Made me think a lot about my time as a gamer. In comparison to you and many other gamers, I haven't had the social skills to actually make a lot of friends and I rarely had anyone to discuss my game experiences with. But although, I play games for the art, for the music, atmosphere, story, and not for the actual game itself which may sound weird. So I really don't know if I wasted my all my years (I'm 20 now and have played since I was a kid) playing games, because in a way, they inspire me a lot and given me a lot of material to work with and think over when I'm singing which is a real life hobby I have. Thing is, all these years have been awfully lonely though and to be honest, I never have been able to keep a friend after changing game or for e.g. schools irl. I'm not ashamed to say that.
But if you look on it with an objective perspective, games can also be a savior, because even if it is just a timesaver sometimes, it takes away the real pain many may harbor because of family relations or other stuff. I was for e.g. sick during my young years A LOT, so I barely had no other choice, it was games or utter boredom. Sure I could have read books but what kid does that really? And so it sort of stuck with me, and therefore I can't really hate what games have made me into, since they helped me overcome the hard parts in life.
All in all, it's mostly sad in the end, because as I said, it made me really lonely and it took away the experience that is Life. I don't agree with you on the "it's just a type of entertainment", no, for many, it's the only life they got. It's life support.
But the hard part now, when understanding the effect, is how do you really "get a life", when there never was any to begin with?
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