Are Video Games Useless?

14 November 2010

Do video games bring any benefits at all or they just make you addicted and regret years after that you've wasted your time?

Right, today's my birthday and it's a Sunday, so there are two notices before I start on this post.

1. No WNx comic strip today because I'm busy on my animation project.
2. Yes, it's my birthday! :D

Now take a look at this video. It says about how video games affected this person's life and how much time he has wasted. He regrets and warns people not to play video games because you'll eventually get addicted and so on.

Okay, the first thing I would like to say...which is not-related to the video is this.

There are PLENTY of people giving inspiration nowadays and I'm surprised that they could come up with dumb and wrong inspirations that people believe to be good and correct. Take for example, this quote from a talk in INTI University Nilai, in Malaysia where Bill Clinton gave a talk.

"You cannot focus on what you can't do, but you focus on what you can do and find people to do what you can't do."
- William J. "Bill" Clinton.

What do you mean by something that you cannot do? Do you even need to go out there and find people that can do what you can't do? Just learn it and do it yourself!

2. If you can find people to do things for you, you probably need to pay them. There is no free lunch. If you're not capable yourself, just do something simpler or learn how to do it. Leading a team of people who are 5x more knowledgable than you is not going to get you anywhere and you'll just get overwhelmed. You first need to be capable and intelligent in what you do, then become a wise and strong leader, then you lead people.

3. Someone posted this on Facebook and I don't know what in the world is so inspirational about this. There was even this comment, "so inspiring" wtf...?

Back on topic.

Video games waste a hell lot of our time? This is relative and to be honest it is a swooping statement. If you read tons of stories like Harry Potter and the sort as much as a gaming addict plays video games, you are also wasting your time as much as a gaming addict does.

The benefits of reading are just about the same of the benefits of video games. But in video games, I bet you get more of it than reading. Such benefits are:

1. Strategic planning, anticipating changes, solving puzzles, do logical reasoning and so much more especially in strategy, puzzle and simulation games.

2. Socialize. Games unite the world through online gaming and gaming competitions, people share the same interest and stuff. To say that a video game makes you less sociable because you stay at home all day in front of the computer is the same as how bookworms sit at home all day and read books. What's the difference? In games, you get to socialize online and you get to compete with others, that's the difference.

It is true that games unite people. This is a picture of me and a bunch of other gamers from other states/country in a gathering. We were going to play paintball.

3. Games increase your creativity that lets you solve problems in various ways. Look at Touhou. The fans create videos and music that are so awesome and imaginative, they could've made a hell lot of money if it were original creations.

IOSYS is a circle that creates high quality (THE BEST) fan-made music and flash animations based on the Touhou game series.

4. Teamwork, leadership and co-ordination. I got this out of L4D and COD4, and I could watch the actions of my teammates to sync with them without any sort of communication. I was able to use this skill in reality and it's like learning psychology.

5. Hand-eye coordination that helps you do everything with ease. Games like COD4 actually improve your vision and reflexes where you actually strain your eyes to see people blending with the backgrounds and other entities. In COD4, they even had snipers with ghille suits and they're hiding in the grass. Serious gamers could spot them and take them out...while I couldn't. Now that's improving vision...even the slightest colour difference could be seen and your field of vision (you could interpret things even if it is at the corner of your eye) is increased.

COD4's Ghille Suits look exactly like grass.

These are just the few benefits I thought of on my mind while writing this. Do you get these benefits in reading? No! Games also portray their story and some games even give you a bunch of stuff to read as if you're reading a novel. Games interact with players so much more and give really healthy benefits.

Why put the blame on video games?

Rinnosuke is a character in Touhou, not much is said/shown about him. The fans called him MANnosuke and gave him MANLY skills. That's just random... and most importantly..FUNNY & CREATIVE! This comic strip is drawn by Wong (not me).

The one to be blamed is the player who lacks self-control and self-discipline. If you're a parent, just get games that a Teen rated or games for kids if your children are still young. Play in moderation. Too much of anything will bring negative effects, DUH.

So look, don't say video games are bad. They're only bad if you play too much with no self-control and sense of time. Almost everything's like that. I'm a gamer and I benefit from gaming a lot. I gained confidence and logic skills to sort out things in my life. I am great in my studies, I accept criticism, I do not get angry easily (after all, online gamers like to talk crap and scold you over the simplest things, but in the end you're having fun) and I could manage time properly (the Sims helped me in my time management). And yeah, I'm not friggin' obese. My BMI's normal and I spend my time bboying as well.

I am relaxed and I feel great as ever. Without games, I couldn't have gotten so many benefits. If you do not play excessively, you get a bunch of benefits, so why not?