There's an interesting article from the bbc talking about why we play video games. I find the idea that we like video games because of the learning aspect fascinating, but that's not what I'll address here. Give the article a good read, it's short.

What struck me about the article was summarized very nicely by a quote from withing the article itself.

" And - here's the kicker - games aren't just boring, inconvenient, and over-priced. They're designed to make you feel like a failure.

There's a very good chance - a certainty in most games - that there will come a point where the game will beat you. Where you'll sit in your own house while a bit of software you paid big money for, and devoted hours to, calls you a loser."

That portion stood out to me. I immediately wondered when the last time she tried some new hobby was.

For those of you adept at [insert hobby/skill/talent here], it can be very hard to remember when things were difficult. That first G chord on the guitar was probably sour, bit into your fingers, and you probably took a minute or two to even get your fingers in the right place. The first time you fell off a bike probably wasn't 15 second after the first time you got on one. The first time you strung a sentence together your handwriting was likely unreadable, your grammar reminiscent of a Neanderthal, and your spelling resembling a typewriter's nightmare. In short, from the very beginning you were a loser (in the sense the article portrays one).

Perhaps video games are special in the wealth of learning they provide, but they are not unique in being repetitive or punishing. How much time must one spend "grinding" their guitar skill before that G chord is passable? How much more before you can even attempt to play those nifty music pieces that inspired you to try? How many pancakes or eggs must one cook before one's hands are no longer frequented by burns from skimming the heated metal pan? These things are incredibly time consuming, frustrating, and even cause direct physical harm. They, like video games, require a fair amount of repetition before one has "beaten" them.

That is my only real critique of the article. From here we could spiral into endless musings about the differences between video games and other hobbies, but I think I've made my point.

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