Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday 18 November 2008

An All-night Party With Laura Attic

63 Times readers so far have commented on the story of the boy who collapsed after 24 solid hours of World of Warcraft -a predictable mix of 'shouldn't be allowed' and 'never did me any harm' (many of the latter showing an interesting variety of grammar and spelling at odds with their assertions that computer gamers do well in class).

Since we in Newgate are somewhat behind the times and have not yet entered the era of online gaming, we have to make do with the adventures of Lara Croft - or Laura Attic, as she has been dubbed by a relative even less 'down with the kids' than us. Compelling as the delectable Ms Attic is, I find it hard to imagine anyone going without food or sleep for 24 hours for her sake.

It seems that online gaming is insidious in its continuity - leaving the game is like going home just when the party's at its most exciting, only this party goes on 24/7. As with Second Life, reality can take a back seat while you get on with living on-screen (and yes, I'm well aware of the irony of sitting here writing this post in the guise of character from an 18th Century dramatic work).

If you discard most of the knee-jerk comment, the case of the collapsing teenager is really a question of a refusal to acknowledge his physical limitations - hands up anyone out there who has never stayed up inadvisably late - and the best thing to do about it is teach him how and when to say goodbye and leave the party.

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