IRCers (Internet Relay Chatters) are well accustomed to using slash as a prefix to virtually every command in the program – and particularly ‘slash me’ (/me) to describe themselves in the third person. But now, those dedicated gamers online who indulge in Everquest missions for several hours every day, can also indulge their taste buds by typing /pizza and ordering delivery pizzas online. So this means that other than living rather unhealthy lives by spending several hours before a PC and refraining from exercise, these gamers are now also encouraged to be unhealthy in their eating habits. Rather than getting up and making something to eat, it’s as easy as typing /pizza and having a fat-encrusted, carbohydrate-rich, obesity-inducing foodstuff delivered to the door.
Now while I used to love pizza once in a while (before dairy intolerance pretty much ruled out ever indulging in pizza ever again), and while anything is okay in moderation, the ease with which gamers can access pizzas through the Everquest system is concerning because it encourages unhealthy eating amongst gamers. Most of us who have been involved in gaming will know that the health attributes of gamers aren’t the best anyway (marathon gaming sessions usually mean very little sleep, no bathing, plenty of caffeinated drinks and junk food) but this new channel for unhealthy living is just adding to the overall recipe for obesity that gamers are pursuing.
Frankly, it can’t be good for the gaming industry business. All these gamers are probably going to die from heart attacks in their 30s and 40s anyway, and due to their gaming activities and unhealthy living, they’re less likely to reproduce, making it less likely that a new generation of gamers will be born. Surely it would make sense for the gaming industry to pursue some life-enhancing and healthy living attributes among gamers if the industry is going to last? Rather than /pizza, perhaps Sony could encourage /salads and /exercise in future?