Thursday, July 23, 2015

Evil Video Games - Be Damned!

*Caution: This rant contains strong opinions. Weak-minded and close-minded individuals need not read any further. You've been warned.

Just in the last few days I’ve read no more than a half dozen Facebook posts linking to articles talking about the evils of kids playing video games. Yet, NONE of these articles reported any scientific facts to back up their claims, just a bunch of close-minded opinions from parents, geriatrics, naturists, and social opinionists. (Yeah, I made those last two up, but so fucking what, I’m a writer and I make up shit with my imagination.)

Before you jump down my throat and to your biased opinions, I want to warn you not to take me wrong. I’m NOT pro or anti video games, I’m just another one of those opinionists who has had the privilege to see things from both sides of the issue.

What exactly is the issue? Is gaming evil? Is our youth being corrupted by the video game industry? Are kids learning anti-social behaviors due to excessive amount of video gaming? Are we desensitizing our children to violence and corruption through video games? Is video gaming destroying marriages and dating lives?

My response: You’re the fucking parent. PARENT your children. You’re the spouse. Be the best SPOUSE possible. Quit projecting excuses of shitty relationships onto inanimate objects and activities for YOUR failures… and communicate. Quit trying to make your kids into mini models of yourself and let them discover who they are. Quit trying to force your spouse into an idealistic mold of what and who you think they should be, and let them be themselves. Did you fall in love with a person, or the idea of a person you want? Want to raise your kids right – raise them to be inquisitive. Raise them to be curious, adventurous, and exploratory. Teach them to learn, and then stand back and LET them learn, their way. Want to make a marriage work, then love the person for who THEY are and don’t be close-minded to the things that bring them joy. Try out their stuff… and encourage them to try yours… and between the two of you – find some common ground. Most of all, communicate with one another.

I play video games, and guess what? I enjoy it. Believe me, it takes skill, timing, talent, patience, determination, and dedication to become proficient with many, many, many of these games. There’s a whole gaming world out there, filled with like-minded people. Now with online gaming, chat sessions, fire-teams, and MMPG, new social skills are being developed.

As with ANYTHING, there’s always down sides, bad points, and abuse by players and non-players alike. Do you know what’s more destructive in a parent/child relationship – a parent yelling at kid, putting him down, putting down the thing he loves to do, the thing he’s excelling at, the thing perhaps his peers appreciate and applaud him for – simply because the parent doesn’t understand and they don’t take the time to find out. Because it’s different than them, their experience, or their understanding – they tear it down and look for everything negative. That’s abuse. That’s bad parenting. That’s despicable.

I watched a video of parents crying because their kids were more excited about playing video games or using their tablets than going outside and building a fort. Instead of blaming themselves that they didn’t understand their kids, didn’t know what their children were doing, surprised their kids liked something different than them, perhaps they should have taken them outside and built a fucking fort with them. I guarantee the next time that kid got into a chat with his friends, he would have been excited about telling them all about building a fort with their parents, and who knows… they may have just inspired a handful of OTHER kids to bug their parents to go outside and build fucking forts too. Instead, video games got blamed for their bad parenting. I wonder how many parents would actually take the time to go outside and build a fort with their kids? Perhaps THAT’s the answer to why some kids spend so much time on video games.

I heard a couple arguing not long ago while I was in a chat session with a fireteam during a raid. The girlfriend was in the background whining and complaining about how her boyfriend spent too much time on his video game, more time with his gaming friends than her, and that he obviously didn’t love her as much. That was an example of manipulation at its finest. This was also the same guy that often talked to us in our group, telling us of all the fun, adventurous things he and his girlfriend did all the time together, how much he loved her, how much he was trying out all the stuff she liked to do – some he liked, some he didn’t like. But his gaming time was getting less and less and less. He was a fantastic and gifted player and had dreams of playing on a MLG team, but he received no support from his family, from his friends, and now from his girlfriend. None of these ass-wipes were willing to play with him, or allow him the time to perfect his skills so he could chase his dream. In their minds, gaming wasn’t an acceptable option. Perhaps had he been a musician, writer, artist, dancer, singer, or actor he’d get the support he needed to follow his passion. Oh, wait… most of those don’t get much support either – because it’s not practical to follow an art. He’s fucked.

I don’t know why it has to be one or the other, gaming or nature, art or hobby, right or wrong. Video games are not evil. Playing video games is not evil. NOT communicating with your kids or your partner – that is what is evil and THAT is all up to each of us as an individual.

I’d love to have a relationship with a gamer, a writer, a musician, an artist, a hiker, a naturist, an adventurer, etc. I’d love to be with someone passionate about something, not some lame-assed fucker blaming everyone else for their failures, or someone who always takes the safe, practical route because it’s what’s expected. I’ve known too many of those. And… if you are one of these artists (gamers especially), perhaps the smart thing would be to choose relationships with other artists, or at least open-minded people who will understand and support your passion. If you choose a lame, close-minded traditionalist, then you can’t bitch when they bitch at you for not being just like them, or when they don’t understand you. Keep it real.

Anyway, since I saw all these blamers putting out their articles, I thought I’d put out one of my own. Bottom line: Stop blaming video games for your shitty relationship habits.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

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