Why Avid Video Game Players Find Reading Books to be Practically Impossible!
Most non-gamers often fail to realise the appeal of video games (that video game enthusiasts will alternately swear by). It doesn’t help either that most studies regarding video games tend to highlight the more negative aspects of the activity than the positive. It also doesn’t help when people still put a lot of intellectual value on the books one reads (and how many) in inverse proportion to how much time a person spends watching TV or playing video games.
To that end, video gamers often find themselves feeling like they pulled the short end of the proverbial intellectual stick. Because most avid video gamers will find that the task of reading a book is as appealing to them as trying to pull out their own teeth. (Indeed, to get a lot of gamers to read a book is, in fact, like pulling teeth.)
However, this isn’t always for a lack of trying. True that a lot of gamers would prefer playing a game to reading a book. But it is also a fact that many gamers will have tried to enjoy reading a book (especially once they hear that said book inspired a game that they love or loved), but will fond themselves unable to retain their focus or get past the first couple of chapters (and that is if they even made it as far as the second chapter).
Of course, it is their lack of concentration skills that gets blamed for their inability to enjoy reading a book. And of course, the next step is to blame their activity of being “addicted to video games” as the sole reason for their lack of concentration ability.
Now, this article isn’t going to try and disprove the theory that video games do make it hard for a gamer to enjoy a book the same way. Rather, it is going to try to explain how that is not the only reason, to theorise how video games affect one’s ability to enjoy reading a book, and to show that video games ruining gamers for books is not always the full story.
First of all, it has a whole lot to do with one’s taste. For instance, if you shove an action-adventure video game to a person who prefers puzzles and gets queasy at the thought of blood, gore, and violence, chances are that that gamer won’t be thanking you. And by that same principle, a gamer that thrives on action and adventure in his or her games might bang their head against a wall if you force them to play a game that is “cutesy” and has adorable characters and tame storylines in it. The same applies for books as well. For the video game industry is first and foremost and entertainment industry. So if you want books to compete, you will have to consider books from their entertainment value as well and what kind of genres of books appeal to what kind of audiences. So if a gamer must read, he or she must first find a genre and storyline that appeals to them.
The next thing to keep in mind is that video games are incredibly fast-paced. And avid gamers get used to this speed of information processing and moving plot lines. Hence, reading word by word and turning pages is like literally yanking on their usual thought-process and adding ten tons of weight to it to make it move slower. For a more practical example, try forcing a person who’s been on a steady diet of rock music into a classical concert. If they don’t fidget throughout most of it, you might find them catching up on some sleep at some point of time.
So really, it all depends on taste and preference, and on the usual speed of data that one is used to dealing with. And again, don’t stick to stereotypes. There are dozens of gamers everywhere who enjoy all sorts of activities!