It's great to come home from a long, exhausting day at work, grabbing a soda, turning on the PS3 and playing mindless games for a few hours until calling it a night.  With a large variety of gaming systems on the market, which include the Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, and more, as well as easy access to online games from the computer, it is easy finding yourself spending a few hours here and there playing your favorite games.  But is there a point in which video games turn from providing good entertainment to a distraction from the real world?  As children of this decade find their entertainment on gaming systems instead of with friends and family, the need to socialize and enter the real world becomes second priority.

When I was growing up, gaming technology was limited.  My first gaming system was the Gameboy, which was an advance piece of technology during its day.  And yet, over the past decade, gaming technology has completely transformed into a huge market among players of all ages.  I remember using my imagination as a youth and going on outdoor adventures with my friends.  Although I still see some children playing at the park or on the streets, many do not because of the easy access to video games.  Nowadays, children and teens spend hundreds of hours trying to beat their favorite games, and yet the only accomplishment of completing a game is the "Good Job" that appears in the credits.  Because of this drive to complete each game, people set aside their commitments and work to be mesmerized with the graphics and story in each game.

More recent upgrades to video game software have players playing through the internet.  Players can connect with friends or play with strangers to complete their missions.  Players find more entertainment by playing with real people rather than computers.  Although this is a social activity, I believe that face-to-face social activities are more beneficial than using the internet to communicate with other players.

When branding video games as good entertainment or a distraction from the real world, I have to lean towards thinking that video games distract players from the real world.  Role playing genre games take players into a different world and play a different story from the one that players are currently living.  Games are still good entertainment and can be great when entertaining guests or trying to de-stress after a long day.  But, if we measure the time that teens and young adults play video games, there would be many hours measured, which could be used in more productive manners.  I also play video games to de-stress or to take my mind off real world problems.  Finding the happy median of game play is important to keep life in balance and your mind living in the real world, not a fantasy world built through a game.