(A reply to this blog post.)
In my honest opinion, society has been kind of slow on things, especially on things they don’t necessarily conform to the social norm. If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, you are a witness to the changing times.
When I was a kid, it was considered dorky and nerdy to play video games or watch sci-fi shows like Star Trek. Anything that was relatable to killing people or sports was considered the pretty cool thing at the time. That was before PC’s became easier to use and fiscally easier to obtain. From there rather than picking up a baseball, everyone picked up a BFG. Rather than winning matches, they rather win…well, matches. Then the little niche that could had access to DSL internet and from there multiplayer brought people from all over the globe to pick a fight against each other. However even with a bolstering youthful population playing, there are some old world blues.
Every since the industrial revolution, there has been many who like to push the boundaries of human progress while some rather put tolls on them as well. Humanity’s greatest gift is it’s ingenuity, able to adapt and learn while to accept and question the old and the new. The problem is traditional economics as in “it’s a waste of time if it’s not making money”. Which explains a lot about why they put us down negatively. We, the gamers, are seen as lazy non-contributors to the workforce. We are seen to sit back and play than work tirelessly. In reality, gamers are hard working individuals. From my personal experience, the gamer’s who played more are more productive in real life. Then there is something remarkable about video games. With games connecting players in parties and guilds or similar system, it has allowed these communities to not only pool resources in game but individual strengths together. I can reminisce a few times, I joined a group who played well to their strengths. Not on class or race but on each other’s attributes such as time management, critical thinking and conflict resolution. The complete irony is from some I’ve met, they’re very talented in talentless jobs. I knew a game who was an outspoken person who would be a great public speaker but they were working at something low wage and closer to his weaknesses than his strengths. It’s not because he was lazy, but the fact is economics. In our society we treasure those who are educated and prove they are educated rather than the outgoing personalities and attributes we personally developed. These people, these gamers; they have what it takes but because of how the economy works, “Gamer from 2000 – Present” isn’t much of a qualification.
There are a few benefits for playing video games. Some are loosely substantiated, but from my personal experience the main benefit is escapism. Just having a world you can explore and create your own fiction is an amazing freedom, I use to play a bit of GTA IV and after a difficult day I rather cause harm to computer programs than to people. If I wasn’t allowed to do so, I might be a bit of an angry person. Well, I still am but I have control of it. As for reflex and visual acuity, I’m kind of on the fence. I’ve been playing video games at a young age and I have never exceeded the test’s average. I guess it’s how you look at the text and if you think you can beat it.
Though there is little to support the benefits and consequences to video games, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye. We could be at an interesting turning point where video games can enhance people’s psyhcological and physical well-being. Not only being able to see and hear better, but to live better and happier.