I used to work for a large video game store. One where you might Stop to buy Games. I mostly sold bullshit. Grown men coming up and saying "I wanna pretend I'm driving a car. Is there a game for that?" Pretending and having imaginary friends was once relegated to children but now, it seems, that children do not grow up. Looking for any excuse to feel accomplishment in virtual worlds to distract from the reality of a failure to accomplish personal goals is the purview of men who've been neglected by their parents and devalued by society. Getting self-esteem from simulated successes creates a fog of delusion that, if cleared away, reveals an inflated ego ready to burst.
Finding camaraderie in a chat box and slaying imaginary enemies feels good but when the electricity turns off and the mind is still what is left?
I am not immune to such imaginings but I am skeptical of my attachment to the medium. As I have aged I find myself getting less and less fulfillment out of video games. At times in my life I would spend 2-4 hours a day, 7 days a week immersed in sculpting the imaginary life of a digital avatar but lately, I find that this pursuit has much less appeal. While, even now, I spend some time each week playing Dark Souls 3 or some other engrossing game, it is significantly less than in the past. I'm finding now that if I spend more then a few hours a week playing a game I feel guilty.
I do watch television a lot but there seems to be a disconnect between an interactive medium and the one-sided nature of non-interactive art forms such as film and TV. When you are a passive observer it is harder to get wrapped up in the accomplishments of others. These forms rely on the empathy of the viewer to relate with the emotion on the screen where video games place you in an active role giving you a sense of control and the ability to manipulate outcomes and solve problems.
As much as I feel that video games can be a huge distraction, it is certainly not the worst activity and I shouldn't give myself too hard of a time about something that I get enjoyment out of and a sense of identity to some degree. Being a "gamer" isn't a bad thing but for some reason, I am not committed to the "cause", whatever that means. With such an easy life and so much abundant wealth, it is no wonder that so many are able to have such enticing and satisfying experiences in the safety of their own homes. No longer does one need to venture out into the world for glory and heroics. They can do it from their couch.