Happy New Year. You know, I’ve had several folks in my life wonder why I advocate so passionately for video games. “They’re a waste of time! They don’t contribute anything to society! They’ll melt your brain!”
And all three of those statements, if I may say so, are wrong.
The way I see it, video games (especially RPGs) can be their own kind of art. They fuse technology, music, and visuals with a story- just like a film- and make them even more interactive. There’s a reason it’s so easy to lose yourself in a virtual world; you feel like you’re a part of it, as your actions affect what happens in that world. I think a little bit of escapism is necessary to survive reality’s curveballs.
Even if that doesn’t interest you, the best games can be a great source of listening and viewing material. You don’t actually have to play to appreciate the lush orchestral numbers on a game soundtrack…or practice your sketching skills with an intricate character design.
I singled out role-playing games because those tend to be the “deepest” in their scope. Since they are designed to take the player on an epic journey, their creators have to literally build a world from the ground up. Do you know how much creativity is required to put the pieces together? Honestly, I’ve been more moved by some video game stories than by many movies. Writing the characters’ dialogue is also an art unto itself, as each must have a unique personality to match their look.
As for physical health concerns, that holds a bit of merit; you should rest your eyes from the screen periodically. As with anything else in life, you must keep it in moderation. However, playing video games is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination as well as social skills (via multiplayer).
The moral of the story: don’t be so quick to disregard video games as a meaningful form of media. They employ artists, bring people joy, and are ingrained in cultures around the world. Who could ask for anything more?!