As we have seen in the last couple of years, the Internet and other technologies have greatly advanced and will continue to grow in the years to come. With modern gaming, I can and have taken on people from all over the world, sometimes winning and sometimes losing.

Being a long-time gamer myself, you may think I would automatically be in this school of thought purely because it involves something I love doing. Make no mistake, I love Internet gaming and am glad to be a part of it, but just because I like it doesn’t mean I will blindly follow it and love it.

There are concepts and ideas surrounding it that are inherently flawed. Does this mean that I think gaming is ultimately a social crutch as opposed to a good and beneficial thing?

Having studied digital media, I have seen the best and worst of what gaming has to offer. No matter the situations brought on by the game at hand or the behaviors demonstrated within, all the good and bad that I have seen can be traced back to the individuals playing the game. I have been subject to moments of great teamwork and horrific tempers, sometimes in the same game.

Gaming has been blamed for terrible behavior in the real world over the last several years, yet in every case the connection was made, the game seemed to take more blame than the individual playing it.

Some games do test and sometimes blatantly cross social boundaries that we consider appropriate and just.

Some games are completely centered on criminal empires and being the best worst person you can be. Others are about killing rivals and enemies in the most gruesome manners possible and some where the power to commit acts of destruction is yours to wield like a little child. New games are released all the time that seem to take the bar further and further.

While it is easy to see how games get the blame, I own and play games like that and nothing has changed me. Whether you are a gamer yourself or not, I think it is only right to look at the person playing the games to find the problems as opposed to the games themselves.

Online games are arguably a bigger example in this regard than others because oftentimes people playing those games talk directly to each other while they are playing.

It is all too common to see acts of bullying and negative behavior while on these sites, but ultimately the game is not causing it.

Blame the individual for that behavior rather than the game being played. Just sort the positives and negatives of gaming for yourselves and enjoy it without letting yourself become worse of a person because of it.

Email Cardinal Points at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com.

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/ian-lawson/" rel="tag">Ian Lawson</a>