Video Gamers—You’re Not Alone

Video games have a big impact on teenagers and their social lives. According to the Sutter Health website,, 97% of teens in the U.S. play video games. This means that most students at PHS likely engage in some form of gaming.

Old style video gaming.
Old style video gaming.

 Not too long ago, video games were just a fun thing to do by yourself in your living room.  In those days, most games included pressing a single button and moving a joystick, and that was the only part of the game.

Today, games are much more complex, such as Mortal Kombat and Call of Duty. They are often played in conjunction with other people, either on-site or through the web.

Some video game formats are very competitive and there are tournaments hosted where people play a specific game against each other.

Matt Martin, PHS freshman, plays tournaments and video games often.  He has been playing video games for ten years and has participated in clan wars.  Martin plays solo video games or competes with his friends.

“My favorite thing about gaming is that I [just] really enjoy it,” said Martin.  “To me, gaming isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”

Headsets bring other players into today's video gamer's homes.
Headsets bring other players into what used to be a solo game.

Kalaen Lawson, another PHS freshman, also plays video games often.  Lawson doesn’t participate in tournaments but he games for an hour or more every day.  His favorites are Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. He usually plays alongside his friends..

“I was about nine when I started,” said Lawson.  “I don’t watch TV much so I play video games instead.”

Video games have impacted a lot of teenagers, giving a new way to interact with their friends outside of school. They have changed over the years. Instead of being a purely solitary pursuit, video games now offer the opportunity for teens to interact with whole new groups of people.

There’s no real way to tell where exactly video games will be in the future, but there’s no doubt that gaming will continue to be a driving force in the lives of many PHS students.


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