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AngelCityOutlaw

Video Games & Time Wasting

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So I sort of had this discussion with a co-worker today about people who are waaaaay too good at games. The game in question was Call of Duty, but I think it can apply to any game.

I'll start my little rant by saying I used to be fucking hardcore at fighting games when I was 18 or so. I played them all and had most every combo under the sun imaginable memorized for the characters I played as. I recently decided to get back into Street Fighter IV and picked up Tekken Tag 2. Now, I'm still pretty good as Chun Li in SFIV because her strategies and combos are pretty much burnt into my mind at this point. However, I was in practice mode in TTT2, trying to pull off some of the more complicated juggles with Jun and then I realized something:

"Who the hell cares? I don't have time for this and when I do, I could spend it doing more productive things. Like recording more guitars."

I obviously don't believe that games rot your brain or other bullshit like that, but now that I'm older and have more responsibility I question what the point of being able to juggle some noob's ass all day long or hit some whiny twelve year old from across the map with the throwing knife is when it gives you almost no benefit outside of the game. I mean, sure. I guess I found Street Fighter and Tekken more fun when I felt I was getting better at the game and seeing that all my practice had allowed me to go toe-to-toe with people who would previously destroy me in ten seconds. The thing is though, that's only thing being good at fighting games or call of duty style shooters does. I wasted how many years of my life so far with music, but getting better at it has made me many new friends, allowed me academic opportunities I otherwise would not have had and even made me a few bucks here and there. I have more to show for all my dedication I guess.

I suppose that what I'm asking is this: Do you think that, as an adult, putting in mountains of time and effort to become really good at a particular game is actually worth it outside of the game? If so, how?

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These days I just think playing video games is not actually a waste of time, but only if you've already accomplished your to-do list for that day or week. If it's causing you to procrastinate, just stop and do what you're supposed to be doing at that point in time.

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These days I just think playing video games is not actually a waste of time, but only if you've already accomplished your to-do list for that day or week. If it's causing you to procrastinate, just stop and do what you're supposed to be doing at that point in time.

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with that. What I'm asking though is that what is the point in sinking in all sorts of hours into getting really good if there is no real benefit to it outside of the game? Like, with my music example, spending lots of time trying to get good at an art can have other benefits for you in life.

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Because it's fun? You might as well ask why people spend so much time watching sports, or playing music, or reading books. It's a hobby. You do it because you like it. It doesn't have to somehow make you a better, more well-rounded individual in order to justify the time you spend on it. As long as you're not spending so much time on it that other areas of your life suffer (obviously, if you're playing video games instead of, say, going to work, then that's a problem), then there's no harm in it.

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Personal stuff imo. Games made for fun. I spend some time with my friends in fightings, soccer or whatever game, while we drink beer)

I never was a hardcore gamer, never tried to be better. I just played for fun. Or when i don't want to do anything if i'm tired or whatever reason. Sometimes I play if game has something interesting to offer(story). I think i'm not the only one with such opinion.

Games made for fun, to help you.. mm.. relax. If you living in a game, then I say you have a problem. Imo.

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Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with that. What I'm asking though is that what is the point in sinking in all sorts of hours into getting really good if there is no real benefit to it outside of the game? Like, with my music example, spending lots of time trying to get good at an art can have other benefits for you in life.

If it's just a hobby then that's fine, but it won't get you anywhere other than relating with other gamers. Even then, once you get to a more involved and busy life, being able to play games may just help you relate to young kids to appear 'cool', but other than that... Not much benefit, really, IMO. If it's drawing too much attention away from other important things like work, your future kids (maybe), your future spouse, etc., then obviously that's a problem and the time spent on video games should be toned down some. It's really case-by-case.

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playing video games is way more productive than using an iPhone.

I'm not joking.

I feel so much more achieved and honestly smarter after playing video games. I feel stupider and more anti-social after spending hours on an iPhone, which is why I don't own one. video games make me feel way better than using social media and mobile devices.

it's been proven through studies that certain video games actually make one much smarter. in fact, a recent one I saw on Did You Know Gaming:

tumblr_mvwk7zxHGD1rw70wfo1_500.png

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Sometimes I just play games for casual fun, but mostly I like games in the same way someone is really into cars and tinkering around with them. The enjoyment of gaming is for me just as much about knowing how they work beneath the surface, modifying them to suit my needs if I can, and participating in communities centered around that aspect.

