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Marmion’s Manly Man: The pixelated personality of the present

On most Saturdays, I like to save the galaxy from the sentient race of death machines known as the Reapers. With my rugged chin cut from pure white marble and abs that any lucky lady wouldn’t mind washing clothes on, I cruise around the nebula searching for inter-planetary cases of injustice.

Of course, life as a commander does get boring from time to time, so I switch it up. If I’m feeling risky, I ride the streets in my supercharged Mustang GT. From drag races to circuits, I reign supreme as the king of midnight racing. But, alas, even the street lamps lose their luster after a while.

On Sundays, I lead a more controversial lifestyle. As the head of a massive underground smuggling ring, I take care to provide the best merchandise/service to the highest bidder – so long as no one crosses me.

By now, one can assume that I’m not all of these personas. Though I’m handsome, fast-paced and dangerous, I don’t fly spaceships, rule at racing or run the mob. In a less fantastic manner, my weekends resemble me, dressed in battle-worn Abercrombie & Fitch pajama pants, meandering down the stairs to sit atop my couch like a glob of sexy molasses and play Xbox.

Thanks to the advances of technology, teens and fellow couch globs can now experience the most exotic venues of the world right from the amiable confines of their personal La-Z-Boy recliner. But for all their mystical adventures and opportunities that they offer, video games bear a negative image nowadays.

Some critics say that the virtual world of video games fills malleable minds with less than decent ideas – ideas such as jumping off skyscrapers without a parachute or training; driving over the speed limit on sidewalks in a metropolitan area; or prowling the corrupted streets as a crime fighter with self-taught karate.

Though these notions may seem dangerous or even a bit deranged, one has to admit that they do come off as awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a place where half of the population believes they possess psychic powers?

I say, let people live out their oddest fantasies – sales of colorful spandex outerwear would skyrocket; emergency room doctors would get a lot more experience with I-thought-I-could-make-that-jump cases; and young adults would live in their parent’s basements for an extended period of time.

For all the rejection in people’s lives, video games offer a break from the negative banality. Say petite Joe Schmo wants to try out the life of a pro football player. He should spend the $60 for the game and get some finger workouts going. Who knows, maybe he’ll win the Super Duper Imaginary Bowl.

If Joe feels like he can take it to the next level and handle those 300-pound behemoths in real life, go Joe. Let’s just hope his insurance covers stupidity. 

For some, there’s no reality like computer-generated reality. Well, until reality butts back in.

• Kurt Zepeda is a St. Charles resident and a senior at Marmion Academy in Aurora. He enjoys running, writing and the occasional confection. His column runs every other Thursday in the Kane County Chronicle. Contact him at

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