The Pros and Cons of Gaming

The Pros and Cons of Gaming

Have fun and game on.
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Everyone needs a little downtime, and gaming, by far, is probably one of the most popular forms; anything from Mario Cart to MMORPGs. Being in college, the gaming scene is interesting, to say the least. The dorm halls on a Friday or Saturday afternoon are filled with the muffled sounds of video games and people celebrating or shouting. You can always tell which rooms are celebrating a victory, and which rooms are aggravated with defeat and frustration. Gaming, despite all of the negative backlash it can get from society at times, has more pros than cons, I find.

Pros:

Probably the biggest pro to any form of gaming is its sense of decompression and stress relief. Even something as casual as Angry Birds can be a nice stress relief after a long day. For some, though, Angry Birds isn't enough. They need a way to channel out a really long and stressful week, so they turn to something like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.

Another big pro to gaming is how active it keeps your mind. Most MMOs (massive multiplayer online games) require you to strategize with a team, or even solo to achieve certain rewards in-game. All of the thinking and planning out in these games happens subconsciously, for most, but it shows up sometimes in the real world when you need it. Hand-eye coordination also goes hand in hand with this. Most notably are the handheld game consoles like the Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable (in fact that was a huge selling point for most of Nintendo's early hand-held consoles).

Certain games can also let you unleash your creativity. The Sims is probably most known for this, where you get to create characters with families and little towns. Even some combat games let you customize your main character by choosing elements of their look from armor to hair color to body type. After you've played with the same characters for a long time, you become attached to them and they become your children, in a sense.

The best feeling coming out of any form of gaming is the sense of achievement you feel when you've reached a goal in the game or beat it in its entirety. There's this deep-seated sense of satisfaction in pride at looking back at your little achievement stamp or badge and saying to yourself, "Yeah. I did that." This feeling, I've found from experience, is amplified when it comes from completing a hard level or task.

Cons:

The biggest con, for me and many others I'm sure, of gaming comes with procrastination. You get so into the game you're playing that you put off sleep and chores and other important things until the last minute. Disclaimer: many people, myself included, are procrastinators by nature and it is not the games that make us procrastinate, but instead act as a catalyst to further said procrastination. For some, however, games do make people procrastinate.

If you've sold your soul to a specific gaming company or two, you may find your bank account crying after you've got the newest game or console. My Pokémon fans know what I'm talking about after Moon and Sun's release this past week. Hopefully, though, most people realize the hobby they've gotten themselves into and have a stable job that allows them to maintain such a collection of games and consoles.

Of course, when you've beaten the game or played it to the point where you have to wait for new updates, you feel a sense of emptiness because you've devoted so much time and effort into this game that now you don't know what to do with yourself. Your friends or parents might joke with you that "you aren't playing that game today?" or that they're "so proud," because sometimes gaming can make you a bit reclusive.

One of the biggest issues in the gaming industry especially in MMOs and combat games is this inherent sexism that comes with the games. Women in most of these games can only be thin and lean or the only armor options are revealing bras and bathing suit-esque bottoms that leave the character sufficiently unprotected. This sexism even reaches outside of the game itself and often time men accuse women of being "fake gamers" or "they're only playing to get a man's attention." It doesn't even seem plausible to them that women can enjoy gaming for the sake of gaming and not to gain male attention. This concept seems mind-blowing to many men and that's a sad fact.

The most controversial draw back of the gaming industry is how sometimes gamers' aggression can bleed out from the game and into real life. It doesn't even have to be a violent game like Call of Duty. Mario Cart and Wii Sports can tear friendships apart just as fast. As my dear roommate once said, "There's a reason Wii remotes have a strap." Honestly, most people who've ever played a game has been a little guilty of getting aggressive with the game itself. I've pushed friends, and they've pushed me off of couches over something as casual as Mario Cart. It happens to us all, but if you find your aggression outweighs your ability to have fun with the game, it's probably time to put it down and go take a walk.


Because that's the whole point of games: to have fun. Despite all of the cons that come with the gaming industry (or the people in it), what really matters at the end is that you're enjoying the game. That's why the industry is such a lucrative industry. People want to have fun and they want to play these games and be distracted. So if the next time you're strolling through the game section of a store and are debating on getting that new game you want: just do it and treat yourself. Have a little fun and game on.


Cover Image Credit: Pawel Kadysz

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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.
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We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.


2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^


8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.


14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.

16. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.


18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”


23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

Cover Image Credit: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8289/7759302068_fac2dfd31d_b.jpg

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I Went On A Social Media Purge And I Need To Do It More

It's a freeing feeling, honestly.

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When I was a senior in high school, I deleted every social media app, except for SnapChat, I owned. It was an impulsive decision, but looking back, I've learned to have a healthier relationship with social media and technology. The first few days were boring. I would check my phone every few seconds, waiting for a notification, only to realize I had deleted my apps several days ago. I downloaded mindless games and soon got bored of those, too. Basically, the first week or so was filled with disappointed glances down at my phone only to realize nothing was there, nor will there ever.

As the days became weeks, and weeks became months, I saw myself using my phone way less, which is something I'm grateful for. I realized that my phone was more of a distraction than anything. It would stop me from completing homework or I'd use it to procrastinate from walking to the gym. Without social media, I found my productivity to be much higher and I was able to focus on assignments faster, rather than wondering what was happening in the online world.

I felt liberated from the chains of social media. I didn't want to know what was going on. I would shove my phone in my bookbag or purse and wouldn't bother to check it again for hours. After a couple of months, I finally redownloaded the majority of my social media apps. I've found myself trying to keep my phone time down since I've realized I don't need to know about the newest, most popular tweets or what my friends just posted about.

In today's world, we're so distracted by social media and we almost crave the attention. Since redownloading them, I try to set my phone aside while doing work or other activities that require my full attention. I even consider erasing them again for a week or so just to remember what it's like without social media and disconnect from my phone. I'd like to take more breaks from social media, especially since it can be toxic. By getting rid of it, my relationship and views of social media truly have changed, and I recommend you try to do the same.

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