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As I get older I mainly want to play a game, enjoy it, and move on. I don't do much replaying anymore. I've never liked fighting games so I can't speak to the desire to get really good at them, but doing endless item runs in a game like Diablo 2 no longer appeals to me.

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There can be a sense of satisfaction gained in doing something well, even if that thing is ultimately insignificant.

This...so much this. Gaming can teach you this kind of dedication and conscientiousness in a risk free environment. As I get older I find myself drawn more and more to rogue-likes and retro gaming on consoles (save state free!). I feel like these games help me become more at peace with the idea that losing or failing is a result of my own my mistakes or the universe taking a dump on me.

I think we spend too much time in this day and age worrying about what is going to "take us somewhere" but what we are really worrying about is how we can achieve some kind of celebrity status. But who cares if games may not contribute this? The idea that we can live life to live life well should be paramount to anything else. Keeping thoughtful gaming as a part of your time budget can totally be a part of making your life better.

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I don't really care if someone decides to spend every waking moment playing video games. They can do what they do. But I laugh my ass off every time someone tries to insinuate that doing so somehow makes them a better person than me in any way whatsoever.

Like I put in just about every game-centric online bio, see my website for a nice, long list of things I've done that take more skill and talent than anything that could be done in a video game.

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As I get older I mainly want to play a game, enjoy it, and move on. I don't do much replaying anymore. I've never liked fighting games so I can't speak to the desire to get really good at them, but doing endless item runs in a game like Diablo 2 no longer appeals to me.

I can relate to every word of this. When I was younger, it certainly wasn't that way. Exception: I replay games from my childhood. A lot.

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As I get older I mainly want to play a game, enjoy it, and move on. I don't do much replaying anymore. I've never liked fighting games so I can't speak to the desire to get really good at them, but doing endless item runs in a game like Diablo 2 no longer appeals to me.

My favorite games end up being the ones that will keep my attention and be entertaining for the whole ride, so in essence I am looking specifically for replay-ability. That said, I agree that super-imposed challenges that go against the games intended mechanics like doing limited runs or lv1 runs are boring and akin to grasping at straws.

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As I get older I mainly want to play a game, enjoy it, and move on. I don't do much replaying anymore. I've never liked fighting games so I can't speak to the desire to get really good at them, but doing endless item runs in a game like Diablo 2 no longer appeals to me.

Nice to know that there are others that feel similarly. I just can't grind anymore...I want an awesome story, and I want getting through it to be fun. I just finished Assassin's Creed 3 at like 40% complete - but it feels 100% complete for me and I loved the game. There's no way I'm going to go around picking up small trinkets and stuff. I find myself unwilling to do things like beat Emerald Weapon, etc, though I still definitely replay the oldies.

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Nice to know that there are others that feel similarly. I just can't grind anymore...I want an awesome story, and I want getting through it to be fun. I just finished Assassin's Creed 3 at like 40% complete - but it feels 100% complete for me and I loved the game. There's no way I'm going to go around picking up small trinkets and stuff. I find myself unwilling to do things like beat Emerald Weapon, etc, though I still definitely replay the oldies.

This, a thousand times over. I'll play the heck out of any side missions/completion grinds that'll give me a little more important story content (mainly character development), but sidequesting just for sidequest's sake isn't interesting to me anymore.

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I think it all boils down to when you're younger you have more time and less money so doing EVERYTHING you can and gets you more entertainment / value. When you get older, you have more money to buy games but way less time to play them, so all the side hunts etc become "probably never going to do it territory" as you stick to mostly just going through the "important" stuff to you. Could be a modern gaming issue too, they pack so much useless stuff in games these days as "filler" for content :/

As with anything, it all depends on what you're doing because gaming is wide spectrum. Like fighters and what not: If you often play competitively, in tourneys or with your friends, learning everything about it can be fun because well.. winning is fun. If you mostly just play casually, there isn't a lot of point to learning every move in the skill set, unless its just something you personally enjoy.

