With all the negativity surrounding video games right now I only thought it was fair to try and defend the gaming community a little. Of course all of this is my opinion and is meant to further the discussion. In a positive way. To be honest I am baffled that I am writing this at the moment. I understand the same can be said for music but pretty much everyone listens to some form of music. Not everyone games. The media and some of the higher ups around us have been saying that games are negative for young kids. It causes them to be violent. It creates addictions. It stunts their intellectual growth. These things are not true. I have been around for some time now and I believe that if you are a violent person, well you are just that. Video games did not bring out the violence in you, it was probably there all along.
Another thing, do not give me this “Well these games are making the kids stupid today,” nonsense. When is the last time you played a video game? Let me tell you they have come a long way from Pong or Super Mario Brothers. I have spent plenty of time on a puzzle in a game racking my brain only to have my ten year old son come in the room and solve it within a few minutes. These kids are sharp, they are fast and their critical thinking skills are undeniably becoming better at that age. Now I am not saying that video games are creating a youth of super geniuses by no means. What I am saying is the complexity of some of these games now are helping shape and hone some of the skills kids can use at an earlier age. The hand-eye coordination you need to react in some games is staggering.
I know for a fact that my father today could not play video games now, no way, not going to happen. I watched my son absolutely destroy my father playing UFC 3. It was no contest. I remember my father saying afterwards that it was too many buttons and too many moves for him to keep up with. Now I am not saying people in their 50’s and 60’s cant game. I know they can. I have seen it.
I also do not get that violence in games create violence in a person. I have to disagree with that one strongly. Is there violence in video games? Yes. However, if you are not a violent person I do not think by playing Grand Theft Auto it is suddenly going to make you violent. If anything it might help violent people release some of that aggression. Plus playing online helps the kids be more social. I think this is another learning tool for them when it comes to interacting with people later in life. I have made incredible friends just by playing an online game. I know, I know, but what about the toxic people. Well guess what? There are toxic people in all facets of life not just in game chat. We all have to deal with them sooner or later.
Now on to addiction. Can video games be addictive? Uh…yes. Hey honestly that is what makes gaming so great. I can be addicted to a game and realize that it will eventually run its course. Should kids play games in moderation? Absolutely. I am not going to tell my son to drink, smoke, gamble or do drugs in moderation though. Some things are bad for you and playing video games is not one them. Letting your kid play video games a few hours here and there is not going to further his or her addiction later in life. I play video games on a regular basis and it has helped me kick some of my bad habits.
All in all games are amazing and not all of them have to be filled with violence. Journey is beautiful. Stardew Valley is a quirky farming game. LEGO Worlds, LEGO Hobbit, LEGO Star Wars etc… are fantastic kid games that make you solve puzzle after puzzle. Let’s not forget about all the sports games out there as well. I’ve learned more about football than I ever did actually playing the game. Yes that is a little sad but sorry they never taught us cover packages in school sports. Just look at this Horizon Zero Dawn screenshot. It’s still one of the most heartfelt moments I’ve experienced in gaming.
So next time you hear someone say something negative about video games just ask them.
Do you even game, Brah?
What do you think? Should games be looked at differently? Or do you think the negativity is overreaction?