The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

A very tough question to answer

with one comment

You might be wondering what I mean by the title. The question is, are video games a waste of time? Before getting into the actual piece by J.P Gee, I tried answering the question myself based on my own experiences. The answer I came up with is… yes and no. My roommates recently bought the new Call of Duty game that came out earlier this week and haven’t stopped playing it since. Every time I come home, they’re super glued to the couch, shooting terrorists like it was their actual job in real life. As much as I love playing video games, I am completely against the idea of wasting your life away to them.

Normally, I can’t play video games for more than two hours in one sitting without having to take some kind of break to do something else. The only exception to this rule was when The Sims first came out back when I was in eighth grade. It got so bad to the point where I cared more about the lives of my Sims than I did about my own… therefore, I gave the game up before it was too late.

I feel that PC games are a lot more addictive than consoles such as PS3 and XBOX 360. The reason why is because PC games are a lot more interactive and it’s a lot easier to glue yourself to the screen when your next strategic move in the game is only a mouse click or a space bar button away. Of course, Call of Duty breaks this rule because I know from secondhand experience that that game is more addictive than crack. The night I bought Starcraft back in middle school, I didn’t move from the computer between the hours of 8 PM and 2 AM. For a person of that age bracket, this is a huge feat and I still have yet to break that record.

But anyway, getting back to the piece by what’s his face, the first point he makes clear is that video games are a form of literacy. I guess I can see where he’s coming from with this because video games really welcome you to a whole new world, but for the most part, I disagree. The reason why is because literacy is an educational term… learning how to read and write, that’s the idea of being literate where reading and writing are the first two steps towards getting an education. I think anyone who spends as much time glued to the couch as my roommates will tell you that there is nothing educational about video games.

Video games were invented as a form of entertainment, not for the purpose of educating the person who gets behind the controller. Unless you include those old Sesame Street video games where they teach you how to count, I really can’t say I learned anything educational from playing video games. In fact, video games do the complete opposite. As I mentioned before, they bring you to a completely different world that has absolutely nothing to do with going to school, going to work, paying bills and ticket surcharges, fighting with your girlfriend, or anything a person normally encounters throughout every day life.

When you play a video game, the objective is simple: save the goddamn princess from the evil tyrant who kidnapped her. Nothing else matters…. school, work, this, that, and everything I said before… which is exactly the reason why video games are not educational and in some ways, are a waste of time.


Written by halld76

November 12, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I think you have some very good points, and your title is spot on. I think the answer is so subjective. It’s depends not only on the person, but also the video game. I know lots of people who waste their time playing video games and do nothing else. I know others who use video games as a fun form of stress release. And while the majority of RPG or FPS games don’t necessarily teach traditional literacy (although I think you can still argue they can have benefits) there are the many video games out there that are promoting literacy, like Brain Training. I think Gee’s point isn’t necessarily that all video games can help children be literate, but that educational video games can succeed in helping children to become literate because of their dynamic nature. They do a better job of engaging and challenging the student than a rigid curriculum.


    November 14, 2009 at 3:48 AM

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