Are Video Games Good or Bad Overall? - Politics | PoFo

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Are video games good or bad in the overall grand scheme of things for those who play them?

Maybe Bad
I don't know
No votes
Other (Explain)

What would be an example of a video game that would be bad for somebody overall, and why? What would be an example of a video game that is good for somebody overall, and why? Last question, what is an awesome video game you have played lately, and why is it good?
Politics_Observer wrote:@Saeko

What would be an example of a video game that would be bad for somebody overall, and why? What would be an example of a video game that is good for somebody overall, and why? Last question, what is an awesome video game you have played lately, and why is it good?

Every game is bad if played in excess. But any game with microtransactions and lootbox bullshit is horrible in any amount.

I've been playing Factorio recently. It's good because it gives you near infinite creative freedom combined with a never-ending series of interesting challenges.
Video games are no worse nor less significant than other forms of entertainment such as TV and cinema. They can be quite a complex form of art for consumption in their own right.
Politics_Observer wrote:@Wellsy @Saeko

My take on it is video games are good for you so long as you play them in moderation and not to excess. Too much of anything is bad for you.

Well what moderation changes when thought of in terms of how it negatively impacts your life and as a word is left vague.
For example I grew up playing games my entire childhood, moving from Sega, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox S now (Plus some PC).
I had some gamers who I played with for years across many different games and was a solid friend group for me to joke around with as a introverted lad. It was a great means to connect with some people and as a boy I didn’t have massive responsibilities that it conflicted with. However it may also be in part why I didn’t have many commitments in the first place as I spent so much time on video games.

It however was an incredibly touching and immersive experience to play games with complex stories and characters in a way movies cannot be. To make decisions with consequences and have to judge for yourself how to act is different from observing someones elses character decide things.

I can’t play games like I used to now as an adult with a family to care for. I only got an Xbox S recently or more accurately my wife did to play the Hogwarts Legacy game together. I could see how it could easily be a drain on a family when not set with hard limits.

But wait a second. There is this study:

Nadia Kounang of CNN wrote:
Some parents fear that video games might be detrimental to children’s well-being, but a new study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health finds that gaming may help with both cognition and impulse control.

The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Other studies have had similar findings, but this research involves the largest group of children to date. It found that kids who played video games for three or more hours a day did better on tasks associated with memory and impulse control than children who didn’t play video games at all. The gamers also had higher levels of activity in parts of the brain associated with attention and working memory.

However, the researchers note that they did not find evidence of a direct causal relationship between video games and cognitive improvements.

The research involved data from nearly 2,000 9- and 10-year-olds from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is following about 12,000 children for the country’s largest long-term study into brain development and child health.

The new study divided the children into two groups: those who gamed more than three hours a day and those who never gamed. Each group took two tests that measured impulse control and short-term memory while undergoing brain imaging.

Lead study author Bader Chaarani said the researchers controlled for factors like sex, age and socioeconomic status. They found that video gamers not only did better on the tests, they “have more brain activations in regions linked with attention and working memory,” he said.

“That was very nice to see, because it’s a way to explain why they performed better,” said Chaarani, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont.

The study didn’t distinguish between the types of video games played, but Chaarani noted that the majority of kids tended to play more fast-paced shooter and action adventure games rather than slower-paced logic games like puzzles.

One takeaway may be that parents should consider opting for video games over television, Chaarani said. “Maybe video gaming is not worse than watching TV.”

Dr. Jenny Radesky, director of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School, told CNN in an email that “Parents and teens who see these results should know that most research suggests that some daily video gaming (like 1-2 hours on weekdays) is linked with better mental well-being.”

Radesky, who was not involved in the new research, also noted, “We can’t extrapolate these results to assume, however, that more video gaming will lead to better impulse control or working memory in non-screen contexts, such as classrooms or doing chores at home. Supportive teachers/caregivers and social-emotional skill-building approaches help with those skills in more naturalistic environments.” ... index.html
Some video games are good, and some are bad, but none have any significant cultural or societal impact.

