James Zhan

James Zhan

Freelance audio engineer, aspiring editor, writer and member of the Editors' Association of Canada. Oh, I LOVE corgis!

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How Valuable Is Gaming To One's Life

Video games have come a long way and now the technology is very developed, as we can see how hyper-realistic the graphics are and how incredibly intelligent the AIs are. Putting aside people who develop games and who game for a living, I wonder if video games as a sheer form of entertainment actually provide any important values to a heavy gamer’s life–by heavy gamer I mean someone who spend most of their time gaming not for profit or work. Also, in this context, I’m referring to non-educational games, so not the games that is meant to educate kids, but games that is meant to entertain, such as DOTA, Far Cry, Infamous Son, Counter Strike etc. Take Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for example, some kids play it night and day, and all they do is shooting people. One could argue that such time can be spent on reading, an activity that provides not only entertainment, but also important values.

Just for the sake of bouncing off ideas with people, another argument I could think of is that, even though some games might have educational values, they probably don’t improve things like literacy as much as reading a book does. I also keep thinking that if a person play violin 24/7, they would become a virtuoso, where as if they play games 24/7, no matter how educational the game is, I doubt they would obtain any actual skills.

Now before you think I’m an anti-gamer, I want to clarify that I’m not. I have played lots of games. I just wanted to occupy one side of argument so that it might be easier for other people to take another (or agree on my side).

This topic sometimes occurs to my mind when I see people just play games 24/7 (again, excluding professional gamers and game developers); they don’t care about other things other than their games. It sometimes seems to be like an addictive mind drug. Such things don’t really happen to people who enjoy other forms of entertainment (music, movies, sports etc), which is what makes the games a different kinds of entertainment than those, in my opinion.

Take away video games from one’s life, I would tend to think it wouldn’t do much harm to a person (assuming that they are not addicted already), but if you take away other arts from someone’s life, I think that would actually do some sort of damage to them. So how valuable is gaming to one’s life? Is gaming just pretty much wasting time? If you were a heavy gamer, how would you justify all your time spent on gaming?

  • Do you want to focus on extreme gamers (i.e. the 24/7 gamers you described above) or just gamers in general, even the casual ones? I've been playing video games nearly my whole life and have successfully finished many. While I'm not what you might consider addicted (on average I'll play at most 4 hours of a game in a day, but I'll stop gaming for months if I have a heavy school load), I think I'd definitely lose something if they were taken away. I love gaming for the immersion it gives me into a new world, like a book or a movie - I love the escape of it. If you took away my movies or books, I'd be very angry for the same reasons. If you want to think of games as wasting time, then what about books with bad writing/fluffy or meaningless stories, or movies that are just action-packed with zero plot? Every medium has its flaws/problematic culture and I think by just looking at a violent game like Counter-Strike as an example of video games being a waste of time, you lose the games that are actually educational (there are games geared just for children after all), that operate much like books or movies by showing people a brand new world and offering them an escape, or that are just a really fun way to waste time. Wasting time is not, after all, always a bad thing. – karebear7 4 weeks ago
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  • Is there a way that you could narrow this topic down? It is really interesting. It just seems like a monuments task, and almost like a research project. I would concur with the above comment on focusing on specific gamers like extreme gamers, or it can be a comparison with casual gamers. – AbeRamirez 4 weeks ago
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Latest Comments

James Zhan

One thing I like about dystopian literature is that it makes me realize that I should not complain because the world I’m living in is definitely much better than the worlds in dystopian novels

The Rising Popularity of Dystopian Literature
James Zhan

I actually consider myself a “Facebook addict” because I am in quite a lot of discussion-related Facebook groups and I’ve learned quite a lot from them. But if a person tries to be another person, be it a real person or fictional one, it could mean that the person is not satisfied with or even hate his/her own identity. I think that’s where the problem is. I don’t see why a person would want to be anyone else if the person is totally happy with himself/herself.

Social Media Profiles: A Faithful Reminder of Who We Are, and Who We Can't Be
James Zhan

I have heard people, especially parents, complaining that VVGs are just too violent and it will influence kids in a bad way. Maybe it could, but I don’t agree.
First of all I am not a gamer – I’ve played quite a lot of games just for the sake of trying to find why people like them so much, and I often lost interest in a week.
Action games are the funnest to play, in the list of games I have played and they never have any influence on me. I never think about “oh it would be so awesome if I can just shoot some people” or something like that.
If a person is easily affect by VVGs, even if he doesn’t play any games, he would get triggered somehow in his life, goes violent and end up committing a crime.

The Effects of Violent Video Games: Blasting the Myth