Bailey: Video games are a social skill — start playing

Fynn Bailey

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

It is no longer the ’90s, and video games are no longer a niche topic where “computer enthusiasts” are outside the norm of society. Games are everywhere, whether it’s mobile games, the mass growth of e-sports or Twitch streamers like Ninja who make millions. Gaming has become part of society, just like watching movies did.

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That means video games are no longer something to be ignored or pushed to the fringe. Even more, they have become a social skill set, similar to the old days when people would circle the water cooler and talk about this weekend’s big game. 

According to the American Psychological Association, video games are shown to have positive effects on children’s development of social skills and problem-solving skills.

In 20 years, washed up parents might relive their glory days through pushing their kid into ‘League of Legends.'”

They also help with hand-eye coordination and do not cause violent behavior, contrary to popular belief. There are a lot of benefits beyond just the social aspect, even though that is becoming their most relevant associated skill.

Video games are an area that social interactions are now based around, helping kids get better at talking to others.

Parents already consider what types of games they want their kids playing, but it might become more akin to how parents treat sports or joining a team. In 20 years, washed up parents might relive their glory days through pushing their kid into “League of Legends.”

It’s also hard to ignore the massive amount of job opportunities that video games have created — there’s a lot more than being a streamer or e-sports player. Those e-sports players need team managers, a lot of video editing jobs are coming out of let’s play communities, gaming journalism is growing as games grow and all those game studios need an endless number of programmers.

Even more, they have become a social skill set, similar to the old days when people would circle the water cooler and talk about this weekend’s big game.”

Having a basic understanding of gaming as a field and as a part of society will be important in getting into it — and these coming years will be the time to get in. This is especially true for creative types; look at what Kojima has done to games by making them more cinematic. What director wouldn’t want to make a fully immersive movie that can have much more world building and complex narrative than cinema?

They say the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, and the second-best time to plant one is now. Well, if you haven’t yet, the second-best time to start playing video games is now. Go out there, have some fun and see why this is the one of the biggest media shifts of our generation.

Fynn Bailey can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @FynnBailey.