"I don't," she replied, to my everlasting shock.
But in spite of my twisted perceptions, as video games advanced and grew, there did seem to be a widening gap -- not based on age, but authority. As a twenty year old university student, I remember my mom having a near heart attack when she glanced over my shoulder and realized I'd logged over seventy hours on Final Fantasy Seven. From her perspective, this was scary territory: how could I spend so much time in a fantasy world when I had a job (which I was always on time for) and was a full time student (making honor roll and maintaining my scholarship).
Which brings me to the first lie your momma might've told you...
1. Video games make you irresponsible.
It's a cultural stereotype: the video game addict so obsessed with gaming that their personal lives fall apart. The Guild spoofed this really well with Clara, the character who left her kids in a department store with a baby monitor while she met with her guild. But for every Clara -- and they do exist -- there are ten people next door being responsible parents, volunteers, even teachers -- all of whom go home and log in, or turn on, as a hobby.
The truth: gaming is a hobby. People who obsess will obsess over them as they would anything else, but most people don't find video games brainwash them.
2. Video games make you fat.
Video games make you fat in the same way that reading makes you fat. They're both inactive ways of spending your time that are entirely cerebral. If anything, video games have more movement involved than reading. So yes, doing any activity that doesn't involve physical activity twelve hours a day will probably result in weight gain and a slew of health problems. But let's not blame it on video games.
The truth: balance is key in anything and everything we do. Video games are no exception.
3. Video games make you stupid.
It's ironic to me to look back on the history of the novel. In the 19th century, novels were considered trash -- especially certain genres of novels. If your parents caught you reading them (especially if you were a respectable young woman), they would be horrified and certain that you were on your way to a horrible future. Fast forward a hundred years, and we've replaced novels with video games, where most parents would be thrilled to see their kids reading just about anything and despair of them playing games. Fast forward another hundred and, well, who knows?
The thing is, the research flies in the face of this lie. Video games sharpen mental reflexes. They make you think fast, approach problems creatively, and develop a spirit of perseverance. Video games are intellect trainers, which is why so many teachers use them in their classrooms.
The truth: Video games train your brain.
There are so many myths about video games that should be dispelled, and these are the top three. A lot of intelligent, loving mothers unintentionally lied to their kids about these things. Let's not keep the myths going!
Question of the Day:
What are some myths about video games you wish you could clear up?
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