked,
seemingly convinced that the answer wouldn’t be much.
“Oh, Oblivion!”, he dismissed. “This is
very different from that.”
He then went on to explain why this game
was different from the one I was familiar with.
“Would you like to open an account?”, he
asked, at the end of his pitch. “If you do, we will give you the free goodies.”
I looked at the bag of goodies, back at the
screen where an account opening procedure awaited me and then back up at him.
“What is the subscription?”
“Oh it is free.”
“Is it an online game?”
“I’ll be back.”, I said and walked away.
Little did he know, but he had lost me the
moment he spoke condescendingly to me. The young are sometimes so very stupid.
They believe themselves to be superior to the old – and yet, in almost every
way, they are the inferior of their elders. This young man looked down on me
because I was more than twice his age. He thought that I could not conceivably
have any experience of modern gaming culture. So he treated me, from the very
beginning, as some kind of lesser life form. It came through in his every word,
tone of voice, attitude and demeanour. He just thought I wasn’t likely to have
any experience of the kind of game he was marketing. Yet, of course, I have a
very good idea of what kind of game he was selling. I have played similar games
in my life – as most people have.
There was another reason I didn’t sign up
for his game. I really didn’t like the idea of bringing another addictive gaming
experience into the house, to waste everyone’s time on. There was no beneficial
or productive reason to do so. The kind of product he shifted, is corrosive to
family life, in excess...so I would just rather not get involved. So, I
actually turned down a FREE game!
The truth, of course, is that I knew rather
more about his type of game than he realized – which is just why I didn’t “buy”
it. That, and his attitude, of course.
I never did go back to his stall, though I
passed it by many times in the course of the afternoon.
For me, the highlight of the event was
seeing Ainan’s animation. It was by far the most creative thing I saw there.
Posted by Valentine Cawley
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Labels: adult stupidity, attitudes to foreigners, computer games, prejudice, video games