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Video games can be rewarding

Posted: March 15, 2018 3:09 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Video games get a lot of flack, and it’s no wonder why. They keep youth glued to screens and inactive, spending hours a day indoors. The subject matter of video games is not always pure. There are tons of violent games out there, and younger kids could easily be exposed to material they don’t need to see. And of course, there’s the argument that video games turn kids into violent citizens.

This could easily have tons of parents unhappy.

However, there is another side to video games that is often unexplored. Video games were admittedly a big part of my childhood. I was introduced to Pokemon around the age of 8, and upon acquiring a Nintendo DS for my birthday, I invested hours into beating not only the Pokemon games,but other childhood favorites as well.

Perhaps one could say this is unhealthy, but for me, it was blissful. I could lose myself in the game and I was motivated to beat it.

A decade later, and I’m still into it. Given, not nearly as much, but I still enjoy it as a pastime. I have a job on top of school now, so I stay busy, but whenever I have a little bit of time to relax I’ll pick up my 3DS and just play it. I guess one could say that this is somewhat childish for a person my age, but I enjoy it.

Of course, there is a stark contrast between games and reality, the obvious one being that in games, one can respawn and defy the laws of physics all one wants. That’s not what I want to talk about, though. The difference I want to talk about is that in video games, one’s progress is obvious. You level up, and you can see it right there on the screen. In video games, you can have confidence that things will work out for you. There’s no risk.

Games can be rewarding in that sense. They can develop a sense of accomplishment in someone who might not have much confidence. Games are all about bettering oneself; getting to the next level, becoming stronger, going on adventures, working to accomplish that end goal.

That is why video games are good for people with illnesses like depression, and well, anyone. They keep the mind busy and help one escape. They can bring people together and tighten bonds. Played in moderation, video games can be good for mental wellbeing. If everyone went into life with a mindset similar to that used in a video game, we would get a whole lot done.

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