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YouSpeak: Fun and Video Games

Gaming reigns supreme


With the video game “Modern Warfare 3” making over a three-quarters of a billion dollars in its first five days of release and “Minecraft” claiming over 241 million log-ins a month, it’s clear that games aren’t the playthings just of children. Teens and adults are also fragging out to big sequel releases like “Battlefield 3,” “Saint’s Row 3,” “Uncharted 3,” “The Elderscrolls V: Skyrim,” and many others released just in time for the holidays. Reuters reports that video games are now a $65 billion industry. With games on devices from your computer to your phone, this week’s “YouSpeak” asks, “What are you playing?”

YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question we should ask, post it in the comments section below.

Alex Stout (COM’13) assisted with this video.

Joe Chan

Joe Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu.

11 Comments on YouSpeak: Fun and Video Games

  • bob (your friend and mine) on 12.05.2011 at 10:44 am

    What’s going on, G’s? Thanks to this video, I just learnt what G’s means (gangstas?). Tetris folks! what happened?

    • Joey Joe Joe the 2nd on 12.05.2011 at 11:59 am

      Tetris battle fans were too busy playing to be interviewed ;-)

  • Carlitos Corazon on 12.05.2011 at 12:42 pm

    Ahhhh, fantasizing… about being a soldier, about being an NBA player, about interacting with a living, breathing human being. As the saying goes: “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, play video games.”

    • Daisy Whoopsie on 12.05.2011 at 1:50 pm

      actually I believe it goes “Those who can, do; those who can’t, write degrading comments about hobbyists in the comments section of BU Today articles.”

      Don’t hate on people who play video games. They’re fun, challenging, and infinitely more engaging than some of our other cultural fascinations (ie, watching sports or reality competition shows. Not that I’m saying those things are bad–I’m just saying that video games are involved activities that require and even develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.)

      In the future, please avoid belittling the pass-times of those with different interests than yourself. Thanks!

      • Robin B. on 12.05.2011 at 3:20 pm

        My friend is a surgeon, and he plays video games to improve his hand-eye coordination.


        “Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.”

      • Carlitos Corazon on 12.06.2011 at 8:22 am

        Daisy, you’re right… playing a video game in lieu of watching television is likely a fair trade-off. But, if you haven’t interacted with a college-age male lately, typically, the amount of time invested in video games is characteristic of an addiction vice just watching a once-a-week episode of “Survivor”. Personally, I am concerned by the “escapist” aspects of fantasy video games (Final Fantasy, etc.) , books (Harry Potter, Eragon, etc.) and movies (Twilight, etc.) The very same guys who, in the past, would hammer someone for playing Dungeons and Dragons, or obsessing on Star Trek, are now making plans to attend Comic Con. Bottom line: As a nation, we are obese! Rather than pretending to be an NBA player, wouldn’t one be better served to play some basketball?

        • Nathan on 12.06.2011 at 11:03 am

          Escapism and addiction come in many forms. In my college years it was drinking Scotch.

          Don’t be too quick to assume reality sports are healthy. Have you ever met a pro athlete during playoffs? Ever hear about what happens to the brains of football players, hockey players, and boxers? Ever noticed how many runners and dancers require knee and foot surgery?

          Moderation is the key. Physical exercise addiction is just as unhealthy, and in some cases more unhealthy than substance and video addictions.

          • Carlitos Corazon on 12.07.2011 at 7:44 am

            Yes Nathan… escapism comes in many forms… I hope you’re not suggesting that drinking (Scotch?) is a viable substitute for playing video games. I think that is another issue previousy identified as problematic for college students.

            As to physical activity, do you know someone who is addicted to boxing, or playing football or hockey? Ever hear of someone playing hockey for 10 hours straight?

            I can agree that moderation – “in all things” – is the key.

            By the way, thanks for introducing me to a new term: “reality sports”. Of course, the fact that we have to coin a term to distinguish live-play sports from video games is representative of how bad the problem has become. I stand by my initial premise. If you’re playing “video” basketball (or any other sport), gety off your butt and find a gym. If you’re playing Modern Warfare, enlist! I’m sure they’ll give you a free ticket to Afghanistan.

  • Jenny on 12.05.2011 at 1:45 pm

    Did anyone talk about iPhone/Android/smartphone games? Because Tiny Wings and Canabalt are addicting. I’m also pretty sure I shouldn’t try Minecraft, because I’d probably get into it and never emerge from my apartment.

  • Hassan on 12.05.2011 at 6:50 pm

    Warrock, I’m actually obssessed with online video games. Combat Arms as well

  • FUS RO DAH on 12.05.2011 at 7:56 pm

    I used to have a 4.0 GPA, but then I took an arrow to the knee (aka started playing Skyrim).

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