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Bad Day

Today has been a bad day. Stressful, aggravating, and tiring. I would normally write my daily post right now, but I need to kill some stuff for a couple hours.

* * *

OK, it’s been almost three hours of run, shoot, kill, blow stuff up, run some more. I played F.E.A.R., a first-person shooter computer game with a horror/mystery story. I didn’t pick this game for the horror theme, but rather for the gunfire effects — smoke, damage to property, damage to enemies, etc. I needed some blood and explosions to purge the stress from my system.

You see, computer games don’t make people perform violence; computer games help people keep from performing violence.

Yes, I’m being facetious, here. Mostly. Virtual violence and destruction can improve a guy’s mental state. Guys like watching gun battles and explosions. And the only thing better than watching them is participating in them (from the protective cover of a computer screen).

In most shoot-’em-up computer games, the victims of your violence are bad guys: vicious monsters, sinister aliens, evil demons, and nazis. Occasionally the bad guys are not so much evil as just opposing you: mercenaries who will kill you without question if you don’t kill them first, soldiers who will kill you because it’s their duty. So you can play the game and shoot anything and everything without remorse.

Even if the targets of your guns are not bad, they are just computer images. The only people who get confused between reality and a computer image are the types who get confused between reality and a movie image. Or between reality and the messages in a Beatles album.

Anyway. I killed bad guys and blew up bad things and generally got the stress out of my system. I can go to bed, get a good night’s sleep, and be a regular husband, dad, and citizen in the morning. I’m only a crazed killer and mad demolitionist in the occasional evening. And I try to finish up by midnight.


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