Tag Archive | books

When Videogames Are More Like Books, Amazing Things Happen

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

So, I just got the news that the next installment of Dreamfall Chapters is set to come out this Thursday, and I could not be more excited… well, I suppose I could be, but only if the new Star Wars movie were to come out on the same day. Still, I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep too well for the next few nights, as my mind will be too focused on the next chapter of Zoe Castillo’s journey.

Actually, ever since I began playing this series, I found myself thinking a lot about how videogames have changed over the course of the past fifteen years or so, not just visually, but in the stories they have to tell, and the kind of thoughts and emotions those stories provoke in us.

For those of you unfamiliar with Dreamfall Chapters, it is the third in a series of games that began with The Longest Journey in 1999, a game which was both simple and complex at the same time. It told the story of two worlds; the one of science and logic known as Stark, and the other of magic and chaos known as Arcadia. The two worlds were once one and the same, but it became evident that magic and science could not co-exist peacefully, and hence they were divided, watched over by the Guardian who maintained the Balance between them.

In the game, you play as April Ryan, an art student with no real direction in life. She has been having very strange dreams, in which she travels to an unknown world and meets a beautiful white dragon who refers to April as her daughter. She tries to dismiss them at first, but when the world of Arcadia begins to leak into Stark, she cannot ignore them any longer. With the help of a mysterious man named Cortez, who seems to know a great deal about Arcadia, April soon discovers that she is a shifter, meaning that she has the ability to move between the two worlds.

Unsure where this journey will take her, April travels to Arcadia, where she meets all sorts of colourful characters, and learns more about this mysterious world and how she may be the only one who can restore the upset Balance between both worlds. It’s an older game, and as a result it doesn’t have the greatest visuals, nor the most exciting gameplay, but the story, dialogue and characters make it well worth your time, I assure you.

After I finished playing the first one, which to my surprise only took me a few days – my gaming is a lot like my reading, slow but determined, hence my surprise – I thirsted for more. When I discovered that a sequel had been made about eight years later called Dreamfall, I thought I might cry with happiness as I immediately got on my computer and bought the game.

I was so happy to see that they managed to keep all of the charm and wonder of the first one, while having created a gaming environment that was more suitable for modern gamers. They brought back much of the old, but also included a few new things for us to discover, which only added to the already amazing story. Of course, like any game, there are always things they could have done better, but overall, I was satisfied, and once again I fell into despair when the game ended, thus ending the journey… until I made yet another discovery!

In 2014, the game was reborn yet again with Dreamfall Chapters, taking the story to a whole new level that I couldn’t have even imagined being possible. Red Thread Games, who bought the rights to the game from Funcom, added an element to the game which was met with mixed results. Similar to games like Knights of the Old Republic and Witcher 3, Dreamfall Chapters includes various dialogue options which can alter the path your story takes. In other words, your choices have actual consequences, and honestly, I think that was a brilliant move on their part.

Games used to be designed in a way where there was only one outcome, and it was just a matter of making your way towards that outcome, which remained unchanging no matter how many times you play it. This is all well and good, except that there are no consequences for the actions you take along the way, and when there are no consequences, then all we’re teaching young gamers is that you can get away with anything so long as you know how to shoot a gun or go into stealth mode.

I love games that make you think, as opposed to shoot first and ask questions later. In Dreamfall Chapters, when you get to a point where you have to decide how to respond to what someone else has said, or you have to make a choice between two courses of action, the game pauses to give you time to reflect on those choices, allowing you to place yourself and their shoes and consider what you would do if placed in that very same situation. What’s more, each option provides a glimpse into your characters mind, so you can see the thought process they’re going through, not unlike what authors do with their characters. In other words, the characters begin to seem more like actual people, adding a whole new dimension to video gaming.

And with this new dimension, the stories that video game designers create can become even more complex, sometimes to the point where it literally feels like you’re actively participating in a novel. Dreamfall Chapters does this really well by dividing the game into different chapters, each one with its own plot twists and character perspectives, sometimes even ending on a cliff hanger to be picked up in the next couple of chapters. It’s a really creative and imaginative way to design a game, and I truly hope that the future will show us even more games following a similar path.

