Why It's Ok to Be a Gamer

Routledge (2024)
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Abstract

If you enjoy video games as a pastime, you are certainly not alone―billions of people worldwide now play video games. However, you may still find yourself reluctant to tell others this fact about yourself. After all, we are routinely warned that video games have the potential to cause addiction and violence. And when we aren’t being warned of their outright harms, we are told we should be doing something better with our time, like going outside, socializing with others, or reading a book. Playing video games is thus often seen at best as a waste of time, and at worst a source of violent tragedy. Why It’s OK to Be a Gamer takes on the pervasive assumption that playing video games is a childish and time-wasting hobby, and a potentially addictive and dangerous one at that. It argues instead that there are many ways in which gaming can help us flourish, for example by: developing genuine friendships and other meaningful relationships with others, helping us cultivate a virtuous personal character, giving us a unique aesthetic experience, providing us with psychological benefits, and just plain helping us relax and enjoy ourselves. Video games are not just for those with no life; on the contrary, they can help contribute to a rich and meaningful life.

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Author Profiles

Sarah Malanowski
Florida Atlantic University
Nicholas Baima
Florida Atlantic University

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