We've come a long way from Pong.
Hanging out with old friends last weekend in the big city, we decided to go to an adult arcade.
Not adult as in Janet Jackson's Super Bowl peep show, but adult as in graphic violence and high prices.
Cocking a toy shotgun and firing away at a video screen, my friends blew away the bad guys. Picking up a play pistol with an electronic sensor, I tallied kill after kill on my "game" designed to be as close to real life as possible.
It wasn't so long ago, when I was playing the monochromatic game Pong, moving a bar up and down to hit a ball. The concept was simple. The graphics were far from graphic. It was simply a way to pass time.
To my surprise, I ran across many more examples of primal living and practices since the arcade excursion.
Driving to the gym Tuesday, a shiny black Humvee crossed my path. I'm slowly growing accustomed to the fact that people need to drive military vehicles on civilian thoroughfares.
What surprised me was a decal slapped on the side of the small armored vehicle. The name and phone number for a popular makeup company adorned the mighty military vehicle.
Addicted to 24-hour cable news, I frequently see Humvees trekking across the deserts of Iraq or providing cover and support for convoys in Afghanistan.
Has the makeup industry turned so hostile as to warrant driving a vehicle designed for war to make sales calls?
Although both glimpses into society are bad for lack of better words, at least the plastic weapons present themselves as pretend and removed from reality.
The military vehicle boasting the makeup decal is a statement. What the statement is exactly I can only venture a guess.
Testosterone and machismo have firmly ingrained themselves into society like little rodents burrowing holes into the foundations of homes.
Of course, a military vehicle is absolutely necessary in the selling of makeup. Treacherous roads lie ahead and such precious cargo as makeup must be protected in a vehicle deigned to transport military personnel and equipment.
Times for bopping a ball back and forth in Pong must be replaced with more important training with rapid-fire games that strive ever to be more lifelike.
Society as a whole from free time to transportation has evolved to train us and prepare for some unknown, but presumably, impending Mad Max-style scorched Earth.
Long ago are the days of the simple life. I miss Pong.
Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.