What’s wrong with gaming?

For several years now, video games have been a useful stress-relieving component of my life. ¬†Between school, sports, and dramatic friends it can be very difficult to feel in control of your life. Video games provide an outlet where one can can express oneself in a way that ordinary society does not allow. Role playing games are especially useful for this, whether they be set in a fantasy land or in everyday life, or even within a sports game. But if video games could be so useful to kids and adults alike, then what’s wrong with them, and why do people seem to have such a problem with “the gamer?”

In my life, I have never truly been discouraged from playing video games, although I must admit that it was not encouraged either. Occasionally I was chastised for playing Call of Duty instead of, say, mowing the lawn, but nothing atypical in the way of parental control. I have also been lucky to have friends that also enjoy video games, and even my girlfriend has an XBOX Live gamertag. But as I said, I am lucky to know such people that are very accommodating of the gamer in me, when many are not so fortunate. So why are people against gaming?

Quite simply, I believe that it boils down to a misunderstanding of the purpose of video games for many people. I would argue that a majority of people, especially of older generations, see video games as nothing but a waste of time and energy. However, the skills that children gain while playing video games, such as problem solving skills, quick reflexes, the ability to process multiple information sources at the same time, and the experience of cooperating with other players in-game are all valuable life skills that will translate into various other areas. Some will always disagree, but the results of gaming as a child will only become more clear with time.