If any of you BookNerds out their are fans of this, or similar games, I would love to hear what you have to say about them and your opinion on the future of story driven games. Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!






Reading vs. Watching: What Exactly Are We Comparing?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I often see people get themselves all worked up with excitement when they learn that one of their all time favourite books is going to be made into a movie – myself included, of course –  and just as often, I watch as those same people who went into the theatre with such high expectations, came out looking not unlike a cartoon character with a thundering cloud hanging over their heads, as the image of the story they had in their heads didn’t come out quite the way they hoped it would on the big screen.

It’s in our nature to compare things. After all, how else can we determine what is good, what is bad, what is better, what is worse. We do it to figure out what food we would rather eat, what clothes we would prefer to wear, and my personal favourite, what books are more worth our time reading than others. Just like anything else, however, making comparisons has its ups and its downs, based primarily on the context in which they are being made.

Harry Potter Books

When I first got into reading the harry potter books back in grade school, it felt as though my brain was giving birth to my imagination for the first time. I developed a deep attachment to the series, and when I found out that they were being made into films, I just knew I had to see every single one of them. Why, you ask? Well, the only thing better than reading a book for the first time is getting to experience it all over again, but in a very different way. Unlike books, movies cater to all of the senses; synchronizing music and moods to tug on our heartstrings, playing with colours and special effects to keep our eyes glued to the screen, creating masterful scripts that tell us so much, while at the same time saying so little, and fitting actors into the roles they were seemingly born to play. Such is the beauty of films, which differs greatly from the beauty many of us find in books.

Authors struggle tirelessly to create stories using their native language, which the readers can then create images from that are unique to their own interpretation of the words. No two people will perceive a story the exact same way, which is what makes reading such a personal, internalized experience. What’s more, most books are created by a single individual, making them solely responsible for creating the characters, the dialogue, the setting… basically, everything, unlike in movies where you have hundreds of people working to bring the story to life.

Another striking dissimilarity between the reading and movie viewing experience is that books are not designed to be enjoyed in a single sitting, whereas movies are. Unless you’re a ridiculously fast reader capable of zipping through seven hundred pages in less than an hour as if it was nothing, then it’s going to take you a few days to get to the end. This is especially true for those readers out there who, like me, need time to visualize what they have just read before they can continue… perhaps that’s just me 😛

Group of boring people watching movie in cinema

Movies, on the other hand, are typically a two to three hour experience, and you can choose to enjoy them alone or with 200 other people crammed inside a dark room which smells of popcorn and is occasionally lit by a smart phone that someone just couldn’t bother to turn off for the sake of everyone who is sitting behind them. If movies were to be made any longer, the audience would get bored, feeling as though the story is being drawn out longer than necessary, not to mention the increasing soreness in our backside from sitting for such a long period of time. When you’re reading books, you can stop and start whenever you want, but with movies, we tend to want to sit down and watch it to the end before diverting our attention to anything else.

Now, we come to the unique scenario of book to movie adaptations. The thing with movies that are based on books is that they always seem to miss the mark. In other words, they fail to meet the expectations of everyone who see’s it, because as mentioned before, we all have a tendency to interpret the same book in very different ways, meaning we will all be going into the movie theatre with very different expectations. There is also the added pressure on directors and the crew to make the movie as true to the book as possible, but this isn’t always feasible, especially when dealing with a book which has managed to throw the laws of physics entirely out the window. But they do their best, and some of them have turned out rather brilliantly.

The Fault In Our Stars

My favourite book to movie adaption to date has been The Fault In Our Stars, a beautiful story about a girl with lung cancer finding love in the unlikeliest of places, and discovering that “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. In my eyes, the movie was a brilliant interpretation of what I am certain will someday become a classic novel, but I am certain there are others out there who found it to be unbearable. Why? Well, I’m sure there are many reasons, but every time I hear someone start to rant about every little thing they changed in the movie, or how the actors they chose weren’t good enough, or how they could have done this or that to make it more believable, I just feel like telling them one thing: why are you comparing two things that weren’t meant to be compared?

