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June-March 2001

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What's with it? by Joy Calosa

PC games, why so popular?

'm sure you've heard of the Counter-Strike fever. How about the Star Craft craze before that? Now there's this Age of Empires coming. I'm sure you've heard of them…literally. Just like when you're typing your report or surfing the web. I remember one time when I entered a computer center to log on the Net, the very moment I opened the door, 20 startling (and I mean startling) speakers welcomed me. It was a combination of gunshots from CS, bleep bleeps from Star Craft and axe slashes from Age of Empires (Not to mention Martin D's voice over the radio). See, how could you have not heard of them?

Well, as the computer age progresses, it seems as if the computer games progresses, too. After the Play Station wave, the PC tsunami attacked. Teachers and parents before hunt for young men lounging around the arcade and playstation venues. Now their search areas are the computer centers.

This PC games revolution is just another chapter of the game addiction. Let's just say that as time passed by, people got used to have these computer game venues around and kids got so familiar with it especially when playstation units became affordable and accessible. Almost every house has a PS in their living room. It doesn't excite them anymore…they somewhat got bored. Then as computer centers popped out like mushrooms because of the demand in Internet access as well as computing needs, game developers launched games made especially for PCs: games that are best played in multiplayer mode, either in the internet or in the local networking. Unlike PS, PC games concentrated more on strategy, just like Starcraft. It's something new. Human nature loves variety. When there's something new, people get curious about it. And when it's not that accessible, then they get excited. They tell everybody about it. Thus it becomes a hit. It's the same with PC games. Not everybody owns a personal computer. Kids have to go to computer rentals just to play these games. And addition to that, PC games are best played with allies. Because of the computer centers networking utility (computer units linked to each other), it's easy for them to make teams and play. Best example is the Counter-Strike. This PC game is made for multiplayer. It's no fun playing by yourself and even if you have that android bot feature (computer opponent), it's still a drag. It's too artificial. So even if you have a PC and have the game, you still prefer going to computer centers. It's loads of fun playing with your friends.

Now, here comes the problem: the addiction. It would not be surprising. Exciting and not so accessible games end to that. You've heard it all: students cutting classes, kids playing with too much violence, people spending too much money. You could see young men crowding about in computer rentals. No wonder when you mention the word Counter-Strike, people look at you with that look and cringe. Society takes these games as dire. But then again, these games are not really bad as others might think. After all, it's just a game. It's the players that make it look bad. I personally play these games and I don't see anything wrong with it. It's actually pretty good enhancing skills in strategy and accurate shooting. It just really depends on the players. Self-control. There's nothing wrong playing these games as long as you can get a hold of yourself. And just like what I said, these games are just evolutions and so is the problem. This computer game addiction is a problem long before. It just eased down and morphed. The solution is still the same: self-discipline and guidance.


Melancholy of An Honor Student

Whoa, you're in the top ten?
That kid is really smart.
His mother must have been very proud of him.
I always knew that student has potential.
Isn't she great?

Lucky? Not quite. Happy? Maybe. Pleasant to the ears? Well, yeah sure. Contented? Not even close.

Everybody thinks being an honor student is great. They always think that to be one of them makes one proud. Sure, it is great and magnificent but little do they know how hard it is to be one of those looked up students.

To be an honor student is difficult. So much is expected of them. People always think that they could do all this and they could do all that. Parents and teachers oftentimes tend to be too demanding from them. Most of the time they put on high standards that the student always tries to meet. That is why they are always pressured, so pressured. Sometimes, it even becomes unsatisfying. The student studies, studies and studies hard but sometimes it is not good enough. He/she develops this complex that she has to be perfect, that she always needs to meet the expectations of other people. A few mistakes in a quiz is enough to bring the person down. Instead of boasting one's esteem being in the honor role, at times it even brings it down the drain. This is true especially with the rankings. When one becomes third or fourth placer, he/she wears a sad face. The person should have been happy because he/she's in the top five, but no. Ironically it may seem but the person becomes depressed because he/she is not contented with his/her rank, or perhaps his/her parents are. Many people would say that the person should be thankful, etc. but the person cannot.

Top ten students also somewhat miss a lot, like their high school life. Because of the pressures and demands, they focus too much on their studies that they leave out the other aspects of their lives. They miss out unity, happiness and lightheartedness. All they do is study and worry about the rankings. They fail to see genuine friendship. They overlook other important aspects of growing up. At times, these kids who in their grade school are already honor students somewhat lie low in their high school days. These students through time get to see the other aspects of adolescence aside from studying. They try to make out the most of it, like their social life. People always regard them as "nagpabaya" and comments to them "sayang", but in fact, somehow, someway, they gained more.

To end, to be an honor student is terrific for its gives, from the word itself, honor. But however honorable it may be, sometimes, its not really that satisfying, especially the process of being one. Tendencies are that they miss out other "lives" particularly their social, when they focus too much attention on their studies. It is truly hard to be a top ten student. It's really up to him/her how to balance it out.


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