According to a study by Oxford this week, it was reported people who spend a lot of time playing videogames have better wellbeing, “Playing video games BENEFITS mental health,” wrote MailOnline. At the same time, Business Insider said that “Video games might actually be good for you.”
Why the surprise, though? That’s hardly news for someone who regularly plays video games. Video games are interesting and entertaining, and it keeps you excited to do fun, fascinating stuff. Do we need a study to demonstrate that you feel comfortable watching a few episodes of a beloved TV show or that settling down for a nice book is relaxing?
But that’s not to include the 11-year-olds whose whole significant social interaction was playing Roblox together with other kids for months. However, if you think about how video games are still mostly portrayed on TV and in the press, it’s simple to see how a review of their positive effects could cause such a shock.
It speaks to a disconcertingly pervasive negative image: many still see video games as, at best, a waste of effort or, at worst, completely terrifying. Coverage frequently focuses on how much money the gaming industry produces and also how competitive they can or may not be.
The articles and Television news reports take on a suspicious, alarmist tone any time a game gets famous with kids as if the nation’s kids are all slipping into drugs. Since 2005, since I first began writing professionally about video games as a teenager, I’ve been on the sharp end of this baffling stigma.
Since 2005, since I first started writing critically regarding video games as a teen, I’ve been on the leading edge of such a bewildering prejudice. Although I am now a grown woman with two children of my own, many people still adopt the tolerant term when I speak about games, and they would if a nine-year-old were vigorously tossing the Beano copy at them.
Or worse, as though I’ve only confessed to a gambling addiction, they ruffle their brows in worry. In a studio, I was questioned via an increasingly aggressive and unbelieving radio interviewer when Grand Theft Auto 5 was released in 2013 about the game’s brutality but instead of its meaninglessness.
“When I talk to people like you, I always think you ought to go and read a book,” he eventually snapped. I told him I would have a comparative literature degree, which soon put the discussion to an end.
It’s optimistic and life-enhancing whatever the large percentage of them will get out of their interest.