I got to play a lot of video games yesterday, it being Sunday and the lack of any scheduled activities. Mephistopheles was a little angered by my chosen pursuit for the day but it was something that needed to be done. Brantley has reached level 60, where he will stay for a very long time. I will post more about WOW perhaps later, but for now I want to talk about something else.
I might've talked about this before but it's something that always bothers me. Why is the playing of video games an awful thing to do? It's judged to be a juvenile hobby. "There are so many better things to do with your time." A man who enjoys videogames is somehow "not-grown-up" or deemed immature. I really don't understand where this negative portrayal came from.
Video games are a new medium. They were really only conceived less than 30 years ago. Their use of computing technology has always been at the forefront of the industry, pushing the limits of what processing power was available to the consumer. Games have been popular with young men who, I would suppose ( I don't have the stats to back this up but it seems reasonable), have a higher than average IQ. Nerds and Geeks basically. These nerds and geeks, as everyone past the age of 18 knows by now, grow up eventually to become the most productive parts of our society, the engineers or the software designers or the doctors. Why then is the playing of videogames always a bad thing?
I may be stretching logic there, but the truth is that I prefer playing videogames to sitting and watching TV. The hours spent watching crap like "Newlyweds" and "American Idol" is somehow more valuable than playing Civilization 3. In one, I can learn that Jessica Simpson is retarded, in the other, I learn that the Mayans can indeed take over South America with the right combination of Javelin Throwers and Spearmen. Why is it preferable in some people's eyes to veg out and not move or think for hours, rather than having your cognitive ability constantly firing while making decisions in a virtual world?
Many may argue that TV is no better than games and that we should all go outside and enjoy the open air. This is valid and I must say that balancing indoor activities with outdoor ones is always preferable. But that's not what I'm talking about. If you say to an average housewife (and here I'm really just talking about my own Mephistopheles yet saying it's a cross-section of society, sue me), "Hey Hon, I just watched 4 hours of Comedy Central," or if you say, "Babe, I just played 4 hours of WOW non-stop and made level 60," which do you think will bring more derision?
And I think that's fucked up. This is a rambling, not well thought-out post. I'll admit that. But what I'm saying is true. Video games is a medium no different than Film, books or TV and they should be judged the same. We need to end this irrational, Motherly hatred of something we don't understand.