Why do people think video games are a waste of time?

Bryan^H

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I have been hearing this for years, and every time I hear it makes me feel rather low considering it is one of my main hobbies.

I heard it yesterday from a co-worker "my boyfriend and his stupid video games", and a while back another co-worker said he wants to throw the Xbox his wife bought for his son (I would never buy that garbage for him) on the curb and saying his son was going to become stupid if he doesn't stop wasting his time on games. He was so angry about it, I didn't even mention to him that I am a gamer.

Even Roger Ebert once said "video games are not art"


What is the stigma? Why do people frown on video games but accept nearly all other forms of entertainment?
 

Radioman970

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It's the ones they made anti cheat systems because of that are wasting their time. Me? yesterday? 7 hours straight in Elite dangerous? I hate bragging on myself baby but... I got the goods in hand/eye coordinates... I'm sharp! I did one battle, he left his wake behind and I didn't follow in time.. almost had him too!! He was harmless, wanted, in a giant ship! aargghhh!!! I had my load out needing some tweaking but i"ll do some target practice later! I spent the whole time traveling around seeing sights, selling the cartography, making some deliveries... I was smiling when I turned it off. I work a job, paid for the pc, bought the game that's from the one in the 80s I loved so much on my C64! went to sleep, dreamed I bought a $500,000 ship, looked more like 500,000,000 giant ship in my dream but still.. woke up smiling... all this happiness... waste of time? What would someone have me do instead? that's what I'd asked! the person saying it's a waste of time...maybe for them! not me! I guess that same can be said for those cheaters... they having fun... and in the world the way it is today being a cheater seems to be what gets you ahead...

anyway, need to walk the dogs... (for real) then... fire up my ship!!! hee hee hee!!
 
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Morgan Jolley

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People hate the things that they don't enjoy and don't understand. The next time someone goes off on videogames, just use their exact argument and rip into TV shows or comic book movies or sports cars or watching sports or whatever their hobby is, explain that it's a waste of time that costs more money than it's worth, and they'll either see that their argument is stupid or the irony will escape them and they'll just get defensive.
 

Radioman970

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oh, out walking I remembered yesterday it got too late to walk them. they HATE games too. lol

this morning I watched Mister Rogers from 1979, then Sesame Street from 1973, electric company from 72, new zoo revue from 72, You Can't do that on TV from 82, Family Double DAre from 1990... how many think this 50+ old wasted his time? I don't know what I could do to get the same refueling my mind effect I got out of all these classic kid shows! I just don't know! someobdy else might be bored stiff at this and tell me I shouldn't waste time on this boring stuff!
 
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Edwin-S

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People only see it from their POV. If their hobby is camping or boating or whatever then they consider their time well spent.

Any activity that they don't do is considered a waste. What is ironic is how many of them will get offended and start trying to convince a person, who criticize their hobbies, that their hobbies are time well spent.

They can never put themselves in the other person's shoes when they start bitching about how someone else is spending their free time.
 

JoeDoakes

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A few reasons. For one, they are sort of a waste of time. You don't go any where, you get no exercise, and you don't accomplish anything. In that way, they aren't dissimilar to channel surfing while sitting on a couch. The other big reason is that they are not very welcoming to nongamers. Traditionally, if one person in a house was watching a movie or tv show, someone else might be drawn in by the story or details and start watching. With games, unless one is already into electronic games, that is unlikely to occur, and very few people want to watch others play games. Moreover, if the gamer is playing on a phone, anyone else only sees someone totally immersed in a small gadget and not very interested in the outside world, including others in the house with the gamer. That can be grating. So those are some of the reasons people hate video games.
 

Russell G

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I think it's the same elitist mind set where Classical music and opera is culture and Rock is garbage. Comic books were for the illiterate, now Hollywood and our culture is dominated by them. Some video games are junk, some are transcendent and can really expand your thinking and life. It's all the same thing.People like what they like and target the stuff they don't. I pay it no mind. Fandom is fandom.

The people thinking you wasted two-three hours playing a video game (or all f*cking night playing Skyrim...) are the same people that will watch football or Nascar for 8 hours on a Sunday and tell you about the human drama. It's all the same BS that helps us cope with our lives.

It's only an issue if YOU think you are playing too much video games. Which is a whole other can of bees.
 

Edwin-S

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A few reasons. For one, they are sort of a waste of time. You don't go any where, you get no exercise, and you don't accomplish anything. In that way, they aren't dissimilar to channel surfing while sitting on a couch. The other big reason is that they are not very welcoming to nongamers. Traditionally, if one person in a house was watching a movie or tv show, someone else might be drawn in by the story or details and start watching. With games, unless one is already into electronic games, that is unlikely to occur, and very few people want to watch others play games. Moreover, if the gamer is playing on a phone, anyone else only sees someone totally immersed in a small gadget and not very interested in the outside world, including others in the house with the gamer. That can be grating. So those are some of the reasons people hate video games.
Being engrossed in an activity and being oblivious to others is hardly limited to Gamers. It can apply to any hobbyist or even to a person who spends all of their time looking at their phone, without being a Gamer.
 

