No one said taking a course on video games would be so hard for me to deal with. Let me explain. The hardest aspect for me to deal with is that this course is, in fact, a course. I find myself having a hard time committing time to do the work required for this course, which happens to be playing video games. It would seem that cultural prejudices against gaming have reared their ugly heads within me. It feels odd to be doing homework with friends (let’s be honest, it’s not happening alone in my room) and their homework is annotated bibliographies and problem sets, while mine is playing Papers, Please. They laugh or smack their lips with envy, and I feel invalidated, so I switch to working on my thesis or reading/writing in Italian or anything else that is deemed more acceptable for a student at an elite institution.
And I have trouble even paying for the games required for the course. I don’t have a lot of money to drop on video games, they are simply luxury and I can’t afford that. But MP made a great point the other day in class. These games are not a luxury but the materials needed for the course, like books for our other courses. When you look at it that way, it’s easier to justify spending the money (especially since, luckily, we haven’t been asked to buy games too expensive for my budget, although they still test its limit). And if I’m buying my required “reading” material and not reading it, then I’m just wasting my money and time in this course.
This course has forced me to confront my own approach to gaming. I still believe it is luxury, but for this semester it can’t be. And I can’t allow myself not to succeed in this class for fear of how I look playing on my laptop rather than writing in it.