Giles Whittell hates video games. But more than that, the parent and writer for The Times of London says in an editorial today he hates being told that he should first try to understand video games and immerse himself in their world before judging them. Why? Because "it feels like being told to immerse myself in smack and teenage pregnancy before passing judgment on them."
Smack and teenage pregnancy.
Look, we're all for balance, and we understand Mr. Whittell's larger argument that time-sucking games can cause children to miss out on the wonders of the real world (though we tend to think Outside is overrated). But creating an equivalence by saying that "video games and heroin and teenage pregnancy are a colossal waste of time," is putting a little too fine a point on things.
Kids on heroin tend to grow up to be junkies. Teenagers who get pregnant tend to become unfit parents, unprepared for the rigors of raising a child of their own. The millions of children who play video games, for the most part, end up becoming well-adjusted adults (Whittell even admits that the risk that violent video game will create a murderer is "statistically low-risk"). Just because they could all technically be called "wastes of time" doesn't mean they're equally bad, and even implying that they are strikes us as extremely irresponsible.