20 Years From Now, Will You Regret The Time You Spent Playing Games?

It’s always hard to see when you’re 20.

It’s almost impossible to say your interests and hobbies and viewpoints will be completely different by the time you’re 40. In fact, the overwhelming majority of 20-year-olds honestly do believe nothing will ever change in that regard. “I play games now and I’ll still be playing then.” We’ve heard people say it, haven’t we? I said it.

I remember saying it 20 years ago, when I was 19. And though it wasn’t untrue, my view of games and the gaming culture has dramatically shifted, as has just about every other perspective I had when I was a teenager and young adult. Of course, no matter what anecdote you throw down, the young’uns will just laugh and shake their heads. I would’ve, when I was 19.

When you’re that age, you think you’re not only invincible, but you also don’t buy into the concept of wisdom. Old (or older) people are just out of touch, stuck in their ways, don’t understand the way things are now, etc, etc, etc. I believed that, at least to some extent. And at least to some extent, there’s some truth to the idea that as we age, we become set in our ways. It’s just biological fact.

At the same time, it’s also asinine to dismiss the idea of wisdom entirely. The longer we’re on this earth, the more we learn. Well, ideally. And one thing I’ve learned is that I look back on my years of gaming with a conflicted heart. It’s impossible to say I “regret” that time because I simply have too many fond memories. Then again, I can also say I wish I hadn’t spent so much time playing during the important years.

And those “important years” are just about any year under the age of 20, I think. When you’re supposed to be out and about and growing and exploring. Now, I was never an addict and I couldn’t quite understand people who could spend 10, 12 hours a day playing a video game. I could never do that, even at my peak of playing. I’d never sacrifice a day out with friends or family to play, for example.

Even so, I didn’t give myself as many options to get away from gaming as I could’ve. And one wonders if too many young people today are doing exactly that. Especially with online gaming and the clear fact that it’s a hundred times more addictive than Mario ever thought of being, I have to wonder if far too many young gamers today are falling into the, “I’m going to stay home all day and play” trap.

See, those are the days you’re going to regret when you get older. You don’t have to believe me but the truth remains. I’m not talking about sitting down to play for an hour or two after work or school or a day at the beach or whatever. I’m talking about spending an entire day inside playing a video game. At no point and in no situation can this be considered a positive thing (does ANYONE read anymore, by the way?).

And 20 years from now, what you’re going to regret is what could’ve been done with that day. There are only so many days, after all. Furthermore, you might take it a step farther and wonder if any game session that lasted over two hours was, in fact, a waste of time.  You might regret the things that could’ve been done with that time, regardless of any positive memories you may still have.

I suppose most will just have to figure this out for themselves, which is fine. I did. We all have to, really. But obviously, the question in this headline is rhetorical because frankly, if you’re a heavy gamer and you’re playing a certain number of hours a week (say, over 25), the hours spent will pile up over the years and one day, you’ll look back and ask:

“How many of those hours do I want BACK?”

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