by Josh Silva
Graphic by Jane Wilson
“A specter is haunting Las Lomas – the specter of gaming,” said Karl Marx in his famous manifesto, at least he would have said this if he lived today to witness the second great revolution of the proletariat: the Gamer Revolution. Not since the storming of the Bastille have the masses become so restless that they take up arms and rebel against their captors. In this case, the education system. Not since the founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence have brilliant minds convened to forge a new society, one that all of us will live in. Just as Gandhi was derided in his time, the gamers are scoffed at by the system and vilified by the media. They may be portrayed as outcasts and loners, but their unity and strength may determine the future of our world.
The history of all existing societies is the history of wins and losses. Pro or amateur, life and hierarchy that dictates it can be reduced to levels. In a utopian reality, we would all begin the game of life on easy mode. But oppressive reality is that only a select few are born into easy mode, while most spend their whole lives on hard mode. Those with the luxury of easy mode, the gaming bourgeoisie if you will, design the hierarchy that we live in. No more evident is this than in our education system. At Las Lomas, gaming is not only frowned upon, but it is also actively suppressed. In our classrooms, teachers will not just scold students for developing their playing skills, but actively confiscate the devices by which they plan to rebel. This author knows the crushing reality from experience. Even outside of academic periods, the library bans gaming. The argument against gaming is that it distracts from the learning experience. A valid point, until you realize that the non-gamers are the ones controlling what is and isn’t taught. Gaming might seem superfluous to the curriculum in normal times. But, in the words of President Obama – arguably the first gamer president, these are not normal times.
While panic ensues on the street in a country unprepared for a pandemic, gamers are one step ahead. They’ve been derided as lazy for spending their lives inside. But now that the rest of the world has joined them, they are the only ones who know how to be productive under quarantine. Not only that, many of the games they’ve mastered realistically depict survival in the aftermath of an apocalypse. If our anti-gamer leadership continues in its inept power struggle, the fantasy that gamers role-play in every day of their lives may become a reality. Which is why now more than ever, gamers must recognize themselves not just as an exploited majority, but as the driving force of our society. As the means of production shift from analog to digital, the old means of governing become antiquated. Yet our leaders fail to change their ways because it would mean giving power to those whom they control: the gamers. As this pandemic ravages, we are given two choices: barbarism or gaming. Gamers can only reshape our society into a utopia if they rebel against their oppressors. So the next time your mom takes your Xbox, a teacher confiscates your phone, or a college you don’t have any “real-world skills”, do not stand in silence; rebel. Take your Dorito-crusted hands and use them to rise up against your oppressors. Use this as a manifesto to “g-fuel” your mind and spirit.
To misquote Karl Marx again, “the gamers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Gamers of the world, unite!”