Submitted by Caleb Parson, Mathematics Teacher, Residential Assistant
Video games can certainly be a massive distraction from work- but do they have any redeeming qualities? The answer is a resounding “YES!” as many games can actually be quite good for you. As long as they are taken in moderation, video games can provide a pleasant distraction for an hour or two and be an enriching and educational experience.
A historically accurate detective thriller like “LA Noire” can immerse you into it’s world by giving you a glimpse of what it may have been like solving crimes in 1940s LA. Exploring and adventuring in “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” allows a player to enjoy that fascination of discovering something for the first time.
Developers have begun to realize that video games can be a platform to discuss diversity and social change, as well. “Papers, Please” is a game about an immigration inspector working in a fictitious dystopian country can cause a person to step and back think about the world we live in, and can act as excellent starting points for discussion between friends and peers. And if you’re together with friends, why not play games with them? Multiplayer games like “Mario Kart” provide a competitive fun way for groups to relax.
Video games are certainly very similar to movies as they are both often cinematic experiences, but there’s something that sets them apart: choice. “The Walking Dead” presents difficult moral and ethical choices for the player to make, each path always leading to dire consequences. It’s cause and effect, but it’s your cause and effect- and this feeling of ownership makes for an incredibly enjoyable experience.
Whether you’re improving your reflexes by struggling with “Flappy Bird,” or saving the world in “The Legend of Zelda,” video games are engaging, entertaining, and exponentially becoming a part of our culture. Check out my game suggestions when you have some free time- you won’t be disappointed!