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Are computer games a waste of time?

Yes, it definitely is! I played “Counter-Strike” for years, but I would do it again if I’d given the chance to choose.

First I need to clarify the term “waste of time”. My definition is simple: You are wasting time if you are doing nothing productive, nothing that will help you in your future life. Unless you want a job as a Beta-Tester for computer games, I don’t think an “e-sport award” will help you get it.

So why would I choose -again- to waste my time with a game like “Counter-Strike” if I’d given the choice again? I have played a lot of computer games in my life and I once even went so far that I bought myself a new computer just to play “Half-Life 2″. With 6 hours gaming each day, that’d be around 10,000 hours now. In this time, I could have learned 5 languages, read thousands of books, earned one’s fortune, maybe rediscovered the relativity theory or maybe I could have lost self-confidence and ended up home-less.

A computer game is nothing more than a game. And just like any other game, it’s recreation. There is one major difference though, computer games are far more addicting. Take MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Games) for example, I hardly know anyone who could stop playing before he finished the game. Of course, a good game in general is supposed to be so fascinating that you will want to finish it, but what if there is no end? All modern MMORPGs are designed to be endless, which is the reason I like to compare them with drugs – once you started playing, you won’t be able to stop.

It’s easy to get addicted, especially for children. I got addicted to the very first computer games when I was only 8 years old. My parents realized it quite quickly and allowed me to play games only in the weekend. On weekdays, I could only “use” the computer. On a stormy day, dieing from boredom at home, I started “Qbasic” and started learning programming. I was around 10 years old at that time. If I didn’t “wasted my time” there to play “Prince of Persia”, I’d never be interested in computers, not to mention programming.

I now study “computer engineering” and I still play computer games every day, even on my cell phone. And yes, I am kind of addicted. I love playing computer games, I can really relax when playing. But at the same time, I hate them. They robbed me so much time, especially before written exams and at night. Time I could have used to improve my grade or my productivity by not being sleepy all day long. But on the other hand, I had so much joy talking about all those computer games, playing them together with friends. What would life be without fun? We need to waste some of our time to be happy. Without happiness, we would end up on the street.

“Wasting time” can be done in a lot of ways, so why choose computer games? There is only one logical reason for me. As mentioned before, they are very addicting. But this also has a positive side effect which is very important. While playing computer games, you can’t do something stupid. Compared to other activities, they are pretty harmless. A friend of mine started to take drugs and ended up jobless because he didn’t like games. As for me, the worst thing that happened to me is being called a “cs freak”. And because computer games are so addicting, there was no way for me to waste my time any other way.

That’s exactly why I’d choose to play computer games again if I’d be given the choice: Joy, Fun, Happiness and not being able to get on the way to ruin.

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One Response to “Are computer games a waste of time?”

  1. david:

    i feel a lil bit like you.. i have played that shit since 5 years or something.. now im on the fucking university studying odontology.. and im plaing like 60% than before.. i guess imcontroling myself correctly..
    i started playing prince of persia and doom… lol good times..