Don’t tell me video games are a waste of time

Stills+were+taken+from+%22Life+is+Strange%22+for+iOS.

Destinee Sims

Stills were taken from “Life is Strange” for iOS.

Brian Melgar, Sports Reporter

 For many students like myself, we have found ourselves with additional spare time since the stay-at-home order was issued in response to the new coronavirus. I know that for myself, both the lack of commute and the switch to the online delivery of classes contributed to my ability to have much more time to enjoy my hobbies. In this case, I started working on playing a lot of video games that I had I had in my “backlog;” the games I had purchased previously but have yet to play.  

  If you’ve spent some time browsing social media, you likely saw that many people feel that everyone who is stuck inside during this time should be spending it doing productive activities, such as exercising, learning to cook, or continuing to work on their artistic pursuits. It isn’t often that I see others advocating for people to play more video games with their free time, and I think that it is because many people see video games as a hobby that ultimately results in a waste of time, opposed to doing something that is viewed as productive. That’s where I respectfully disagree. 

  During this quarantine, I found myself playing two games in particular during most of my free time: “Persona 5 Royal” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”. Both of these games are notorious for being very long and time-consuming experiences.  

  According to the website howlongtobeat.com, “Persona 5 Royal” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” take 141 hours and 175 hours to complete, respectively. I logged the amount of time to finish both games, and both of those numbers are very accurate from my experience. This is all a very long-winded way of saying that these games are time investments, and as such, are ultimately is seen by some as a colossal waste of time. 

  I’ve always held the philosophy that time you enjoy wasting is not time wasted. There are precious few things that can bring simple joy to us, especially during difficult times, and video games can be one of those things for many of us. I don’t see it as 300+ hours of time that I could’ve spent doing something more beneficial for my future or my education, but rather as 300+ hours that I enjoyed and that helped me take my mind off of current issues and the stress that comes with them.  

  For those who find some peace of mind in playing video games, it’s important to remember that just because someone else sees them as a waste of time, it doesn’t mean that those who enjoy them have to give them up to appease someone else. 

  During the hours I spent playing “Persona” and “Animal Crossing,” I laughed, cried, smiled, and cheered while experiencing the stories and gameplay offered. All of those emotions that I experienced would have been lost had I listened to those that are busy clamoring for people to spend their free time being arbitrarily productive, rather than for someone such as myself to be sitting on the couch and enjoying a fun digital experience with a video game console and a controller.