We were eighteen then,
Sixteen, twelve, or eight,
Standing on the threshold of life.
Our years had yet to take root.
We had yet to love life and the world and our families,
And we gave it all up for the fight,
Against Nazis, communists, aliens, the Dark Side.
We became the first person shooter, the RPG, the gods.
And lost in the games, the years burned to ashes.
Cut off from activity, from striving, from progress,
We believe in those things no longer.
Only the games, we believe in the games.
We agree it is the same for everyone who is our age.
It is the common fate of our generation.
The computers have ruined us for everything.
They swept us away before puberty.
The adventures, the danger, the romance.
And now we love them more than life.
We exist here but we do not live here.
There is a distance, a veil between us and this world
For we have become a wasteland,
Cripples, without muscles to lift life’s burdens.
We are strangers in this world
Most of this piece was taken from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. I have taken exerts and pieced them together as well as changed some of the words. When Remarque wrote these words, he was talking about the generation of boys and men who fought in the trenches of WWI. However, the similarities between that generation and the boys lost in computer games today were striking. I was drawn to make the connection.