The Double Edged Sword.

I was reading a post about Pokémon GO and it detailed how the game is brainwashing people and turning them into zombies. Pretty strong words. Yet I have read so many good stories that Pokémon GO has created. As with anything in life there are good sides and bad sides. Yet I notice some people are biased to one side. I always try to exercise a rounded view and try to consider both sides. I try to look at situations from different angles and consider many points. Something everyone could benefit from.

So this got me to thinking, what are the two sides of gaming. Some people think that games keep people inside and isolated. However not enough people stop to think about the people themselves. As a sufferer of extreme shyness I have always found it hard to talk face to face with people. Through the medium of gaming I can talk to almost anyone. Obviously there are dangers to this so you have to have your wits about you. Another thing to think about is what about people who can’t go outside, maybe due to a fear within them, or a disability. They may take solace in talking to people in games. They may feel less isolated. Isolation leads to feelings of alienation and this can lead to thinking there is no way out.  If gaming can give someone comfort from these darker parts of life then I am all for it.

Again back to Pokémon GO (I know probably the last thing you want to hear.) I love the concept I have read many stories about how people have had positive experiences. To me this is wonderful. I do however realise there are darker sides to the games, risk, exploitation from others, danger etc. It is sad that the game is being misused and people are taking risks they probably wouldn’t do if the game was not there.

I will say that games should be taken with a pinch of salt at times. They can depict violence, non-human activities and dangerous behaviour. Yet some of the games I have played deal with real life events in such a way that it moves you and gives awareness. Life is Strange tackles depression, suicide, violence, bullying.  We see how bullying can affect a person so much that they turn to suicide. It hits you hard when you either loose that person or save them.  In real life we don’t always realise how our actions affect ourselves or others.  Hopefully having this awareness will help people think more about what they are doing.

Games can teach us to work together, whether that is completing a quest, helping a fallen party member back to their feet, or to save someone. These are common things that make us good people in real life.

I also love how games can be used in education. They make learning fun and rewarding.  If a game can make it seem like you’re not being bored to death by learning then that is great.

So all in all there is always black and white in life you just have to see the grey tones in-between.


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