I usually try and think things out before I make any decisions, and the creation of this website is a pretty good example. I knew what I wanted this site to be and what I didn’t want it to be. As I was planning the content for play2relax.com, I made the decision that I would not include any content on computer games or video games.
I made this decision for the following reasons:
- I felt that video games isolate people and inhibit social interaction.
- As an educator, my experience has been that children spend way too much time playing video games.
- I felt that video games do not promote any cognitive development or real-world problem solving skills.
- I stink at video games. I stank at Pong and it never really got any better for me.
I now believe that this was not the best decision. What began as some research on World of Warcraft, which is an online game that I do play, has now lead me to a good deal of research that has made me rethink my position on this very popular aspect of gaming. I have played World of Warcraft for over a year now, and I still enjoy how it allows me to interact with my friends without having to try and get everyone at the same place at the same time. We all get online and use a program called Teamspeak that allows us to talk to each other while we play. It has allowed us more time together than we’ve had in ten years. This site on MMOGs and Your Teen, not only gives a good explanation of MMOGs, but also examines some of the strengths and potential problems with games like World of Warcraft.
As I read some of the research on video games, I realized that there is a good amount of evidence against reasons one and three for not including video games and online games in play2relax.com. The second and fourth reasons are still valid. I still think kids do spend too much time playing video games and I really do stink at them, but that doesn’t prevent me from having fun while I play them. I still do not plan on focusing on video games in my regular play2relax.com content, but they may show up occasionally as I will no longer exclude them from my reindeer games. I would still rather sit around a table and roll dice or play cards with real people, and I believe there is no substitute for that kind of fun, but to not discuss video games at all would be counterproductive in my opinion.