Video Games

Doug - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in video games. Many view video games as violent, worthless, and expensive time wasters that serve no purpose other than to distract. But I believe them to be much more than that.

The first time I picked up and played a video game was at the age of five.

Since then, my interest in video games only increased. Birthday pleads and Christmas wish-lists that once consisted of action figures and random toys were replaced by requests for the newest game releases. This video game culture was absorbing my life.

The desire to game continued to escalate as I grew older. I never understood why I played them so much; well, I never took the time to figure it out anyway. The desire climaxed when I spent an entire summer working to save my money for a fancy to new television for the sole reason of increasing my gaming experience. I got the television, set it down in my room, and connected all the equipment. It was then, just before I turned on the console, that I finally thought about all of it. Had I just spent an entire summer working for my video games? Is this lifestyle unhealthy? Am I addicted?

I started thinking about all the things I had missed when I was inside playing, when I realized that I hadn’t missed anything. I enjoyed every minute I spent playing. The couch was where I was supposed to be. While I lived most of my life playing video games without ever understanding why I craved them so much, I realize now why my appetite for them was never satisfied. The most captivating stories that have ever involved me were from video games, not from a book or a movie. Some of my best memories were when my friend and I would stay up playing for ten hours straight, trying to complete a fantastic story from one of my games, and we would have to keep hitting each other to stay awake as we traded the controller back and forth. These are just some examples of why video games mean much more to me than they appear.

Sometimes my dad sits in the room with me as I play, reading a book, when he asks me “why don’t you do something more meaningful instead of wasting your time with these games?” I simply smile, and don’t respond. He’ll never understand.

This isn’t a plea to back up the credibility of video games; you can believe them to be whatever you want. This is a plea for you to understand that when I spend hours on end in front of screen with a controller in my hands, I am doing it for a reason. Sure, I may be wasting away hours playing, but those hours lost are not my hours. Those are the world’s hours. My hours are meant to be spent with a controller, and always will be. And it is this, that I believe.