Hearing the phrase "Use your imagination" conjurs up several negative associations. It's typically directed at you by your parents after you've been relieved of some form of technology such as a TV, video game, or even a comic book. But this phrase should be taken seriously. Personally, I'm getting sick and tired of telling you what to think. Like I just did.
I quote this hackneyed cliché because it's true. We've heard it so often for so long that it's lost its meaning. Your imagination is the most powerful tool you have in your entire arsenal. Everything begins and ends with imagination. You have one, but you're not using it. Use it and smarten the hell up.
When you're playing a video game, you're playing something created from imagination; it just wasn't your imagination. You are essentially using other peoples' imaginations.
Failure to use your own imagination turns you into an insatiable gluttonous techno-sumer. All you crave is more stimulation. You are the most coveted demographic of the gaming industry, but you're also a fool. And a fool and his money soon part ways.
Your imagination can literally change the world. Okay, probably not your imagination, but perhaps the imagination of someone you know who's a lot smarter than you. But you can dream, and that's what an imagination is for.
Imagine staring at a blank page on a word processing program. Doesn't sound very stimulating, does it? But that's because it's you. You're too accustomed to not using your imagination. Now imagine what short story Steven King could turn that page into. Imagine what Earth-shattering equation Steven Hawking could churn out on that page. Imagine the cool lyrics Steven Tyler could create on it, or what idea Steve Jobs could come up with that would change your life. (Okay, so he won't be coming up with anymore ideas, but what he did accomplish has forever altered the course of history.) Allow me to point out that all of these people were named Steven. That's imagination at work, my friends.
Being engaged in a video game requires the use of imagination, but it depends on the genre, level of depth, and your familiarity with the gameplay process. If you don't challenge yourself, you aren't engaging your imagination. If you look up a cheat code at the first sign of trouble, you are robbing yourself of the benefits of using your own creativity. Not to mention that you shorten the duration of the game and limit your sense of personal attachment to it. You'll just have to buy another game sooner. You are wasting good money by not thinking for yourself.
Try this: Instead of buying or renting a few new games, pull some old ones off the shelf. Choose different paths, different characters, different weapons, different techniques. Play these games differently on purpose. Put yourself in some unfamiliar territory and work your way through it.
Using your imagination will make you smarter. There is no question about that. And, as a result, it will help raise the overall level intelligence among consumers. So I will no longer be subjected to annoying songs, commercials, and TV programs aimed at your idiotic demographic.
Now, don't let me tell you what to think, even though I'm right. But you know I'm right. And I'm not your mother, so you might just entertain this notion. And while you're at it, you can tell your mom she could benefit from a little less time with Dr. Phil, CSI, and Dancing with the Stars.
By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*