Thursday, June 20, 2013

[Opinion Piece] The One About Video Games...

A bit of friendly advice -  

If you fit into any of the following categories I would kindly urge you to rethink gaming's position in your life and I will provide with ideas about how you can manage it.

 - You find yourself making time to play your games each day.

    If it is so important for you to play video games that you plan events or activities around your gaming time then you need to sort out your priorities. 

    I would recommend instead that you fit in time outside or engaging in physical activity instead. Such activities have enough health and emotional benefits that it makes sense to plan around them. Your butt may be glued to your couch cushion so to get you started, engage in games that require you to move. Slowly add more and more activity and then get yourself closer and closer to that door. Your eyes and your heart will thank you.

 - It is a serious selling point if a girl/guy does not mind you playing video games in her presence. 

 Initially any girl who is interested in you will say that she does not mind your gaming habits. I'll admit there are some girls out there who don't mind joining in, this will not last though. If your main topic of conversation is games, if you spend evening after evening together playing games, and if you resort to gaming as a date you will soon find her patience wearing thin and pretty soon you'll be without a girlfriend. The thing is, in every relationship there must be effort put forth on each side. Soon your video games will seem like a lazy way of getting out of the responsibility of actually communicating, or thinking of creative ways to spend time with her. A girl may put up with gaming but a girl will enjoy effort. So would you rather have a girl who put's up with you or enjoys you?

   Show your girl that you value the time you spend together. Go on walks, play card games, go for a drive, take her on a hike, etc. Even watching a movie is preferable, because then she can steal your attention away from the screen ;). 

 - You have spent more than one evening with your significant other playing video games.

    I think I covered this above. Gaming is okay once in a great while for a rainy day but GET CREATIVE! For Pete's sake. 

 - When bored the first thing you do is turn on your video game console.

   It may seem like an easy out and sometimes this is okay but I do not think it is healthy to train your mind to associate entertainment with video games. That may have sounded strange but what I mean is this - if you start relying on video games too heavily for your entertainment source you will find that they become the dominant source of enjoyment for you. Not a healthy thing under any circumstance. 

   To break this habit make a list of other, easily accessible sources and put it someplace easy to see. Go through the list before turning on that console. 

 - You have children and you play video games daily, with or without them.

    If you have children and your only bonding time is playing a video game with them then you can't be very close to your kids. You're also training them to be gamers themselves and I think I've already touched on some of the dangers of that. There are endless things you can do with your kids. They are so creative and amazed with the world, if you participate in that enthusiasm with them then you will find your mind opening and your own creativity inspired! In addition communicating with them and engaging in their games provides them with a sense of self worth and importance. It will also allow them to mature sooner. Another plus is you will gain their trust.

   Go into your kid's rooms and join in on their play time. Talk with them while playing and use it as an opportunity to teach them as well. 

 - You have a wife and you play video games for more than an hour each day.
    You have a wife and you would rather stare at a screen? If that's the case I don't think there is any saving you. 

 - You are over 25 and you play video games for more than an hour each day. 
    It's time to grow up. Let me break it down for you. We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Another 1/3 is dedicated to working. That last third is then divided into the necessities of life (dressing, grooming, eating, preparing food, shopping, driving, etc). That leaves you with maybe 1/12 of your life as real free time. How much of that 1/12 are you dedicating to staring at a screen?

   My advice here is to slowly ween yourself. Play every other day, then every three days, then once a week, then let it become a rare occurrence. Don't be afraid to let it go. You've relied on it's crutch far too long already. 

 - You play video games daily.

    They are all well and good once in a great while but they do not deserve to have a regular part of your life. They are wasted time and wasted time alone. 

   My advice is simple - Get off your butt and live life as the adventure it is. 

It all comes down to one question. Are you ready to stop acting like a "boy" and start living like a "man"?