Video Games – Not Good For People?

I love that question. It’s usually a topic of discussion among those that like to criticize video games, and nothing more, letting their peers and friends know that games are good for only one purpose, “rotting one’s brain.” What? Show me the stats where it explains, in specific detail, that video games are the cause for “rotting people’s brains.” I think where this whole stereotype stemmed from is the fact that video games carry one element with it that most other forms of entertainment don’t: Interactivity. It’s a result of this interactivity, the fact that your doing more than participating passively, that has people worried. But it still doesn’t make sense. Do you ever hear people mentioning that movies are bad for you because it’s not good for your brain? Comments along those lines. The answer is obvious – probably not. Same with virtually any other form of entertainment. Again, it’s just not clear to me.

Let’s break things down a little more. Let’s face it, people have this stereotypical image of their kids sitting on a couch, and basically looking like nothing more than a bunch of zombies. You know, you’re right in front of your television, in a darkened room, eyes wide opened, staring at a television – that type of image. Not good. Now let’s go back to movies for a second. What’s the main source of action that is being done when watching a movie? That’s right, staring at the television screen, or in some cases, your local movie theatre screens. So then, why don’t we have a stereotypical image of hundreds of people at our local movie theatres, in a darkened room, eyes wide opened, all looking like zombies? The answer: I have no idea!

There might be one thing that has caused this particular stereotype, and that could be the amount of time some video games are played during one sitting. Even though this may be true, there is still one crucial factor that would dispute this claim – that answer would be television. It’s not uncommon to see someone watch television for several hours at any given time. Once again, the only action being taken while watching television, is that of passively watching. Well, you might be able to factor in changing the channels as some sort of action, but that’s besides the point.

Regardless of where this stereotype for video games came from, and regardless of where it began, there’s no disputing the fact that it still exists. Even today, it is unfortunately very much alive. It’s changing though. Not long ago, a new system was released that you may have heard of, the Nintendo Wii. The Wii’s control interface is very different from what you would find in a more traditional video game system. It’s main premise is motion-based. Meaning, the games that you play have you moving your arms around, and in some cases, your entire body. That’s where Wii Fit comes in, an upcoming new release for the Nintendo Wii that has you moving your entire body around. The introduction of motion-based interaction is really starting to penetrate the “video game consciousness.” As a result of this “penetration”, it is helping to tear down, layer by layer, all of the negative stereotypes that have been associated with the video game industry for far too long.

Breaking down these “negative layers” is really what the industry, as a whole, is focused on. It’s a weird thing, because I can almost guarantee that the people that do criticize the industry for these types of things, are usually the ones that know nothing about it. Like all things in life, you have to try and find balance. Whether that’s playing video games, watching t.v., or listening to music, it simply doesn’t matter. So, are video games not good for people? Personally, I think that’s completely untrue. In reverse, video games can be something that brings joy, fun, and excitement. The decision though is not mine – That answer is reserved for each individual, nothing more and nothing less.

This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>