March 12, 2017

The Case for Video Games


Etai Barash ‘18


Video games are often ridiculed as addictive and harmful for people of all ages, especially children just beginning to mature. Many claim that video games can be a breeding ground for child obesity, aggressive behavior and sleep deprivation, however, if video games are used responsibly, they do not fit this description.
People who spend too much time playing video games are often thought to be at risk of being more unhealthy than others. This is only accurate in extreme cases. Even in drastic situations where you actually spend all day glued to a computer screen, it is not the worst thing to be doing. For teens, school can provide a huge amount of stress. A day to just relax and play video games is a day well spent for many of these teens.
“It’s great for destressing,” junior Noah Brown said. “I often just play while I’m thinking about other things.” Brown added that this provides a comfortable, exciting outlet for stress and anger that is built up throughout tough school days.
Additionally, these electronic games are a way to connect with others. Modern technology has given people the ability to connect faster than ever. By playing video games with your friends or other online players, players learn how to work on a team to achieve a common goal, an essential life skill.
Yes, there are dangers to meeting new people online. Cyber bullying and lying online are very easy to do. However, there are several initiatives meant to teach children the dangers of the internet. These actions diminish the prominence of online dangers.
Video games also provide an appealing alternative to teens who are surrounded by negative temptations. Video games can easily replace other harmful outlets, such as drugs, alcohol, or other deleterious trends.
Video games can also provide real life skills that are easy to comprehend. “Playing the video game of a sport you play helps you see the game in a different way and can be helpful when you are actually playing the sport,” junior Ben Moses said.
Learning how to budget virtual currency in a video game can teach kids how to spend money economically in real life.
Video games can also make you a better decision maker. Many video games depend on the player’s decisions and change accordingly. This can teach people from young ages to old that actions have consequences, whether they be good or bad, expected or unexpected.
Furthermore, video games have potentially beneficial medical applications that are not accepted as fact, though have studies supporting them. For example, many studies point to video games helping people recover from strokes or depression. Video games may also help improve eyesight or slow down aging.
However, the most appealing aspect of video games is that, simply put, they are fun. From the flashing of a gun to throwing a game-winning touchdown, video games have the capability to transform the player into any person in any place. Anywhere that your imagination is willing to go, video games can take you there.
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