Politics_Observer wrote:Too much of anything is bad for you.
QFT. We said this about TV(which I think is worse). Video games at least engage the mind.
When books first became widely available people complained that they were dangerous as they would fuel introversion and excessive reading would cause headaches. Similar complaints are made with the adoption of every new medium as society recoils at the sight of something unfamiliar.

I have had a lot of good experiences with video games and many of them have strong narratives, characters and messages and those that focus on game play offer interesting challenges such as hand-eye coordination, puzzle solving and the need for fast reactions. My current favourite is a multiplayer game that takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master, providing plenty of strategic depth as well as moment-to-moment tactical decision making.

My biggest criticism of gaming is that many modern games are deliberately designed to be huge time sinks and many of them have hostile and toxic methods of monetisation that are a half step removed from a digital casino. I'm also disappointed by the decline of in person multiplayer in favour of online multiplayer, which is much less social and accessible.
Recently listened to a podcast about the mental health of teenagers. Apparently the mental health of girls has deteriorated in the past decade while that of boys stayed constant. Reason given: Boys spend their screen time with gaming (often with friends) while girls spend it on social media.
Politics_Observer wrote:

What would be an example of a video game that would be bad for somebody overall, and why? What would be an example of a video game that is good for somebody overall, and why? Last question, what is an awesome video game you have played lately, and why is it good?

Use it or lose it.

Video games require a wide variety of skills. Which skills depends on the game. So a simple shoot em up keeps the brain active, and has you working hand/eye coordination. Strategy games require analysis and/or organisational skills. Among other things.

If the kid isn't hiding from the world, I see it as a plus.

Try this; it's a demo, but you can get the whole thing from Steam for 10 bucks and it's terrific:
Politics_Observer wrote:What would be an example of a video game that would be bad for somebody overall, and why? What would be an example of a video game that is good for somebody overall, and why? Last question, what is an awesome video game you have played lately, and why is it good?

For now, I’d like to answer the last two questions, i.e. a game which I’ve played recently and think is actually good for you.

It’s called The Talos Principle, and I’m going to try to explain why this game is not only my favorite video game of all time, but it might just be my favorite piece of media ever released; i.e. better than any piece of literature, cinema, or music that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

First of all, I’d like to say that what matters to me most when it comes to video games is the lore. If the game hasn’t got a good story, then in all probability I won’t play it with some minor exceptions.

One of those exceptions is Tetris. The original Tetris on Game Boy didn’t really have a story yet had this powerful almost hypnotic ability to make you want to play it. Having been born in the Soviet Union, I played it with a sense of pride back in the nineties.

By the by, has anyone seen the movie? It’s awesome. Having studied the story of Tetris for many years, it always perplexed me as to why no film director had ever decided to make this unbelievable real life story into a movie.

Besides a bit of exaggeration and the usual attempt to make the Soviet Union look worse than it was, the movie is quite good and accurate. The bad KGB guy in the movie never existed though.

The only reason I mentioned Tetris is because it’s actually connected to The Talos Principle.

The Talos Principle is basically a puzzle game where you have to gather tetrominoes; the same building blocks in the original Tetris game, albeit in The Talos Principle, they're referred to as sigils which carry a profound significance.

The puzzles are solved in 3-D where you have to find your way through mazes and the like. It’s not so different from the aforementioned game by @late, Portal.

Portal is even referenced to in The Talos Principle several times through in-game Easter eggs, so the two games could somehow be connected. I have never played Portal though.

What makes The Talos Principle so special though is the story. It's a sublime philosophical meditation on what it means to be human, and is the only time that I've ever seen the divide between atheism and religion bridged so elegantly.

It also explores in a most scientific manner the profound implications that would come about as a result of creating a legitimately self aware artificial intelligence.

The game begins with you waking up as a self aware android robot into a Garden of Eden like paradise. The rest is a mystery that I'll let ya'll figure out if you do decide to play.

