Opinion

Opinion: Are video games the new version of “playing?”

Story by Tom Doetsch

Summer is finally here! Kids are getting out of school, but the real question is what should they do? Will they go and fill up the parks with games like baseball and kickball or will they stayed attached to their video games?

There are numerous benefits to going outside, whether you’re relaxing at the beach and soaking up the sun or staying active in your neighborhood. Whether it is biking, hiking, running, or other sports exercise is always a great way to stay healthy.

In the article “Exercise cuts risk of dying early by 50%” that Robin Erb wrote for the Detroit Free Press, he said “a new study confirms what health experts have said for years: Exercise matters. Better cardiac health offered protection — a 50% reduction in the risk of dying early compared to those in poor cardiac health.” Not only does outdoor exercise make the heart stronger but also more Vitamin D can be absorbed from the sun which helps bones absorb calcium making them stronger. Not to mention there are innumerable outdoor activities compared to inside activities, basketball, tennis, tree climbing, rock climbing, the list goes on.

“‘Even a half-hour of exercise four times a week can make a significant difference in heart health’ said Steven Keteyian, Henry Ford researcher and study coauthor,” said Erb.

Video games have been around since about the 1960s with the creation of the first game Pong, a very simple tennis game that was quite a hit in its day. Ever since then, young kids and older teenagers alike have been glued to their beloved consoles and controllers. How healthy exactly are these video games? Nick Bilton author of the article “How Clash of Clans Is Taking Bullying to the Virtual Playground” for the Detroit Free Press said:

“Like millions of other boys, he is obsessed with Clash of Clans, a super popular game played on smartphones…But what makes the game irresistible for some is its cliquish and exclusionary nature.”

Now kids are spending less time exercising outside and more time in front of a screen where they’re most likely either being excluded or being the excluder. Sure this can happen on the kickball field or when choosing teams for a soccer game, but eventually those kids get assigned a team and have a physical place where they belong; whereas if someone is excluded online it’s even more alienating because they’re just left alone, with no one.

As entertaining and capturing as video games can be playing and exercising outside will always triumph. Even consoles like the Wii and others like it that are meant to train the body, will most likely never be on par with an old fashioned work out.

Like Roald Dahl, a famous British novelist, said “Life is more fun if you play games.”

About the Writer…tom

Tom Doetsch is going into my Sophomore year with an English Major and a minor in Sociology. A couple of his favorite hobbies are biking and table tennis. He is a writer for The Saint and his favorite section to write for is news.

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