Video Games are Evil?

The past two weeks of lists have used other things (movies and Harry Potter) besides “original thinking” to prove my points. This week it’s time to get back to original stuff. We will go over some frustrating things that one person or group of people automatically thinks about someone or something else. There is a word for that: stereotyping. Yet somehow, it seems many reasonable, logical adults have the following attitude of video games:

–VIDEO GAMES ARE EVIL AND ARE DESTROYING HUMAN CIVILIZATION AND CHILDREN’S BRAINS ARE TURNING TO MUSH AND NOW THEY HAVE NO COMMON SENSE AND ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS VIOLENCE AND SHOOTING AND HAVE NO CONNECTION TO REAL LIFE AND AN AN AN AN AADDDDDDDDDDD DDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111111!!!!

Yep. This makes perfect sense. If you’re stupid. Or a politician.
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Video games, like almost anything else, are not evil unless the person in question lets them consume him or her. What makes video games such a threat is the fact that they can be highly entertaining. It’s the first medium that offers true interactivity. Finally you can be a part of the artistic vision set forth by the creators of the art. This sounds delightful…

But it had to happen. “Gamers” had to develop their own social classes, and this divided people. Gamers began to feel a sense of entitlement, while the rest of the world passed them off as weird. This image was worsened by the fact that most games objectified women to a sinful level.

What’s more, many games truly are mindless. Shooting, sex, and crime are disturbingly mainstay in the gaming industry, while problem solving, education, and critical thinking are slim-pickings.

However, the best video games have to offer is on par with the best books or films, have to offer. Take the Legend of Zelda franchise. TELL me–as you rack your brain trying to use the resources at you disposal to find that one precious key, to get to that one door, so you can emerge victorious for your challenge–that you can get that out of a book or a movie.

Games of course need to be played in moderation. It’s easy to loose all sense of being on Earth and get enveloped in the worlds of video games. But we need to stop criticizing games as a whole, and start criticizing the people that make it’s image worse.

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Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.