Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, it has been a while.

I don't often think of things to put into a blog, and that is why I rarely post. But, today, I have something.
Videogames: Evil? Brain cell killers? Waste of time?
My answer to those: depends, depends, and yes.
As for reasons, allow me to explain. (Wait, you don't have a choice in whether I explain or not. It's MY blog!)
Well, some games just are. I'm pretty sure there are videogames for Playboy.
One game I play, Disgaea DS, is not evil, in my opinion, even though you play as demons. Why not, you may ask? Because I try to draw parallels from the games I play to real life, if I can. and in Disgaea, the Seraph (head angel dude) said there is no such thing as absolute good or absolute evil. He said that even demons are capable of love and kindness, and even angels are capable of evil.
While I disagree with that statement as it is, allow me to substitute the word "Christian" for "angel" and "non-believer" for "demon" (not in any way saying that non-believers are demons, or that Christians are angels) Now, for the fixed statement.
*Even non-believers are capable of love and kindness, and even Christians are capable of evil.*
There are Christians out there who are complete jerks. I recently heard of an instance where one said "Christians are loving, non-Christians are ignorant." Just what is "loving" about that statement?
And then there's the non-Christians who are very loving and kind, not being judgmental about anyone, and allowing people to have their own opinions. Agreeing to disagree.
Though it's a game about demons, I do not consider it evil.
Brain cell killers?
Well, there are some. The ones that require no strategy, mainly. Like the Tony Hawk games. Fun, but other than memorizing moves for your skater, there's basically nothing to do that makes you think. And Guitar Hero/Rockband just work on reflexes.
However, strategy games, like Age of Empires or Fire Emblem, which require you to think the whole time, are not brain cell killers. You actually have to engage your brain to play them well. In Age of Empires (just in case you didn't know already), you are creating a civilization, and attempting to ruin another one. If you don't use your resources properly and quickly, you will be defeated.
Fire Emblem is basically chess on steroids. You move your characters around on a grid of terrain and attempt to destroy your enemy. And when units die, they die for good. No phoenix downs, no revive spells. If you want your unit back, you must start the level completely over. And using efficient strategy, like weapon types, you could have a unit equivalent to a pawn defeat a unit equal to, say, a queen.
Waste of time?
I've changed my mind. Again, it depends. You really get nothing out of it, other than entertainment. Unless you're playing a game with a friend/sibling. Then it gets really fun and interesting. Name-calling starts, phrases like "Go die!" begin flying, and it can get really competitive.
And with the Wii, you can actually get active with the game, and you're not just sitting there pushing buttons.


  1. I totally agree with you on this. And time to share my thoughts! :D

    I agree with you on the evil subject and there's nothing to add to that.

    When people say they kill brain cells, I agree that statement is COMPLETELY wrong. While there are TONS of mindless, yet fun games out there, (Halo, CoD, cough cough...) There are also lots that stimulate thinking. For example, Portal. Simple concept, point A leads to point B, but the puzzles in it are so great you think like you never have before.

    Another good example of games that help you think are (A good majority of) fighting games. (I'm thinking of Street Fighter and BlazBlue right now) While these games are labeled as mindless button mashers, which they can be if you're a stupid n00b who is ready to lose every time, they are SUCH compelling games with a level of depth that I haven't seen in any other genre. Pretty much with these, half of the game is experimenting (Sometimes for hours) on chaining combos and which moves works with which, and the other half of the game is predicting your opponents next move, which can get really intense when you're both low on health.

    And I don't get why people say it's a waste of time. It's just a hobby! You don't see us gamers saying reading is stupid, or that drawing is stupid!

    Anyways, I enjoyed this blog and will come back to it.

    -Braden Joseph Gilmore

  2. I think you have come to some pretty profound conclusions, David.
    I would much rather see my children playing a video game (which is interactive)than just watching a movie (which is completely sedentary, no interaction involved, unless you count yelling at the characters in the hope that they will hear your warning of impending danger.)
    Some of my hobbies are complete time wasters too. As long as you have balance in your life and don't spend all you time there in front of the video game you are probably alright. My father used to say, (about tv watching) the minute your face turns into a large square blue screen, the tv goes off for good!

  3. Well done, David, well done indeed.
    It's always a pleasure to read your blog.
    But I do feel that I have to say one thing:
    The "Playboy = evil" remark was a bit over-done.
    Hugh Hefner's franchise(Albeit disgusting)isn't necessarily evil. Mr. Hefner has only exercised his rights to Freedom of Speech, Free Enterprise and the Pursuit of Happiness. He's used Capitalism to make money. That isn't evil. Though I'm not supporting the Playboy franchise, I am speaking out for their rights.
    Though I have no idea what goes on privately in Hugh Hefner's home, what he does publicly isn't evil. Just disgusting.
    I also have to disagree with Braden on some level as well.
    Games such as Halo and Call of Duty are a bit like Chess. Though less strategic, there is one simple point to the game: To win.
    The way people USE such games is mindless dribble, but if you apply some strategy it becomes a worthy challenge. That being said, I find those games are on the same level as Portal.

  4. David you amaze me. Though I do believe in absolute good (God) and absolute evil (Satan and my computer), your comments about Christians and non-believers are spot-on. I have to disagree with Gerlachworksforme about Mr. Hefner, however. What he does is evil--he promotes the exploitation of women for pleasure and money. I'm not saying it doesn't fall under the right to free speech, and I would defend that right, but it is, indeed, evil. Just sayin'.