The story might be the same, but the purpose and the means by which they are executed are just so different. It would be like comparing music videos to musicals. Just because they both have a music component to them, that doesn’t make them any more comparable. Now that I’ve had my say on the matter, I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!



New Blog Page, Check It Out!

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

For those of you who haven’t noticed yet, I recently added a new page to my blog, which features information about some of the editing and proofreading services I have to offer anyone in need of them. The reason I decided to start doing this professionally – and by professionally, I mean offering to give my services to more than just people I know – is because I have come to realize that there are probably so many more people out there who need someone to go over their writing, but may be having trouble finding someone who isn’t outrageously expensive or hard to get a hold of.

Now, I am located in Ottawa – that’s in Canada, for any of my international followers who aren’t familiar with Canadian geography – so this limits how much I can do face to face. Of course, between e-mail and Skype, this could prove to be less of an issue, depending on what it is you actually need. Most of what I have done thus far has been done via e-mail, follower by a face-to-face meeting to answer any follow up questions or clarify the reasons why certain changes should be made. It really depends on the person and their need, but I’m pretty flexible so location and proximity shouldn’t be an issue.

Mostly, I have done proofreading for university students who don’t speak English as a first language, but are required to write English essays for their profs. This can prove to be a challenge when you don’t have a strong grasp of English grammar and verb tense, which is where I would come in. I identified what their main ideas and arguments were, and then made it so that the language conveyed them in a clear manner, leaving plenty of notes in the margins along the way explaining why certain changes were made, and pointing out any writing habits they may have picked up that detract from the academic nature of essay writing. I am by no means a teacher, and I don’t pretend to be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any lessons to teach throughout my editing process.

I have also gone over academic journal articles for things like overall flow, or to make sure that those of us who don’t have a PhD can still grasp the finer points of their research without feeling like it’s all going over their head. My absolute favourite project was helping a friend of mine with her very first book she had ever wrote. It was a murder mystery novel, and she had incredible ideas, but again, English was not her native tongue, both spoken and written. This one took quite a bit more time, because not only was I fixing spelling and grammar errors, but I was also making sure that readers would be able to see the connections between events, and that the story remained consistent from beginning to end. This is tricky for even experienced writers to accomplish, but between the two of us I believe we were successful in bringing her ideas together in a very exciting and well thought out tail of murder, mystery and intrigue. It has yet to be published, but I was able to help her overcome the biggest hurtle for a writer, and that is to feel satisfied with your work.

  So feel free to visit my new page, which you will find in the menu above entitled My Editing and Proofreading Services. My prices are based on the size of the document, the services that you require for it, and when you need it by – in other words, on a case by case basis –  so feel free to contact me via e-mail for more information: emily.manns@outlook.com.

Before I start feeling like a salesman, I’ll end it here for today. Check back here soon, though, for my next book review posting, which will hopefully be by tomorrow at the latest. Until then, keep on reading!



Dragonriders of Pern Movie? Yes Please!

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m sure many of you have heard the exciting news already, but for those of you still in the dark, it has been announced that there is going to be a movie adaptation of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern!I guess this would only be exciting for those of you who have actually read the series, so for anyone who hasn’t… well, what are you waiting for? If there’s a bookstore nearby, find there science fiction section and get yourself a copy of Dragonflight, which I am almost one hundred percent certain is the very first book of the Pern universe, which began all the way back in the 1960’s, a true testament to just how amazing this series really is.

DragonflightBasically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.

What is really unique about this series is that even though your first assumption is that it’s of the fantasy genre, it turns out that it is very much science fiction. Even though technology doesn’t really exist anymore, they still come across remnants of it throughout the series, from when humans first began colonizing other planets. There is also a form of genetically engineered bugs called Grub, which were created by humans to be able to eat Thread. Even the dragons and fire lizards were subject to human experimentation, which increased their intelligence and allowed humans to work alongside them.

