Video games leisure or obsession?

By Robert Riches
February 13, 2012

For many students at Cabrini, or any other educational institution worldwide, video games have always provided a nice source of excitement, entertainment and relaxation.

This can be said whether or not video games are played on an older console, such as a Nintendo Entertainment System, or a newer console, such as the Xbox 360, or played with the rugged-looking eight-bit graphics of older times to the stunning high-definition graphics shown on xbox 360 games.

Video games have always been an entertaining release from the pressures of the outside world.

“My gaming experience started when I was 4 years old and I’ve been playing ever since,” Camden County College (NJ) student Sean Mahoney said via  Facebook message.

Similar to books and movies, video games can be grouped into various categories. These categories can range from shooter games like Duck Hunt, to sports games, such as the Madden series, to role-playing games, such as the Final Fantasy series.

Anybody who has picked up a video game controller to play has their preferences as to what categories they like. One gamer may exclusively play sports games, while another may enjoy sports games and shooter games. Some gamers may not even discriminate what categories they like.

“After a long day in class, I love to come back to my room and turn on some music  and play video games,” Abiu Santos, junior  business major, said.

One thing that all video gamers do have in common, though, is that they all have a favorite game, just as anyone has a favorite ice cream flavor. One game that they play may stick out over any other game and making the choice as to which game is their favorite may even be a difficult one. Depending on the gamer, a favorite game may vary at times, and they may even have more than one.

“My favorite games are Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Megaman, Guitar Hero and Borderlands,” Camden County College student Troy Carvale said. The following video games that Carvale enjoys playing cover a wide array of categories, just one example of how diverse video gamers may be.

However, Carvale’s favorite games are not necessarily the favorite games of other gamers.

“I love to play anything of the Disgaea series,” sophomore Spanish/secondary education major Adrienne Warder said.

Another crucial element to video gaming is the console that games are played on. Many gamers are loyal to Nintendo consoles, such as the Wii and the DS, while other gamers enjoy the Sony consoles, such as the PlayStation or the Microsoft Xbox.

“I play the Xbox 360 the most,” freshman English and psychology major Justin Sellers said. “I play a lot of action and shooter games.”

While many gamers like to stay loyal to one company, there are also plenty of others who like to mix up the consoles that they play on.

“I have a PlayStation 2 and an Xbox 360 at home,” Katie Dunlap, sophomore English major said.

Another concept that helps differentiate video gamers is the amount of time spent gaming. Some gamers spend a lot of hours in a day, while others play very minimally.

“I usually play about two to three hours a day, with an hour’s minimum,” Carvale said.

“If I’m on a kick with a certain game, I’ll play for maybe up to 20 hours. But if I just play to waste time, it’s about 9-12 hours,” Sellers said.

While video gamers take a lot of benefits from gaming, there are several problems as well. Typically, it may be a problem with grades.

“I have not had much problems at all, except for my GPA going down,” Justin Leng, sophomore pre-pharmacy major, said.

Many video gamers also enjoy playing video games online. Although they do not require a gaming console, a wide variety of games are available.

“The great thing about online video  gaming is that they are mostly free and you can go from a football game to a shooting game in a matter of minutes,” Santos said.

Video games may have their share of problems, but at the end of the day, they still provide for a major source of today’s entertainment. Video games are an excellent way to unify people all over the world.

“A tip to gamers: keep your mind open to new games, because once a favorite series of yours is finished, you’re going to want something new,” Mahoney said.

Guitar Hero and Call of Duty are two very popular video games for young adults.

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Robert Riches

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