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Old 03-04-2010, 11:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Are video games a waste of time?

Are video games a waste of time? Yes, possibly, but aren't they just as a waste of time as watching sports, reading a book, studying, or tv? We don't consider reading a book a waste of time even though it is essentially the same thing. Do you think these things distract you from 'real life', or just stigmatized that way? Where is the fine line between obsession and healthy moderation of these activities? Any input is welcome...
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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"Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted."
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well yes video games are a waste of time but like you said so are other activites like tv watching. When you read its assumed that you aquire some form of knowledge that you can apply to the real world or that can enrich you life in some form. Sometimes its just good to learn certain things you didn't know before even if their is no benefit to your external world. So I wouldn't say that is a waste of time.

The line is drawn when emotions get in the way of the real world. I will say to myself "this is the last match win or lose" and then ill lose or get tea bagged or some stupid thing will happen and I get mad and have to play until things go my way. A 5 min game can turn into an overnighter for me and then i'm upset the next day cause I didn't get enough sleep.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Just about anything can be viewed as a waste of time depending on your goals and outlook on life.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Lurking View Post
"Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted."
I think this is pretty much true. I suppose some people would rather play video games than learn a trade. I've always been the type to feel pretty down if I occupy too much of my time on video games, tv, w/e; something else comes up that steers me away from it. Well, that's the hope at least...
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by rweezer36 View Post
In theory this sounds like great advice, but in practice it influences a bunch of people to knit crappy, itchy sweaters that nobody wants.
Good point. Or they end up reading Harry Potter or some other useless book. They won't be tackling any Kant or Dostoevsky.

Few people have the willpower to pursue the higher pleasures in life. What usually happens is they end up working their lives away (50 -80 hours a week) to buy sh-t that won't enrich their minds or souls at all. Moreover, they'll hardly have any time to fiddle with their nice car, relax in their nice home, and enjoy the boat they get to use twice a year. I suppose they could go to some high brow party, but that's probably a waste of time unless you're able to meet people in high places, on your journey to a higher socio economic status.

But, that's it, isn't it? If you're not on a path to a higher social status or economic status, then people will consider your time wasted. If you spend too much time learning in books, you end up wasting your time if you don't use it to reach a higher social and economic status. And if your not rasing your kids to attain high socio economic statuses in the furture, then you're failing as a parent.

However, if you're doing something that doesn't improve one's socio economic status, like playing video games, watching television, movies, and so on, then you're wasting your time.

What's a waste of time really ? I mean, Everything is a waste of time when you're dead. A corpse has no use of any of those things except to maybe rot in them.


Warning: I typed this while I was on ambien. Hopefully it's not too bad.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Any entertainment is by definition a waste of time. You may learn valuable things from movies, novels or video games, but they're still entertainment, something to occupy our free time. That's why we shouldn't worry too much about wasting our time on these things, but I think that also means that there should be a limit to how much time we devote to entertainment.

I used to play a lot of video games, but recently I decided that, from now on, video games should nearly always be just a distraction, not the main activity of the day. I personally have a couple more important things in my life, things I might call hobbies, and if I find myself having to choose, entertainment - movies, books, video games, whatever - will have to wait.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Videogames are a bit of a time trap no question but let's be realistic, how many of other recreational pursuits do we engage in that have no direct intellectual or vocational profit? Pubs, bars, television, music, gambling, cinema, casual internet usage... the list goes on.

You can't use any of the abovementioned activities as a legitimate reason for stalling personal betterment unless they constitute an addiction - which is another story entirely.

It comes down to this, if you want to play videogames, then play them, if not then don't.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I love the bias when it comes to this type of discussion.

When you compare a person playing a role playing video game, to one watching tv, to one reading a book, generally people will say the one reading the book is making the best use of his time.

All 3 people are being immersed in a story.

All 3 people are enjoying themselves.

All 3 people are idle.

But for some reason reading a book is "better".

Now, if I have to judge one of the categories I'd say TV is the most pathetic. You're thrown advertisements, pathetic stereotypes, and nonfactual information (like the corrupt History Channel crap I've been seeing on the rare occasion that I watch TV.)
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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You can't constantly be working.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I personally don't see the difference between reading for pleasure and playing video games for pleasure. I guess you might get more out of the book if you were reading in a "literary" manner, but most people I know who read for pleasure don't really do that. I do that, but I'm a known dork/English major.

If video games feel like a time waster, they probably are. For me, video games are a pleasant diversion for a couple of hours. However, I start to feel lazy and gross if play them for hours (days, weeks...) on end.

I used to be wild for pokemon (I know, I know) and I hated that it tracked your hours.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Not a waste of time and it builds up energy. Some games can be very tense and puzzling with difficult traps to get out of and it frustrates me. There are games when they work me up, I fail and have to start all over again. Other than that I enjoy working things out and it fills the afternoon.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catty View Post
Not a waste of time and it builds up energy. Some games can be very tense and puzzling with difficult traps to get out of and it frustrates me. There are games when they work me up, I fail and have to start all over again. Other than that I enjoy working things out and it fills the afternoon.
Good point. Some games help kids and young adults develop problem solving skills and hand eye.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Video games always capture me whenever I fall into a state of procrastination. Yes, I could curl up with a good book to educate me and build up my vocabulary, but no. I play Grand Theft Auto instead. Do I learn anything? I'm not even going to answer that.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I've read some crappy uninteresting books. And I've played truly entertaining and at time inspiring video games. I don't believe in generalizing.

I wonder if someone who holed up in their house reading books all day to the level of obsession would be given the same slander.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Sure, video games are a waste of time. But then lots of things are a waste of time, and usually money as well. I picked up some ammo last week so I'm prepared to go to the range and waste time firing my .357.

I personally have never played any video game. Maybe if I tried it I might like it, but then I'd have to buy a really fast computer to do it, because this machine sure wasn't made for it.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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No, they create a lot of cool jobs and keep people entertained. Like anything else, they can become harmful for your health if you do it too much, though.

I always enjoyed games. I makes me laugh when people who watch 3 hours of tv per day tell me to stop wasting time playing video games.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Video games are only a waste of time when you let your own child starve to death:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8551122.stm

If you enjoy games but are still able to keep other responsibilities and have balance then they are not a waste of time.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumjungle View Post
Video games are only a waste of time when you let your own child starve to death:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8551122.stm

If you enjoy games but are still able to keep other responsibilities and have balance then they are not a waste of time.
Well, that would be more like an addiction; some type of mental problem.

Video games are a leisure activity--at least, that's what it should be for most people. It's no different than going to the movies, watching TV, listening to music, or reading a novel. It's supposed to be the opposite of work.

Personally, I play video games because there's nothing good on TV. The stories, the artwork, the interaction, and decision making in games all stimulate me positively. TV is just too boring for me these days--particularly dramas, sitcoms, reality tv, and those "american idol" type contests.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Adding my opinion would just be like rekindling the burnt out fire - oops I just gave it!

Heheh... I read that article. Stuff like that is no longer surprising, sadly, the sense of disgust never goes away.
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