Friday, June 4, 2010

Video Games Are Optional


There are not 1001 video games you must play before you die.  There’s not even one video game you must play before you die.  If there was a book titled, 1001 Stamps You Must Collect or 1001 Baskets You Must Weave, the absurdity would be obvious.  It should be just as obvious for lists of video games, books, movies, etc. that someone thinks you must consume.

Video games are a hobby.  Unlike gardening, hunting, and bicycling, their real world benefits are negligible to nonexistent.  99% of their value is entertainment.  Does that sound like something you must do?  If you played all 1001 of the games mentioned in this book, would your friends, coworkers, parents, and other people in your life be interested in hearing about it?  Mine wouldn’t, outside the few who enjoy video games, and even they wouldn't be that interested.

In fairness to the writer of this book, maybe the publisher chose the title.  It’s probably a book I’d enjoy flipping through.  But in the end they’re just games.  I’m guessing that most people on their deathbeds aren’t going to regret the games that they didn’t play.  They’re more likely to have some regrets about the amount of time they spent playing games.