Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Reginald Barkley Syndrome

A friend of mine and I were discussing video games and their impact on our society. He creates video games for a living, and lives in Japan, so he has an interesting view on the topic.

We were discussing how many times today, individuals will immerse themselves so deeply into games that the games become their reality. They cut themselves off from everything and everyone not directly involved with the game. We went on to talk about how that happens with the Internet as well.

My friend noted that he has come to call that the "Reginald Barkely Syndrome", after the Star Trek character. Lt. Barkley spent most of his time in the Holodeck of the Enterprise. He preferred that to interaction with real folks. He enjoyed his fantasy world, where he seemed to have more control. The same is true today of those who cut themselves off from everyone, even those who live in the same house, and rather communicate with folks they do not know, except through internet chat rooms, or online games.

We are becoming such a disconnected world. The inernet has brought us closer than ever before, and yet at the same time, has brought us so far apart. How many of you know your next door neighbors? Of those of you that don't, how many know someone you met in an internet chat room, but have never met face-to-face?

Why don't we make an effort to get to know our neighbors? I think the world could be a much better place if we all took a little time to get to know one another.

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