The first two Pankrations didn’t really have a title – it was just a personal tradition. I played video games starting at sunset the Monday before Thanksgiving because a) as a rule I didn’t play games during the school semester and b) no one goes to class that Tuesday. It was only the third year that I started to invite people to play with me. Last year we had close to a hundred people participating on two continents (three, if you count Turkey as two in itself). This year, two of my former pledges took on all the publicity and planning for the event. They made shirts. And it’s good, too, because I forgot to participate.
I’ve realized that I have several boyish habits that I’ll have to get rid of, or at least severely minimize, when I get married in less than a month. When I list them off to people, I often include watching Farscape for hours at a time or buying comic books without forethought, but really there is one habit that dominates this category. Video games. Yes, adults can play them, but after I’m married I know that I can’t fight dragons with an sword and a shield for two hours each night. Maybe not two hours each week. And who would want to? Though it’s possible to get married in some video games, from my understanding its much more rewarding when real.
I value video games as one path of imagination. I think that playing good games, like watching good movies or reading good books, opens you up to new ideas and new ways to tell a story. But also I realize that sometimes I’d rather be fighting a dragon than a cedar tree with a pole saw. In those instances, it may not be as healthy as, say, sit ups.
Marriage, many websites tell me, is a give and take process. And without being told I know that video games is something I am going to give. Possibly the whole Pankration, though I’ll have to wait until next year to find out. Or until Mass Effect 3 comes out.