what is the reason for playing games
Assassin creed is full of bloody depictions of merciless crimes (or at least that is what one would be convicted to, had he slid some other man’s throat, the world was different in the olden days). CS:GO is all about shooting people and splatters appearing around the head of your enemy are supposed to be smoothed by the way you call killing – a frag. There are some outright dark personas in online gaming, game companies even, specializing in particularly nasty, psychodelic horror stories (remember ‘_observer’?) or other nastiness. Blood, gore, swearing or, in most vivid form, shooting another avatar with pink colored ray that mutilates the opponent.
seriously? Where is the benefit of playing games then? Worrying parents would say – nowhere, they should all be banned. Well, let’s have a look. Many of the contemporary games are seemingly mindless. Taking a look at a history of the (gatunek) reveals quite some opposite. Chess is teaching logical thinking (and has been for centuries if not millenia) and was promoted and played by kings and peasants alike. GO is famously complicated, emotional, uses aesthetics. Football in its many forms is being professionally played by thousands, watched by millions and (attempted to be) played by even more, teaches physical strength, mental strength, technique, spacial cognition. Fencing was in the past a real battle between selected representatives of battling tribes with an aim to limit human losses of entire tribal population.
where do we go from here
Games give us a way to test how the behavior would look like in reality, test the behavior and test the collaboration. Humans can use games as a surrogate for real situations, test their own and opponents moves , strategize and, let’s not forget this one, have fun in a safe environment, develop strategies that can be used in real life.
Yes, actions games tend to be more popular these days than chess, go, RPG games however, let’s not underestimate the learning opportunities created by Minecraft, CS:GO and other games. Especially the multiplayer aspect and ability to collaborate in an environment mimicking real life, strategizing.
Are we the only species on earth playing games? Apparently not. Animals have fun much like we humans do but also use the game and play to practice speed and balance, other skills, they will be able to use in later life when facing a predator.
Let’s stop demonizing games then and start thinking how we can enrich the experience so that the players (kids as well as, increasingly, adults) can advance and make their future life better. all the while having fun, of course, which is the main point of and magnetism of games. Including computer games. including the online multiplayer shooting games. and the tetris. and the Apex Legend. and the interactive Netflix’s bandersnatch film. and world of Warcraft. and mario brothers.