Video Games: The Cure to Boredom

In my previous blog I talked about how video games can lead to addiction, and the effects video game addiction can have on someone’s life. Although it is true that videogames can lead to addiction, which can lead to a loss of jobs, broken marriages, and sometimes death, video games can play a very positive role in people’s lives.

Video games are better than movies!

For decades video games have been a popular way to spend ones time. They allow you to take a break from the real world, and play in a fantasy world where you can do things tImagehat you would never dream of doing in the real world. Today, video games are so popular they have surpassed Hollywood movies in terms of grossing money. To compare both industries, Nintendo’s Wii sports has sold a total of 79.12 million copies of the game worldwide (a typical video game will set you back anywhere from $40 – $60 so the game grossed roughly $3.164 billion), whereas the top grossing movie of all time, according to the USA box-office, is Avatar at $760.5 million. That means that the top selling video game grossed roughly 4 times the amount that the top selling movie did.

Video Games and me

Like in movies, there are many genres in the video game world, there are FPS (first person shooters), RPGs (Role-playing games), Sports, Thrillers, Action/Adventure just to name a few. My personal favourite genre has to be RPGs. In roll playing games you get to take control of a character in a fantasy world trying to rid the world of evil. Some of the best games of all time fall into this category: World of Warcraft, the Diablo franchise, the Final Fantasy franchise, and last but not least the Legend of Zelda franchise.

Although, RPGs and MMO-RPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online – Role Playing Games) are my favourite genre of video games, my favourite video game of all time does not. In fact, my favourite video game falls into a category I generally hate, mainly because I tend to suck at these games, 3rd person shooters. My favourite video game is Resident Evil 4.

Although many people stay away from Resident Evil games because they think it is a zombie slaughterfest with terrible controls and a lack of story, I feel like RE4 changed this general feeling, and changed people’s feelings towards zombie shooters. With an complex storyline that never stops giving, great controls, and a suspense factor that keeps you on the edge of your seat, RE4 is hands down my favourite video game of all time. Have a look for yourself and you tell me what you think.

Video Games and Now

Right now, my go to videogame is Diablo III. Since I was young I have been a big fan of the Diablo franchise. With the first game being released in on December 31st 1996, I started playing these games at the tender age of 6. Every year I would hope for a new one to be release but it would take 6 years for Diablo II to be released and yet another 12 years for Diablo III to be released. I spend the majority of my free time playing this game for hours upon end. From time to time I need a change of pace and play other games like NHL 12 (GO CANUCKS GO!), and FIFA Street.

Video Games and the Future

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Top Video Game Publisher Revenue, 2008

Video games are always changing. The top game developers are always trying their best to put out new cutting-edge games. There are quite a few games to be excited for in 2012. There has already been some big name games that have been released this year such as Mass Effect 3, Diablo III, and the start of The Walking Dead video game series just to name a few.

The big games that are set to release this year are: Guild Wars 2, Madden 13, NHL 13, FIFA 13, Resident Evil 6 (YES!), Assassin’s Creed 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Halo 4, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. And yes, I plan on getting every single one of these games.

Video games are more than just a way to waste time. They can connect people, relieve stress, and allow people to get away from their everyday, stressful lives for a short period of time. Although many feel video games are a waste of money and time, I think they should sit down and play a classic game before coming to this conclusion. How can you turn down the Super Mario Bros.? Amirite?

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Video Games: Addiction to an Alternate Reality

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first meeting of VGA – Video Gamers Anonymous, my name is Frank and I will be guiding you through tonight’s meeting. Would anyone like to share?”

“I do. Hi, my name is Cristian, and I’m a video game addict.”

“Hi Cristian.”

Everyday people look for some form of stress release, whether it’s going out for a jog, having a glass of wine, or logging into your favourite videogame. A videogame brings you to an alternate reality where you can be who you want and act how you want. Countless hours can be spent without anything to worry about in the real world. This time spent in this alternate reality, while it can be a stress reliever, usually leads to problems outside of the game. People can become addicted. Friends become acquaintances, partners become ex-partners, and in the worst cases, death.

Video Games and Me

I play a lot of video games, I mean A LOT. My game resume includes playing Guild Wars, World of Warcraft (WoW; possibly the best computer game or even video game of all time), plenty of PS One, N64, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3 games and, most recently, Diablo III.  I’m going to try to prove to you exactly how much time I spend on video games. Diablo III was released on May 15th and I have already played 183 hours, that’s 4.58 hours a day. This is nothing in comparison to my WoW play time. Since June of 2005 I have a combined total of 5292 hours played, which is 220.5 days played, 220.5 days of my 8014.5 days I have lived for.  My very first character I ever made in WoW, Avoo, still exists.

 I am addicted.

It may be a surprise to some but although I do play a lot and I do think I am addicted even a little, there are people who spend practically their lives on games like WoW.

As you can see, my addiction is quite minor in comparison. I don’t quite have 400 days played or over 9000 achievement points or lie about an aunt dying in order to play, but I have lied in order to play. I would tell my friends that I have homework to do that night or that I wasn’t feeling well just so I could stay at home to play.

I’m glad that I never lost friends over playing the game, and I honestly do not regret playing as much as I have. Playing WoW helped me get through some hard times in my life; parents talking about divorce, family members who actually died.

Being able to get away from reality was a blessing that I didn’t appreciate at the time but now I do. I’m proud to say that I haven’t logged into WoW once since Diablo III was released, I feel like I am ready and able to quit now but could this be a new addiction developing?

Digging Diablo

Diablo is a role playing game based on the ongoing battle between the angels of heaven and the demons of hell. You play as a hero caught in between this ongoing battle and your goal is to become as strong as possible, through quests, to ultimately lay waste to Diablo himself.

The first Diablo game was released in December of 1996, the sequel released in June of 2000, with an expansion being released in 2001, and finally Diablo III was released on May 15th, 2012. That 11 year gap had me salivating for another diablo game. You see when I was 11 years old I played Diablo II for the first time and I fell in love. I believe this is when I first began getting addicted to video games.

As of right now, I do not see myself getting absorbed to deeply into this game. Unlike WoW there is far less to do in Diablo III. At the same time I feel that I take my video gaming far too lightly and neglect everything else I have. I don’t spend as much time with my family and friends as I should, my health is neglected (I’m overweight), and in all honestly, there are times where I neglect schoolwork to play video games.

How I plan to shake my Addiction

In the end I know that videogames are slowly taking control of my life and it needs to stop. My goal is to be down to no more than 6 hours of video games per week by the time the fall semester starts. I feel that if I wean myself bit by bit over the summer I’ll be able to reach this goal.

Addiction is a scary thing, and being addicted to something can put you in a scary place. With the proper help anyone can get through an addiction. Friends and family are integral through this process and without these people, life just isn’t worth living.

When it comes down to it, videogames should be used for what they really are for, fun. They shouldn’t be used as a place to go when life gets rough, that’s what your family and friends are for, so you may as well use them.

Social Networking: An Addiction Like No Other

Social Networking plays a HUGE role in the lives of most people today. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, are all places that connect the people of the internet like never before. Hours and hours are spent daily by the masses updating their status’, tweeting about what they are doing, or uploading videos about anything and everything on the internet. Facebook now has 750 million users, that equates to one in every nine people in the world! Collectively 700 billion minutes, or 1.33 million years, are being spent on Facebook monthly.

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To me, that’s a ridiculous amount of time spent online. Social networking is more than just the future of the internet; people rely on it far too much. I feel like social networking is more of an addiction than it is an innocent way to connect to others. “Tweaked” out tweeting, “#hashtag” hashish, and “yellow powder” (methamphetamine) YouTube videos control our lives whether we realize it or not.

Feening Facebook

Now, the top social media site in the world, Facebook, is used by nearly everyone in North America. Everyday millions of status’ and comments are posted letting the world know what is going on in their lives. Facebook is an addiction, when you’re not at home to log onto Facebook, you’re on your phone checking the latest updates posted by your friends. The following is a video of a news report showing that Facebook addiction is real, and can actually ruin lives.

Facebook addiction has become such a hot topic that quizzes have been developed to determine whether or not you are actually addicted to Facebook. It’s crazy to think that Facebook and Twitter are more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, which are both addictive on a molecular level due to the additives included within them, while Facebook is merely a website.

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Tweaked Twitter

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media sites, with its simple setup, and easy to use messaging system, it’s extremely appealing to the general public. With hashtags being used to show what’s trending, and the option to follow your friends, twitter seems perfect… right? With 140 million users, and 340 million tweets per day, that is roughly 124 billion tweets a year, making Twitter the 2nd most frequented social media site. Why do we feel the need to update the world on what’s going on in our lives? When did it become one of life’s necessities to let the world know that you’re eating mac and cheese? That is just it, you don’t.

You’re Addicted to YouTube

YouTube is the #1 site when it comes to uploading and viewing videos online. With millions of users uploading videos daily, the amount of entertainment YouTube can bring is endless. Is this why people are so addicted to it? With hard-core YouTubers like RayWilliamJohnson, sxephil, and nigahiga, YouTube’s content can be better than what we watch on TV. Out of all the social media sites, YouTube is the one i frequent the most. Every day I go back to get my daily news from channels like sxephil and sourcefed, or for comedic entertainment, I watch RayWilliamJohnson.

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Elliott Morgan and Joe Bereta of Sourcefed

I know of people who watch YouTube for hours on end daily, ignoring the need for food and sleep. “What time is it? Oh its 1am? I’ll just watch one more video.” The amount of times I’ve done this to myself is ridiculous, and I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat.

The addiction that social media sites can bring to people is scary. Social media is still young, how much worse can this addiction get?

I’d like to think the only way to go is up, but sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are showing no signs of slowing down. I fear that one day there will be group meetings for addictions like Facebook.

I will admit that I am a Facebook user, but who isn’t? I do update my status from time to time, or log in to see what others are up to, but I am not one to spend countless hours on these sites. Everyone has some sort of addiction, something they just can’t live without. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to Facebook, but videogames, that’s another story!