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Reliable Source: I Sometimes Shoplift From GameStop

Marion Cox | 13 Mar 2010 13:00
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Gil's excessively lax parenting got me thinking about my own childhood experiences with games. My mother was extremely overprotective, which made it nearly impossible to enjoy gaming. It all started when my sister Mary Anne got knocked-up in the back of some scummy college guy's Buick. (My mother blamed Satan, but maybe if hadn't discouraged any sort of discussion about sex Mary Anne would have thought twice before going all the way with a guy whose only qualification as a father was that his Buick was big enough to bone in.) Somehow that failure made her focus more on what I was doing, and what I was doing was mostly playing games.

It wasn't that my mom was dumb - after all, she had been on the dean's list in college. It was just she was just easily scared by things she didn't understand. After an exposé about the dangers of videogames on the local news, Mom outright banned videogames from our house. She was determined to keep her two remaining "innocents" from falling under the influence of what she considered "mind-controlling substance."

Her over-reaction didn't stop there. While taking care of Mary's baby, she would meet with her church group and protest outside the local arcade. Arguably the arcade did more to keep kids off the street than the church's own youth knitting and gardening programs ever did. After a day of knitting and gardening with my mom, all I wanted to do was run down to the Arcade or stab someone with a knitting needle..

I caught her following me there on numerous occasions. I was usually able to lose her, but eventually I grew complacent and didn't take my usual precautions; instead, I walked directly from my house to the arcade on a Sunday after church. When she caught me, she literally dragged me out by my ear in front of my friends and gawking passers-by, all the while begging Christ to save her poor son from Satan.

I don't want you to think my mother was all bad. She had a lot of crap to deal with: A delinquent Mary Anne, a husband who became increasingly interested in Civil War dioramas at the expense of his personal hygiene, two teenagers, a baby and countless other things thing's that all mothers deal with. But that doesn't change the fact that her parenting strategies were pretty terrible.

My mother's plan was to protect her children by doubting their maturity, disallowing them to formulate their own opinions and denying them opportunities to be exposed to the world outside of her own narrow scope of experience. Every time I get drunk and shoplift at a GameStop, I am amazed at how successful her plan was.

Marion Cox can't really even recommend stealing MadWorld.


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