Towards the end of the game I got a lump in my throat because I was so emotional. I was in tears towards the end of the expansion pack, Road to Gehenna.

Road to Gehenna should be enjoyed by anyone who's spent enough time in online chat forums. Road to Gehenna explores how an online forum can on multiple levels create a community of friends more sincere and more genuine than any sort of social relationship can in the outside world. Online, we have a true meeting of the minds, unfettered by cultural restraints, taboos and all the other social ills like class and the envy that comes with it.

In Road to Gehenna, you're once again an android robot sent to free a bunch of people born into bondage who's only social interaction throughout their entire lives has been solely through an online forum. The catch for freeing them is that they'll never be able to speak to each other again.

You remember when you told me about game theory @Politics_Observer? It's included in the game. The members of the forum perform experiments on each other in the form of game theory in other to research the amount of trust there is in the community. A conundrum appears mid-game whereby they're torn about whether to leave their prisons or whether to stay because game theory might imply that individuals are too selfish to function cohesively and effectively as a society.

It's really powerful stuff.

I consider this game a supreme masterpiece that deserves a spot in the louvre amongst humanity's greatest artistic achievements.

Anyone here who has played this game and agrees with me, or am I alone in the world?

Do you have a link to any of these games you mentioned? I would like to check them out!

I haven't had much time to play video games because even after completing graduate school, I still have to study. Earned my CompTIA A+ certification, so I have been studying a lot for my CompTIA Sec+ certification. Occasionally, though, I get on my PS5 and play some Harry Potter! That's actually a pretty good game!
Politics_Observer wrote:@SzaboDo you have a link to any of these games you mentioned? I would like to check them out!

Since you say you have an Xbox maybe you could try this link: ... TJ5KT8LT9J

I bought the games to play on a Windows PC through Steam:

The Talos Principle II will come out either this year or next year:

Geez, I'm using an American VPN to provide you with the most relevant links to you, and the games are fucking ten times more expensive in your country.

I bought the first game and its expansion for only $5, whereas it seems like you'd have to buy them for $45. What the fuck?!
Last edited by Szabo on 30 May 2023 09:09, edited 1 time in total.
Most types of recreation can be abused to the point of being unhealthy or unproductive. Video games aren't really any different than board games or card games etc.

A diversion of an hour or 2 per day to unwind is healthy.
Maybe bad.

The worst part is the addiction. Some gamers just play for days on end. They don't step outside their home. They don't wash. There have even been extreme cases where parents have neglected a baby due to intense video game playing. This is rare but it did happen at least once.

The good part is that it helps with hand-eye coordination and a person's ability to strategize and solve problems.

But another bad thing is that it can fry a person's brain. Some gamers seem tired and like their minds are still thinking about the last game they played. They're with you but not completely with you, if that makes sense.

If a gamer knows how to disengage from game play, then it's fine.
Addiction to something like video games isn't as bad as an addiction to gambling, sex, drugs or anything else. Most of those things involve crime.

Child abuse happens because of bad parents, not video games. Most people find a balance.

Video games don't fry people's brains @MistyTiger :roll: When you meet tired games it's because they stayed up all night gaming.

Anything can be addicting. Trying to say video games are bad is simply stupid.
Based on Szabo's glowing review, I went looking for Talos Principle. Turns out I had bought it years ago. I'd only played 2.6 hours, meaning it did something that annoyed me. I think it was a particularly difficult puzzle.

In any case, I downloaded it, gonna give it another try. Only thing I've been playing of late is Borderlands 2, so this will make a pleasant change of pace.

One of the things I like about Borderlands 1 and 2 is shopping. Acquiring good weapons is a challenge, as is using the best one for a particular fight. Over the years, in Bl2, I've gathered an incredible group of weapons. After a few missions you get to Sanctuary, where I can pick them up. For a while, instead of challenging fights, I become the bringer of death.

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