Plugging in and tuning out

Although people most often picture partying when they think of the college scene, another activity is eating up time in the college schedule – playing video games.

Many students said they spend their free and even not-so-free time in front of Sega or Nintendo game stations. Students said games are a good way to keep their minds off of work and stress.

Sophomore Corey Cooper said he and his roommates enjoy playing “Zelda” on Nintendo 64.

“It’s a four-player game, so it gives us all something to do when we have some free time,” Cooper said.

Cooper also said he and his roommates have even more fun playing when they have work they should be doing.

“Video games are great for procrastination,” he said. “When you just don’t want to start your work, that’s the best time to play.”

Sophomore Matthew Chester said he also uses video games to procrastinate. He said games help his work.

“If I need a break from doing my work, I always like to play a game or two,” Chester said. “I don’t think it detracts from my work at all though. It helps alleviate some of the stress of my work and allows me to work better because I’m more relaxed.”

Chester said he disagrees with the popular claim that video games are simply mindless entertainment.

“I don’t think it’s any more mindless than TV,” Chester said. “If someone were to say that to me, I just ask, `How many hours of TV do you watch?'”

Sophomore Bret Kaplan said he spends a lot of time playing video games. The number of hours a day depends on his workload, Kaplan said. He said video games are not mindless fun or just for young kids.

“There’s no age limit on video games,” Kaplan said. “I’ve been playing them since I was a little kid and will continue playing them until I am an adult. Graphics and the games themselves just keep getting better and better. They will continue to do so, and I will continue to play them.”

Video games are not just fun for GW men.

Sophomore Karen Brumbaugh said she prefers older games over newer ones. She brought an old Nintendo system with her to school.

“I think the old games are a lot more fun than the newer ones,” Brumbaugh said. “There’s no need for all those new graphics. I think the games were fine the way they were and I have a great time playing games that are from when Nintendo first came out.”

Brumbaugh said she also uses video games to procrastinate.

“I play a lot when I have a big amount of work that I don’t want to start,” Brumbaugh said. “But then usually I realize that I have to start my work and will unplug the Nintendo and put the game cartridges in a drawer, so I can focus on my work.”

Computer games also take up a large amount of some students’ time.

“I spend a lot more time playing computer games in college than I did when I was at home,” freshman Abbie Boettcher said. “Last year I was at school for most of my day, but now I’m always coming back to my room so there’s a lot more time to play.”

Spending free time playing video games does not fit the Animal House stereotype of college and it may be a long time before students trade in their beer mugs for joist-sticks. But playing video games has become a popular pastime for GW students seeking entertainment, relaxation and procrastination.

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