An Xbox epidemic

Before coming to UVM, the University requested that all first year students take an online alcohol education course specifically aimed at college drinking.

Now, here I am, two months into my college career with no drug problems, no alcohol problems, – thanks, AlcoholEdu – but I am still worried about my academic performance.

The reason is a new drain of attention and motivation, an epidemic lurking in dorm rooms across the nation.

It is Xbox 360.

It must be quarantined.

I have never had the longest attention span nor have I been the most studious person, but nothing – not drinking, not smoking – has ever led to my procrastination more than the “Halo 3” in my common room.

Instead of doing something constructive like playing sports, playing music or reading a book, kids across the country now tend to sit around for hours killing each other with virtual plasma rifles.

But, while procrastinating by tossing around a football, you get some exercise.

At least when you drink, you go out drinking – hey, you might even dance.

But I see no such benefits to video games, and I don’t know any occupation that requires superior eye-finger coordination or knowledge of “The Covenant.”

And many video gamers spend hours living in a fantasy world when they haven’t even adequately explored our own.

There are so many fascinating things to do outside of the video game realm, especially at a place with so many resources like UVM, but it’s as if many of us have just given up on the outside world.

The thinking seems to be “been there, done that, not enough explosions and aliens.”

It’s a vicious combination of apathy and laziness – the outside world doesn’t really excite us, and it is too easy to just sit and play video games.

It’s already there in your dorm room, and it’s on with the click of a button.

Everybody needs time to relax, and video games can be an enjoyable past time, but it’s important to remember that there is a big world out there that hasn’t been exhausted.

Look up at the stars once in a while; think about new frontiers.

Pick up a magazine or newspaper when you feel like relaxing.

It’s more energizing and inspiring than a round of “Team Slayer.”

Alcohol is old news.

“Halo 3” online is the new alcohol.

If UVM wants its students to be successful it should require “Having-a-lifeEdu.