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Gaming Goddess

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You know what's really dangerous, gaming watchdogs? DRIVING


I tell ya Jim, ten people just died in this accident, but what's really scary are those gosh-darned video games! Think of the children!

This is only vaguely video-game related, but this has been bothering me lately, and my next Tomb Raider/Parasite Eve/Retro Limbo Game X essay isn't finished yet, so what the hell. It is long and ranty, so be forewarned.

I live on Long Island, one of the most congested areas in the United States as far as traffic is concerned. One of our main drags, Jericho Turnpike, has one of the highest total accidents per year of any road in the WORLD. It should be needless to say that being hurt or killed in a car accident is a much, much more likely scenario for me and my neighbors than death by gun crime, terrorism, aspartame in Diet Coke, or, *gasp* videogames. However, it appears that I am one of the three people in the area who is aware of this tidbit of incredibly obvious wisdom, the other two being my Dad and my brother. My Mom is a piece of work, but that's neither here nor there.

The Example

The other day I was driving home on Jericho Turnpike, in the snow. I was in the left turn lane; there was a green light. Now my policy is not to pull into the intersection until I see an opening, because getting stuck in the middle of an intersection on a crowded road is pretty much my personal hell. Furthermore, since conditions were not great-- I'd had to pump my breaks a few times to stop on the drive so far-- I wasn't going to try to squeeze into a small gap in oncoming traffic. Since it was good ole' Jericho Turnpike, there was a metric ton of cars and no large breaks in traffic to speak of, so I decided to wait the entire minute it would take to get a green arrow instead of stupidly charging ahead and risking an accident. I like those green arrows.

Apparently, some people are confused about what a green light in the left turn lane means. Instead of the actual meaning, which is "you may go if you see a reasonable opportunity", they think it means "you MUST go if there is any chance that you can squeeze by without causing a multi-car pileup." An SUV behind me was pretty much sitting on the horn the entire time, the driver presumably thinking "Hey, there's a chance in hell you may be able to get through here, why aren't you moving up? Sure, we could get into an accident, but I'm in an SUV and I'll probably survive anyway, it's just your fault for being lame and driving a fuel-efficient car, so you can't drive like your brain is made out of testicles."

I'm not usually an overly-cautious driver, but let's look at the odds here: It was snowing. The roads were icy. It was rush hour. We were on what is statistically one of the most dangerous roads you could possibly have the privilege of driving on. The chances of injury and/or death for everyone involved in this kind of scenario is probably greater than that of any other scenario most people will ever experience outside of the armed forces, and no one except me seems to care. This kind of thing has happened to me before; it was especially blatant this time because of the weather, but it's not at all uncommon for me to get honked just for not driving like a moron.

Politically Popular "Risk", ACTUAL RISK: Different!

We're constantly being assailed with tales of all the things that have a .000001% chance of affecting us, and many people, especially parents, seem to like making a big show of adopting a no-tolerance policy. Violent videogames potentially pose a risk because one kid in 50 million MIGHT have a violent episode? Ban all videogames. One child in 100 million MIGHT shoot themselves because their stupid parent left the thing loaded? Ban all firearms.

These people have to know how many children, as well as people in general, are hurt or killed in car accidents every year: Where is the preventative abundance of caution here? People drive while talking on their cell phones, drive while eating fast food, run through red lights, drive aggressively because apparently they think someone will call them a pussy if they don't (and this level of thinking is totally consistent with that of third-grade name-calling, in my opinion), buy big cars to compensate for not driving conscientiously ("at least if I have an accident, I have this Hummer so I'll walk away!"), and act as though they suffer under the delusion that their time is just SO VALUABLE that they can't be bothered to take the extra second it would take to drive like a reasonable human being who is aware of their own mortality. Newsflash: No one's time is that fucking valuable.

I can't understand how people can be terrified of what is a slight risk at worst, and be so cavalier about a comparatively huge risk that they face every single day. It seems that people are just willing to roll the dice when it comes to driving, and hope that Lady Luck will foist the head-on collision on some other schmuck, because they can't be bothered to take their responsibilities seriously. Maybe, to be fair, there's an argument to be made for that attitude; it's possible to die young even if you do everything right, and being overly cautious can put a damper on your fun. But you know what? If you're willing to roll the dice every time you get behind the wheel, 365 days a year, I don't want to hear a fucking THING from you about how GTA causes violence, or about how mass transportation is dangerous because of terrorists, or how anything that could conceivably be used as a weapon should be banned because children do unfortunate things and kill themselves occasionally.

