This I Believe

Joshua - Collierville, Tennessee
Entered on September 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

First, to explain my reasoning for writing this essay, we must gaze into the eyes of my teacher. While sitting in this concrete and brick tomb of dead poets, authors, artists of long times ago (a tomb only without that horrible stench and the faces of rotting happy smiles), I started to think of how amazingly boring this particular assignment would be. I had no idea what to write about since I am not 100% sure what I believe. I am sure that some to most of my views are different than that of my peers. I do not believe in fate, an afterlife, heaven or hell, deities, peace, war, hate, love, sorrow, anger, and joy—yet some would say I have seen my fair share of all these emotions. But to put it in a simple equation: Me + My PS2 = Freedom.

Most people upon hearing this combination of letters and numbers, immediately focuses on one image of me: nerd. But I don’t care. I am not on this planet to impress you, seeing as you probably have a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo product in your house. The only difference between the two of us is that you may be more active physically and enjoy throwing illusory touchdowns, as opposed to my intellectual approach at more challenging games. I enjoy taking my infinite rocket launcher and shooting a cult priest right in front of me even though I know my imaginative persona will die as well. So simply, I believe in video games.

Reason #1: It doesn’t matter if I have had a bad day or a good day, my Resident Evil 4 account never discriminates against who I am or what I am wearing. I believe video games allow people to focus on what is important to them. Either way, I know for a fact that when I press that green power button there will always be a horde of crazy Spaniards trying to kill me with a chainsaw. They don’t look at me and laugh or bump me in the hall because I happen to be wearing a KoRn or Cradle of Filth t-shirt. I enjoy my music, and I don’t care who knows it, because no matter what anyone does to me I won’t change. My insane adversaries understand this and always know just how to throw that axe at me to show that they care.

Reason #2: There is no better way to see exotic sights as there are in these complex creations of the human mind. Where else can you sit in front of a screen and have a complete virtual tour of an ancient, possessed castle in the middle of the ocean that has the ability to conjure the devil as in Devil May Cry? Or how are you supposed to visit an entire ice planet whose sole purpose is to mine for a mythological diamond substitute like Ratchet & Clank? I believe video games push out the cares of a world gone astray. Video games take you away from where you do not want to be to some place distant enough to let all your worries and cares just drift away, because in these wondrous lands, you are not singled out for having a vivid imagination. In fact, these places encourage the mind to wander afar, to make these fictional lands of indescribable scents and pure human-eating fluff balls come to life for a more enjoyable trip at the level of drug-induced proportions, you know, just without the nasty after effects.

Reason #3: In all honesty, there is no better way to communicate with other people in all parts of this world, whether it happens to be in the next room or across the planet, then through a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a mouthful for those who don’t know or understand what it is, or a shoot ‘um up. Even aside from the far distant lands of Sweden or World of Warcraft, Halo, a first-person shooter about an alien invasion, captures the pure essence of a pre-apocalyptic pwn-age party in your living room. Nothing says “I love you” to a friend more than a sticky grenade to the face. I believe video games bring people together. And while even being able to play a co-op stealth game, I still take pleasure in (if you could call it that) having the ability to yell and scream into my plastic headset whenever I decide to make a fatal error, but my self-simulated spy does not hate me. He patiently waits till the next time I click on that load button.

Out of so many “This I Believe” statements that all of you must read, this by far is probably one of the few that is of actual importance to anyone. Video games are a hobby just as, to one man, barbeque is a food, but to certain people, given meaning behind these seemingly trivial activities, a reality is born. And that is why I believe video games are freedom.