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Video games are no substitute for real life

Angie Marcos, LV Life Editor

Angie Marcos, LV Life Editor

Although many parents and critics of video games claim that many of today’s video games are filled with violence and unrealistic virtual realms, they are not any worse than the alternative – creating games that simulate real life experiences and daily activities.

I do not believe people realize the absurd video games that are available for consumer purchase.

A person no longer needs to find a group of willing friends to play Monopoly, Jenga, chess, checkers or any other traditional board games with. Gone are the days of scrambling to put together all of the pieces of a board game.

Nowadays anyone can either play board games online, or on any given game system such as Playstation, XBox and the portable Nintendo DS, among others.

The purpose of video games should be to give the player an escape to an unrealistic place where events occur that wouldn’t normally occur in everyday life.

It is strange that people find it fun to do things they already do in real life inside of a video game.

In one video game you are able to get a head start at working by experiencing the pressure and struggles of working at a fashion design studio. Instead of getting a real job with mediocre pay, you can have a magnificent faux job with no pay.

In “Cooking Mama 2,” the video gamer takes the role of a mother who must cook snacks for her children and their friends. The children judge your snacks, which is the goal of the game. You must receive the highest cooking score from children for the fake, animated food you prepare.

Yet another video game requires the video gamer to be a babysitter. Why watch and take care of real children when you can provide care and nourishment for an animated child with no real feelings or cries that you can hush down with volume control?

In “Fabulous Finds” players are sent on a mission to find various sellable items in their fictional households that would be appropriate to sell for money during a yard sale. The video gamer is encouraged to haggle for the best price with prospective customers at their yard sale. The money earned could then be used to remodel and decorate their virtual home.

The goal of “The Clique” is for girls to increase their popularity at a new school. You lose if you are unpopular or a loner. A video game that rewards you for being popular and makes you start all over again if you don’t have enough friends seems like the wrong message to send. “The Clique” also encourages its players to use whatever tactics needed in order to become popular. The game reads on the back cover, “The only thing harder than getting in is staying in.”

The video game “Bully,” which is banned in Brazil and has overcome attempts to ban it in the United Kingdom and Florida, encourages players to become the meanest kid in school.

Video games should be an outlet to a different world with different experiences. It makes a lot more sense to play a video game of Mario running from flying turtles and battling Bowser in order to save the princess than it does to learn how to cook via your Nintendo DS. I understand that the world is becoming more technologically advanced, but why would we let video games do for us what we can perfectly well do for ourselves?

Angie Marcos, a sophomore journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at angie.marcos@laverne.edu.

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