A common notion of the video gaming community is that it’s mainly unproductive and destructive for college students. Multiple students share their stories on how gaming has impacted their priorities, skill development, friendships, and their overall lifestyle.
Video gaming is a case by case topic, but some similarities can be found. CSUSB third year history major, Nathan Arguello, expressed that he averages around four to six hours of playing video games a day. He said his daily amount usually “revolves around his schedule for the day” depending on his shift at work, activities with his church, and wanting to hang out with friends.
For most gamers, playing video games is an outlet from the harsh realities of the world. It serves as a place where they can make choices without having to fear the consequences, kill some time and relax with friends, and it even serves as a place to connect them with people all over the world. Despite his daily amounts of video games seeming to be high, Arguello is a studious scholar who is maintaining passing grades in all of his classes and always seems to get his work done.
Many people who don’t understand the lifestyle of a gamer assume that their priorities are mixed up, they aren’t physically fit, and their social skills are underdeveloped. This isn’t the case with third year kinesiology major Ayed Irshed. Irshed expressed that during his teen years, he averaged four to six hours of gaming but now with a full schedule of college classes, going to the gym five to six days a week, and running a business, he can only afford one to two hours.
“Video games were destructive in my priorities as a young teenager, but that was greatly because of the lack of responsibilities,” says Irshed. “Now, as an adult, I have the self control to limit my indulgence of gaming to where it’s enjoyable but not to the point where I place it higher than other aspects of my life.”
The luxury of playing video games comes with moderation, like everything else in life. It’s very easy to lose track of time, so one method Irshed mentioned he uses is that he makes sure all of his homework is done and any other productivity he had planned out for his day before he can relax with video games. It serves as a reward system for him, and undermines the conception of gamers having a bad work ethic.
Joshua Pearson, third year information in system and technology major with a concentration in
cyber security, shared how playing video games has helped him beneficially. “I grew up playing
a lot of games that incorporated solving puzzles that require skillful thinking that actually helped
improve my critical thinking skills past what the education system had helped me with so far,” says Pearson.
Studies have also proven that playing video games increases hand eye coordination and quicker
reaction times due to the fact that certain games heavily rely on those qualities to perform well.
Another positive attribute that can be produced through gaming is the social aspect of talking to
people from all walks of life. There are many personal stories of complete strangers playing video games together online who remain in contact for multiple years before they finally meet in person and, sometimes, people gain lifelong friends from that. Especially with the recent lockdown events from COVID-19, video games remained a primary source of communication between friends who couldn’t meet in person.
Former CSUSB graduate Mason Portales described gaming during that time period as “therapeutic and enjoyable.”
“During this time, it was hard to feel connected to anyone,” said Portales. “Playing games with
my closest friends and even my pastor from church sometimes helped me a ton. A lot of conversations happen over the headset during these hours of gaming, it can range from advice about different hardships in life, cracking jokes and creating laughter, making future plans, and even deep talks about religion, intimate relationships, and aspirations for the future.”