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Did Mankind Forget How To Read?

It seems like a relatively basic thing, and especially when you look at the fact that our species resides in the year 2008.  Over 500,000 years worth of evolution that can be linked and documented back...

...and yet I still get people that ask the most retarded shit ever.  It's not like it's just that they don't know.  That's ignorance, and I'm okay with ignorance.  I'm ignorant at times as well.  However, there's just the moments when people piss me off beyond all recognition because they refuse to do basic things.  At the top of this list is reading.

I work at a PC and Xbox gaming center, where I deal with every age of customer you could imagine - 5 to 70 according to my youngest/oldest search on SmartLaunch.  That's a pretty diverse range.  With kids, it's a bit difficult, as their attention spans are already short.  However, there's something in telling a 10 year old the same thing 8 times in a row before you just look at him and say "dood, seriously, leave me alone".  However, 16 year olds are a totally different story.  They are at that rebellious stage of retardation where they think everyone around them should bow down to the ground that they walk on.  I had adults that put me in my place when I was that age...and in turn, I put those 16 year olds in their place so they learn not to be so damned cocky as they are working towards going into the real world soon.

The adults, however, man...sometimes, they are worse than the children, aren't they?  This is where I start my example of "did mankind forget how to read".  Parents and watch groups around the world bitch and complain about violence in video games, right?  Well, here's the first solution:  start questioning a game that is named after a fucking felony, dipshits.  Hell, the ESRB even made it EASIER for you to read by using 1-letter symbols on the front and back of game cases...and yet you continue to avoid them.  Another big hint would be to say "wait, the game is called Dead Space / Left 4 Dead / Dead Rising...hmm, maybe it involves killing?".  Apparently, THAT doesn't conjure up anything in the head of a parent.  I would say that this is an isolated case, but I see it year after year after year at Wal-Mart, Toys 'R' Us, and the likes.  I can't even believe how many times I've looked at those concerned parents that think getting GTA for their 7 year old is perfectly fine, and then I look at them and say "you know you kill hookers and work with the mafia in that game...right?".  Always, ALWAYS, the answer is "really?  but it looks so cartoony".


I remember back in the day when Joe Camel got ripped away from the packs of Camel everywhere, as well as advertising, because of the fact that Joe Camel was supposedly selling his death sticks to kiddos.  So why hasn't anyone gone after GTA?  Well,'s not killing anyone, but fuck...neither did Charles Manson!  We still put HIM in prison, didn't we?

Someone in the forum recently brought up something about their parents getting them Dead Space for Christmas, and wondering how a picture of a severed hand on the cover didn't freak them out...and he's right.  How DID they miss a severed hand, an M rating, and a bulleted fucking feature on the back that said "dismember the Necromorph enemies limb by bloody limb"?  Did they also miss the description box that said "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language"?

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to police the world nor say that I'm a better parent than anyone else.  I am saying, however, that if you have to question whether Grand Theft Auto is right for your 7 year old, you need a good slap in the face and broomhandle in the ass.

Another area where I feel people could improve as far as reading goes is just in the general playing of games.  When you are on the menu for most games, it seems pretty simple...BECAUSE IT TELLS YOU WHICH BUTTON TO PRESS!!!  Someone asked me, SERIOUSLY ASKED ME, how they select a profile on a 360.  Blankly staring back at them, I walk to the TV and point to the giant fucking A button with "select" written next to it.  "Oh, I didn't see that".  It's bright, it's green, it says the word "select" a matter of fact, I believe that fills all the prerequisites of what you just asked me about!!!

"How do I get on Xbox Live?"...while the menu says the options Campaign, XBOX LIVE, Options, Extras, blah blah blah.

"What button to I push to shoot?"...while it's blinking with a RT button saying "Press RT to shoot".

"What's the orange line on Rock Band?" there is an orange line on the bass pedal itself + a foot making a motion to push down the pedal

I'll tell you, if all the companies dumping money into the in-game advertising industry took one step into my workplace and saw how little attention people paid to what is on-screen, they would probably give up on their endeavors.

And what caused this?  What brought this holy Hell down upon us, me in particular?  Do we blame it on the education system, the teachers, and the parents?  Do we blame it on the kid that doesn't care to learn or read or pay attention?  Do we blame it on the media and the corporate conglomerates that are consistently peddling their bullshit down the throats of consumers?  Do we blame it on people like Lil' Wayne, Hinder, Souljaboytellem, Nickelback, Katy Perry, and everyone else that comes up with some retarded one-line song getting played on the radio 7 times an hour and helping to degenerate the basic intelligence of our cultures?  Do we blame it on the movie industry, as they continue to push the limits of what is and isn't acceptable by mainstream standards with films like Saw or Zack and Miri Make A Porno?

It's obvious that we've come to a point where human beings refuse to blame themselves for their downfalls and errors.  Nonetheless, I continue to hold someone responsible for their own actions and try to correct them as much as I can, in the hopes that they will pick up on it and retain that effort.  For all I know, maybe I'm the unintelligent one.  Maybe, as it stands, I'm the fucking idiot.  In typing all this out from my blind fury, I really lost the point of what I wanted to say, which was something quite simple:  people need to learn to fucking read.  However, I realize that it's a problem much bigger than that.  It doesn't just have to do with a gaming center and video games.  It has to do with the general idea that people believe only one thing anymore:

They are the world, and those around them are the idiots.