Anne McCaffrey, who unfortunately passed away in 2011, developed a word that embraces what I feel to be the bests aspects of both science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t wait to see for myself what kind of movie they will give birth to. Of course, I never get my hopes too high at the prospect of a book hitting the big screen, for we have seen what can happen when the responsibility is given to the wrong people. I am still getting over the disaster that was Eragon, and my disappointment in everything that was left out of the fourth Harry Potter movie. Of course, there have been many successes as well, like The Fault In Our Stars, and all of the other wonderful harry potter movies, so there is always hope.

Chronicles of Pern

 I actually got into this series after playing the video game version of it on my brothers Dreamcast Sega, which in my opinion had some of the best games I’ve ever played… even if the graphics weren’t always the best, but they were the early days of gaming after all. Anyway, I was really into the video game, which admittedly wasn’t that great voice acting and visuals wise, but was still entertaining nonetheless. I would be over the moon happy if someone were to revamp this game, because even though it wasn’t the greatest, it has a lot of potential, and we more than have the technology and the know how to makes it into one of the most beautiful and enticing games of our era.

So at the time, I actually had no idea that this game was based on an entire series of books. It also happened to be during a time when the only books I had really gotten into were the Harry Potter books. It was certainly a pleasant surprise, however, when I came across the literary Pern universe, and I didn’t hesitate to buy the first three books of the series… well, I’m fairly certain they’re the first ones. There are so many books in the series now, that it’s kind of hard to tell anymore, but they made sense when I read them in the order I did.

I was also very happy to hear that Anne McCaffrey’s son, Todd, has been continuing the series. Of course, this just means that it’s going to take me even longer to get through the whole series. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, for as I’m sure I have mentioned before, I hate it when a really good book comes to an end. For me, books are a lot like a pack of reeces peanut butter cups; it’s such a good feeling knowing that even after you’ve eaten one, there are still two more waiting for you to sink your teeth into. 🙂

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Dragonriders of Pern series, or on the upcoming movie adaptation, feel free to leave them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page. I would love to hear what you have to see, and as always, keep on reading!



The Things Books Teach Us That We Should Already Know

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,
I’m sure each and every one of you have had at least one person in your life tell you that you should get your nose out of the books and go out and spend more time in the real world. Of course, books just like anything else should be enjoyed in moderation, much like Halloween candy and video games – these examples were inspired by the bag of fuzzy peaches sitting on the desk to my left and the Game Grumps YouTube video playing in the background as I write this – otherwise you grow sick of them. Not that I can ever see myself growing sick of reading… or eating fuzzy peaches, for that matter, but there is a greater point to all of this.
The people who tell us that we spend too much time reading are more likely than not in need of a good book themselves, because more often than not, you can learn a hell of a lot more about the world you live in by means of science fiction and fantasy tales than you can from what the real world has to say. Before you start jumping to conclusions, I am not in any way insinuating that the world is full of nothing but lies… that’s not to say that it isn’t, but I do not share that particular opinion… well, not entirely anyway. So many things do lie to us on a daily basis, but where there are lies, there are also truths to be found. That’s right, I can be deep 🙂
When I was studying journalism in school, one of the most important lessons that the professors drilled into our brains is that nothing is ever black and white. The world is more than just a line which separates the right and the wrong, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. It is more like…a Megagon. No, I did not make that word up, but if you must, go ahead and take a second to look it up to quell your uncertainty…. satisfied? Okay, moving on. So basically, when we figure that we’ve seen every possible side of something, we’re surprised to find that there was another one, and there are always going to be more sides than what we can see with the naked eye.
That’s where books come in. They see things that we should have already been able to see, but for one reason or another we didn’t. I feel like the main reason for this is because our imaginations are not bound by the body’s limitations. The mind has the capacity to see so much more than what our eyes ever could, but only if we’re willing to put it to work.
There are books that have been around for decades that we can still learn so much from, which I think is why we still study them in school. Even if the terminology may be outdated, or they refer to places that haven’t existed for a long time, there is still a wisdom tucked away in their pages that we can learn so much from, even things that, honestly, we should already know. 
The value of human life, for instance. Human history is plagued with violence and death, as if that was the only way to settle differences. Even now, in a time when we are more than capable of talking things out and coming to a mutual understanding, we still resort to mass genocides to get our messages across. Honestly, I think our world leaders could benefit from taking a moment to crack open a good children’s book and re-educate themselves about some of the more effective ways to make nice, like ‘treating others the way you want to be treated’. I’m sure they all learned this as children, but I guess they forgot.
Books are such a precious and valuable resource, which is why it breaks my heart to see fewer and fewer children interested in reading, and more and more libraries being shut down, their books discarded like unwanted garbage. They say civilization is always advancing, but if you ask me, we’ve taken quite a few steps back in our progress in the past decade alone.
Books help us to not only avoid repeating our past mistakes, but they also act as a window into what the future could potentially hold based on the actions we take today. They are our teachers and our reminders, and we would be lost without them.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the issue, so feel free to post in the comments below or on my blogs facebook page via the link in the sidebar, and as always, keep reading!


