Gaming - an alien and unappealing world

Am I so unusual? I see the people of the world spending tens of hours each week and significant proportions of their income on console and desktop games, locking themselves into virtual worlds and out of the real world.

What, exactly, is the point of gaming? To become more unfit? To waste time that you could spend with family or work? To waste money that could be spent on reducing your household debt and avoiding the 'credit crunch'? To let your social skills wane? Compelling, it ain't.

Now, to be fair, I'm not talking about kids or even teenagers. They have time to spare. And probably pocket money as well. I'm talking here about grown-up adults who should know better. Life is short enough as it is without wasting it locked away in a darkened living room fighting virtual opponents.

Halo? World of Warcraft? From a grown-up's point of view, what a complete waste of time, energy, money and space.

Switch off those consoles and get out in the fresh air, get a job, talk to your family, get a hobby.... at the end of your life, will you really look back and think 'Gah, if only I'd spent more time on that game, I could have broken into the world top 1000!'....?

Nope, thought not.


James said…
I think I see where you're going with this one. However...

I'm 37, married, I have a mortgage and pretty stressful day (and evening!) job, I enjoy the fresh air, talk to my family, have a hobby, etc, etc. But I also play about 6 hours of console gaming a week and about 3 hours of iPhone gaming. I've spent hours and hours playing Halo, World of Warcraft and various Mario and Zelda games.

For me, gaming is about adventure, the opportunity to do something that you would probably never do, or see, in your entire 'real' life.

As an example; I currently play quite a bit of Guitar Hero on the Xbox 360. It's extremely satisfying to play through a song that I've loved for most of my adult life. Sure, some might argue that I'm not actually played the guitar, but I am, just in a much more simplified manner - I get 75% of the satisfaction for only about 5% of the effort, this frees me up to do other things with my limited time.

Gaming has a bad reputation, but that will change of the next 10 years. Games will merge with simulations, education, social experience, travel, pure information and A.I. to become one the richest human experiences. You can see the beginnings of all this even now.

It's the drudgery of mundane work that I would say is the curse of modern man. Repeating the same actions, day in day out, year in year out, people waste their lives away in what amounts to slavery.

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