We have reached a point in our culture where video games have been around for a long time. For myself being born in 1982 they’ve definitely been around since before I could remember. Gaming has grown into an expansive industry with fans all over the globe embracing gaming as a hobby. So why is it still the on hobby that’s seen as bad? Why are video games the perpetual villain in the world of hobbies?
Video games as a form of entertainment have evolved rapidly over the years. While I was not part of the Atari age I was one of those kids that grew up with the NES when Nintendo threw a phoenix down on the video game industry. I recall vaguely fears that the Nintendo was going to keep everyone inside. Children would no longer go play outside as they were stuck glued to the TV. I found this false for a personal reason as after playing video games I would go outside and pretend to be Link, Black Mage, The Hero from Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest), or Mega Man. The fear of children being stuck inside was simply migrated from television to video games. I don’t doubt that some kids tried to stay cooped up, but let’s face it, it was not the video games.
Now if anyone has been gaming for as long as I have the formation of the ESRB was quite an event to remember. The concern over violent video games making every kid in America a psychopath was so concerning the senate stepped in. I won’t go into all the details, but if you’re curious as to how it all went down the Gaming Historian has an excellent video on it which can find here: The Creation of the ESRB – Gaming Historian
With the formation of the ESRB a lot of us thought that video games would now be left alone, but of course that was not the case.
Later on gaming would come under attack by Jack Thompson for still being violent. More people and gaming publications stood up to him which was a good thing. However, eventually Anita Sarkeesian came along preaching much of the same with a few tweaks here and there and was praised for her opinion on games needing to change. Finally you still have people in the world acting like if you play video games you’re wasting your time and your life.
When it comes down to the reality of it video games are just a hobby like any other hobby. If I spend five hours a day reading romance novels nobody cares. If I spend five hours a day drawing a bunch of penises in a notebook, again nobody cares. Binging an entire TV show on Netflix or Hulu? Again nobody cares how you spend your time unless you’re playing video games. It’s time to stop the unwarranted attack and hatred towards video games and let gamers game in peace.