I just read a review of a new Wii video game that simulates a fishing trip.

That’s right, simulated fishing.

Now, I know there are fishing shows on TV, and though their appeal is beyond me, I can imagine someone who’s passionate about fishing wanting to observe the exploits of experts.

But a video game? About fishing?

Call me an over-reactor, but although video games can have positive effects on concentration and skill development, they also have a tendency when over-used to pull people out of real-world activities and into a shell of self-absorption. The result: a less socialized population, leading to degraded community and hence a degraded civilization.

Games that imitate activities like fishing which are already quiet and fairly solitary seem a scary step even further into retreat from society.

Already it’s hard to walk around city streets as an alert person. Nine out of ten of one’s fellow pedestrians aren’t in the same world you are, but instead absorbed in their handheld devices, drifting from side to side like children, unaware of the traffic around them.

At least these people are outside, heading somewhere, maybe on the way to doing something interesting, maybe even with other people. Not sitting on their sunken couches staring at a screen with a remote control in their hands, fake-angling.

Honestly, I have nothing in particular against Nintendo’s fishing game, but reading about it set me off on the whole subject of de-socialization. Because it’s a slippery slope down that muddy riverbank. Will we even notice when our heads are underwater and we drown?