Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Everything Has A Purpose, Even Vidya

Someone recently said to me that video games serve no purpose. Protip. NEVER say that to me, because I will rant your ass off. You can be my best friend, you can even be my mother, but I'll still rage at you for saying that. I've talked before about how vidya doesn't create mass murderers, and I've talked recently about games. So, now I'm going to do it again, and explain to all the peoples out there in Bloggerland that GAMES ARE PRETTY DAMN USEFUL.

Yes, I mad.


No one ever tells me video games serve no purpose. For many years they have given me an outlet that prevented me from being violent in the real word. (You all read what I do on Fable >_>). They've kept me sane, and been there for me when no one else has. Video games serve many purposes. Be it helping people along in life, allowing them to live their fantasies, bringing people together, providing a common outlet. I would even go as far as to say video games saved not just my life, but the lives of others I would have otherwise hurt. Video games have been proven to help heal people because they provide a distraction while the body heals. There are even charities that provide video games to hospital's children's ward for this purpose. So, no, video games are not useless. At their very base core at least, they are mental stimulation.

As much as I might not like the "casual" gaming generation, they do provide a way for the older and younger generations to interact. Games like Wii sports and all their other Godforsaken party games provide a way for families to come together, and do something they can all enjoy. You ever see how on the adverts they typically show a family playing? Sometimes it does happen. I mean alright, if they advertised games properly, things might not go so well; "Play Call of Duty online multiplayer, and be called a faggot by people you don't even know!" but when a game advertises what it's like for the people who are playing it, like the Wii does, that can be an accurate portrayal of how things go down. Although me and my brother have played Gears of War and got closer doing that lol.

Some games, like Minecraft and Littlebigplanet offer incredible artistic outlets. I recently got into Minecraft actually after getting myself some inspiration, maybe I'll post some of the stuff I made some time. Not everyone who's artistic draws, or writes, some create. Consider Minecraft on peaceful difficulty (no mobs) being essentially lego on a gigantic scale.

You can say "But...but, violence has gone up thanks to video games, and people are living in fantasy worlds rather than dealing with their problems." I can't say the words I want to say to this, because I try to keep the blog at least PG-14, but seriously. Shut up. We had two world wars before video games, we had a load of violence before video games. Maybe if Hitler had Fable, a game where he can actually own the world, he would have been a bit more chill about things. If people want to live in a fantasy world, it's their choice, games didn't make them do it. Not to mention that living in a fantasy world like that gives your brain time to solve it's own problems, it provides an outlet for you. If people are going to choose to live in that world, then it's something they chose to do, the video games didn't make them do it any more than they make a person violent. They might bring out what is already there, but they didn't create it, and if a person can't see the lines between reality and fantasy, then it's not the games fault.

Though yes there can be too much of a good thing. Don't forget to read not only to yourself, but to your kids as well, and try to make sure your kids do still get some good exercise, even if it is just a Wii game. Which aren't quite the bane to gaming some gamers seem to think they are.

Though God only knows where all these 11 year olds are learning such words.

37 comments:

  1. One of the most important things I've learn in games is learning how to learn. Easily applied across a whole spectrum.

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  2. You're damn right and they keep me off the streets.

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  3. I do agree with you quite a bit, particularly the last two paragraphs, but I also think that there has been a degree of "give the kid a game and keep them busy". Children - particularly in the past quarter of a century - are massively exposed to video games. But they just aren't being educated to see the difference between the reality and the fantasy. Society really needs to look at this. By society, I suppose I really mean parents. Just as parents should have the "sex talk" before puberty, they should have the "game talk" before exposing the child to video games. Those are my thoughts anyway :-)

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  4. @Experiment House But the same can be said about anything, like you say actually lol. It falls down to the parents too. But, parents don't like admitting they made mistakes, they blame it on everything else. But it does usually boil down to the parents using games to get rid of their kids. Parents don't like to give the sex talk anymore, saying that they'll just learn it in school anyway. I'd like to think if I had kids, I'd give them a proper sex talk, and share with them the wonderful-ness of video games, while still showing them the natural beauty all around them. I've lived in both real and fantasy worlds.

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  5. The funny thing is, I just watched a "Big Bang Theory". They display every gamer as dirty and nerdy. Give nothing on clichees

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  6. I agree, video games are an important outlet for many

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  7. @NeonThat's odd, people keep insisting to me that Big Bang Theory is a funny show that portrays nerds in a good light. Still think I'm not a gamer? :P Viva la revolucion!

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  8. I honestly couldn't agree more, really. And like Neon said, the cliché of gamers being lonely fatasses is annoying the living snot out of me. Really?

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  9. Videogames saved me from bad company. I used to steal, gamble and participate in school fights. That all changed when I picked up videogames. Since then, I never stole, gamble or got into fights because if I do, it'll cut into my gaming time.

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  10. I agree! GTA got me through some tough dating times in the early 2000s.

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  11. Reading and exercising is definitely foreign to kids unless it is reading a box of twinkies and walking back and forth to the kitchen.

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  12. Yes, oh god, did you hear that a store in Norway stopped selling World of Warcraft after the terrorist attack so that it wouldn't create another Behring Breivik??

