Why turn to video games?

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Playing video games is one of the most common teen past times. SafeYouth.org reports that almost 75 percent of students own video gaming equipment at home, and school-going students play video games for 53 minutes on average per day. Since 1996, the computer and gaming industry has almost tripled its sales, and with such prevalence and popular use, many AHS students have also experienced the irresistible draw of the gaming world.

Much of our generation has Pokemon to thank for their interest in video games.

“I started gaming when I was seven, with classic games like Pokemon and Legend of Zelda ,” said sophomore Tim Van Lieu. “My father introduced them to me, and I couldn’t stop playing these for hours,” he said.

Teens today turn to video games often as a means of procrastination.

“I frequently play video games instead of doing my homework,” said junior Jenna Truong. “It’s a great way to escape from all the work I have to do,” she added.

Many AHS students argue that playing video games is a welcome break from everyday life.

“I usually play video games after I get home from school. I’m usually really bored, and it’s a great way to chill,” said senior Huong Nguyen.

“It’s really great stress relief, and an awesome way to transport yourself to another world for just a little while,” said Van Lieu.

Video games are also great ways to meet new people who have similar interests.

“It’s great to be able to always sit down with friends, and play a few rounds of any game,” said junior Brandon Morrison.

Contrastingly, AHS is also home to some very serious gamers.

“I have created my own version of Pac Man,” said senior Ryan Bates, who is very interested in game development. “I love playing video games because it is really interesting how they’re programmed,” he said.

“I play all sorts of video games, like Mass EffectBioshock and City of Heroes,” said Van Lieu. “It is great stress relief, not to mention the fact that it’s just plain awesome!”

These gamers often view video games as a great way to create, implement and improve strategy, hand-eye coordination and reaction time. “Dedication, practice and the ability to adapt quickly is very important while you’re gaming. If something in the game isn’t going my way, I don’t panic, I simply adapt and make best of it,” said Cha.

But most importantly, the fact that video games present an alternative reality is what draws teens to them the most. “Gaming brings us to common land of another world, where we can do what we want. It’s a jump away from reality, and sometimes, that’s all really need,” said Morrison.

“Videogames is like reading a book; it takes me to places that aren’t real. And surprisingly, I learn more from playing videogames than most of my classes at school,” said Cha.

So what advice do advanced gamers have for noobs?

“Build your own video games,” said Bates. “It’s much more exciting and challenging,” he said.

“The most important thing about gaming is to have fun with it,” said Van Lieu. “Don’t listen to your friends’ reviews–play the game once, if you like it, you like it, and if you don’t, you don’t.”