User voted Yes.
5 votes
Oct 8, 2015


Video games are like any other piece of art: They bring joy and excitement. Sometimes, they promote negative messages. But that's the fault of the people who make and consume it, not the medium.

Video games taught me that heroism matters. Final Fantasy IV taught me that a true Paladin, a truly good and heroic person, is defined at least as much by when they don't use violence as when they do. Terranigma reminded me that doing the right thing sometimes means standing up against your own people and often doesn't have great rewards. Illusion of Gaia taught me that a world of adventure is out there but there are real costs to exploring it, and what matters is how you protect your friends and respect the people you meet. Demon's Crest taught me that the most interesting people are the ones that have a passion, not those who want to be rich or powerful. Final Fantasy VI taught me that sometimes we let politics obscure the real enemies, and that war produces monsters that can end the world. Chrono Trigger taught me that what you do when you are vastly outmatched is what defines you. Chrono Cross taught me sometimes you have to stand up to everyone.

I think when Western games begin to really have stories that talk about the human condition ([i[Spec Ops: The Line being one of the rare examples) the way Eastern games have so often been able to do (even as they all too often sacrificed choice and agency on the altar of story) that we'll enter a great period of art.

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User voted No.
main reply
0 votes,
Oct 14, 2015

You make a decent point Fred, BUT video games are a form of entertainment, I believe we can agree upon this correct? Video games are basically no different then movies or television shows except for one factor they are rarely educational. When I speak of "educational" they often do not teach children accurate facts in fact they might even teach children falsified or fabricated information, which then in turn might harm the kid academically a good example of this are games such as Civilization in which you take upon a civilization to win vs your opponents in various ways, a kid could then take this information such as oh Russia conquered the world in 1926.

What about games they display violence like Mortal Kombat or Doom? Think about if a kid which didnt really see the purpose of a firearm or weapon just laying around their house you then introduce a violent game and they want to see the effect in real life thinking their victim will just "respawn". You are thinking of kids with a sane mind you have to view outside the box some of these kids are not sane or normal they might interpret violence which is rewarded in the game to real life thinking there is nothing wrong.

My next argument is the form of "achievements" in game. Games recently you can see on "Steam" ( a gigantic platform for purchasing games and hats ) create the illusion of satisfactions and rewards for playing a video game. This is not healthy its like when a parent rewards their kid for accomplishing the highest grades in his or her class versus a kid trying to get 100% achievement in a game to feel a sense of accomplishment. You can look at the example of World of Warcraft I grew up with that game and I literally seen it destroy kids with high potential in life, they were so consumed with the game they stopped attending classes and eventually dropped out, instead of going to a fitness center or participating in physical activities with their peers they immersed themselves in a fantasy world instead of the real world. How did the video game help in this case?

You make arguments that certain games taught you "heroism, costs, politics, against all odds, and courage", but did you really need to invest possibly hundreds maybe thousands of hours in a video game to learn those lessons in life? Lets put it this way later on in life, ( hopefully this does not happen ) due to putting a huge portion of your free time into various video games you did not focus on the important things in your life that mattered such as education, sports, relationships ( friends, dating, family ), hobbies would you have developed any regrets? Would you want the future of mankind to go through these regrets as well?

User voted Yes.
2 votes,
Oct 14, 2015

There's multiple whole pages on TV Tropes about how entertainment miseducates. From the way that knight and cowboy stories present inaccurate ideas of the societies in question to the way medical shows routinely get basic facts about medicine and psychology wrong, people are constantly misled by entertainment. A tiny fraction of it is called "The CSI Effect", referring to the way police procedural shows have made juries misunderstand how law enforcement actually works. You're identifying a problem with all forms of entertainment throughout all of history.

All forms of entertainment also include violence. From horror films to war movies, violence is often portrayed and glamorized. Think about how often torture is actively celebrated in TV. Again, this is true of all forms of entertainment.

"Achievements" are sometimes an unethical form of behavior inducement. But everything from wages to grades to charitable programs can do the same thing. The ethics of behavioral control and incentives are tough to manage. Yet there are people who can play games responsibly just like there are people who can gamble responsibly.

If you think really learning how to be a hero is something that you can learn from one game once, one movie, one book, or even five years as a cop or a therapist or a soldier, you are demonstrating nothing less than the Dunning-Kruger effect. Learning how to cope with compassion fatigue, how to survive when helping others, takes everything you can get.

Any entertainment can cost us time doing something else. But people need fun. A man who tries to work his whole life without some relaxation is sprinting. He will burnout and fail. A man who works with appropriate time spent on play and relaxation is running a marathon. You need a break on a hike, or in a boxing match. You need breaks in life. And if that break means you get to play as a paladin, even better. You are ignoring the value of entertainment. I suggest you spend some time working with people recovering from trauma. See how often they mention a story, a fairy tale.

