Video Games & Philosophy

I picked up my son yesterday from a sleepover and he was strangely content. Usually when I pick him up after a sleepover he is a grumpy, overtired, hungry train wreck. But yesterday he was calm, happy, introspective. He said to me, “You know, right now I don’t want anything. I don’t need anything. I am fine. It’s such a strange feeling. I’ve never felt this way before.” 
The sarcastic adult in me said to itself “Wait five minutes kid, it’ll pass.” 

Thankfully, I kept my mouth shut because he went on talking. He talked about how we’re all the same, that basically nothing separates us; we’re all the same particles of space dust, a further iteration of the Big Bang, and that the only thing that separates us from each other is thought. 

For an armchair philosopher such as myself, it was glorious. He went on to talk about these videos he watched about a video game (he is obsessed with video games and videos about video games). In this game, a robot gains sentience. He endures slavery and prejudice, grapples with free will and emotions, has to choose between right and wrong, etc. When I asked him, “wait, this is a video game?” he confirmed that yes, it is a video game and it hasn’t come out yet, but he can’t wait to play it. 

A video game does that? 

I was shocked! 

Screens are the bane of my parenting life. I hate, I mean really deeply, hate video games. My kids would spend all day, every day on screens if I let them. But, screens make them moody zombies. Screens turn them into these creatures addicted to instant gratification. After playing games, they can’t do anything on their own. They just mull around waiting for something to stimulate them. 

Yet, this game had this weird effect on my kiddo. He’s calm, introspective, thoughtful. Because of these videos, we had an amazing conversation about Descartes and the nature of consciousness. 

We connected because of a video about a video game about sentience. And he can’t wait to play it. 


We often think that this way of doing something is bad or that way isn’t “the way” and yet… beauty can come out of anything. 

Even a video game. 

This is something I have to remind myself of constantly. The thing I think I know, the thing I think is right is only a perspective. We really have no idea. There is no one way of doing anything. There are ways. They either work for us or they work against us. And what that “thing” is, is up to us to decide individually. 

Just something to think about on your way to your day today.