Over-zealous security means game over for online gaming

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Photograph by Paul Hannah

As a fresher of Lancaster University I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying the student life here, with events taking place across the campus such as endless bar crawls for societies, bouts of laser tag and ski trips. For the outgoing person the Lancaster student life is indeed a rich one. However, there is a small minority that are not as ‘outgoing’ – the 24/7 gamers.

Now as I am sure you are all aware by now that each room has an internet connection. This is brilliant for going on Facebook and finding funny cat videos on Youtube but not so good for gamers. Without boring the majority of you by going into technical nerdy talk the University basically have a large amount of firewalls in place that restrict  a games consoles from connecting  to online services very well. I’m sure there is a good reason for these firewalls, but it does limit what gamers can do.

Sure, on a good day you can connect online on a games console and happily spend several hours on Fifa 12 or the new Call of Duty game, that is, until you realise that you have an essay due the next day. On a bad day however, (generally most days to be honest) you do not stand a chance of getting online. This means that gamers such as myself often find themselves kind of stranded with nothing to do except stare out of your window for hours on end, until you then again realise you have an essay due the next day.

Although this internet connection does not fare well with gamers it could be worse. My friend at Edge Hill University informed me that the university had a ban on online gaming. This left many students in a fury and yet again a petition was started to lift the ban; a petition that has been running for many years now and has still not changed the policy so far.

Now I’m not suggesting that our university should immediately remove any firewalls preventing gamers from playing online but I think at least they should be more accommodating. Not everyone games but a majority of people do pop on and play the odd game now and again just to pass the time. For those of us who do game on a regular basis, and have done for many years, should we just now begin anew? Go out every night to wake up the next morning and find that a furious hangover awaits us and our sinks not quite as ‘clean’ as we left them? Perhaps so, but consider this: we all have our hobbies and ways of escaping reality, but when they are not available and we are left with just reality (plus endless amounts of reading) is it so good (or easy) to just indulge in all work but no play?