User voted No.
1 vote,
Oct 15, 2015

"You're identifying a problem with all forms of entertainment throughout all of history."

I agree with this, I am not disagreeing I am just stating that we should lessen the misinformation that is drilled in our society. Its one thing to make entertainment interesting so it appeals to viewers, but to actively display it on screen it can make individuals take it as fact, an example backing this claim is the creationist museum in Kentucky youtube.com/watch?v=3yUhISY1czI here is a link they interweave the bible into history and call themselves a museum.

""Achievements" are sometimes an unethical form of behavior inducement. But everything from wages to grades to charitable programs can do the same thing"

Yes this is true achievements in game can create a false sense of accomplishment. But lets analyze a second on one side you have a video game which gives you a quest with a clear cut reward shown on the screen on the other you have charity programs which can take hours, volunteer work which can consume days away from your life, the game is more appealing because it offers immediate gratification. You cannot deny there are hundreds and thousands of people who suffer from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori "Hikikomori" I dont know if you are aware of this term i posted the link to better explain it. I currently have a sister who suffers from this ever since I have never touched and video game console.

"If you think really learning how to be a hero is something that you can learn from one game once, one movie, one book, or even five years as a cop or a therapist or a soldier"

I am not saying that you can learn you can be a hero from playing a game once I am simply stating there are alternative ways to learning how to be a hero instead of sitting in front of a screen playing a video game. You can be inspired through other forms such as serving in the military, taking action when you see someone suffering from bullying, etc. If anything video games show a illusion to reality in what a human being can do practically imagine a kid seeing a image of his favorite video game hero displaying a hidden power and relying on his own "hidden power" to display itself only to find out the harsh reality.

"Any entertainment can cost us time doing something else. But people need fun."

I agree with this its just that there are more alternatives which are more highly beneficial then sitting in front of a tv screen with a controller at hand.

User voted Yes.
2 votes,
Nov 18, 2015

I hope you can see the disanalogy between the creationist museum and an entire art form. The creationist museum is spreading specifically false misinformation. It's a matter of objective falsehood. Our discussion has not been about the objective: It's been a matter of the subjective, the value of going outside and militarism and violence.

Video game addiction is a serious problem. People get addicted to exercise: Is exercise bad for our society as a result? Even the Wikipedia page makes clear that video games are only a tiny part of the problem. Autism-spectrum disorders, Japanese culture, and a host of other causes are at play.

I have lots of friends who have at various points retreated into anime, or video games, or movies, or tabletop roleplaying, or comic cons, or comic books, to get through the day. If video games did not exist, I doubt your sister would be the belle of the ball. She would be socially awkward and introverted in new ways.

Video games can actually be a way for those people, who will always exist, to have at leat some connection to the real world, some shared experience. Autistic children playing video games can spend time with others. In the competitive fighting game community and the MOBA community, it's so common as to be cliche to see people who didn't like school, didn't like their peers, felt distant from everyone, but found a community through video games and came out of their shell.

Your analysis is one-sided. It looks only at the costs and never at the benefits.

As for heroism: So what if there are other places to learn about heroism? By that logic, we wouldn't need the Bible, or movies, or mythology, or books, or any art either. The fact is that by having the messages of heroism in as many media as possible, we get more heroic individuals who sacrifice for the greater good.

And again, you ignore what makes video games so unique. Unlike other art, video games can make moral dilemmas visceral. From Papers Please which makes you figure out how much you're willing to work to let someone in who deserves to come in even at cost to you to Mass Effect's moral challenges, only video games make a person have to choose for themselves and explore the moral consequences of their actions.

The idea that video games show an illusion is as silly as saying that Socrates shows us an illusion. If someone's grip on reality is so tenuous that they believe that they can be like Superman literally from watching Superman, they have other, much deeper problems. But in any instance, they're learning the wrong lesson. What makes Superman admirable isn't power: It's courage, gentleness, integrity, leadership.

So parents need to make sure that kids learn the right lessons from video games... just like they have to make sure that they learn the right lessons from school, movies, TV shows, jogging, Dodgeball, painting... By your reasoning, we should just lock children into a hermetic chamber because they might learn a bad lesson somewhere.

What pure entertainment alternatives are BETTER than video games? Video games are cheaper per hour of entertainment than other options from movies onward. They can teach a host of skills and lead one to actually spend time with others in competitive or cooperative contexts.

I suspect you mean that people could have fun jogging, or volunteering at a homeless shelter. All you are saying by repeating that argument is that you don't understand people. People need something that is easy, fun, empowering and lets them take time off. Video games do that as well as any other entertainment.

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