Finding the Fun in Video Games

Life is short, and finding hobbies that make time worthwhile is a constant struggle for average individual. Video games pose a valid answer for some people.

By Drew Kuske

Everybody knows that life has a time limit. There is no getting around it, we will all expire someday. So, therefore, it is important to use our time wisely. If we take this knowledge into consideration, it is reasonable to say that wasting our time is antagonistic to our lives. But with so many things in our life that are meant to take our focus away from living, how can one person distinguish a waste of time from a good use of it? This dilemma is present in many facets of life, but one category where the problem reins is in the video game genre. But I think I have cracked the code when it comes to the value of my time in video games.

My parents have always criticized my hobby of video games. They will always believe it is a waste of time, time that could be used doing something important. But I insist on sitting in my room and gain no important skills. In some cases, I would completely agree with my parents. Video games don’t give me any important life skills and some games are a complete waste of time. But the reason why I keep playing is just because they’re fun. I’m not going to preach to you how playing shooters trains my reflexes, because that isn’t why I play. The bottom line is that the game is fun. If what you’re doing is fun, then it can’t really be considered a waste of time. People watch movies because they are fun to watch, and people go out to eat with friends because it’s fun. When people hear the phrase, “Live each day like it’s your last,” they would typically think of doing something fun for their last day. If people would rather choose fun over developing life skills at the end of their life, that’s how time is well spent.

But even with the basic principle of “play games if they are fun,” there are still some drawbacks. You don’t really know if a game is going to be fun until you play it, because each game is unique. The other issue is the fact that people prefer different types of games over others. Games could be of differing quality and some may be too bad to enjoy. You could always look up a review, but reviews often spoil bits that you may be surprised at and no one wants to do research on if something is fun or not. It’s like forcing someone to do research for a research paper which many wouldn’t find fun. But there is a way. Right now, there are many games that are free to play. Start with trying those games and you can very quickly decide the level of fun you are having. Use this newfound knowledge to enhance your fun. That may sound broad, but this path is different for many people. If you find that you don’t like a game like CS:GO, a tactical team-based shooter, then go ahead and try a puzzle game. The closer you get to a genre you like, the more you will notice an increase in enjoyment. On the opposite side of things, if you find yourself liking CS:GO, don’t just keep playing. It will get old eventually. I would recommend watching videos of whatever game you like. You will enjoy the game even more when playing at a higher level. However, watching videos may sound like research which isn’t fun. But this is research about a topic you enjoy; the video will be much more informative and entertaining if you like the topic.

The type of game you play isn’t what matters the most. The biggest part of having fun while gaming is playing with a community. I would argue that if you are having fun with a friend, any game can be fun. This is similar to eating with another person: eating alone is sad. All you have are your thoughts to keep you company, so you could watch TV or a video while you eat to fill some empty space. But the best way is to have other people to keep you company. Then it doesn’t matter if the food is insanely good or not, you will be more focused on a conversation instead. This reins true for games too. Even playing with a stranger is fun too, you already know that you share a common interest in video games, so a conversation is sure to start.

Time is the biggest limiting factor in our lives. It is important we spend that time wisely, and the hobby of video games is a good way to spend that time. The value of your time can only be determined by you, but some basic principles can help form your own opinion. The only thing that remains consistent is always to find the fun in your life.