Back to School: Some games you might not want to pick up

Original Photo Credit: Striatic on Flickr

“You’ve got a lot of studying to do, young man/lady. If you keep playing that damn Nintendo I’m going to throw it out the window!”

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so. Ever since the birth of home game consoles, academic performance has suffered (at least if you ask Mom). Back in the day, it was Metroid keeping me from finishing my homework, but these days I have quite a few distractions that keep me from finishing posts or writing up reviews. Read on for a few games that you, as a hardworking student, should probably avoid.

Any Final Fantasy Tactics game

Believe me when I suggest you not buy this one. I came through a strong Tactics addiction and now I’m stronger for it. The series is so portable and so addictive that you will find yourself playing it at “Don’t Walk” signs. The danger, of course, is that you’ll start playing it between powerpoint slides at a lecture. Don’t be like me.

Any Rock Band or Guitar Hero game

The issue here is not so much that it’s addictive, but that at any time, anyone may walk into your dorm room and say “let’s just play one song.” And we all know what lies down that road. Seriously, when you’ve got a Rock Band setup in your room, I guarantee someone will be playing it at all times.

Any PSP game

A PSP may not affect your studying ability too much (unless you get a Tactics game for it, see above), but it’s just a little too gamer-ish. A DS is not an uncommon sight these days, or someone playing Bejeweled on their cell phone, but a PSP says to those around you, “I need serious games everywhere I go.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with this per se (and let us work to overcome stigma!), but let’s just say that it implies that you want to sit alone, and the ladies will take care to respect your wishes.

Any unbelievably complex indie game

I’m looking at you, Dwarf Fortress and La Mulana. These are the types of games you see some really nerdy guy playing at a coffee shop (probably me) and decide on a whim to give a whirl. Next thing you know you’re gridding out your Dwarven caves’ layout on your remedial trigonometry graph paper. College does strange things to men, and one of them is making you want to stay at home alone in front of a bunch of ASCII characters for hours and hours.

Any… World of Warcraft

Do I really need to spell it out for you? This will be you in two months.

So what am I supposed to play?

I will tell you. Here is what you do. Get yourself a Wii. I don’t care what your position is on how hardcore it is, whether you want any of the games coming out, or whatever. Get a Wii. Because it doesn’t take long for “the guy with the Wii” becomes “the guy we keep stocked with beer so we get preferential treatment when it’s Mario Party time.” If you’re unpopular, you will become popular. If you are popular, you will become unstoppable. This is the Wii’s power. For all its shortcomings, it will make you the man on your floor. I’m just trying to set you on the right path here, young one.