Life Over!

Patintero, Agawan Base, Taguan, Ten-Twenty, Langit-Lupa, Piko: these are just some of my favorite traditional Filipino games when I was a kid. I can still remember how I would freak out when I could not find a place to hide and the “taya” had started looking for us. And those days when I got scolded for my white-turned-black socks after playing ten-twenty. I surely miss these fun games. Through these games, I was able to build friendships and experienced childhood at its best. It is just sad to know though that children of this generation no longer get to experience that kind of childhood.

Gone are the days when children would go out in the streets to play games. Instead of the streets, you would now find them in computer shops playing violent video games or at the comfort of their homes with their iPads and isolating themselves. You would no longer hear them scream their hearts out and laugh their heads off with their playmates. Instead, you’d hear them cursing their opponents. Time has changed indeed!

Just recently, an alarming news about a Taiwanese teenager came out. The teenager was reported to have died after a 40-hour Diablo III marathon. Diablo III is an action role-playing video game which was released last May 15. The teenager did not stop to eat nor sleep and the long period of sitting still was noted to have created blood clots which caused his death. What is even more alarming is that it is not an isolated case. Although rare, there have been similar incidents reported.

40 hours? Imagine what better activities he could have spent his 40 hours with. That’s almost two days spent on a non-sense video game. With 40 hours he should have just spent time with his family and friends; gone to school; helped the needy; heard mass; said a prayer; eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and gained enough sleep. And maybe just maybe, he would probably still live. It’s sad, tragic even, to know that a life has been lost over a video game. It should be game over and not life over!

Although this incident happened in Taiwan, we must not be very lax. These may be just video games but their influence and impact on the players is something that we cannot just ignore. Parents must guide their children when it comes to playing video games. And if possible, let them stay away from such video games and offer them alternative games. It will be nice to introduce the traditional Filipino games to them to bring back the good old days – those days when the youth are friendly, carefree, innocent, and just lovin’ life.

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