I recently watched this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKBRG_QgEAM and read this article http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/51954?page=1. Both of them relate to game addiction and how it's negatively impacted the lives of two different individuals.
I already knew about the bad things that can come from gaming before I read/watched the article and video, but both of them made me think more deeply about things that I've always had on the back of my mind while playing games, buying games and posting on gaming forums. I always feel guilty for doing those things, I sometimes hesitate before turning on my Playstation and then when I'm done, I feel bad about all the time I wasted doing something that doesn't provide me with a useful reward.
I think back to all the times that I had an opportunity to do something productive with my time, but instead I played Oblivion for seven hours. I count all the games on my shelves and I remember how much money I've spent. I look at myself now and I realise that I'm living a second life. No one knows I play games extensively, no one knows about VG Chartz, Giant Bomb and Neogaf, no one knows about all those gaming podcasts on my I-pod and all these things make feel a little lonely. In highschool I was a Student Leader (Prefect), I had heaps of friends, I set up charities, went out all the time, hung out with my friends nearly every day and then as soon as University started, everyone dissappeared. I have a few friends left that I rarely see, I'm struggling in my course, I feel a little depressed and I've come to the conclusion that it all leads back to gaming.
Are games worth it? What do I get out of putting 100 hours into Fallout 3? Who am I talking to when I go online (forums or games)? What am I getting out of games that I can later use in life, what is my goal and achievement in these virtual worlds. I can't find an answer outside of just being entertained, but TV's, music and books also entertain, but they also take much less time to finish and none of them are continuous once the main storyline is done.
I'm not an addict by any means, but I do play a lot of games and I do visit a lot of forums and the amount of time they take out of my day can be pretty significant sometimes. Like right now for example, I should be asleep so I can get up early in the morning, go to the gym, do some shopping, but instead I'm making this thread.
My question to VG Chartz is, do you feel guilty for playing too many games? Is it worth it in the long run? Should being a Hardcore Gamer be something to brag about?
Bet with Conegamer and AussieGecko that the PS3 will have more exclusives in 2011 than the Wii or 360... or something.