By Jin-yeong Yi
I started playing video games when I was about 6 years old. I was introduced to Donkey Kong Country when it first came out in 1994, and I had become an avid gamer ever since, pouring hours upon hours into the relatively small number of titles I owned, which included the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, The World is Not Enough, Perfect Dark, Max Payne, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, and Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete, which were among my favorites.
Then at some point in 2010, I gave up gaming. I decided that video games were just a glorified waste of time, that my accomplishments in them translated to zilch in the real world.
Fast-forward to 2012, and I’m playing video games again. Not just the usual titles, but also ones I’ve never played before, like Deus Ex and Painkiller.
Why did I change my mind? Well, for the starters, because I agree with Bertrand Russell when he said, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” I enjoy video games. Not only that, video games are for me often more interesting than real life.
Real life has great moments. But I find that they are generally few and far in between. I suspect that most people would agree with me; if they didn’t, they would have no use for novels, television shows, movies, and other means humans invented to transcend the limits of daily existence, of reality itself.
Furthermore, in my view, life is not so much about “reality” as it is about experience. As anyone who has ever had a lucid dream would know, an experience doesn’t have to take place outside of one’s mind to be “real.” And if that’s the case, video games are well capable of delivering experience in spades.