A harmless hobby or anti-social behavior?

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Photo Credit: Chyrstal Fortt

cartoon by Chyrstal Fortt

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Staff
November 16, 2011
Filed under Opinions

CON

by Cassandra McGowan

Video Games. Ugh.

There are no words to describe how much I loathe  trying to talk to my fiancée while he’s playing “Call of Duty,” only to be ignored because he’s so absorbed by it that he doesn’t even see or hear anything except “We’re losing Alpha!” and the continuous sound of machine guns.

I’m not limiting my hostility to just “Call of Duty.” I dislike any games in which people are completely sucked in and blow off real-life in exchange for video game life.

I feel like gaming is the cause for the younger generation to be more introverted and excluded from regular social things that kids, teens, and even adults should be doing.

Gaming is a major factor in childhood obesity because it allows children to sit on their butts all day and still feel like they are a part of society.

The highlight of their day is racing home to turn on that computer or Xbox and wasting the day and night playing a game with a bunch of people they won’t ever actually see.

It’s even affecting adults, as I mentioned earlier.

Grown men, acting as if the game is so real, that if they were to stop for two seconds to respond to a question, they will meet their untimely demise.

People are forming totally unhealthy parasocial relationships with the characters on these games. They sometimes even identify themselves as a character they play on a game.

I’m sorry, but if you’re a single 30-year-old guy and you blow off going to a party and meeting chicks to stay home and play “World of Warcraft” or “Gears of War,” your priorities are seriously screwed up.

Blowing off your friends and even work to play a game?

Really? Come on people get your life back.

I’m not totally against video games, but I feel like they should be used in moderation and not viewed as the only source of entertainment.

Some of the best memories I have as a kid are not playing “Super Mario Bros.,” but riding bikes outside with my friends, playing hide-and-go-seek, and going on adventures.

Things that kids should be doing, things that are healthy and conducive to their life and social skills.

For the adults who act as if gaming is their life, you need to get a real life.

That hobbit-monster you’re playing isn’t real, that horde quest isn’t a real-life journey, and admitting that you spend more time gaming than being around real people isn’t cool and never will be.

Your gaming girlfriend can’t hold your hand through that screen and chances of you and Wildamort ever meeting and maintaining a normal and healthy relationship are pretty slim.

Get off your butt and engage in life.

PRO

by Tyler McGinty

Every time I sit down to play “League of Legends,” I really should be amazed. Somewhere out there, there is a large group of people putting hundreds of hours of work into something for the sole purpose of entertainment. These people work to keep me happy, and although the game is free I would happily fork over my money.

Video games are an art form that is truly underappreciated in our society. People that say video games are all about shooting people haven’t experienced the Hideo Kojima’s “Metal Gear Solid” series.

These games have plots more complicated than most movies people go to and they’re far more engrossing as well.

Interactive storytelling is a lot harder than it seems, and the people that pull it off should be applauded. As much as I love writing, I can’t imagine the nightmare of trying to tell a story that the listener could decide to screw up at any time.

Sure, some games may not be innovators in interactive storytelling, but most of the ones that aren’t breed something else that’s very important: community.

It’s a common enough hobby that is shared by a lot of people in my age group, especially guys. When meeting new friends, asking about video games is usually a safe way to start a conversation.

Plus, it lets me virtually hang out with my friends who live in different places. Even though we’re scattered across the state, a few of my old high school buddies and I can still get online and play a game.

We can even talk to each other with the help of a headset.

Sometimes it’s like we’re in the same room again.

Sure, some people may take it too far and their life gets sucked away by a video game, but that’s the fault of the person, not the game. “World of Warcraft” is a prime example of this.

Everyone has heard at least one horror story of a friend of a friend who does nothing with their life except play “World of Warcraft.” They mooch off their parents, live in a basement and only care about the almighty raid.

However, this really is the exception, rather than the rule.

If people can play “World of Warcraft” and still be productive members of society, then it’s certainly possible with any game.

But most importantly, video games are a hobby. It’s your free time, so spend it however you like.

There are a lot of hobbies out there worse than hanging out with your friends and enjoying a well-crafted piece of art.

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