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First Person Shooter Syndrome Leaves Man Psychologically Damaged

By Zach Seemayer
Staff Writer

In the virtual gaming world, a plague has ravaged the population, and this time, head crabs and flaming skulls that turn you into Zombies are not the problem. The new illness is a psycological one. It is called 'FPSS' or 'First Person Shooter Syndrome.'

"We're seeing FPSS cases popping up everywhere," said Dr. Duke Freeman, head of psychology at John Hopkins University. "I mean, it has been around since the early 90s, but it has gotten significantly worse since the improvement of graphics, the invention of better physics engines and more immersive environments."

According to Dr.Freeman, FPSS is a psychological condition that causes gamers to feel like they are in a first person shooter, when they are really walking around in the real world.FPSS can apparently lead to paranoia and aversion to certain surroundings such as railroads and industrial warehouses.

Jacob McEwen knows first hand the trouble FPSS poses to gamers. He has had it since playing the popular game Half-Life 2 for 35 hours straight.

"It is weird, I know it's completly irrational, but I'm totally averse to big, industrial settings now. Anything that looks rusted out or rickety, it freaks me out. Whenever I walk into dark rooms, I instinctivly reach for my flashlight and my gun, then I realize I don't actually carry either," said McEwen. "I was walking through a supermarket a few days after my HL2 marathon and I saw a bunch of first-aid kits on the floor. Someone had knocked them over by accident I guess. My first reaction though was 'oh shit! A bunch of medikits. Something fucking tough must be coming up soon!'It really scared me."

McEwen has also had several problems with simply getting into his own home.

"I remember I came home after going to a party or something, and I had locked my front door before leaving. I was so pissed when I tried the handle and found it locked. I thought "SHIT! Now I have to go all over the fucking place looking for another entrance!" It didn't even occur to me that I could use my keys."

He has had similar trouble when trying to get over the waist high wall in the back yard when he or his roommate throws their frisbee too far. McEwen spends hours looking for ramps or short ladders before he realizes he can climb.

According to McEwen, he often finds himself reaching for a non-existant gravity gun to get things from accross the room when he feels too lazy to get up off the couch.

"I don't believe that FPSS makes a person more violent or physically agressive," said Dr.Freeman. "I think it just increases your fear of abandoned buildings, sewers, and explosive barrels."

However, vocal anti-videogame activist and "lawyer" Jack Thompson disagrees. After reading the public report on FPSS, Thompson spoke out.

"FPSS proves that video games are responsible for all murders ever. In history."

When informed that First Person Shooters have only existed for the last 15-20 years, Thompson screamed that we were lying homosexuals, then sued us for criminal harrasment.





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