Tasked to write a short piece in defence of gaming: 1st draft.
People always say “write about what you know”. Well I don’t know much, but I’ve played my fair share of computer games. Not because I wanted to, mind you, but because between protective parents and classroom politics, there just was not very much I liked to do. Some call it anti-social behaviour, and perhaps they were right. Perhaps there was some part of being social that I did not care for as a teenager; I liked to read and cycle after all, not altogether communal activities, you might agree. So I picked up a computer game one day, and squandered hours having fun. I liked it, and the human penchant for being on one side rather than the other of the pain-pleasure continuum made me go back to it. Like reading and cycling, gaming was fun for me.
Now, the moral high road is wide open, and many have beaten me to it. The benefits of computer gaming: stress relief, weight loss, improved hand-eye coordination, social gaming (remember Farmville?), we’ve all heard about them. I don’t want to go there. Pain-pleasure continuum, remember? That’s boring.
I game not for the ‘scientifically-proven’ benefits, and care little about the similarly proven drawbacks. I game for fun. When people play within rational bounds, and I believe that comprises most gamers, that is all it is – a fun and admittedly rather pointless activity akin to going to the movies or juggling tomatoes.
Yes, there are gaming addicts. But then there are self-bankrupting shopaholics and overprotective parents too. Too much is more than exactly enough, and is bad no matter how good anything is.