So, Laura Shortridge put out a call on Twitter asking for examples of video games that made you have all the feels. I listed two, with another I've heard great things about.
The point is, most video games have stories that are incredibly deep, that explore difficult issues, and display characters that manage to pull the player in and give them all the feels. That is the technical term. They contain stories that are just as good (and sometimes better) than novels. They're deeply affecting. And it's true. I cried when (spoilers) Joel lost his daughter in The Last of Us. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice had me sobbing on my live stream (just as the viewers of that particular let's play), and I ugly cried off stream for twenty minutes afterwards. It hit me so hard. I've been desperately avoiding spoilers for Detroit: Become Human, but I am hearing a constant stream of gushing over a character called Connor.
"Video games encourage lack of empathy."
I would argue the exact opposite is true.
Of course there are violent video games, shoot 'em ups and the like, yet even these tend to have something behind them. The motivation is often something along the lines of saving loved ones, or the world. Yes, they're violent and gory and the player is challenged to kill people by the score, but player motivation is often quite noble. If you only see the action sequences of the game, you've missed the biggest part of it.
Not all violent games have that player motivation, of course. Some really are just kill as many people as possible, but there are fewer of those games than most people unfamiliar with gaming assume.
Now, they've added gaming as a disorder. I disagree with that too.
Adults watch, on average, five hours of television a day. A day. No one bats an eyelid at this statistic. No one calls that a 'television disorder.' Binge watching entire television shows is accepted and normal. Playing a game straight through from start to finish is "excessive."
Gaming is my television. People ask me if I've seen such and such a show? I tell them I'm in ancient Egypt, too busy defending freedom from The Order to bother with that show. Or any show. And, for my entertainment value, I much prefer gaming to television. Gaming is active. My brain is working when I game. Often, it's working really hard, processing data, making decisions, getting quick time events all wrong...
I find I cannot stand letting my brain do nothing while I'm awake. If that happens, I get twitchy. My legs starts going, or I'll rock myself a little, or I'll get distracted and start looking at my phone, or picking at my nails. My brain needs to be active while I'm awake. And so when I need some downtime, I game, rather than watch television.
Sometimes I watch YouTube, because those are short videos, and I'm less likely to get twitchy.
If someone is gaming so much that it is negatively impacting their life, the gaming is not the problem. It is a symptom. Like watching too much television. Or eating too much (or too little). Or staying in bed too long. Gaming is a crutch people may use to escape their problems. It is not the problem itself.
So, people who don't game, stop trying to pathologise gaming. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's wrong or evil. Stop pretending it is to make yourself feel better about your ignorance. You're dead fucking wrong.
This has been a public service announcement.
Now get off my lawn.