I often attribute a lot of my skills and good traits (maybe less so my personaly) to video games.  I should qualify that a little bit.  Video games do not inherently give you any kind of skills whatsoever.

When I was younger, we’d go on field trips to say, the tech museum or the exploratorium or such.

If you take me as my 5th-grade self (ok fudge some years or whatever), the experience i got out of the exploratorium is completely different than what the rest of my classmates got.

It’s a bit of a spectrum…here, let me paint you some example pictures.

1) Kid walks from exhibit to exhibit in order.  He stops at each one, briefly looking at it before reading the entire description below and processing the information.  He then interacts with the experiment in an attempt to solidify his understanding of the concept trying to be taught.  Thoughts run through his mind: “So…if this is the way that things work, then if I do -this-, then…”

2) Kid has his interest piqued by an exhibit that looks cool.  Whoa, it really looks cool.  Kid tries to play with it and is even more intrigued.  Figures that because there are magnet symbols and because it deals with metal, magnetism must be what’s causing this phenomenon.  But mainly, whoa it looks really cool.  Didn’t know magnets could do that.  Very interesting…

3) Kid runs up to an exhibit.  Tries to play with it.  Whoa.  Makes a cool sound.  Let’s bang on it some more…and harder!  Hey what’s that other thing over there?–

…something like that; you get the point.  I’m positive some of these people had lots of fun and learned absolutely nothing.

We can draw a similar analogy with classes, and talk about learning things versus trying to copy down everything the professor says, versus memorizing plugandchug mindless shenanigans.

And yes, we can make the same kind of distinctions about video games.  So it really depends on what kind of experience you get out of a game.  One could argue that games like GTA/Halo/[insert mainstream-known game that involves shooting here 9_9] incites a certain kind of feeling about violence, but obviously that can’t be true for everyone.  I can argue just as well that The Sims encourages violence, because there are certain people who will play The Sims, and the first thing they will do is try to lock up their imaginary citizens in windowless doorless rooms and try to kill them.

As an unrelated side note, I can imagine and seem to recall a lot of stories about people discovering faith and converting to some religion or another.  But for some reason, I can’t seem to recall ever hearing stories about someone -losing- their faith in said religion.  why is that?  Does that just not happen, or is it because you just never hear about it?


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