RISK ASSESSMENT: Give Sanity A Chance

If you give a shit about risk prevention, then it has to be proportionate. If your concern about risk is so disproportionate that you can't take driving seriously, then you are completely incapable of assessing risk. It has been my experience that many people are thus incapable-- and the sad thing is, that bitch who can't shut up about GTA being violent is probably the same one who's sitting on her horn behind me, in her SUV, while on a cell phone, during a blizzard. With her kids in the backseat.

So the next time anyone goes on a self-righteous tirade about videogames or anything else that people tend to hyperventilate about, I'm going to look them dead in the eye and ask them about their driving. How seriously do they take their responsibilities every single time they get behind the wheel? Because unless they understand the concept of proportionate risk, and more importantly, act as though they understand proportionate risk every day, they have no right to lecture anyone about anything. None whatsoever.

Now, I could be wrong, but how many people do you think could tell me without lying that they always, always drive conscientiously and don't act like self-important douchebags on the road, because they're always thinking of the CHILDREN? My guess is not many.
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About GamingGoddessone of us since 12:13 AM on 08.27.2008

Links to all things Me:

My Personal Blog
Because I occasionally think about things other than games (I know-- for shame!)
Currently doing a 20-year history of Nine Inch Nails, because apparently I don't have enough projects that are HUGE TIME-SUCKING MONSTERS. Anyway, I try to keep anything that's videogames-related on Gaming Goddess, but there's a little bit of inevitable crossover.

My graphic novel, Sterling
There is some videogame-related stuff in Sterling, particularly Final Fantasy, but that's not really the focus. Meant for adults, so don't say I didn't warn you:).

My Twitter I'm very conscious of twitter-spamming, so I try to tweet only when I update one of my blogs or comics. Some people can get away with constantly tweeting charming little witticisms and it's neat, but I think if you have any interest in my twitter at all, it should be useful, never a nuisance.

About the name Gaming Goddess: No, I do not have delusions of grandeur! At least, not about games!
The origin of GG is this: My boyfriend's Mom is REALLY good at Space Invaders and games like that, leading me to dub her the "8-bit Goddess". We decided that 8-bit Goddess would be a really good name for the gaming blog that I wanted to start, except it would be false advertising since I personally suck at 8-bit games. So I changed it to the more general Gaming Goddess-- so I'm good at some type of games, I just don't have to specify which ones:).

Of course, if my boyfriend's awesome mom wants to start a blog, she can be the 8-bit Goddess, and I will bow to her in humble submission.

Favorite Games:
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy Tactics
Azure Dreams
Vagrant Story
Parasite Eve
Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider II
Resident Evil 2
Metal Gear Solid
Izuna: Unemployed Ninja
X-Men Legends
X-Men Legends II
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Ninja
Diablo II
.hack (the first batch)

Currently Playing:
I have decided to change this section to only what is in my consoles AT THE MOMENT as opposed to every game I'm technically in the middle of. Accuracy FTW.

DSi: Final Fantasy IV (It's amazing! Why did I wait so long?)
DS: ARMY OF MOOGLES, I mean, Final Fantasy VI
PS2: Odin Sphere
PSOne: Azure Dreams, Parasite Eve, Tomb Raider

Latest Fan Art:

Yeah, something new! Rydia's cool, people complain about the graphics in the new DS version of FFIV but I love the way the characters look...well, except for Rosa. The girl could use pants.

About Me:
I'm a starving artist/freelance writer/comic book artist/insert other vocation that makes very little money. If you're on Destructoid, chances are I am older than you. That kind of pisses me off.

Anyway, I'm working on some projects that I think might be of interest to some Dtoid readers, but I think I'll keep most of that stuff in my profile section, so the Cblogs won't be taken up with self-promotional posts from me. I'll add the info to my profile when I start my new comic and things like that.