Whenever gaming comes into a discussion on health, it gets attacked. A large group of critics from all over the globe say that playing video games causes children to be violent, older players to withdraw from the world, and can cause physical health issues from the supposed sedentary lifestyle.
Whether or not gaming really does cause children to become violent, adults to withdraw from society, and gamers in general to lose sight of their physical needs is decidedly up for debate, and there are compelling arguments made on either side. The fight between the two parties has been going on for years, and I don’t plan to rehash them here.
But I do want to get into what gaming does for me.
In my daily life, I’ve found that finding time to play a video game for at least a half hour each night helps me keep some balance between work and life. It gives me some time to decompress after a long day. And it provides me with a level of entertainment that I don’t necessarily enjoy during other parts of the day.
And I suppose I should say, for the record, that gaming didn’t make me violent as a child, I haven’t withdrawn from society, and I think I’m in relatively good physical condition.
Gaming makes me feel like a more balanced person. It provides me with that time each day to just, well, relax. And as many of us know all too well, we need more of that in our lives.
Now, I realize that people find relaxation in other entertaining exploits, like reading a book, exercising, watching a movie, or having a hobby. And among gaming critics, those actions are considered more valuable.
But as much as those critics might disagree, I’m a firm believer that gaming really does provide some value in peoples’ lives. And to say that it doesn’t, or to denigrate the impact it can have on helping to build a more well-rounded life for people is, at least in my opinion, a great disservice.
As far as I’m concerned, there is simply no reason to believe that gaming isn’t as valid as other tools used to help keep people happy.
So, although everyone has their own way of achieving a comfortable level of work-life balance, I think I’ve found mine through video games. Say what you will about the industry, the stories, or the way in which people play video games, but when it’s all said and done, gaming serves an important purpose in my life. And like many others, I’m happy about that.
But that’s just me. Do you find time for gaming in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear