Monday, December 29, 2014

Don't Quit The Games

A few days out from the new year, and I'm fervently combing through the 2014 stats to provide my annual review. I think you all will be just as surprised at the trends and changes as much as I am.

So today I bring you all 2 news postings that caught my attention.

First! Is 2015 The Year to Quit Gaming? Cinema Blend writer Ryan Winslett is an 80's kid. He grew up in a time when the Nintendo Entertainment System was a new thing, and latched on to the PlayStation when Metal Gear Solid gave adults a mature gaming outlet that wasn't focused on sex (Leisure Suit Larry, anyone?). But like all of us, he does get the comments from his peers, colleagues, and those above his age that he's too old to game. Bravo to him for pointing out the fact that gaming has taken over sales into an industry worth billions and is outpacing conventional media such as film and television. But Winslett's concern is that with so much gaming out there, he's afraid that he'll miss out on content. It's not a matter of quitting games altogether, but pulling back on the reigns and slowing down because he's not enjoying the game he's playing right this second. He's focused on what's happening tomorrow with gaming and not living in the moment.

It's rough being an adult gamer, particularly when you are a reporter. You have to be constantly involved in, well, everything. You have to have reviews, company updates, watch stocks and any flash sales that affect gamers. There are so many facets to the gaming world that you have to stay on top of it all - from business to gamer perspectives. It's a challenge, and not one people recognize until they dive deep into the topic. So I can understand Winslett's position about wanting to slow down so he can enjoy the game's he's playing and make it a hobby again.

I'm also amused at the comments slamming the notion that as adults we have to give up the "kid" stuff. The first note from

Winslett address the comments his article has received.

The other piece is from The BattleCreek Enquirer via The Washington Post. Legit article. Promise. Ester Cepeda bemoaned about her two teenage sons and how this generation of children are wrapped up in the digital landscapes of video games, that any real-world tasks seem boring and lifeless by comparison. Her fear was that her sons would become unsuccessful, dull beings that do not contribute to humanity in a positive way.

Gamers, parents, and grandparents sounded off and provided Cepeda with feedback she never expected. A multitude of stories about games and how they helped improve lives flooded her inbox, and she responded in kind with a more positive outlook about games. 

The common theme was moderation. Like any hobby it is easy to go overboard (from football to knitting). When parents are involved, actively take an interest in their child's activities, it's easier to find a balance between gaming and the real world. Many people have attributed gaming to improving their reading and comprehension skills, dexterity with hand-eye coordination, and the like. I have regaled you all many times about my brother's struggle with school, and how video games helped him with his dyslexia to graduate, get into a fantastic university, and now he's making games for a living. This is a man who would see numbers flip with every math equation, and now he codes games. 

Video games can drive passion and encourage a strong future for kids. So Cepeda, don't worry. As long as you let your sons game, within reason, they'll be fine.

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