Not now honey, I'm busy wiping out the world!
The ultimate shadenfreude
Oh yeah? Well, did you know that there was a world chess championship this year -back in May? And do you know who participated? Not many do. At least not here in the US of A. Not a lot of people have shown interest in chess on the same level as when the great match between Spassky and Fisher took place back in July of 1972. Of course it was more than a chess match in those days. It was the USSR vs. the USA -nothing more, nothing less. The prize was instant recognition of intellectual superiority in the political arena of the masses we call "the world" (a.k.a. propaganda).
These days, the stakes are not anywhere nearly as high. The two opponents this year were the defending champion from India, Viswanathan Anand vs. the Israeli grandmaster, Boris Gelfand. At stake was: whether or not the country that spawned the royal game, would continue to remain its champion. Ho hummmmm.
Of course the old game has seen some resurgence in elementary schools during the past decades (albeit very slow), where astute educators have finally realized its potential to train young brains with spacial abilities for pattern recognition... and its subsequent benefit to future designers of bridges, hospitals, schools and space stations.
Unfortunately, the development of computer games (most of which are training grounds for future sociopaths) has overtaken the gaming world and I must confess... myself delving into some of them as the iPad's apps are made free-er and free-er. Having tried out the many versions of word games and the jump-over-the-moat-a-million-times-to-get-the-twinkly-star games -I came upon a deviously addicting diversion called PLAGUE INC.
The object of the game is simply to infect the world with a plague and destroy every last member of the population -all before a cure is found! Well... not quite that simple. You have to be very calculating as to which part of the world you think has the best chance of spreading it fastest. And then you have to evolve the plague by making it resistant to climate and research findings... and finally to increase the severity of the symptoms of those who have been infected so that they can't recover. In the meantime you're interfering with research advances and collecting DNA points all for the glory of wiping out over 6 billion of the population (a.k.a. little red dots on the face of the digitized world map)...
And suddenly, while you're in the middle of this massive carnage, your spouse calls and asks you to take out the garbage! What can one say? "Not now honey -I'm busy wiping out the world?" A massive argument of ginormous ethical proportions ensues. My wife is fuming over the fact that I would even consider playing such a disgusting game. I retort by defending its clever methods of teaching modern day geography. Somehow that didn't quite cut it and the bag-of-smelly stuff had to be taken out for collection. Upon my return, more ethical considerations are made clear to me by my significant other... and I kowtow to her compassionate feelings toward the digital red dots. So much for my sociopathic ambitions.
Some time passes, and now I'm involved with another pernicious app called FLOW... happily connecting some multicolored dots with some multicolored lines (presently on level 12 doing 8x8). And the world is safe... again.