In 2006, South Park debuted an episode of titled “Make Love, Not Warcraft.” In the episode, the boys from Colorado became obsessed with the World of Warcraft, a massive online role playing game that continues to host millions of gamers throughout the world. Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny became progressively addicted to the episode, going up against their rival who looked like this:

While this might be an inaccurate representation of the average gamer, it would be my speculation that the average man or woman thinks about gamers in this way. However, speaking on personal experience, I can honestly say that growing up around the world of video games has made me a better person and has improved my life in several ways:

#1- Friendships

During my time in school, be it high school or college, I encountered tons of people in which I had little to no common interests. Video games typically brought people together in the dorms, giant tournaments occasionally breaking out. My best friend and I scheduled time after school every day to sit down and play whatever game was hot. We would always play and talk about life at the same time. Some of my greatest memories center around laughing and having a great time with others. Today, people can connect throughout the world and play for fun or competitively.

#2- Music

Before our modern era of gaming, music was very antiquated. Even though a lot of the songs were catchy, the 8-bit sound tracks could not extend past keyboards with very basic “beeps” and “boops.” Today, video games have provided incredible listening experiences. Symphonic groups will now play entire CDs of music at their concerts, including tracks from Final Fantasy, Zelda, and other famous titles. Personally, I did not enjoy classical music in the past. Now, I cannot get enough of it. Music in today’s game can put me at peace with simplicity and elegance. The track below would often accompany me on long runs through wooded trails:

#3- Personal Reasons

People go to movies to enjoy themselves and get away from the real world for an hour or two. For me, video games have the same effect. If I ever have a bad day at work or have other issues on my mind, playing a video game can help relieve stress. We all have our own methods on how to improve our mindset. Gaming just works for me.

#4- Improving my patience

This factor goes a little under the radar in the world of video games. If you have the opportunity to play any of the Dark Souls video games, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Rushing through and beating the game is not an option. You must take your time and investigate every single nook and cranny. In a world when everyone wants to rush and be done with something as quick as possible, games have taught me to slow down and appreciate patience.

Playing video games have been, and will continue to be part of my life. Even though less time is available in my adulthood to play, I will always find a way. Throughout the years, games have brought me closer to people and have improved my life.

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Andy Wonnacott

Andy Wonnacott

Just a regular dude who wants to shed light on the good happening around us, and how we can change for the better.