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April 20, 2016

Today is 420

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Today is April 20, also known as 4/20, which is pronounced “four twenty.” That may mean nothing to you, but to many computer gamers it’s a day to celebrate smoking pot.

As a political position, I have nothing against legalizing marijuana. I believe its effects are far less deleterious to society than alcohol, which is already legal. My experience is that pot smokers are harmless. The criminal enterprise that supplies them isn’t, which is why legalizing the stuff — and collecting the taxes — is a good thing.

I don’t smoke the crap. It stinks. While the effects are delightful, I always end up with a throbbing headache afterwards, so I haven’t consumed weed for decades. Call me a party pooper, but still I know about 420 and what it means to stoners and gamers around the world.

This is the thing that amazes me: Gamers can play while high and it doesn’t seem to affect their skills.

Try playing while drunk. You can’t do it. The focus is gone. The eye-hand coordination is absent. You suck at playing computer games when you’re intoxicated. I don’t know anyone who does it. In fact, you never see a bottle of liquor next to a computer gamer’s workstation. You see chips and snacks. You see beverages of the soft drink variety. You might even see a beer, but even that’s kind or rare because over time its effects work against you. Pot, on the other hand, seems to be popular with the gamers.

I’ve played online with various clans over the years. One of the clans I really enjoyed featured a couple of stoners, including one who I referred to as Giggly Sherm. (“Sherm” was his online handle.)

Giggly Sherm was an amazing player. He was usually a sniper and deadly accurate. He even designed gaming levels that the team played. They were fun and interesting, so the kid had talent, but he was an avid stoner. He’d admit to it on Teamspeak, our online chatting tool. And he’d giggle and laugh because he was high. Even so, this kid could play better stoned than I could sober. Of course that was frustrating to me, but I was old enough to be his dad, so I figured that I was a poor player because I suffered from geezerhood.

Anyway, 420 is the big pot-smoking holiday. According to the Source of All Wisdom, Wikipedia, apparently some Californians who called themselves the Waldos would get together and smoke dope at 4:20 PM. Eventually 420 became a codeword for getting high. And April 20 is the annual celebration. (More 420 information can be found here.)

If you play online today, doubtless many of your friends and foes will be high.


  1. 420 always puzzeled me, mostly as I am UK resident. I have worked on 4-20 comms standard which is used all over industry with 4 mA to 20mA being a standard for comms in ‘noisy’ envoirments where voltage levels would get swamped. I seem to remember the 20th Arpil being Hilters birthday?…

    Comment by glennp — April 21, 2016 @ 3:25 am

  2. I’m not familiar with that reference, but you are correct: HItler’s birthday is 4/20. Not sure whether the Waldos were aware of that or not.

    Comment by admin — April 21, 2016 @ 7:34 am

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