Ah, gaming, that wonderful past-time that so many people view as “pointless”, yet one which those of us reared on it from birth can’t bring ourselves to stop obsessing over.
In recent years, video games have become a far more prevalent staple of pop culture, owing to both the steadily climbing budgets and production values – coming to rival that of Hollywood movies – and the fact that the Nintendo Wii helped gaming to break through the social glass ceiling; being a gamer is now (mostly) de-stigmatised.
Naturally, gaming’s greater presence in our lives also means that there’s a keener eye trained on it, what with the countless studies that have been conducted into the effects of gaming on the brain. Through less academic though no less thorough means, it’s time to look at the other, lesser-known side effects of being a gamer, those unfortunate truths about yourself that picking up a controller reveals.
Here are 10 uncomfortable truths video games force you to confront…
10. The More We Become Connected, The More We Become Disconnected
There’s an irony in the fact that video game developers are trying to make gaming a more sociable activity, hewing away from the closed-off single player worlds towards Xbox Live accounts, voice chat, online multiplayer, and giant, sprawling universes you can spend endless time in with your mates.
While the attempt to open gaming up and stave off the stereotype that gamers are all loner nerds with no lives is mostly a positive thing, there is a troubling side effect to this movement.
So, gaming is now more socially acceptable, and given that we can chat with our friends via microphone, we’re probably spending more time wired into our consoles or PCs. However, that also means we’re probably getting less real life face time with our friends, and isn’t that, well, a bit sad?
If we place a greater esteem and emphasis on the virtual world, it is at the expense of the simplicity of meeting a mate for a pint, or even, you know, gaming together in person. Not to play scaremonger, but as consoles become even more immersive (not to mention awesome), this is probably only going to get worse.
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This article was first posted on February 18, 2013