Wednesday 5 June 2024

A very brief Q&A reiterating my current advice on (and against) playing video games.

Question from the audience. 

Hey man I just got suggested this video and watched it and another one of your videos speaking out against playing video games and have an honest question. Do you play video games? I'm confused because your channel seems to be a mixture of game reviews and videos that are saying you shouldn't play games. Again, I've only watched two of your videos so I'm probably missing a broader context here. Thanks.

My reply.

Yep: I'm self critical, and you'll hear me reflecting in videos about the (bizarre and contradictory) role that video games now play in my life. In general, I spend extremely little time playing video games, and the games I play are very old school: when Evan visited we played Pac Man Championship Edition together (i.e., Evan is an IRL friend involved in the channel) for what probably added up to 15 minutes (that game has a timer on screen, and each game has a maximum length of only a few minutes). That is what I recommend: that you take seriously only playing video games for a few minutes per week. We played several other games for a few minutes here and there during his visit (e.g., we actually stood up at a Virtua Fighter arcade cabinet, where we probably got sixty seconds of entertainment per credit) but it really doesn't compare to the long hours spent in serious discussions during those days. Most gamers make excuses for several hours spent playing video games per day, but adults really do not have several hours to spare per week. I have a lot more free time than "a normal person" with normal responsibilities, but even I have to make sure I'm not wasting time with video games. Nevertheless, yes, I do think that 5 minutes spent on Pac Man can be harmless; but you really need to make sure it is 5 minutes, not 5 hours. And yes, BTW, video games are not the only problem: I recently spent about two hours text messaging a (female) friend while sitting in an airport, and that is time that I could have spent reading a book, even though the conversation was not as vacuous as a video game —text messaging addiction (especially if there's some degree of sexual attraction involved) can have some of the same features as video game addiction.

A reply from the man who first asked the question.

Retro Gaming Lore I appreciate the detailed response! That makes a lot more sense to me. Thanks for explaining.