From “Good Golly” To “F*** You”: How Did We Get Here?

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Every now and then, my mind will pick out something at random from my everyday life and analyze it from every possible angle. Usually it drives me nuts, especially when it happens at one o’clock in the morning when all I want to be doing is gently drifting off to sleep. But every once and a while, the random thoughts and questions that plague my mind cease to be a hindrance and instead allow me to see the world around me with eyes that have not been clouded by what others want me to see.

I watch a lot of television. I won’t deny it. I’m the kind of person who will watch just about anything once, just to see if it’s worth my time to see it through to the end, and nine times out of ten I get hooked. Much of what I watch varies depending on my mood; if I’m feeling stressed, I’ll watch a sitcom. When I feel like my life is a little too mundane, I’ll dive head first into an action packed drama. Heck, even though I’m not big into chick flicks, I won’t hesitate to pop on some Gilmore Girls when I start feeling all nostalgic for the days I used to hang out with my sister like that.

Growing up, and all the way up until high school, I watched a lot of old television series, and when I say old, I mean OLD. I’ve seen most of the original Lost in Space and Outer Limits series, I’ve watched every single episode from the original Star Trek and every other spinoff it inspired later on, and I never set foot on the bus for school in the morning before watching at least one episode of either Mr. Ed, Green Acres, The Adams Family or All In The Family. I can’t say for sure where this love of mine for the classic’s came from, but I’m pretty sure my dad had something to do with it.

What I love most about old television is that it provides us with a glimpse into what the world was like during the years before we were born… well, at least before I was born. Granted, they’re not always the most accurate portrayal, as television tends to embellish certain details for the sake of keeping the audience entertained, but sometimes you can glean the most about a society from what they don’t show on television. Most broadcast companies were much more stringent back then, being very selective about what they would and would not allow to air, a fact which has changed a hell of a lot today, and not just in what watch, but in what we read to.

The first show I ever saw on HBO was the Pillars of the Earth mini series, based on one of my favourite Ken Follett novels. My friends had warned me that the kind of stuff that HBO airs leaves very little to the imagination, so I should brace myself. Based on my experience, I think that was a bit of an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against HBO. I’m anxiously awaiting the next season of Game of Thrones to come out on DVD, and my boyfriend finally convinced me to watch Rome, which in my opinion was a series that was too short lived, much like Firefly. Honestly, I love what HBO has to offer, but the question of why I love it so much is what has got me thinking; how did we get here?

Frankly speaking, if someone from the 1950’s were to be transported to the present time, and the first things they had access to were our books and television, I can’t help but debate whether they would be more amazed by how much our creativity has evolved, or terrified by it. Our creative culture is rife with sadism, masochism, gut wrenching torture, explicit sex, and violence in just about every fathomable way, shape and form. Our hands are no longer tied by censorship, at least nowhere near as much as it used to be, and clearly we’ve taken full advantage of it. Granted, it makes for very interesting and thought provoking stories, but the fact that those are the kinds of things that we get a thrill out of now makes me wonder; just HOW did we get here?

