The Real World. What is it exactly? Is it the place outside of video games where we live and breathe? Or is it, as people talking to recent college grads are fond of saying, the world outside of college � the world of work, mortgages, health insurance, raising a family? I don�t know, but gaming is my escape from it.
A week ago today I graduated from the University of Redlands with a degree in English. I had to sit outside in the sweltering Southern California heat for hours and listen to speeches from the President of the University, one of the Deans, the student speaker. All of them kept mentioning the �real world� and how proud they are of us and how we are going to do great things in it.
Of course it sounds clich� and trite because it is. Graduating college is one of the most bittersweet things I�ve ever experienced. On the one hand, I�m excited to be done with school probably forever because I�m not going to grad school. But on the other hand I made some abso-fucking-lutely awesome friends and I know it�s going to be a long time before I get a chance to see them again.
I think gaming was the way all of us coped with the fact that we were moving on to new places in our lives where miles would separate us. At my school they offer a May Term � a one month term where you take one class for about 3-4 hours a day roughly 4 days a week. Essentially it�s an excuse to just hang out and party. This year�s May Term was especially poignant because we knew it would be our last. How�d we spend it? Playing Halo 3 together.
My friends and I don�t have similar tastes in games. One of them is fanatically participating in the SC2 beta, another only plays games every now and then, while the other one prefers PC games over console games. But the one thing we always could agree on was Halo. Every day it seems I�d get a text or call. Super short little things. �Hey man, wanna hang out? Play Halo?� �Yeah.�
It was so simple. Play Halo (or the Reach beta while it was open). Drink beer. And to be honest these Halo sessions were some of the most fun I had in the entire 4 years I spent at Redlands. Does that make me a loser? Hell no. Not in my mind. Gaming was our escape from the weight hanging over our collective heads. We knew we�d all be moving away, but it didn�t matter. Those rounds calling ourselves a Mongoose gang on Valhalla, or trying to win the Betrayal Game, pushed everything aside.
Like Hell�s Angels, but with space marines
Technology is amazing. Because of it we can keep in touch easier than ever. Because of it we can stave off joining the real world, the working world, by ignoring it for a brief stint in a virtual one.
I�m going to miss it.
Obligatory pics me my friends and I (the Halo group)
Petitti and I Team Maroon Ojan aka Bigum Rhoads Brien has no comment
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