Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for March 28th, 2018

In Praise of Video Games

with 19 comments

Folks, I am tired of video games being blamed for everything. Supposedly, video games are bad for you; they create addictions; they may even lead, some say, to school shootings, especially if you play the more violent games on a regular basis.

Banana mush. (This is my very polite way to say “BS.”)

Why is it, hm, that no one ever talks about the pluses of video games? How they help you test your reflexes, or maybe how they help you figure out unusual solutions to problems, or even that they give you something to do when you’re worrying about a problem and have no other way to get out of your own head?

Seems to me that those three reasons, right there, are good reasons to praise video games. Because problem solving, improving reflexes, and giving yourself a mental “out” when you truly need one and have no others (providing you do this in moderation), are all good things.

I know that I play a number of games, and have for years. From Space Invaders to Pitfall (OK, I’m “old school,” all right?), to Ms. Pac-Man to Tetris, to Castle Age to Candy Crush, I’ve probably played just about everything. (Including “Operation Wolf,” back in the day. And no, I didn’t turn into a gun-toting criminal, thank you.)

Why do I do this, when my life is busy and stressful? I think it’s because of needing that out, along with a need to test my reflexes and improve my problem-solving skills.

It gives me some serenity, to be able to zone out for an hour, playing cards online (yes, I do that, too), or at Club Pogo (yep, I’m a member, and I’m especially partial to the planet-zapping Space Hunt game), or at any number of other places. And this little “mental vacation” allows me to finish up all the other things I need to do…even though I can’t do it every day, the fact that I can do this on some days helps enormously.

At any rate, I wish we’d see more people talk about the positives of playing video games, rather than the negatives. Because there truly are positives…we just need to look at ’em in a different way. (Sometimes I wonder if that’s the case with many things in this world. But I digress…)

What video games do you play, or have you played? Which ones would you say have helped you most, as a person, or given you the most relief over time? Tell me about it in the comments!

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 28, 2018 at 8:06 pm