But yeah... like most people say: Not all hobbies lead to something productive. As long as YOU enjoy it, that is all that matters.

Edited by Crowbar Man

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There can be a sense of satisfaction gained in doing something well, even if that thing is ultimately insignificant.

I'm through a good chunk of Castlevania: OoE on hard max lv1, which is similar in the satisfaction, but different in that it's more overcoming the challenge. There's a reason games like Demon Souls have such an appeal. It's like pushing your limits when exercising but without any physical benefit. I have a feeling it hits the same chemicals in your brain (I may be wrong, though; maybe a medical person could confirm/deny this).

I have wasted time getting better in Dustforce (got the Steam Achievement, no Yotta, Peta, Exa or Tera), but I have never been one to play fighting games except for Smash Bros.

I do waste a lot of time playing videogames, watching TV and anime, etc.. I just like doing what I like.

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"Time spent doing something you enjoy is not time wasted."

-Shit, I don't know... Mark Twain? Yeah, let's go with Mark Twain, sounds like something he might say

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So I sort of had this discussion with a co-worker today about people who are waaaaay too good at games. The game in question was Call of Duty, but I think it can apply to any game.

I'll start my little rant by saying I used to be fucking hardcore at fighting games when I was 18 or so. I played them all and had most every combo under the sun imaginable memorized for the characters I played as. I recently decided to get back into Street Fighter IV and picked up Tekken Tag 2. Now, I'm still pretty good as Chun Li in SFIV because her strategies and combos are pretty much burnt into my mind at this point. However, I was in practice mode in TTT2, trying to pull off some of the more complicated juggles with Jun and then I realized something:

"Who the hell cares? I don't have time for this and when I do, I could spend it doing more productive things. Like recording more guitars."

I obviously don't believe that games rot your brain or other bullshit like that, but now that I'm older and have more responsibility I question what the point of being able to juggle some noob's ass all day long or hit some whiny twelve year old from across the map with the throwing knife is when it gives you almost no benefit outside of the game. I mean, sure. I guess I found Street Fighter and Tekken more fun when I felt I was getting better at the game and seeing that all my practice had allowed me to go toe-to-toe with people who would previously destroy me in ten seconds. The thing is though, that's only thing being good at fighting games or call of duty style shooters does. I wasted how many years of my life so far with music, but getting better at it has made me many new friends, allowed me academic opportunities I otherwise would not have had and even made me a few bucks here and there. I have more to show for all my dedication I guess.

I suppose that what I'm asking is this: Do you think that, as an adult, putting in mountains of time and effort to become really good at a particular game is actually worth it outside of the game? If so, how?

Viewing any activity as "a waste of time" is entirely a personal opinion. One person could view video games as a waste of time while another could view building model cars in your basement as a waste of time. Doing something that you enjoy is not a waste of time.

Here is something about why we do what we do when we play video games:

It's very insightful.

For me, I always felt that watching any sporting event, a football game, a baseball game, etc. as a complete waste of time as you get absolutely nothing for watching it. At least with video games you can actually apply some sort of application in your job to get things done but with sports all you get is mindless and dull "entertainment". Since it's such a sacred activity and imbedded in our culture, there's a pretty good chance I get a lot of shit for it so the less I say, the less likely I'll find myself arguing with someone.

An example of gaming actually benefiting you, speed-running a game makes you analyze aspects of the game that you can avoid in order to complete it. You can do the same thing with your job by removing activities that will hinder your overall goal. I work in a giant cooler and actually find myself timing myself breaking down pallets and figure out how I can do it in a more timely matter. Don't knock on video games if it makes you do that.

Speaking of model cars, I actually been to a modal car convention. The cars that people have made are really impressive and I admire the amount of work that was put into them. (Though it was a big ol' sausage fest. The women that were there looked like they wanted to jump out the nearest window.) I don't think it's a waste of time as they were very passionate with what they did.

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