There’s a number of things that will instantly, undoubtedly, and always piss me off. People who chew loudly, with their mouths open? You bet. Children running amok while their parents maintain a state of blissful ignorance? Check. And then there are people who, no matter the type or specific subset mentioned, consistently rail against video games. There’s always some connection made between video games and deviant behavior, like it’s some completely unnatural form of entertainment that should be evicted from the planet just as violently as some people seem to believe these games play out. Why, though?
First and foremost, it is necessary to point out I have been fond of video games for as long as I can remember. Label me a gamer, if you will. Ever since I was but a small child with my very first Sega Genesis (which, I should add, I still own to this day), I have loved everything video games have to offer. They provided a social lubricant to an otherwise-awkward child, another fuel for my desire to come up with my own creative content to share with the world, a pick-me-up for those days that really made me feel like the universe was out to get me, and one more leisure activity. Nice and simple, with no real negative impacts.
Points I am willing to consider are as follows, but may not be limited to these items (I am notoriously forgetful at times).
- Video games, like any other leisure activity, can be enjoyed to excess. Yes. But that’s not necessarily a wide-spread issue so much as an individual-to-individual one, and most people are able to step away from their games and say, “I need to go do something else”.
- Video games are being used as a substitute for/are taking the place of reading. To contrast someone’s desire to read with how often, or if, they play video games seems about as meaningful, to me at any rate, as trying to contrast a person’s desire to read with how often they participate in sports. Or community outreach programs. Or breathe. Do you see what I’m getting? If a person is inclined to read, or desires to read, the consumption of digital media such as video games isn’t likely to impact that. If they’re disinclined to pick up a book or two, that’s their decision. I would like to point out I am very much in favor of people reading, but I feel like a few posts could be made entirely on that subject.
- Video games lead to violent thoughts and behavior. What I would say is video games, like many aspects of mass media, lend to the further desensitization to violence, but they’re no more or less guilty than movies in this respect. I also feel like it takes a special mix of conditions to result in a person who thinks a video game with violent actions should be treated as a guide for how to go about life.
Ultimately, there just seems to be something inherently backwards, something that smacks of an older-times-were-better-ones mentality, about people who treat video games as a form of deviance.
I’ve got to excuse myself now, as I’ve just been informed my princess is in another castle.