The Sometimes World Of X
Sunday, September 14, 2003
(Hello. This is a weblog. No-one is likely to read this, as by the time this blog attains it's eight millionth reader (sometime in late 2004), it will juuuust have fallen off the bottom of the 'archive' section. If you are reading this however, print it out now. It'll be up there alongside issue one of Viz in the collectability stakes in 2012, I'll wager. As nobody's watching, lets just get things going with a lame rant about nothing in particular.)

"But he's just too spotty / He dresses incorrectly / No one told him how / Seventeen / He's not keen on being like / Anyone else / So he just plays on his computer game!" - 'Jubilee' by Blur.


Is it just me, or is the term 'computer game' horrendously annoying? Never mind the fact that a games console or arcade cabinet can hardly be described as a 'computer', tax evading antics by Sony notwithstanding. Never mind that the 'computer' prefix sounds like it should be consigned to the same dusty historical box of redundant precursors such as the 'VHS' formerly coupled with 'video recorder', the 'hand-held' from 'calculator' and 'infra-red' from 'remote control'. It just sounds tremendously condescending. It alway seems to be pronounced as if followed by the hidden suffix 'you know, for children. How old are you again?'

Nowadays, the term 'computer game' is never used by anyone who might display any sense of excitement about them, ever. It's always uttered by someone who might have played Donkey Kong once for three hours on a childhood friends Colecvision, then never bothered with games ever since. It's often said with a lofty disdain, as if the person uttering the phrase is somehow a Better Person because they'd sooner watch Emmerdale instead of playing F-Zero X. Other times it's said with a non-comprehending air, as they just can't believe somebody would still be playing Space Invaders in 2003 ("It's hardly Space Invaders, it's Medal Of Honour." "Same difference.") The rest of the time, it's generally used in a sort of confused technophobic way, and they'd picked up the phrase from Tomorrows World in 1981, and have seen no reason to adapt their terminology ever since then.

Genuine exchange from the last few hours: "What's that computer game you're playing?" "Advance Wars 2." "Is that the one with Mario?"

Agh. The term I, and probably everyone else here, prefer to use is 'videogame', obviously. Or of course, just 'game'. After all, no-one really answers the question 'got any new games lately?' with 'yes, Connect 4 and Yahtzee' any more. This entire 'correct term'/'incorrect term' factor causes yet more annoyance from people.

"Do you still play computer games, then?" "Well, videogames." "Oh, sorry. Is that like how Trekkies perfer to be called Trekkers?"

Again: gagh.

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