Video Games: Good or Bad?
Emma St. Aubin
estau255@uwsp.edu
Jumping through obstacles, racing cars, and shooting aliens is more than just the basis of a Will Smith movie; it’s the basic theme of most video games. While these games may be a fun and thrilling cure for boredom, many students find themselves living through a video game character for hours on end, which may be putting their school work at risk.


Mike Schrauth, a business administration major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, began playing video games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Power Rangers on his Sega Genesis when he was just four years old.


"I would say video games affect my life in a good way most of the time. I learned when I was younger that if you get too into them they can get in the way of other things like homework, errands, etc," Schrauth said. "Video games have taught me how to manage my time, but I still occasionally slack off and play them a little too much."


For some students, games provide stress relief and fun during the semester. 
For others, this controller leads to academic doom.  Photo by Samantha Feld.
 
UWSP, also began playing video games at a young age, starting with the original Playstation.

"I don’t really let games take over my life, but I will admit they do sometimes interrupt my study time which is a bad habit to form," Stanke said. "As for having a life, I would much rather hang out with people than sit in front of a TV playing games. I just like to play video games to help me just momentarily get away from all of the stresses of college life."

Recently hitting the video game market are Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3. Although tempting to purchase, many college students struggle to justify the high costs of these new games.

"Skyrim seems like a really cool game with tons of stuff to keep someone busy when they are bored, but I haven’t played it," Schrauth said. "I didn’t buy Modern Warfare 3 either, but my roommate did. It’s alright, but I can’t justify spending $60 on a game that comes out every year and barely changes."

Cost is also a factor for Stanke, who has yet to play both Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim.

"I haven’t played them yet for a couple of reasons. For one, I have never been a big fan of Call of Duty. People make such a big deal out of it and that kind of ruins it for me," Stanke said. "Skyrim is a game that I would like to play, but I don’t have any money to go out and buy it."