Man, I love video games. They're great. But sometimes, they're totally unnecessary.
Yesterday was Children's Day in Japan. The family and I packed up our stuff and headed to the Expo Commemoration Park. It's where the 1970 World's Fair was held and is now a very green and a beautiful place to play frisbee or soccer or have a picnic.
There were tons of families doing that, enjoying the summer-like weather.
One thing I didn't quite get (and I say this as a gamer!) was that there were a small percentage of kids sitting on picnic mats and playing their Nintendo DS or Sony PSP. (Nothing as extreme as this, however) It was somewhat depressing — not so much that they were gaming, but that they were in a location in which they could run around and exercise. Yet, they weren't.
The equivalent would be someone walking into a fantastic arcade like Taito Hey in Akihabara and instead of playing any games, just sit there and flip through a magazine. It's someone not taking advantage of what's available to them that bothers me the most.
And I guess playing a video game outside is a bit like reading a book outside and a way to enjoy an enjoyable activity outdoors. But, you can always read a book on the sofa at home. You can't play soccer, though.