Little Big Planet

Michael Johnson

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I truly was invincible. Riding through my neighborhood on my slick Mongoose bike with the rest of my elementary posse, we knew how to be kids. Through our selective system we’d ding dong ditch a random house which would be followed by running away from angry mindless adults, but that was fun for us. If we weren’t outside, we gathered at my house since I had a Sega Dreamcast AND a Nintendo 64 all connected to a whopping 22 inch bulky Samsung.
My best friend’s little brother thinks he, too, is invincible. It’s 70 degrees and sunny outside. A perfect day. But he is not found riding on his bike, playing street ball, or browsing the neighborhood. Instead he is cooped up in his room playing his Playstation 3 on a 37-inch flatscreen HD Sony. He isn’t even playing the good ole fashion Legend of Zelda, TMNT, or Goldeneye. Instead he plays some game called Little Big Planet. His untouched Japanese brand bike that I’ve never heard of sits in his garage building up the cobwebs. A basketball goal sits outside. It hasn’t been played on in years. I can almost hear it begging me to toss the rock through the net in order to make one of the most heavenly sounds known to man, a swish.
We hear stories day to day. Blaming kids on their laziness and obesity. Well the facts are clearly there to back it up. Between the ages of 6 and 11, 18.8% of kids are considered obese. We are told this is the kids’ fault. And clearly it is, since the kids buy their own $2400 television, along with a bundle of video games.
As he goes through conversations, his phone, which he’s had since 3rd grade, gives out a slight buzz. A newsletter of the newest and hottest game is sent directly to him. Instantly, he explains to his parents how much he needs it, and they agree. He spends an endless amount of time on his new game, which basically plays for him, sitting in a $50 V-Rocker chair with an expensive controller in his hand to make it easier. Instead of a young, athletic, enriched life in front of him, he has countless medical costs, movement impairments, and a possible early death.
The world makes him feel invincible. I think about saying something, but as I do I get a text message. And without thinking, I shut the world off to see what is so important.