I absolutely love gaming. It is one of my favorite hobbies and I will unapologetically admit that to anybody. Despite what some people make think, I am not ashamed one bit that something that I discovered and enjoyed as a child is the same thing that delights me to a greater degree as a middle-aged adult. But I am 100 percent aware that there is far more to life than gaming, even though I do plenty of it. Gaming is something I enjoy in life, but it can never be my life.
This life that we now live is temporary. And once our time is up, none of these computers, consoles, games, or controllers are coming where we are going. They won’t even matter. But what lasts is what we have left behind in terms of the relationships that we have built with other people and the good deeds that we have done to help others along in this journey of human life. Yes, some of that can even be done through gaming. But gaming in that sense is just the vehicle used to get us to the more important destination.
My relationship with God, my family, and my friends are what is most important to me. And if gaming were to get in the way of that because I have elevated it to an improper place in my life, it is gaming that would need to go. Believe me, I love my games and I’ve dedicated hours upon hours to them. But it is unreasonable to allow that interest to compete with my relationships. Taking all that into account, what else could we be missing out on when gaming ascends to a place in our lives that it shouldn’t?
Like any form of entertainment, gaming can be an addiction and can also be used as a dangerous coping mechanism to avoid dealing with the realities of life. That’s very different than using gaming as a tool to unwind after a long day, de-stress, or just have a bit of fun. I understand and get why parents are concerned when they see their children hooked on a video game to the detriment of their education, productivity, physical well-being, and social interactions. Some people have lost a lot of quality time with their spouses that they can never get back because of how much time they’ve spent gaming versus cultivating their relationships. Others complain about being in financial peril while at the same time being willing to spend hundreds of dollars on microtransactions and season passes within games. From that perspective, I can see why there are people who look at gaming in a negative light even if I don’t agree with them.
At its core, gaming is very much neutral. It is what we as the users and creators do that determines whether it will be used for good or bad. For just like gaming can be used to build communities of people who may never have met in any other circumstance, it can also be used to tear down and harm others. Many things in life are like this.
I hope that I didn’t come off preachy but my intent with this post was to provide some food for thought. Video gaming is good as long as it is kept in its proper place. I will always advocate for its benefits. But there is definitely more to life and more important things than gaming. As a gamer, this is a good reminder for me as well. Thanks for reading and as always, HAPPY GAMING!