The Super Bowl is over, and instead of talking about the game, people are talking about the power outage that plunged the stadium into darkness. It wasn't much of an inconvenience---play stopped for about a half an hour. Some say it may have "psyched out" the Ravens and made them lose their streak. Curious, though, is the fact that people care so much. It doesn't impact our future, and it is, after all, only a game...isn't it?
It's interesting how sports enthusiasts get so emotional and invest so much into a game---an activity of recreation. Meanwhile, others would have a difficult time caring less about a bunch of large men slamming into each other and throwing things. Many nerds feel this way, and may smugly scoff at the "barbarians" and their silly game that they take so seriously. These nerds would do well to remember, however, that they do the exact same thing. Those "barbarians" are nothing more or less than sports nerds.
Sports fans and classic nerds both eagerly anticipate the season's big game (video game, in the case of nerds); both memorize extensive lists of obscure stats; both are known to dress up like their heroes at gatherings dedicated to the object of their devoted enthusiasm. Perhaps jocks who bully kids because they are nerdy will see the light when they realize that they have been huge nerds this whole time.
Competitive video games have started to work their way into the mainstream. In South Korea, Starcraft tournaments draw players from around the world, and are commentated and broadcast as professionally as any athletic contest. The U.S. also broadcasts big video game tournaments, but doesn't yet have as strong a following. Perhaps eventually all competitive games, athletic and virtual, will be viewed equally by our culture.
Even though games don't really matter intrinsically, they are important to people because are a form of entertainment one can invest oneself in and get excited about. People put a part of themselves into a game and feel rewarded whether it is their own victory, or that of someone they admire or care about.