I’ve only been alive on this earth for 23 years, but even I can remember the days when we still got in trouble for swearing if we were under the age of 13. Now, people drop the f bomb pretty much every other word, as if it were the normal thing to do. Swearing has become a part of everyday speech, much like saying hello, or pleas and thank you. I wouldn’t call myself a conservative person, but even I cringed a little bit whenever Debra from the show Dexter went on one of her little ‘fuck’ tirades. It’s as if there is no longer a division between the categories of swear words and regular words. They’re all just words now… although I suppose swear words have always been regular words, just infused with our own subtext and connotations, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Regardless of whether it’s in books or on tv, our language and our attitude towards what was once considered obscene and unwatchable, has done a complete 180, and I just can’t help but wonder what it was that led to such a drastic change, and even more curiously, in what direction it will continue in as we continue to push the boundaries of our imagination.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and opinions, so feel free to leave them in the comments box below this post. Also, as a heads up to all of you wonderful BookNerds, I am halfway through my next novel, and will likely be posting a review for it within the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned, and as always, happy reading!



Books vs. Video Games: Do These Things Make Us Violent?

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I was posed a rather interesting question the other day, one which I was surprised I had never given much thought to before. It has been an on-going debate for years about whether there exists a direct link between video games and violent behaviour in youth. There are numerous opinions on the matter, but it’s one of those issues you can’t just throw into any specific category and expect that to be the only answer. Much like the chicken and the egg quandary, I don’t think we’ll ever know with one hundred percent certainty whether or not video games make us more violent.

As one who has grown up with three brothers, all of whom were avid video game players, and having played a fair share of those same games myself, I can safely say that not one of us has experienced any kind of violent reaction from all those hours of gameplay. In fact, and not to brag or anything… well maybe a little, but each and every one of us as done quite well for ourselves. My youngest brother, inspired by the games he has played, is even studying graphic design and computer programming at university.  

Of course, like most things in life, video games should be played in moderation. As much as I love peanut butter cookies, I’m not about to sit their and eat them for 24 hours a day. I know, apples and oranges, but you know what I mean. Here’s a better example: I love listening to Josh Groban, but I’ve made the mistake time and time again to get hooked on one of his songs, and then play it over and over again until I get sick of it. You have to mix it up with other genres. It’s the same with video games: instead of constantly playing first person shooters, mix it up with some Super Mario or Kerbel Space Program. If you’re that afraid that video games might make you more violent, then play one of the hundreds of other non-violent games out there.

 One of my favourite video games right now – ok, I’m mostly just watching my boyfriend play it, but I love watching him go through the story, it’s fantastic! – is Witcher 3. It’s possibly one of the most graphic games I’ve ever seen, yet the characters are incredibly well rounded and memorable, it’s designed in a way where even if you haven’t played the first two, you still know what’s going on, and the graphics are phenomenal! Is it a violent game? Well, there’s no doubt about that. I cringed a few times when they did a close up of the enemy heads being sliced off. After seeing all of that, do I feel like cleaving off someone’s head with a sword? No, I most certainly do not. Why? Because I know it’s fiction!

If anything, I find video games to be rather therapeutic. I’m sure most of us have experienced those moments where someone pisses us off to the point where we picture ourselves punching them in the face over and over again. When those thoughts of aggression plague my mind, I wait until I get home, and then I take it out on my enemies in a good old game of Heroes of Might and Magic (for those of whom this game may be before your time, look it up, and then pick up a copy for cheap off of Steam or Good Old Games). Just like artists pour their emotions into their paintings, and musicians into their music, we gamers channel our negative emotions into slaying virtual monsters.

Aside from that initial question, that person also made a comment about how it’s better to read more books and play fewer video games. Well, to that I say pick up a Ken Follett or Game of Thrones book, and then see if you’re whistling the same tune. The majority of todays modern books are loaded with gory violence, very explicit sex scenes, and language that even those who drop the F bomb every other word would cringe at the sound of. So no, in the battle of books vs. video games, I would not say there’s really much of a difference content wise in this day and age. Besides, there are a thousand other reasons why our society as a whole is becoming more violent, and I’m pretty sure that how much time we spend on our computer or x-box 360 is pretty far down the list.

These are just my thoughts though. If you have your own opinions regarding this ongoing debate, I would love to hear them, so feel free to post your thoughts in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!