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Do video games really rot your brain?

I remember when I got my first gaming console at four years old. It was a Gameboy Advance SP, and I loved playing on it. When I heard about the new consoles that were coming out, I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon of gaming. To this date, I own every single Nintendo console.

I love gaming. It’s a great stress reliever, and it makes for an awesome way to connect with friends. If you use it right, you can even make some money off of it.

I don’t know why the statement, “Video games will rot your brain,” gets tossed around a lot. The stories in some games might be violent or boring, but playing games like Kirby and Yoshi is a good way to relax. Games also get your adrenaline pumping, such as competitive first-person shooters or Super Smash Bros. There are also games like the Ace Attorney Series or the Professor Layton Series for those who like to solve puzzles.

I love how games bring people together—especially when they’re not too competitive. More fun, casual games might do this the best—those games that are simply fun to play. It’s games like Just Dance where you can have casual fun even if you can’t dance and maybe fall down while trying. Your friends might make a playful comment, but you all laugh it off and continue having fun.

These games encourage teamwork to complete a goal, and I personally love games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty for that aspect. It’s cool to have your headset and voice chat on, coming up with new strategies to outdo your opponents. My friends and I have bonded a lot through playing games like these despite living far away from each other.

I never thought anyone could make money off of video games, but back home for a school festival, one of the most popular moneymakers came from the video game booths. Students were charged a fee to play games with each other such as Street Fighters, FIFA or Mario Kart in a room. I even ran a booth like that for my church festival. If you do it right, it can be a success.

You can also trade awesome stuff with other players. Pokémon is an example of this. Because it is hard to catch Pokémon, trading makes it easier to grow your collection with rare Pokémon for a small fee.

There are even competitions you can enter if you are good enough. Flying Tee had a Smash Bros and Mortal Combat tournament recently with prizes. If you think you have what it takes, go for it. And even if you don’t win, it’s always fun seeing other players pit it out. The possibilities are endless.

Get a Nintendo Switch if you want to, or if you’re eager and unwilling to wait for the next generation of consoles, get an Xbox One or a PS4. Even a gaming PC for some games will work. Try it, and you may find something you love.