Books vs. Video Games

Young Bloggers  /   /  By Lukas Cooke
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2018

Books are in many ways a different universe. They lead to imagination and adventure more than any other object or activity. Some might argue that this isn’t true. Well, what else could possibly be so imaginative?

Back before electronic devices such as phones, computers, and television, there was no real entertainment besides books and the outdoors. This was not a bad thing; books can be educational, and they massively improve a reader’s vocabulary and language skills.

But then video games came along.

Video games became the ultimate entertainment, everybody loved them. But they began to be a problem. Less and less people were reading books, rather spending countless hours before their screens. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but eventually, almost everyone played video games or had some sort of console at home. Books were being left alone.

Whereas books had some productivity, for they were educational and allowed readers to learn in a fun way, video games didn’t teach anything, and were just, to put it simply, a way to pass time.

When one sits down to play a computer game, they are literally just sitting there, doing nothing, at least in real life. The game is designed to make you feel like you are a part of the adventure, the main character, the magic man. But really, you aren’t.

You’re simply sitting on a couch, doing nothing.

Some might argue, “well reading is the same thing, sitting down, doing nothing”. But that isn’t completely true. When you read, your brain takes in information and stores it in the back of your mind. It increases the level of imagination a reader has.

Computer games, however, don’t. They make your imagination worse. Instead of thinking up a brilliant idea for a board game or an outdoor activity, all you can think of is the game, and nothing else seems to appear in your brain.

So the real question is, books or video games; which is better? The answer is simple: books.

Next time you sit down to immerse yourself in a video game, think about it. Are you really doing something productive???

 

Do you agree with Lukas? Let us know what you think in the comment section!

Lukas Cooke
About the Author

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6 Comments
 
  1. Sarah Cymrot
    Sarah Cymrot December 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I agree with you completely! All of the things that you mentioned here are so true and should be thought about more often. Nice job!

  2. Larry December 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm Reply

    Lukas, you gave this debate a twist by sprinkling bits of evidence (that I never knew about til now) to solidly back up your case! VERDICT: Your posts are one of the reasons I read!

  3. William Rubel December 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm Reply

    Video games and streaming videos definitely steal your brain. We all, child and adult alike, need to learn how to control our use of this magical thing — the computer and the internet. There are times when vegging out is the right thing to do. But none of us want to veg our life away! Lukas highlights the main difference between reading and playing video games — when you read your imagination is engaged in ways enrich your experience of being alive. The world of books is always more complex than the world of the two-dimensional screen, and certainly always more complex than the video game world. I will say, though, based on my personal experience, that it is a good idea to do some gaming and some video watching. In moderation — the always key word — everything you do can make for a richer life. And, of course, be a creator! If video games are your world, then get yourself to the MIT website for their program, Scratch, https://scratch.mit.edu/ and learn how to code computers yourself — and stretch your mind to make up your own games!

  4. Emma Winsor Wood February 1, 2018 at 7:52 am Reply

    Interesting points, Lukas. I have thought about this a lot not so much in terms of video games but in relation to TV and movies. I have found that if I am critically engaged with a show that I am doing thinking–both during and after! Plus, I recently started writing a series of poems inspired by a show I was watching–my way of making my indulgence creative and, in some way, productive. The same could be done with video games or other “screentime indulgences” — find a way to make a project out of it!

  5. Abhi Sukhdial February 11, 2018 at 6:16 am Reply

    Lukas, I disagree with you. Sure you might think you sit and do nothing when playing video games, but that is not the case with all video games. For example, when you play games like Minecraft and Legend of Zelda, you have to use your brain to figure out what will happen next and what your next move should be. They teach you how to be creative, how to think strategically and how to use your imagination. To be honest I also LOVE books, but I still think video games are also good for you. When I read a book, I’m always thinking, “What’s going to happen next?” In video games, I’m also wondering, “If I take a certain step, what will happen next?”. And that excites me…

  6. Leo T. Smith
    Leo T. Smith February 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm Reply

    I totally agree that sometimes books are being neglected for video games, but some video games make you a more creative person. Studies show that, and I think you are being just a little unfair in your argument. I am definitely a “books” person though.

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