UNITED STATES—Back when I was a kid I was considered the gamer of gamers. I had this unique ability to strategize in my head a way to complete a videogame without having a map or guide. I just had this unique intuition to know what had to be done in order to succeed.  My recent acquisition of the SNES Classic and NES Classic has taken me back to my childhood in a major way. It’s like for several hours I can disconnect from the rest of the world and clear my thoughts in a way that nothing else does.

I guess I’m saying gaming allows my mind to flow free and all the worries that I have in the world disappears. As a result, I’ve come to the realization that gaming can be quite addictive to say the least. What seemed like an hour of gameplay instantly turned into 6-7 hours, without so much as a snap of a finger. It’s like when I get into gaming mode, I completely forget about the rest of the world.

Would I say gaming is an addiction? Yes, I’m not as bad as some of my nephews who can sit and play games for hours and I mean hours, like 12-20 hours a day nonstop, without a break. I’m looking at you specifically Fortnite. That game has the world at its mercy right now, which I cannot understand, but when I was young videogames were the world to me. Time moved at rapid speeds in a way that is simply impossible to describe with words. Working, reading, writing, watching TV, playing sports, watching movies, none of them can make time move at the speed that playing a video game does.

So I wanted to think about it a bit? Just precisely what is it about video games that so many Americans, particularly males, young and those old, make it a goal to carve time out of their busy schedule to play? Some argue that it’s about being taken to a fantasy world; one that doesn’t compare to reality. I don’t believe that to be true. I think it has something to do with being able to focus 100 percent on something and nothing else matters at that moment.

Is that dangerous? Yes, because that focus on the game can halt one from taking care of priorities that can be life or death in some situations. I mean I loved watching that episode of “South Park” where they spoofed the dangers of kids playing videogames nonstop. Not only does the body become idle, but one’s lifestyle becomes less active which is never a good thing. There are those who claim gaming has no benefits, but I beg to differ.

Gaming teaches one the importance of solving puzzles, developing strategies and critical thinking at times. I would argue this is more common for role playing games, but the same time applies to fighting style videogames. You have to be able to anticipate and strategize how to counter an act that may be implemented by your opponent. Gaming is good, but in moderation, always in moderation people.