Published on July 28th, 2011 | by Alex20
>Video Games Are A Waste Of Time
“If you’re over twenty-two and still playing video games, I just don’t know…” said my Grade 12 Law and Economics teacher while shaking his head disapprovingly. The comment was in response to a project a fellow student of mine had just presented on the link between violence and video games. I remember the phrase verbatim because of its totally close-minded, narrow, judgmental view of a non-destructive past-time. It didn’t have to affect me the way it did, I fit into his parameters of acceptable gaming age, but keep in mind this was my self-proclaimed male feminist, ultra liberal, recycling-advocate, bike to school, tattoo of inspiring educational quotes by Plato written in Latin on his biceps, teacher. Besides the abomination of hypocrisy that this man was – preaching tolerance of race, creed and sexual orientation while condemning certain behaviours – he raises a point many people argue: that videos games are a waste of time. The world is littered with those that can quote Matthew 7:1 but continue to judge regardless.
The problem with this debate lies in the total lack of empirical evidence to support either side. So the reality taking place is people telling other people to live their lives according to a subjective view on ‘proper’. This is acceptable, this is condemnable. Categorical nonsense that doesn’t take into account any of the truths that discredit such a claim. So, here we go. Fact: Apart from myself every admin on this website (currently a passion project) is over the age of twenty-two. Fact: They all play video games. Fact: They also all hold full-time jobs, most of them supporting families. Fact: They are hard-working, generous people that have found a love in a social activity not currently accepted as a ‘productive use of your time’. Opinion: Good for them. Show me a world where friends having fun is objectionable behaviour, and I’ll show you a world not worth living in.
Recently, one of our own admins and all-around awesome guy John lost a close family member very suddenly. John likes to game. Coupled with him being an incredibly strong person able to keep himself together and support those grieving around him, he was able to find relief in a passion he’s had since before he was a teenager. I would like to share this bit of information with my Grade 12 Law and Economics teacher and watch him stutter and stumble about, falling over his prejudices and pre-conceived notions of what a gamer is when he’s informed of John’s current situation, his current IQ, his current relationship status and his current job title. And John is just one example. There are millions of gamers, young and old that still contribute to society, that still have dreams, that still pursue relationship and career opportunities, that still donate to charity or offer their services to the needy, that still hold and form friendships and that don’t judge others based on their preferred hobby or past-time. Shame on those that live willingly ignorant.
We’re all perpetrators of judgement, guilty of thinking we know someone else’s life better than themselves. But it’s important to be wary of how far we let that go. You let your bias slip in a classroom filled with burgeoning creative minds and you’ve just tainted what could have otherwise been a blank slate of acceptance. Sure, if video games consume your life and claim what could have otherwise been great potential maybe then those close to you should become concerned, should take action. But until the day a higher power makes their presence known to the masses and educates us all personally on how exactly the perfect life should be lived in the modern world, we have no right to cast any stones. And even then, who wants to be perfect?