    Personally I don't enjoy playing games containing excessive violence, e.g., first-person shooters or those ones that give you achievements for torturing little children (I think it was Fallout). I do believe that video game violence can make you number to images of gore and assault. But not that they would actually make people more violent, that doesn't make any sense. Besides, as you point out, not all video games are the same - and is entertaining legions of people pointless? Rant on, this topic will never fail you in proving people wrong. ;)

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  13. @the Rambler I had heard about that yeah, I considered going Brevik on their asses, but that would have ended up justifying the move. Something that should never be done. I would rant about this more but I think I got it all out :P I do need fallout now though. Must buy fallout. I have fallout 2, I wonder if it's on there, but if it's an achievement it must be one of the newer ones on consoles. bah.

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  14. Gaming sales (from EA alone) contribute 1 billion + dollars to the economy, so take THAT haters. Therefore, the argument that they have no purpose to society is null and void.

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  15. I agree with you completely. I'm living proof that video games alone doesn't make one a murderer or a criminal. Heck, when it all comes down to it, video games aren't any different from books or films, in terms of influence anyway. And I have been traumatized worse by books than the vidya.

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  16. Wow, someone got you riled up.

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  17. games rule my life.... maybe a bit to much ^^;

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  18. hahaha you made a big deal out of it. I believe, that as you said, even video games, have a purpose. Playing VG isn't different of watching a movie or a soap opera or stuff like that. Is just a way to relax, waste some time, unwind...etc etc etc. Abusing it, is obviously bad, just like with everything else.
    So yeah, VG have a purpose, entertain people, the same way movies or TV do.
    Use = Ok
    Abuse = Not ok.
    Simple as that.

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  19. Those who mind do not matter. Those who matter do not mind.

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  20. @Hasidic Plumber LOL You could take anything everyone loves and point out that it's a mistake to abuse it. I made a big deal because this is something I feel so strongly about.

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  21. I could do that with everything because it's true. Everything is ok, as long as it's in a good measure. I didn't try to be simplistic, but that's the way i feel things work. Even excercising too much, can be bad for you.

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  22. @Hasidic Plumber My health over the past week or so can attest to that -_-

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  23. Great post on a interesting topic :)
    I've actually read most of the relevant research on video games and violence. So, in case anyone talks to you about it again, here's some more ammo:
    -videogames do increase aggression in people. however, frustration plays a role in this too(mario kart can still make people aggressive) and the increase was statistically significant but not exactly disturbing. also, the effects subsided after an hour. In summary, playing a game can sometimes make you act slightly dickish for a bit.
    -many aspects of violent crime have actually decreased as popularity of vidya went up. the whole "video games cause rape" argument that was making its round a few months ago is just bull.
    -the cases of video-game inspired violence is barely in the triple digits. not exactly a great percentage considering how many people play.
    -playing video games actually increases spatial intelligence significantly. there's actually a proven cause and effect relationship there.
    -some scientists(like the ones at my lab) use videogames for their research. a friend of mine uses Garry's Mod to give people visual stimuli while he scans their brain. they're also used in research concerning neural prosthetics(i.e. giving people lost limbs back.)
    I should do a post about this.
    by the way, you wouldn't happen to watch Extra Credits? if not, check it out because the discuss this sort of stuff all the time in a very engaging way.

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  24. I'm not into gaming, never have been - apart from that time I had to stay in because I had builders putting a new kitchen in and the lemmings sucked me in. But that was so long ago it was on Sons super nintendo and yeah I completed every level.

    But - Son says they unite people in a way. He's 25 and he has friends thro it that are all ages, and now its online all over the world.
    I agree totally with the comments about Violence/Hitler...the problem is the parents who use the console/tv as a babysitting service and have no idea what their kids do online. There are worse things on the internet then killing zombies.

    I have a friend whose Son is now in the Marines and he says he wanted to do so as a result of gaming. Ok it's worrying that he is in Afghan, but you could say gaming inspired him.

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  25. So this is kind of random, have just been reading back through a few of your posts..(I like this blog btw, I think I will stalk it)..and I looked at your revolver map, someone from Portsmouth in America is on it too, and I am in Portsmouth in UK.

    What are the chances of that.
    *hums twilight zone theme*

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  26. @Astaroth I want your scientifically genius babies.

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  27. @dirtycowgirl Someone from the UK? I need to put my shades on for this AWWWW YEAHHHH moment. Thanks for the kind words about the blog ^^ There are a lot of places in the US that share names with here. That thing always says I'm from shefflield, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Sheffield US. There's London, there's Manchester, I think there's a Blackpool. Pretty sure New York is named after York (I'm yet to be proven wrong) and of course, New England.

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  28. Truly interesting post, it made for a good read (: Minecraft and Little Big Planet absolutely rule :')

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  29. video games relieve stress and just take your mind off shit thats troubling you

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  30. I love video games in that they've taught me a lot, namely in expanding my pool of ideas to draw on (until it becomes cliche) and providing me with better hand-eye coordination. But I have to sacrifice my eyes. Is it worth it? I don't know.

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  31. @George Anderson I have Strabismus, which basically means I only see out of one eye at a time, usually my right. This being the case, I'm slightly short sighted in my right eye, and fine in my left. Not enough that I need glasses either. If I kill my right eye somehow I can just always use lefty lol.

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  32. Agreed. So much agreement right here.

    I also rant and lose a lot of respect whenever people try and start an argument like that. Did you know back in Shakespeare's time they tried to blame increasing violence on theatre? And in our Grandparents time they tried to blame radio.

    Stupid people be stupid.

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  33. fantastic argument. its nice not thinking about real life every once in a while

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  34. @DWei Everyone will try to blame everything else.

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