Jeremy sent an article this morning on video games that I found to be interesting. I feel like video games can be a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing when you can control the amount you play them, and they help to develop your brain in positive ways. Video games are a curse when you become addicted to the extent that you neglect your real life.
I’ve always intensely loved video games. As a six year old, one of my most vivid memories was going to a friends house who had the first NES system and being absolutely amazed by it.
My parents did not buy me my first platform until I did extraordinarily well on a child version of the SAT (I scored several college levels as a third grader). It was the Sega Genesis, and my parents at first restricted the time I was allowed to play to a half hour or so a day. After a year or two, they let me move it to my bedroom and I was able to play a lot more. I have many great memories of Jordan and I playing Combat Cars, Sonic games, Road Rash and others.
At the end of the 7th grade, my parents let me get the first MMORPG – Ultima Online. My friends and I were all instantly hooked and it is all we talked about at school. Playing in a big open world without rules or protections, where you could earn your own money (or have it stolen), and build up powerful characters, was an entrancing experience. It was also highly addicting since the in game experiences were far better than my real life at the time. It was my connection to the outside world during a period where we lived in an isolated community and my parents were getting divorced and my mom was going insane and doing meth. When my parents got back together and my mom moved back in, she tried to ban me from playing Ultima any longer. I reacted with enormous anger and fought my parents until they kicked me out of the house.
I then moved in with my grandparents and did not get any new computer games or video games while I lived with them. My grandparents helped me deal with my anger and focus on channeling my energy into more positive areas. I started a landscaping business at 17, then worked a series of jobs through college at the University of Washington, then got a full time job at an SEO agency. Finally, 7.5 years ago, I started my own agency – CoalitionTechnologies.com. I found the experience of founding and running my agency to be a lot like playing World of Warcraft or Ultima – except it was real life! I have loved it.
About six months or a year ago, I bought a Xbox One and have played a few games on it. I still love video games… I went through Rocket League, Silent, and now am playing Overwatch & Witcher 3. I have been playing too much though, so I have stopped playing the last few days.
Video games are awesome as entertainment to replace a movie or television watching, but dangerous if they replace productive areas of your life.