Opinion

5 Excuses People Use to Avoid Video Games

Sometimes, people snub video games as an entertainment medium, often judging them without even trying them first. A lot of effort goes into making video games, the goal being not only financial success, but making a quality product that as many people as possible can enjoy. Nonetheless, there are still those with somewhat foolish and unfair views about video games that may block many from seeing the hours of fun they potentially could have, or just don’t realise what they’re missing. Here are 5 reasons why people won’t give video games a try.

1. “The games are so expensive”

They can be, but like anything else, shop around and you can easily save a few pounds. Better still, do what I do – wait a couple of weeks and the prices start to drop, or picking up older titles can save you 75% of the cost in some cases. The issue here is the new titles, but for those whomust have it, most will be willing to pay £40+ easily. The prices of the latest video game releases, unlike DVD/Blu-Ray, have not steadily reduced over the years so it’s something to be mindful of. Be patient and do not just buy from the first retailer you see. Also, online retailers are nearly always cheaper than the high street. In short, quit whining and make those pennies count!

2. “The games will cause fights”

Ok, I’ve been here myself when I was a youngster, and more applies to the younger generation anyway. But to be fair, you could give both your kids the same meal for dinner and they will find a reason to bicker over it. That’s life. Should a video game indeed cause further sibling rivalry or grief between friends, then this is where parent points come in. It will only cause fights if you let it do so. Like any activity, create clear boundaries and timescales if required to ensure nothing gets out of hand. If you’re adults and fighting over video games, there’s probably alcohol involved. You’re on your own.

3. “In the end, you’ve accomplished nothing”

Yes, I have genuinely heard this one. You could argue this for any form of entertainment, but how does playing a video game accomplish any less than vegetating in front of a cracking TV show or movie? You’re telling me watching 10 hours of soaps a week is more productive? Video games are interactive entertainment and, although not to everyone’s taste, most people have played a video game and enjoyed it at some point in their lives, whether they are proud of it or not. Video games can fit into life just like anything else, and any game could leave with you with a sense of joy/sadness, like any great movie/TV show.

4. “Playing too many video games may be bad for you”

I can’t deny this one. But everything in life should be explored in moderation. Drinking too much beer is bad for you. Eating too much fast food is bad for you. Doing nothing but watching TV is bad for you. Anything can become unhealthy for anyone, when abused. When it comes to children, it’s important to limit their video game time reasonably to ensure home, work and social values are not forgotten.

From experience, it’s incredibly easy even for pre-teens to become bedroom-ridden slobs, and even more testing with a world engulfed with tablets and mobile phones. But on a positive note, it prevents you from being a lazy parent, certainly from my experience, as there is now more to worry about than looking at the clock, waiting for your kids to return home at the time you gave them.

5. “Video games are just for kids”

The worst one of all, for various reasons. Some games, particularly Nintendo’s Mario games, are aimed at ALL ages, and are superb in executing that exact goal. The problem is, the kids don’t want these games. They are playing (and want the video games they SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING. In theory, anyway. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row are among many games designed and tailored for the adult audience, and suitably rated as such, yet many parents appear to ignore this. 1, because their kid wants it, and 2, it’s ‘just a video game’.

Being a parent myself, I treat video games like other mediums; should he/she be watching this? Should they even be in the same room if it’s on the screen? It’s harder with video games, but I take the time to study a game, because the ratings aren’t always right. I’ve been there when my kid – who shared the exact same birthday as his friend – was deliberately invited upstairs to be shown how to sleep with a prostitute in a car on GTA. They were NINE years old at the time. I flipped, as that should not be happening, and it certainly won’t again on my watch. Video games are not JUST for kids; it’s a multi-demographic medium, so parent the shit out of your kids with video games as you would anything else.

Bottom line: It is now 2015, and its arguable there are now more games for adults than universal ones. For the adults, there is a truck-load of superb entertainment out there to enjoy, from interactive stories to the more complex, hard-core options. If you don’t like them then fair enough. They’re not always cheap, but don’t judge them till you’ve tried them.

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