CraigF

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Considering that playing video games is much more involving in every way than watching any movie, this may not be the best place for arguments. Play the game now, see the same CGI stuff (more polished) and ideas in the movies in 2-3 years. You can participate (game), or you can just watch (movie). They're both "a waste of time", I don't hugely discriminate. So is me listening to music, or playing music, and probably sleeping too.

Edit: I am extremely unathletic, but don't look it...I have no competitve drive at all. I do almost all the things people here used as examples of "wasting time". :) I do know there are people who think doing anything that doesn't make you $$ is a waste of time. They don't even much care about the money, it's a philosophy.
 
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BobO'Link

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My wife, a non gamer, complains about our oldest grandson playing video games "all the time." I'll agree that he gets a bit too involved at times but my objections are more a "take a break every few hours and do something different." But would she complain if he spent the same amount of time reading books? Both can be time wasters. Both can be rewarding.

People think they're a "waste of time" because that's what they've been told to think by media outlets and "experts" in such things. No one seems to want to see the benefits of playing video games.

IMHO they're far less wastes of time than hunting, fishing, watching sports, or just about any other "passive" type hobby/activity.
 

DaveF

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With parents and kids, I see it as the worry over the way kids obsessively play, to the detriment of everything else (school and grades, eating, personal hygiene). If they don’t understand the social aspects (or the kid doesn’t play socially), it’s seen as just staring at the monitor for hours, completely isolated and passive. And for those who do play online, they worry and get frustrated by the anti-social behaviors that can develop (anger and yelling and cursing over lost games and bad teammates, or repeating offensive things heard from other online gamers).

That said, my experience is many more people are into games or at least view them as just another thing. I haven’t heard anyone flatly denigrate them in a long time. And the worry over kids that I see isn’t an inchoate hate of gaming, more worries of too much gaming.
 

Morgan Jolley

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I agree with Bob's point that people would have a very different view of games if you were to replace them with books. They're just as immersive, they close you off to the world, they involve sitting still for long periods of time, but books are considered good while games are bad. It's a cultural/generational thing.

The issue with kids/teens getting too immersed in games is a problem, but it's the sort of thing that people do at that age. Maybe it's games, maybe it's watching sports, maybe it's playing sports, maybe it's scanning YouTube for videos about the flat earth, maybe it's reading comics...whatever a teen is doing, they're going to do it obsessively. It just so happens that games are extremely popular and common in our culture right now.

However, there absolutely is a problem with modern games incorporating too many tricks to get players hooked and addicted. Things like loot boxes, random mechanics, flashy graphics with fun sounds, etc. are common in mobile games and free games (like Fortnite). This is kind of a bad thing and it affect more than just teens. A lot of adults (like, retirees) are addicted to free mobile games that ask for money and offer rewards for playing daily. Now THAT is a waste of time...in my opinion.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have been hearing this for years, and every time I hear it makes me feel rather low considering it is one of my main hobbies.

I heard it yesterday from a co-worker "my boyfriend and his stupid video games", and a while back another co-worker said he wants to throw the Xbox his wife bought for his son (I would never buy that garbage for him) on the curb and saying his son was going to become stupid if he doesn't stop wasting his time on games. He was so angry about it, I didn't even mention to him that I am a gamer.

Even Roger Ebert once said "video games are not art"


What is the stigma? Why do people frown on video games but accept nearly all other forms of entertainment?
I simply don't have time for video games. In my spare time, I rather watch sports, movies or TV series. However, my discontent with sports and TV series is growing so I'm starting to transition to watching more movies. With that said, I have nothing bad to say about video games as I think people should entertain themselves as they see fit.
 

Radioman970

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my eyes were burning, the joints in my neck shoulders arms hands back all hurting so badly i had problems doing things at work. i was losing sleep and not eating enough. It got to where I thought about it and just couldn't do without the heroin. I needed it 25/7. is it time for heroin yet? is it time? for.... ... oh wait! not heroin...minecraft! lol
 

Jeff Cooper

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I agree it's a generational thing. There are still tons of people alive now who were alive when video games didn't exist. Those people see video games as 'kiddie' stuff, because only their kids did them when they became a thing. When today's kids are all grown up, the stigma will go away, because that's what a great majority of them did their whole life.

But if anything gives you entertainment, satisfaction and positivity, then I can't say it's a 'waste of time'.
 

Bryan^H

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All good points.

But in my experience adults in general (the people I know) hate video games (and I have heard an awful lot of it for me to start a thread about it) They never budge on their stance that video games are stupid and likely never will.

I'm 45 and a lot of the time when a conversation gets started with another adult about video games I don't even speak up and tell the person I am a gamer. I honestly think they will think less of me. Yet their interests such as binging shows on Netflix, or leisure time activities are just perfect. It doesn't seem fair.
 
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Edwin-S

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Unfortunately, when someone is irrationally bigoted against something, be it other races or even an activity, fairness is the furthest thing from their mind. Look at how a lot teachers in the Fifties thought children reading comics was damaging and that the medium was trash because it supposedly got in the way of "real" reading. Thanks to people like them and Frederic Wertham, comics as a legitimate medium to tell stories was stunted for decades.
 

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