Video games are a recent phenomenon among American males. In today’s world, among the younger generations, it is hard to find a male under the age of 30 that does not play video games. As just one example: when looking for applicants for a University of Texas study, researchers were unable to find males that played less than two hours of video games per week. This is how pervasive video games are in American society.
Video game critics will use all sort of arguments to undermine the fact that video games exist and are loved. The feminists are in full assault, wishing to preach their dull witted propaganda to a male dominated consumer base. Politicians want to extend the reach of the government to cover all aspects of video games. Pastors might complain that video games distract from “real” life, a theme I have heard in sermons. Older generations will complain that they played outside as children. Ironically, they then tend recollect about all the interesting and fun outdoor activities that they once did (pretty much all of which would get their parents arrested for child negligence in today’s world).
All of this ignores very positive benefits of video games (not even mentioning the inherent economics lessons hidden in video games). The best overall benefit of video games is, really: “people love to play video games.” How is this forgotten in the discussion of video games? If people were talking about banning Ice Cream or high altitude mountain climbing, wouldn’t the complaints mostly be ignored? Despite any negatives, it is generally accepted that people should be free to pursue their own lives as they see fit. Sure, an infatuation with Ice Cream might make someone fat and low oxygen settings might destroy the brain, but why is it any business of anyone else what leisure activities that people dedicate time to accomplish? What makes a video game player different than a football game watcher or a long distance runner? All are needlessly time consuming activities for entertainment. In the modern world, where people are richer than ever before in history, why can’t the excess free time be spent on something the individual likes doing? In the modern world, people don’t need to permission of others or the government to do things. People get to do things because they want to do those things (as long as it is not immoral).
People might not realize that video games massively improve people’s standard of life. Video games, for some gamers, have untold mental resiliency benefits. See this anonymous player (Rory) on the video game franchise Fallout:
Not everyone can be special. Not everyone can rule the world. Not everyone can live a fast and interesting life. Video games serve as one medium to bridge the gap (a very cost effective medium at that). People now can be special. People now can rule the world. People can both do and see things that never could have been imagined 25 years ago. In video games, there is no limit to the possibilities. Video games are more than just entertainment; they are a window into another world. Video games allow virtually free travel to exotic places and free access to impossible adventures. The shear value of this consumer surplus is impossible to calculate.
But video game critics don’t care. They do not see young Rory as a man with his own life, dreams, values, and independence. They want to replace his value set with their own. They want to enslave him into a world that they think is better. He is just a pawn for people to use to build their own vision of utopia.
Video games have value. Sometimes more so then TV shows, movies, sports, outdoor activities, food, or anything else that people enjoy. Attempting to pre-empt value sets with arbitrary other value sets is not a Christian value. It is not even civilized. As Peter states in the Bible, “don’t be a busybody”:
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.