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Author Topic: Are video games a waste?  (Read 395 times)

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Offline CombiconTopic starter

Are video games a waste?
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:49:12 AM »
I ask you to read this post in entirety (or at least watch the youtube video) before flaming me for giving this thread the title I did. But yes, I recently came across a very thought provoking video on youtube, and I felt that quite a few people should see it (people who play video games moreso than others), and although the video might not create much discussion in the thread, I ask you to at least watch the video.
It's a five and a half minute video, so it doesn't take that long to watch, and is completly safe for work (not that I condone watching videos on work time).

The Only Thing I Know

I do realise that I put in quite a few hours of gaming into my life, and know that I've neglected things for video games (listening to what people say; which has brought up some trouble in the past between family members), and while I'm not going to stop gaming, I'm certainly going to consider how much time I put in, and probably reduce it.

I could just be making excuses, but I find it hard to talk to those I dont know, and much prefer being alone, to being with others whom I'm not aquainted with - I do have friends in real life, sure, but I left for university a year before they did - and as such, only see them a few times a year (if that), however, I would much rather spend time with them (even if we weren't gaming) than gaming alone. And I would try and go to more gaming events in real life, but either there are very few going on where I live, or I just don't catch wind of them.

Offline Lady Annabelle

Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 09:58:37 AM »
I have been gaming since I was about 3 when I was playing an Atari 2600.  My parents got it for me because they saw how much I enjoyed it when I went over to another house and spent all day playing it.  Since then, gaming has always been a forefront of my life.  Some days, it is the main focus.  Other days, I do not even turn them on.  So, I can admit that I have probably wasted YEARS playing them.  Do I regret them?  Not at all.

The guy in the video complains that he wasted his life playing video games when he could have gone out to do more enjoyable activities.  For me, that sounds like a backward policy.  Who says that going outside is a more worthwhile experience?  Who says that going to a party is more enjoyable than leveling up?  There are some people who enjoy raiding all night long instead of writing a great novel.  Isn't the point of your free time is to actually do things that you enjoy?  When you have found something you enjoy, then don't you want to do that?

Video Games are a hobby.  Think about how many hours people have wasted watching television or watching movies.  What's the difference between that time or playing video games?  You are not going to get that time back and it is the exact same ideal of wasting your life playing video games.  But, just like any activity, it can lead to addiction.  Anything in this world can lead to addiction.  If you can control the addiction, then the activity should be completely healthy.  But, if you would rather play video games then sleep, eat properly or even go out with friends, then it is a problem.

That has never been a problem for me.  Video Games are a part of my life.  Video Games do not rule my life.

So, if you do not mind, I think I will gladly 'waste' my life playing video games.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 10:30:12 AM »
He talks about World of Warcraft and the Burning Crusades - which I rather distinctly admit was funny when he set the discs on fire - but compares it to various single-player adventures (which are largely stories) and some two player games (which are by definition social).

The very reason that World of Warcraft is so popular is because it is mostly a social network. It's away to escape from your physical situation - whatever that may be - and still let you interact with people. These things are only going to get more personal, more realistic, and make stronger connections as time goes on. Modern games often do provide commentary, connections, and insight.

They beat the piss out of television, for sure.

You certainly can waste your life playing video games.

You can also waste your life reading books. Or watching sports. Any addiction can be bad, if taken to the point where it conflicts with your own personal needs.

This includes Elliquiy, and I have done things like applying bans from people's work or home.

The thing about 'creating value' is that we only need to spend a few percentage points of our total capacity to fully support ourselves. That percentage is only going to go down over the long term - when we start harnessing the power of the Sun, and assuming we don't wipe ourselves out, can anyone tell me what the purpose of human life is beyond engaging in fantasy?

Conquer the Universe? What does that mean and how is it different?

It's a thoughtful video, and there are certainly people who could do with seeing and pondering it. There are also people who are doing just fine with the status quo.

Offline AthenaNude

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Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 05:32:50 PM »
Videogames, like anything, are only a waste when they take over your life.   :P

Offline PaleEnchantress

Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 06:47:28 PM »
The narrator mentions all the things he could have put time into instead of games, but I'm not convinced he would have considered them a priority even if he didn't spend so much time playing video games. If he is truly devoting his time to losing weight, being a better friend, and learning more applicable skills, is it because he gave up games? Or is it because he felt the need to make a large lifestyle change?

I'm seeing a logical fallacy here-  Exercise is healthy: Playing video games is not exercising: Video games are unhealthy.

Hobbies like baseball, needlework, cooking or square dancing are no more likely to impress someone when put on a resume either. Friends that game might appreciate spending time someone spending time running a dungeon with them more then they would appreciate that same person knitting them a scarf.

Main point is that just because video games are a problem for some people does not make them a negative thing.

Offline Jude

Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 08:12:18 PM »
I think that it's dangerous to only be interested in video games to the exclusion of other hobbies and things.  There are definitely people out there who are so into video games that they don't focus on other endeavors.  You need more passions in life than just video games.

However, it's stupid to blame them specifically.  It's possible to become too fixated on anything and allow it to take over your life.  Work, school, etc. can be damaging even though they are productive

The part I disagree with most is this idea that video games are a waste.  I have these experiences which I treasure and found greatly enjoyable which were given to me by video games.  As he said, they can create a community, link you to other people of similar interests, or even be an experience to enjoy with friends and family.

He's generalizing his experience to the entire video gaming community and rallying against them because in his specific instance they were bad.  It's understandable but still foolish.

Offline Serephino

Re: Are video games a waste?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 09:19:28 PM »
It was an interesting video.  I too agree though that it's really only a problem if it interferes with your life.  There are marriages breaking up because one partner has themselves glued to Wow.  That's bad.  My boyfriend's mom played and used to stay up all night raiding and then call off work the next day.  That too is a bad thing.  She didn't eat unless something was brought to her.  And lets not forget that unsupervised child that died because her parents were across the street playing for 6 hours straight.

The maker of the video was right about one thing; it's entertainment.  I myself don't take it that seriously.  I still write, come on here, and try to work a little exercise into my day.  I get off to cook meals and spend time with my partner.  It doesn't run my life.  Today my boyfriend and I went to the mall.  The computer didn't get turned on until we got back sometime in the afternoon.  That didn't bother me at all.

Addiction to anything is a problem.  If you're neglecting your friends and family for a game then you have a problem.  I don't consider the time I've spent playing wasted because there really wasn't anything else I wanted to do at the time.  If there was I would have done it.