The issue of violence in video games is being revisited, and with relevant concern. Everyone’s opinions are widely varied regarding the matter and most of what we hear is negative. Instead, let’s focus on the many positive ways we benefit from video games.
It’s no secret I enjoy a game with a compelling story. An RPG adventure game is basically a visual book. You might play a complex game such as Tyranny on PC, or simple as Mortal Kombat, but both have a developing story, through either dialogue or in depth lore. The Final Fantasy franchise by Square Enix is renowned for incredible story telling. We often form a bond with one, or more, of the characters in these extensive stories and we share in their journey, sometimes even emotionally. These video games help build our vocabulary and imagination, just like reading a book, while beating up some enemies along the way.
Survival games are exploding in the market, and we can all learn a thing or two from this genre. Managing resources in a game where it’s you, with no tools, against the elements and the wild, is important for survival. The question is what do you craft first? Clothes, shelter, or weapons? Is it more important to eat or stay dry? I suppose that all depends on if you’re playing Ark: Survival Evolved, or 7 Days to Die, to name a few. This is still an expanding genre, but I can already tell these games have a lot to offer. Will they teach us how to survive in the wild if the apocalypse happens? Probably not, but we’ll have some basic knowledge to reference.
Nothing was accomplished at work today, school was tough and you’re cramming for that final exam, or the kids pushed you over the edge today. Does that sound like you? Then there’s no better way to unwind than by sitting down with your favorite game. You might be looking forward to pugging the latest raid in World of Warcraft, or you prefer to kick some derriere in Tekken. Maybe you just want to beat that next chapter or level in the newest game you bought but haven’t had time to play. Or, you might prefer to kick back and play some Halo or Call of Duty with your friends online. My personal favorite is sitting down with a game you’ve finished dozens of times to play something you’re comfortable and familiar with. Action games bring you closer to playing a movie, and plenty of us watch movies for leisure.
I haven’t forgotten about you social gamers, and I don’t mean those of you playing on XBOX Live or online. There are plenty of ways to play together with family and friends. I give Nintendo a ton of credit for never losing focus on helping families play together. They make great games like the Mario Kart and Mario Party franchises. If fighting games are more your style, you can choose from a game series like Super Smash Bros., Tekken, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, (Ultimate) Ninja Storm, Dragonaball, or Soul Calibur (VI coming soon!). The list could go on, and I haven’t even mentioned the numerous competitive racing games. I can’t count the amount of late nights devoted to playing all of our favorite songs on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, trading off between instruments. These games give me a reason to get together with my friends, and have a few beverages. Co-op and multiplayer games are still necessary for a bit of friendly competition.
In today’s technological age, video games are a part of our daily lives. They are important, and even the way of the future. That’s not to say a half an hour of daylight isn’t just as healthy. It’s all about balance, moderation, and doing what we love with the people we tolerate the most.