Time Capsule: Confessions Of A Vidiot

by Jesse Jackson 

I heard a complaint a couple weeks ago while plowing through a sawdust burger and oil fries at Whitney which made me think. The girl at the next table, sporting her Delta Zeta colors like a Crenshaw Crip, was complaining about her boyfriend who she referred to as “the Vidiot.” “The Vidiot,” it seemed, had managed to condense the entire purpose of his God-given existence into a 19 inch color screen and a Sega Genesis home entertainment system. That was it. And nothing else in his life— including Miss Hair Bear (she of the poofy hairdo)—mattered.

Her friends, of course, were meltingly sympathetic: “What a jerk!”, “How cruel!”, “Do you think he’d let me borrow Sonic 2?” But me and my friends simply looked at each other and guffawed mannishly.

Ladies, since every other guy in the world will lie to you, it’s up to me to set the record straight. Where there is testosterone, there is the Vidiot. Like Copenhagen dip, all-you-can-eat rib joints, and Nerf football games: it is a guy thing. When your boyfriend eschews the cuddle time he used to spend with you in favor of trying to get to the Bonus Ring Level, don’t blame him. He is only responding to the most primal call of nature besides the need to snack: Videomania.

Nobody is immune to this. I am conducting a running feud with my roommate Todd for the bragging rights crown of John Madden Football for the Super NES, and it has gotten extraordinarily ugly at times. For the record, Todd and I are intelligent, articulate, well mannered young men, but all the ‘90s guy crap goes right out the window when the power goes on. That’s when Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde, and the games really begin.

The hostility level in Todd’s room approaches Middle East or Tyson/Givens proportions, and once that first kickoff takes place, there’s no turning back. Ladies, it’s not just a video game. It’s a war. It’s a matter of pride, honor, and courage. Life and death. Victory and status for the winner, disgrace and humiliation for the loser.

Usually me. I got so obsessive about the ongoing Chargers vs Eagles matchup (Philly for me), I planned out my drives during class lectures instead of taking my usual catnaps. Talk about deranged! When video games come before Com 100 class snoozing, it’s time to check yourself into the funny farm. I memorized defensive alignments, single back formation pass schemes…I took to mumbling, “3-4 Monster Blitz.” in my sleep. I had succumbed to the ancient curse of the Vidiot, and I was a goner.

(I’m sure you ladies are thinking, “What an idiot! Why didn’t you just stop?” While fellas are wondering why I didn’t go 4-3 zone. Yes, I know…)

Eventually I won. I admit it, I’ve joined the countless hordes of Vidiots everywhere, with a final score of Eagles 47, Chargers 42. I’ve gone directly to the fourth stage of addiction: acceptance. When they bury me, it’ll be with a Raiders hat on my head and a controller in my hand. I’m a Vidiot and damn proud of it.

(Note: the opinions expressed in this column are usually my own, and if you feel offended, you probably should. And a 4-3 safety cheat really stops the running attack. Adios.)

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