Friday, September 28, 2007
In Defense of Video Games
We've all heard it before--video games have been under attack by politicians and concerned parents for years now. We're constantly barraged with the notion that video games are corrupting our minds, the root of destruction for today's youth. They cite violent, mindless games and present pictures of blank-faced children absorbed in the latest media target. Apparently, video games are bringing about the destruction of the world.
On the surface, it's not too hard to see why video games are deemed to be such a threat to society: some of the most popular games do contain plenty of (now more realistic than ever) violence. However, I don't believe these games are turning the kiddies into mush-minded zombies.
Gather 'round, folks: it's story time.
When I was but a wee Plasma, I was introduced to video games via the Nintendo. Watching my brother play through Super Mario Bros. was one of my favorite activities until I was old enough to play myself. When the Super Nintendo came out, I ate up the Donkey Kong Country games; not so much for stomping baddies (although it was plenty fun in its own right), but for the DK coins. In each level, a DK coin was hidden somewhere in the environment. Out of the sibs, I was the best at finding them, and whenever I played, I would focus on every detail of the level to dig them up.
Later, I discovered the wonders of the RPG. Even at a young age, I was enraptured with their stories, from Final Fantasy IV (then FFII) to Super Mario RPG. I often wrote about other adventures the characters would endure--which eventually evolved into my own original stories.
The Survival Horror games I started playing in middle school introduced me to the more violent side of video games. Before the carding days we have now, I played Mature-rated games at the age of thirteen--and yet, I wasn't suddenly fueled with the bloodlust of a thousand demons like so many politicians believe.
These games weren't mindless fun to me. They constantly engaged my critical thinking and creativity, and I do believe they cultivated my mind in a positive way. Granted, I do not represent the masses, but the point of my story is that video games are not something to be demonized. Just like other forms of entertainment, they can be used for good.
Labels: PlasmaRit, Stereotypes