I can’t recall when I was first introduced to computer games. Perhaps it was when “Counter-Strike” was at the peak of its popularity. Or maybe the time I played “Ragnarok,” my very first online game.
Computer games are stress relievers. It can help you make friends or even help you establish an online romance. One game couldn’t hurt, but when does it reach its breaking point? When is it too much?
Some might have heard stories of people having difficulty concentrating during exams because they cannot stop thinking of their next online quest, or which opponent to challenge next. Others are looking forward to a good time with the barkada, online.
What pushes people like me to spend more time with video games is that they are within my comfort zone. I was never the sporty kind of guy until recently, so going out to play basketball was out of the question. I wanted to go to the malls, but commuting was the last thing on my mind, so home was the option, particularly, in front of my computer.
My world was the Internet. Being introvert back then, I turned to games, where I could be whoever I wanted to be—the good, the bad, the ugly, the hero, the villain, the damsel in distress, the monster, the witch, and my personal favorite, Spiderman.
When high school came, despite having a busy schedule, I still found time to play video games with friends. But I also realized that there was a real world outside video games. I learned a lot in life by actually going out and not just sitting in front of the computer.
I experienced being robbed for the first time at the mall; I’m more cautious now. Commuting is never fun. And perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned, computer games lie to us by making us think that courtship is non-existent, when having real relationships is actually hard work.
My playing time was reduced drastically. It wasn’t worth it to have a new +5 armor or a shiny flaming sword or to knock out my rival online if it meant not spending time with the people who really mattered to me.
Sure, there’s always the glory of “online” victory, but my sense of achievement is only on cyberspace.
The beauty of what you see in the games does not compare to what you see around you. For instance, go to places like Quiapo, where real adventures can make it worth your while.
There is a sense of accomplishment spending the whole day going to a place you’ve never been before. College made me realize I haven’t really seen and experienced the world like other people have. I know now playing video games can never really replace the fun and experience shared with friends.
I still play video games, but I see to it that I never have to play it by myself. I’m with friends and we get to video chat while playing. Being a gamer doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from the world; games were made for people to socialize, another activity to share with friends. Video games should never replace the companionship of real people who help you reach self-fulfillment as an individual.
Come to think of it, I became the guy I’ve always wanted to be, minus all the special effects and mind-blowing action. In real life, I have my adventures. I get to meet interesting people, who make those adventures worthwhile. In video games, you get all the lives you want, but you won’t be able to recover the real life you have when you waste your time on games.