• How I justify spending money on something I probably didn’t need to

  • June 01, 2020

  • Ooh, the mystery. What could a magician possibly be spending his hard-earned money on!? Is it exciting new magic effects? A new prop? A new outfit? What could it be!?

    Well, sorry to disappoint you dreadfully, but I haven’t purchased some interesting new grimoire or long lost book of magical secrets. I bought a video game, for the Playstation 4 no less (PlayStation til I die, OORAH!...is that even a real chant...?).

    But Video Games are a waste of time.

    Yup. They absolutely are. Video games as a general rule are a time sink, unlike any other form of entertainment. You can pour hours upon hours into them, and get very little back from them.

    However, they are the only form of entertainment that challenges you to be” good” at them. You won’t get a quiz part of the way through your book about what has happened so far, demanding you prove that you’ve been paying attention. Sure, you can turn down the difficulty, but you get my meaning. Video games require active involvement to be consumed. You cannot play a video game and watch a movie and eat your dinner at the same time. Believe me; I’ve tried.

    Plus, the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. We all enjoy different things; I just happen to enjoy escaping into a fantasy world where I can do the impossible (in a different way to how I do the impossible in the real world that is!).

    Video Games are an expensive waste of money.

    They definitely can be an expensive investment. You need a decent TV, the console itself (whichever takes your fancy, I’m not that bothered by which one takes your fancy), and then the game on top of that. It can all add up to a lot of money.

    I would not call them a waste of money, though, that is a very subjective statement. I use my console almost daily, and if I don’t my housemates certainly do, be that accessing a streaming service or playing a DVD. Plus, I can’t remember the last time I had a party and my guests didn’t get involved in a few rounds of one game or another, particularly since I got all the Virtual Reality bits and pieces.

    Using it that often means that the cost per use is incredibly low and outstanding value for money. Especially if you look at the game, I just bought. I bought Ghost of Tsushima for £17 (down from £55 thanks to the use of vouchers from previous games I had traded in, thank you very much CEX!). Since it’s meant to take around 30hrs to complete, it works out at about 60p/hour of entertainment, even without the discount, it would be about £1.80/hour. Compare that to the cinema, around £7 per visit on average in the UK, so even if it’s a long movie at 3 hours, that’s about £2.30/hour.

    I live in London, and I like to get the most value I can out of my games. So I will most likely hit around 40 hours with that game, and going to the cinema is usually £12-15 near me. That means I’m looking at comparing 43p/hour against £6/hour of movie entertainment. To me, that is a ridiculous saving!

    Video Games make people violent.

    No, lag makes people violent. Or so the saying goes. As much as I would love to sweep this statement aside, I read some studies on this very topic, and it looks like violent video games make people more violent, or at least increase certain violent tendencies. So yeah, you got me there.

    Video Games have some positive cognitive benefits

    Oh yeah, you heard me. Video games have been shown to affect all kinds of areas of the brain that can have enormous benefits for us.

    • Improve Coordination

    Do I really have to explain why this is useful for a magician? I do!? Okay then. Sleight of hand. NEXT!

    • Enhances Memory

    Learning to control your character correctly, remember missions, what does what, how things interact in a way that would make no sense outside of the game is going to help improve your memory and of course that leads to help with:

    • Improving Problem Solving

    Players are bound by the rules of the game and have to circumnavigate any problems thrown at them, split-second decisions are commonplace, and these are only going to help improve that mushy pink stuff between your ears.

    • Increase the brain’s speed

    There is a lot of information involved in video games, and that information can be thrown at you incredible quickly depending on what is happening in-game. Studies have shown that video game players can process visual and audio information much faster than there less nerdy peers.


    I’m sure you don’t need to keep being bashed over the head about why I like video games. You get the idea. And this was spurred on by one game. Not even getting into VR, Watchdogs Legion, Cyberpunk 2077, or any other of the myriad of games I cannot wait to play!

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