The video games I have the most history with are computer games. Detective Barbie, Rollercoaster Tycoon… you know, the classics. I played a few games on the original Playstation and the Sega Dreamcast. Those aged systems do a fine job of telling you the last time I played video games. And honestly, I can’t think of many friends who are big into gaming. It’s just not something I’ve been surrounded with. This makes it very hard for me to understand why people sit on their couch and play video games for hours.
However, I do recognize the pros of video games. They produce excellent hand-eye coordination for their players. Gamers are sharp people. They think on their toes and tend to be problem solvers and I don’t think its a coincidence that gamers have those qualities. Playing games has major impacts. Video games can be a method of learning for those who are hands on and/or might not get a lot out of other styles of learning.
But, of course, what goes up must come down. Staring at a screen for extended periods of time deteriorates eyesight. As the displacement theory points out, time spent playing video games takes away from other things, such as human interaction, reading, exercising, sleeping, and even eating. While some video games are intentionally educational, many are not. Violence is at the center of a lot of games.
To optimize the positives of gaming and minimize the negatives, I think game developers need to shift (which some already are) to group playing games to include human interaction, make less violent games and more constructive, morally sound games, find ways to lessen the effects of screen brightness on the eyes, and incorporate those games into schools and even workplaces. There would still be the displacement problem (which is a big one in my opinion), but people will choose to do what they want no matter how games change.