How wrong the adults of my childhood were about “those” video games.
Video games have been a target of controversy for as long as they’ve existed. Much like any new technology, older generations saw no value in it and thought it was destroying children. Much how TV destroyed children before that, and radio before that, and comics before that…
Think these days are over? HA! Remember the uproar over fidget spinners?
Nintendo started me down a writer’s path.
I recently posted about how important it is to give your 100% to everything and to be grateful for opportunities that come your way. The summary is how by expressing gratitude for an “Exceeded my Expectations” review on a project I wrote, I was selected as a go-to for this client of my client – a tech company.
I used to dream of writing for Nintendo Power Magazine. It was what got me into reading, as a child. Fast forward to adulthood, I get paid (well) to write articles about the very technology that my parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, etc. all said would ruin my life.
Nintendo instilled my interest in Shakespeare.
Dragon Warrior introduced me to completely foreign concepts. It was the first time I read any speech with words such as “thee” and “thy.” I found it fascinating, and it fueled my interest in Shakespeare and the middle ages.
Nintendo taught me important life skills.
Dragon Warrior is also the reason I understand cardinal directions and how to read a map. The role-playing game also introduced me to concepts such as grinding – repeating boring tasks with your eyes on the prize, saving money aside for big purchases, and inventory management (prioritizing your possessions). The very modern concept of people “leveling up” comes straight from role-playing games.
Wall Street Kid introduced me to the stock market. Though I wasn’t an investor at 8, I learned more basics about the market in that game than most of my current adult friends know, and absolutely more than my family knew.
The Legend of Zelda series helped me celebrate being left-handed in an era when teachers still tried to force children to be righties.
Nintendo supplied my self-esteem.
I was a runt of a child, with that being exacerbated by the poor diet of a lower-class upbringing. I couldn’t throw, catch, or do the things that rural folk demand of young boys. However, I was GREAT at video games. They were my only source of feeling any sense of accomplishment until they bolstered my self-esteem enough to explore other interests.
Video games’ effect on my adulthood.
My skills as a linguist and strategist allowed me to have a great career as a business and finance paralegal before becoming a writer. I have accomplished a lot thanks to a willingness to grind and explore alternative solutions, things I learned from gaming.
Now that I’m a parent…
I know that my children are not personal clones of me and may have their own aptitudes and interests. I have been able to coach my children based on these things, leading them to having a more well-rounded experience. Both of my kids got into sports, art, reading, and creating. My youngest even wishes to become a therapist to help guide others to maximize their potential.
Hmm…gaming even made me a better parent.
Sorry to the parents who want to blame the video games for how their kids turned out. But, it wasn’t the games. I can get the appeal of giving them the credit, it is low-hanging fruit, but many kids who have played video games who turned out just fine.
Kids I have played video games with are now comptrollers, middle management, doctors, lawyers, and engineers.
We might not game as much as we did in the 80s and 90s, but that is when blaming video games for youthful violence took off. Anything to distract from the violence that sports can induce in people, I guess.
Whelp, I better get a couple of practice rounds of Fortnite in before my daughter gets home from class. Feel free to follow me on social media on FB at Neth Words and on Twitter @nethwords to keep abreast of workshops, videos, and books in the making.
Related Journaling Prompts: What interests of mine have others undervalued but offered a lot to me? Did I quit those interests? Should I revisit them?