Should Video Game Junkies Lose Their US Citizenship?

by Timothy R. Sunday
File under: Fake Freedom22 Apr 2015 16:24 EDT

Persistent video gamers are good consumers who help prop up a trillion-dollar industry.  They often spend hours immersed first-person simulations, imagining themselves as military heroes who must obliterate anyone or anything that doesn't look American.  Granted, gaming seems to be a very patriotic activity.

But with so much time spent outside of the demands of domestic social reality, can gamers really be considered US citizens?  Such is the paradox.  Gamers certainly aren't present for most of the key social debates (in which they have a stake),and they certainly don't express any real interest in social responsibility (outside of the 'virtual' context of a game).  The hardcore gamers have made it clear that they'd rather not be here, so why should we treat them as if they are?

Take 28-year-old Colleen Christie, true gamer babe, who used to play World of Warcraft for 13 hours at a time.  Or the 'unnamed man' in San Diego who played Candy Crush on his phone "all day, for six to eight weeks."  There are thousands of similar stories out there.  Should these people really be allowed to vote, let alone call themselves citizens of the same country that you and I have some stake in?

To become a US citizen, you must meet Continuous Residence and Physical Presence requirements.  As the UCIS website states, "extended absences" may "disrupt" your eligibility for this requirement.  Mental Presence, however, is not currently a requirement for US citizenship, fortunately for gamers.  And gamers currently can't have their existing citizenship status revoked because of an extended absence.  But perhaps that should change.  Or, at least, gamers should become ineligible to receive the kind of social niceties and respect that real participants in the society enjoy.

But really, who wants to participate in this society anyway?  I mean, it's all big joke, right?  Right, so the logical response is to content yourself with some kind of second-hand simulation of life (financed by people who live first-hand) for the duration of your days... then die.  

Look on the bright side, gamers.  Losing your US citizenship wouldn't be so bad.  You can still get citizenship from 'virtual countries' like Wirtland, who offer it to anyone with access to the interwebs.  You might actually find this option attractive, since you won't have to vote, attend jury duty, or pay attention to any domestic issues at all — because there are none.  When you're done gaming, you check back into a society that is also virtual.  That disappointing reality of yours would soon become a pleasingly distant memory...

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