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Debate: Video games are the drug of the century

Video games are constantly progressing towards characteristics similar to drugs. If we look at a huge point brought up in the speech mentioning how ancient "lydia" (i think) used video games to cause the people to ignore or forget about the necessities to life such as hunger. This effect is very similar to the effects of many drugs like acid which are used to dull sense of reality and enter an external world to forget the problems in reality. This is one of the many things that video games have in common within drugs.

So the debate is are video games being used for beneficial reasons like teaching values of never giving up on a mission and knowing the possibility of accomplishing important objectives. Or are video games like World of Warcraft offering an alternate world for a person to escape to and allows the creation of an avatar that reflects the person they wish to be and the existence in a world different from reality?

Please if you are arguing one side think of arguments that oppose your own point of view and offer them as well only because i would like to hear both sides and it will allow for a much better debate and allow for you to articulate your argument in more depth.

Topics: Video games drugs

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  • Dec 6 2012: Drugs are tools -- just like iPhones, nuclear bombs, and binoculars. Choosing to use them in a way that grinds against other people's values is what makes them generally "good" or "bad"... not the tools themselves.

    What makes drugs powerful and scary is how addicting they are. But if that was the only meaningful characteristic of a drug, I could just as easily demonize Facebook or the Stock Market -- and the addiction-forming power of those tools. LSD can profoundly expand your realm of experience... but it's taboo because the negative side-effects make it less-desirable than other ways of doing so. The issue isn't as simple as "Is it a drug? And is that bad?"

    Games are incredible at making people feel good, and therefore lend themselves to addiction. Even as a game designer/enthusiast/optimist, I will openly admit that they have that in common with drugs. But games also possess other incredibly powerful characteristics (many of which other comments and TED talks have touched on). It's entirely up to us to cultivate an industry and a world culture that use that power for good. If you're too pessimistic to trust humanity with that responsibility, then I can't imagine how terrified you are (or should be) given the prevalence of drugs, weapons, money, religion, science, education, politics, and other equally potent tools in the world today.

    Profoundly powerful tools don't simply go away (example: nuclear weapons) -- which is why it's better to be assertive and find positive uses for them, rather than sit around debating on whether we should have invented them at all.

    If you don't like the direction games are headed in, dream a better one and make it reality.

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