Though I don't play much anymore, computer games are certainly a part of my past. As a parent or caregiver, one might ask, are games really of any redeeming value, or just an empty distraction with a danger of addiction? The answer to both of those questions is of course yes. Games can be good, but often aren't, and they certainly can do a number on your dopamine regulation. Like any form of entertainment, games are typically designed to be as contagious and addicting as possible, and to appeal to our baser instincts. However they are also capable of both artistic endeavour and high education - like any other form of entertainment. With that in mind I've compiled a list of games I recommend as being of actual value, either scholastically or artistically:
There are others I could recommend, all of which have merits. But there is even a downside to games which purport to be educational such as the above; gamification, or the idea that everything should be fun. As you know, a lot of life and learning is neither fun nor easy. Games, and particularly the more popular titles, tend to provide quick and easy dopamine hits which can detract from the motivation to achieve hard goals in real life. As with a lot of internet content, people can become accustomed to that quick fix, and neglect to do the hard yards to achieve longer-lasting happiness.
But games are hardly alone in this regard, so what this means is that like any other form of media, gaming should be in moderation - time should be monitored as well as content. For every Fez, there's a Fortnite and for every 'This war of Mine', there's an 'Among us'. Games come and go as fads nowadays, and are kind of the modern equivalent of what music was in the 80's and 90's. So which concerts do you allow your kids to go to?
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