All Types of Epic
It seems that more and more people are getting angry at games these days, and with the release of the Nintendo Wii, there's a huge uprising of people who are against all those violent, mindless, blood fests. I'm here to explain why this is all blown out of proportion.
Back when I was young, my grandmother had an NES (the old, grey Nintendo system that only worked when you blew into the cartridges). I had tons of fun playing it whenever I was at her house, and my favorite games were Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania. I begged my mom to let me get a system at the house but was always denied on the grounds that I would be at risk of developing an addiction. Several years later, I got a Playstation, and it's safe to say, I wasn't addicted. I played an hour a day and would go days on end without playing at all. In fact, the only reason I started playing again was because I found out we were getting rid of it. Then came the Xbox, bought to replace the old system. Yeah, I got carried away and played every free moment I had until my parents decided to sell it because I was becoming "obsessive". I never heard them complain when I read books nonstop though. Anyway, it was several years later until I got a computer of my own and I started PC gaming. I enjoy it, but for no more than an hour on most days, and I still go days on end without playing anything.
The moral? Yes, you can get carried away with games and spend too much time with them, but parents can set limits to the amount of time allowed for gaming. It's possible to get addicted to just about anything, so I don't see how video games should be treated that much differently.
Social Skill Destruction
This will be relatively short as it's pretty easy to explain. Video games do NOT make everyone a shut-in. Which seems more likely, a social butterfly discovering Counter Strike and then giving up on all his real friends, or an outcast with no real friends finding comfort in the fact that his gaming system will never give him a wedgie and take his lunch money because his glasses are thick? I know stereotyping is wrong, but the point remains that people prefer real interaction when it's available. I can personally remember that the only times I ever played video games excessively, was when I had nothing else going on in my life.
Mindless Time Wasting
You've all heard the hand-eye coordination argument, so I'll let that be. But did you ever consider that the ability to get a no-scope headshot from across the map after glimpsing a tiny movement passing between buildings might have a real world value? This improves something called reaction time. How could this be useful? I'm just speculating here, but I'm pretty sure that the guy who got a headshot on me down the hallway yesterday before I even saw him will definitely be able to avoid a 120 mph collision when the drunk guy comes flying across the highway median into his lane. Not to mention strategy skills. Games like Rome: Total War are excellent examples of this. It might not have the timeless appeal of chess, but in the real-time strategy battles, you have to command multiple groups of soldiers in response to enemy troupe movements. Believe me, this takes a lot of thinking, and a lot of strategy.
Every time I got thrown against a locker, or had my books knocked from my hands, or my nipples twisted a full 180 degrees, guess who did it? It wasn't kids who would invite all the other geeks over for pizza and Halo. It was the jocks. The sports nuts. The kids who spent at least one afternoon a week out in the mud slamming into eachother and being taught that the harder you hit, the better you are. I might spend a few nights a week shooting people in the face, but they're fake people. Some are even aliens. The sports kids are slamming into other REAL kids. Teenagers die doing this. They get real broken bones in the real world. I've never seen the stereotypical gamer nerd lash out like this. Hell, I've never seen ANY gamer nerd lash out like this. The fact is, if video games are going to motivate someone to shoot up their school, they were already messed up and violent to begin with.
The point is, video games aren't destroying anyone. I'm not saying you should buy an 8-year-old kid the newest first-person shooter, but why not check into Portal? It's a good puzzle game, and the only "gun" you have can't be used to hurt anybody. In fact, the only destruction in that game is against a machine that has you trapped in a lab. Last I checked, the Wii has some of the old classics now. There's more to games than killing, so people need to stop blaming them for everything.
If you have any questions or comments you'd like to direct at me (Cody Lee), I can be contacted at CodyLeeWHUS@gmail.com