Let me first start by saying I am not a current video game junkie. I probably used to be, but that was more in the Atari-Intellivision-Nintendo days, and even into the beginning of the Play Station 2 days. Now I have too much "other" stuff to do like work all the time so I can pay off bills, which is really too bad. (Does anyone out there not live paycheck to paycheck? If so how do you do that exactly?).
I know that when I did play a lot of video games, I absolutely loved it. For a brief period of time (or sometimes all day/night) you get to be somebody completely different and do something you couldn't even comprehend doing in real life. For instance, I can be some fat, spike-haired dude and still beat the crap out of Tiger Woods in golf. Or run around some fortress picking up guns, bombs, gadgets and blowing the bad guys away. Or going back to my earlier days... I would pull my comb out, put it between my fingers, and hit the 2 buttons like I was having a fricking seizure in Track and Field. I could also be found shoveling token after token into Gauntlet to try and get to the "end "(is it just me or was the Valkyrie chick in that game hot?). You get the idea, the point being playing those games was a great stress reliever and a break from the real world.
Some probably think video games are silly and disturbing, like kids can't tell the difference between what is real and what isn't. Those people would probably prefer that we had games that more represented "real life" and taught some good values and life lessons. I can just imagine one of them designing a game:
"SHELF STOCKER" - You are a shelf stocker at your local supermarket. You just received a big shipment last night of cereal boxes, toiletries, and condiments. It's midnight, and you must get these out on the shelves before your shift is up at 6 AM! But beware, dangers lurk in the aisles! These dangers consist of nearly outdated food, you must rotate as you stock. Also, be aware that if a product is slightly turned sideways you must face that product forwards or the evil night manager will be after you!! Earn bonus points by finishing early and mopping the floor.
"SHOE SALESPERSON" - You are a shoe salesperson for a local shoe store. The object of the game is to be friendly and greet potential customers, get as many sales and satisfied customers as you can before your shift is over. Watch out for old ladies with bunions and smelly feet. You may need to recommend a shoe stretcher for customers that truly believe they have size 7 feet when really they are size 10. Be sure to ramp up sales by offering a nice hand bag and polish along with purchase of multiple shoes! Beware of district manager that will show up unexpectedly to make sure you are successfully selling! He will undoubtedly be in a bad mood every time you see him because he can't believe he is district manager for some two-bit shoe company and is reminded of his short comings every night by his wife who is having an affair on him and has kids that don't respect him whatsoever, but they do have some kick-ass LA Gears.
So let's support our youth in their quest for video gaming, do they need to still go outside and run around and get some exercise...well yes. But we all (any of you around my age - 30's) played video games and ended up fine, so should they. Everyone ends up being the "Shelf Stocker" or "Shoe Salesperson" soon enough anyways...