Are Video Games a Waste of Time?

I think anyone who grew up with a PC or video game console in their home has, at one point or another, muttered something under their breath as their parents asked them to stop playing and do something “useful” with their time. We’ve all heard arguments about the development of hand-eye coordination and how beneficial gaming can be as children develop their motor skills. To a point this makes sense, but are video games a waste of time for adults?

MMORPGs and immersive gaming environments such as World of Warcraft have a strong reputation of sucking every second of free time someone has and and turning an otherwise sociable person in to an albino cave dweller that never leaves the comfort they find in the warm glow of their monitors. Frankly, the same can be said for any activity that takes time to partake in. People can become addicted to food, chat rooms, watching professional football, and even activities with more positive reputations like exercise.

One thing that is true, is that gaming is big business. Companies like Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Activision make as much on the first weekend of a game release as the movie industry does on its biggest blockbusters. At often $40-60 per copy, this industry is beginning to be taken more seriously as time goes on. It would only stand to reason that game makers are spending considerable time researching ways to not only make the initial sale, but keep users hooked long enough to sell expansion packs and monthly subscriptions. Everything from how a game looks and sounds is taken in to account when determining what it is players will stick with.

So is it a waste of time? Some would argue that any activity that serves the purpose of helping you unwind after a long day has inherent benefits to anyone taking part in it. Others would give examples where users have become addicted, and that addiction has served to the detriment of the player and those around them. Just like with food, gaming can be good in moderation. Too much of a good thing can cause problems down the road. If you are one of those dedicated gamers who spends upwards of eight or even 16 hours a day, every day, hooked into these virtual spaces, you might want to consider whether or not you are actually wasting your time.

10 thoughts on “Are Video Games a Waste of Time?”

  1. Black Ops DLC is WAYYYY too pricey, I just WANT the Zombies maps because the Multiplayer kind of suck!!

    1. If they made a 4th DLC pack with only Ascension, Call of the Dead, and Shangri-La, it would probably sell more copies than any of the DLCs currently out.

  2. Doing what you “want” to do and what makes YOU “HAPPY” is never a waste of time!

  3. I guess this really depends on what the benefit is.. If you are a professional gamer (get paid for playing), then any amount of playing wouldn’t be a waste of time.  Sure, it might not be good for your health, but its a job and you are getting paid for it.  However, if you are missing work (calling in sick) because you want to play a video game, then you are wasting time.

    Not to long ago I had a slightly different question.  The business I’m in deals in recreational activities (camping, hiking sort of thing).  About a month ago I went out to test some camping gear.  That meant spending the weekend away, camping.  My wife and I decided to invite our neighbor.  They didn’t want to go because the area we were going to didn’t have a connection to the internet.  More specifically, his wife wouldn’t be able to connect to her Facebook…

    My first thought at the time was “Is to much social media a waste of time?”.  Because 10 years ago the same neighbor would have easily said yes to a free camping trip. 

  4. Video games is art to some people, they are to be programmed and created just like a movie is created. Video games are like books, they are telling a story through experience through a character. But you are person who makes the choices with that character. Video games s a form of entertainment. Yeah if you do not have  a job and laying around playing video games. your wasting time, but dude if your like taking a break and love video games and know how to manage your time then no it’s not a waste. Video games give relaxing like books give to some people. It’s an art. not some crap brought up. Video games aren’t made 4 -7 months for no reason. they are made with care and great detail. I am going to school to be a game programmer and it all depends on what you do with video games. for me it is a art, a expression that  tells a story through another way of creativity.

  5. I think no one should use video games to feel good, to feel that they achieve something in life, video games and anything. That’s a very big problem, if you think you achieve something in your life by playing a video game you will not likely achieve something in life. But when people say that in place of video games you should go to parties, having sex like bunnies, etc… For me is just as bad or even worse if you think going to parties and having tons of sex is achieving something in your life… It’s sad. People can play video games, it’s ok, they can be fun. Just don’t take it too serious, it’s just like a movie. Also when people say: you should stop gaming and start reading books. – Well fictional books (the type most people read) won’t do any better than a game, they are just like a game. So unless you’re reading history, scientific, philosophyyou’re not really learning anything useful.

Comments are closed.