Video games made me discover the importance of friendship

May 24, 2018 — by Kevin Sze

Reporter tells story about video games and friendship.

I glanced at the clock in my first period class. 9:44, almost time for me and my friends to play the viral mobile game “Player Unknown Battlegrounds,” also known as “PUBG.”

Once the bell rang, I hurried out of class, found my friends, and we made our way to the Tutoring Center to play “PUBG.”

The game is played in a battle royale format, in which squads of four jump out of a plane onto the warzone below. The warzone is filled with various guns, ammunition and armor that players collect to defeat the other teams. The last team standing wins the game.  

After seeing an advertisement on YouTube, I decided to try out the game. When the game released in March, I downloaded it with my friends and we began to play.

The game became addicting. When we lost we got extremely frustrated and blamed the game, but when we won we celebrated like we won the Super Bowl.

Eventually, I realized the fun I was having with my friends was at the expense of my productivity, and ultimately, my grades.

The game took up precious time during tutorial, and eventually I began to slack off on things that tutorial was supposed to be used for, like meeting with teachers. I realized that the benefits of quitting the game outweighed the costs, and I decided to get off the game.

The problem was that the game was a time for me to relax after first or second period and bond with my friends. Stopping to play the game meant that I would distance myself from my friends, especially when they would talk about tutorial’s game during lunch.

I argued with myself that if I used tutorial to meet with my teachers or get my work done, I could then sleep earlier. That extra sleep would make me feel refreshed and eager to learn in the morning, which would raise my grades.

The biggest hurdle for me was accepting that I would miss out on some of the fun my friends were having. It was tough to sit through conversations about the game without relating to any of it.

In mid-April, I discovered that quitting the game was actually a blessing in disguise. My friends quit the game with me, and I discovered that my friendships ran much deeper than just the game, and we began to talk about more meaningful things in life.

Learning to give up video games made me realize that there’s so much more to life than my phone. Sure, a game can give you a small dose of fun, but none of that ever lasts. You should invest your time in building relationships, not improving meaningless skills in video games.

Besides, with the heavier burden of junior year right around the corner, I can’t afford to be at anything but my best in school.

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