What TV, Movies, and Video Games Taught Me

I’m not quite sure what the statistics are exactly, but if you lived in a home that WAS NOT affected by divorce and you’re considered part of the middle class, chances are both your parents work.  When I was younger, (still too young to be left home alone after school or during summer vacation) I would be at my grandmother’s house all day.  She (along with my parents) would always say I spent way too much time watching TV and playing Video Games.  However, they had a very different reason for excess of each.My mom was quite overprotective of me in every sense of the word.  When it came to TV and movies, I was under strict supervision.  I didn’t get cable TV in my house till I was 17 years old.  Before then I had to rely on a TV Guide (remember those?) in order to know what was on or I’d be channel-surfing like a mindless zombie.  I wasn’t allowed to watch “The Simpsons” because according to my mom, “The Simpsons” were “insoportable y malcriados.”  For those of you who don’t understand Spanish, she’s saying they were annoying and incredibly rude.  As the 24th season of “The Simpsons” is going to start soon, would you like to know what that show has taught me?  Without trying to sound too much like a psychologist, I believe “The Simpsons” overall is the most REALISTIC, yes realistic, show on television and has been for years.  The show has taught me about overcoming disappointments and failures in life, how a father and husband (or anyone for that matter) despite being flawed, can give and receive unquestionable love and support from his family, and  that everyone deserves to be treated with respect no matter where they come from or what they do?  Is my third reason a little perplexing to you?  Go find me an episode where anyone in the world of “The Simpsons” is racist or judgmental about another character’s person because their skin isn’t yellow or because they’re a super villain pressed on world domination … I’ll wait.  Oh and how to tell the difference between right and isosceles triangles.

Movies… ah movies.  My first great love…  I didn’t even see my first “R” rated movie till I was a senior in high school.  Obviously I’ve seen thousands upon thousands of movies.  Wanna know what they taught me?  It is possible to do what you love.  Dream big, and then dream even bigger.  Movies and visual storytelling are my life now.  I don’t know where I would be today without them.

Now if we HAVE to dig a little deeper, I can point out things that I’m glad to have not learned from movies, especially Disney movies.  I’m not a girl, obviously, but if I were, or if I ever have a daughter, I would probably not let her watch all the Disney movies I saw growing up.  Why you may ask?  Just watch this hilarious-but true explanation.

All sentiments aside, now we’ve reached the apex.  Video games.  My mom never wanted me playing video games for one sole reason.  Not so much because they were a waste of time like TV was, but because they would turn me violent.  Violent?  Really?  Then “Columbine” happened which was the beginning of the unfortunate list of school shootings that were brought upon by the psycho-social coctail of combining violent video games with impressionable kids and immature or neurologically impaired adults.  About ten years ago, I worked in a video game store and I cringed over how many parents were buying their very young kids games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “Max Payne.”  But what about a “normal” person?  I’ve played video games of all kinds for decades and I’ve never shot up a school or robbed a liquor store, or anything like that.  So what have video games taught me?  Video games are as close as I’ll probably ever get to living a double life.  Video games bring out the best and the worst of me simultaneously.  Video games keep me smart and stupid at the same time (depending on what I play.)  And video games make me want to upgrade my TV more often.

What about you?  I wanna know.  How have TV, movies, and video games affected your life?  Do you see the world differently because of them?  Do you constantly watch and play so you don’t have to live in this one?  Please share.

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3 thoughts on “What TV, Movies, and Video Games Taught Me

  1. I believe that video games are sort of a cathartic experience. A safety valve for any kind of frustration pent up inside.I also used to watch a lot of cartoons and movies on T.V, and had the same reaction from my parents. But they really kick-started my creativity and most cartoons of the 90’s dealt with complex themes and somehow subconsciously helped me distinguish good narratives from bad. Now, learning about movies ,animation has kind of reduced its charm a bit because the analyzing part of the brain kicks in..

  2. I think video games can have a positive effect on people that play it and the world around us.

    they give us insights to things that we are not always aware of. just by playing war games we learn more about war from a screen stand point but learning is learning.

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