My problem with video games…

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With the last semester ending, I have a lot more “free time.” Time to do what I want to do, things I find relaxing, entertaining, etc. My instinct is to play on my xbox, but lately I’ve discovered why I don’t like video gaming…

I play three games: FIFA (12, if you’re wondering,) NCAA Football (11, if you’re wondering,) and my little brothers and I play Super Smash Bros Brawl.

The problem I see emerge though is that I notice a false sense of accomplishment arise in each one, along with an addiction to that success that keeps us coming back for more. Let me explain, game-by-game.

Super Smash Bros Brawl

The main thing you want to do here is to unlock all of the characters. This can be accomplished either through a game mode called the subspace emissary, by playing a certain number of matches, completing a certain challenge, or beating the classic mode on a particular difficulty/with a certain character. So once it’s done, there’s really not much else to do. Granted, it’s a party game, designed for multiple players to just brawl (hence the name) and hopefully, there’ll be a different winner every time and everyone keeps having fun. So to an extent, I think SSB:B serves its purpose, but as a stand-alone, solo game, there’s not much to accomplish.

FIFA

I started a career as a player-manager of Derby County, and as the manager you not only manage formation and tactics, but try to balance morale, form, and energy and also make signings in the transfer window to improve your side. I managed Derby out of the N-power championship and into the English Premier League, and while I haven’t finished the season yet, I remain atop the table and win almost every game. It gets boring.

NCAA Football

This one’s probably the worst. I’ll start a dynasty with a team, recruit, play big games, and try to improve the reputation of myself as a coach as well as my program (sometimes it’s fun to take a big-name school and continue success, but it’s a better challenge to take a team that isn’t usually very good and make them good.) You play a season, recruit, set depth chart, redshirt, and make the schedule for the next year, and then start it. What keeps it addicting though is that needs change, and players are only in for four years, so there are constantly needs to be filled in recruiting, so one keeps on playing. It’s quite addicting, even though playing the games gets tedious. It’s easy to waste hours at a time, just because it’s cool to imagine that a team would be that good. 

The problem (and this is at least for me, I don’t put others down for playing video games) is that there is, like I said, a false sense of accomplishment and an addiction that I form. The reality is, what does it matter if, in a hypothetical world, I make a mid-major program into a national powerhouse? It means nothing, ultimately. I have wasted valuable hours doing something that could be taken away by erasing a hard drive.

All this is a very long-winded way of saying: maybe there are better ways I can be spending time. Actually, skip the maybe. There definitely are. 

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