Intergalactic Gaming | News

A Waste Of Time


Musa S



Date Published:

24 August 2018

Read Time:

5 minutes


After all, the idea of one spending hours in front of a screen, with no tangible results of doing so, would agree with the assumption that 'gaming is a waste of time.'

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), too much gaming is officially a mental health problem. 'Gaming Addiction' as they refer to it has been included on its official list of diseases. A person/gamer becomes addicted when they cannot stop playing; essentially gaming becomes a central focus of the 'addicts' life.

Whilst the debate continues, and supporters of this proposition will continue to seek validation from physical and mental health statistics, we at IGG think not.

Video games allow gamers to escape the pressures of reality. It provides pleasure, and can give people who feel trapped by their reality an escape into a world where they have total control; free of consequence and responsibility. The main difference between gaming and other activities is that the duration for some games can be infinite. Gamers can spend hundreds and thousands of hours playing; very few recreational activities can demand such sustained attention.

Gamers can spend hundreds and thousands of hours playing; very few recreational activities can demand such sustained attention.

Gaming may help develop necessary attributes such as adaptability, improved communication skills, resourcefulness. Most modern games require players to be adaptable and strategic; the game dynamics often change games there are often numerous ways of progressing within a game eg. DOTA 2 as new characters are introduced dynamics change (find out how many characters) This would therefore encourage critical thinking and reflective learning, skills that many employers find desirable in applicants. Of course, to say that gaming is therefore brilliant is reductive; there are extreme cases in which people become 'brainwashed', but again there are other factors to consider.

Furthermore, gaming undoubtedly improves our perceptual and cognitive skills. Games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Gears of War improve our visual attention. Gamers develop their ability to identify patterns to navigate their way through games successfully. These skills lead to positive effects on perception and learning in general. The images that move in rapid succession therefore improve our focus and intuition; success in the games we play essentially rely on this. I'm sure you all remember loose pieces of paper with combos to Tekken and Street Fighter.

Let's also focus on the fact that 'a waste of time' is not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you are in the lucky portion of people who are paid to game, very few of us play video games to better our lives; instead, we play them to procrastinate, or we just want to have fun!

I'm sure us gamers will continue to hear 'there's more to life than playing those games' (or something along those lines) from parents, carers, partners, friends etc, etc. Oh well.



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