Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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

19 Responses

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  1. Verily I say unto thee…
    aw hell with it. The folks I would insult in classic shakespearean prose are too stupid to understand it anyway. Long and short of it is…it AINT the video games you TWITS!!! I’m getting bored with the blame the video game schtick.


    March 28, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    • Sean, I’m glad that you understood me. It definitely isn’t the video games.

      Barb Caffrey

      March 28, 2018 at 11:13 pm

  2. I have never been a ‘gamer’. As a kid I enjoyed some of the Atari games, and console video games like Elevator Action and Mario Brothers. I played some D&D, and later AD&D on the computer. My favorite games on the computer have been Bandit Kings of Ancient China and Harpoon, and those are the games I still play at times. We do own a Wii, but haven’t played it in years (since our daughter was born). We used to get together with friends on the weekend and play Guitar Hero or Rock Band while getting drunk.


    March 28, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    • I laughed at the idea of you and your friends playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band while drunk… that’s one way to bond with friends, for sure. 😉

      Now that you mentioned other games to play on the computer, there was one I played in high school that was quite interesting. It was, “How do you know if you’re a politician?” (Something like that, anyway.) And they’d test how often your statements didn’t add up to your beliefs…when they didn’t, they’d call you a “waffler.” And the closer you hewed to waffling, the more likely it was that you were a politician. 😉

      Barb Caffrey

      March 28, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      • I used to play battle chess, in it’s first incarnation, on the drafting computer at my high school in 88 or 89. Sadly that came to an end when the drafting teacher got tired of some people not stopping and shutting down the game when called for class to start. I keep toying with the idea of getting the newest updated version.


        March 29, 2018 at 10:02 am

      • That sounds like fun. (If you do, let me know. I’d be interesting to try it myself, even though I’d probably get beaten badly. Good for the psyche, that, I suppose…) 😉

        Barb Caffrey

        March 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      • It was actually more fun getting drunk (with same friends) and playing the various Catan games.


        March 29, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      • I’ve heard good things about those Catan games. I know I read the book and reviewed it…seemed interesting.

        Barb Caffrey

        March 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

  3. Thus Titus Andronicus should never be performed!……
    I have fond memories of Nintendo against my younger daughter on International Super Star Soccer Delux; she’s a soccer fan, she played as Wales I played as Argentina and some classic games we had.
    Then with my son it was Mario Kart, Street Fighter and an early WWF game (We had a blistering row once- he was 13) he stomped up stairs…five mins later he calls down ‘Hey dad! Wanna play Street Fighter?…
    I usually was beaten every time; the only one I could excel at was a SimCity….as a team leader in H.M Inspector of Taxes, I could manipulate the whole ‘population’ and so the city’s income through the tax system!
    Good times….

    Woebegone but Hopeful

    March 29, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    • LOL about Sim City. I have another friend who played that game with her whole family. She enjoyed it, too, but I don’t know if she ever was a tax inspector. 😉

      Yeah, games can unite a family, for certain. 😀

      Barb Caffrey

      March 30, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      • It was as bonding as anything, and gave rise to much hilarity. Until you mentioned it Barb I’d quite forgotten how much fun we’d had.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        March 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      • I’m glad that I was able to bring up a good memory, then. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        March 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm

  4. Agreed, no point blaming video games when it has pros too. Why only see the cons and not the pros.

    Author: Sadaf Siddiqi

    April 1, 2018 at 8:44 am

    • I think it’s easier to see the cons for anything, and people tend to dwell on them, too. Best guess.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

  5. Yay, it’s great to see another blogger write about video games! And not blaming them! And don’t worry, I’m old school too, I grew up playing all the classics — Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders… ah, the good old days. 😆

    Last year I wrote a blog series on benefits of playing video games (cognitive, creative, etc), so I’m definitely of the “Video games can be good!” club. Lots of things can be good in moderation. 😀

    I like playing different types of games, ranging from role-playing to action to creative building; I’m now playing an online fantasy role-playing game with my husband and Minecraft on my own (there’s something fun about building my own island town from scratch, block by block like a digital Lego 😛). And I’m waiting for the PC version of Monster Hunter to come out this autumn to play with my husband and brothers! 🎮


    April 21, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    • I thought you might enjoy the post, Nicolle. I know you love video games, too. 😀 Glad you enjoyed my blog.

      Barb Caffrey

      April 22, 2018 at 8:34 pm

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