Much like many people who would call themselves ‘gamers’ that I know, I have been bewildered by the assertion that video games consistently have a negative effect on people. I’ve surrounded myself with people who list video games among their primary hobbies since grade school. Sure, I faked sick a few times to play Final Fantasy VI or lost a day to (insert name of game here, as they’re plentiful), but I’ve primarily seen and witnessed the positive side to playing video games for as long as I can remember.
Please understand that I’m not blind. I know that you can’t turn and take a step in the gaming community without at least seeing a pocket of toxicity within spitting distance. That’s not foreign in any community, though, and that can extend outside of media related pastimes. The truth of the matter is that volatility can be inherent anywhere that passion exists. If the masses can access a piece of work, a concept, or even a political ideal, a multitude of emotions can spring forth, be they inspiration, satisfaction, or even vehemence.
I’d rather focus, for a short time, on the positive. The positive effects that video games have had on myself and others I’ve interacted with throughout my life. It’s definitely easy to say that without video games- and plenty of other ingredients, but bear with me since this is, after all, a gaming blog- my life would probably have gone into a much different direction with much different people and results, many negative or unfulfilling.
I invite you to take a quick digital stroll with me through some memories to reflect on some positive effects video games have had on me (yes, even some violent ones) and hopefully, feel free to share your own in some way!