I absolutely agree that the importance of college athletics is grossly overemphasized. I might say that at least exercise is healthy, but the kind of training some of those people go through probably should not be encouraged.
yeah that depends on the discipline, but the average age of retirement for professional sportsmen is ~30 years... recreational exercise is great for you, but professional sports take a huge physical toll on these people, it's very demanding with constant pressure to break "the limits of human body", and there's really only so much a human body can take. they're basically being exploited and for what? for the screams of the crowd, and a place on the chart... and helluva $$$. but not for the 'performers', they're just expendables. maybe the best of the best earn a lot, yeah. for a while. but it's the organizers and the intermediaries who profit most, as always.
And I have indeed read that there are a lot of people pursing costly law degrees who are probably never going to achieve sufficient financial success in law to pay off their loans.
generally people still think that their choice of profession, and then their job careers, are a defining factor to their financial well-being. but the truth is you really can't make big money doing honest work anymore. even if you're a real pro, a valued 'expert' in your field, even if you have no life outside of work, you'll still have to bend your back or feel your financial obligations breathing up your neck.
financial independence, and real money, is made by speculating, by gaming the financial system, juggling money around, balancing assets. buy when the charts are down, sell when they're up... that's your financial success in this day and age. it's kinda sad, but you simply can't make real money without this. and these kind of skills don't depend on your profession, for even professional financial advisors can be just as clueless about market movements as your average guy (but they learn other tricks to help them even things out and come out clean anyway).
so you either have it in you to game up your finances, or you don't, and will spend your life working off the debts that you've taken for things that you don't need and don't really want anymore. or squandering your family fortunes, if you miraculously happened to be born into big wealth. so yeah, lawyers too can happen to live in poverty.
But still, there are useful skills you can learn in such a pursuit that are readily transferable to other professions – structuring an argument or learning good grammar, for instance.
I have difficulty imagining that there are a lot of skills you could develop in gaming that could be similarly transferable – some skills, yes, but not a lot.
sure games can offer tangible benefits. simulators of all kind are used to train professional pilots and drivers. armies train with their wargames. many games help develop your hand-eye coordination, a useful skill in many real situations. things like Civilization
can serve as a modest entry point into the topic of geopolitics, if you have it in you to expand on these bare basics elsewhere. other games can point towards some important, or just interesting real-life topics you wouldn't know of otherwise. and the grammar, writing skills generally? i guess good, well-written VNs can help with that, to some extent. or things like Interactive Fiction. reading good prose generally helps you learn how to fit the words nicely together, or get to know new phrases, and all that. written word is just that, even if it's illustrated and somehow interactive.
and even things like Ace Attorney
can potenially help you irl by training your attention to details. i sure find it easier to spot a contradiction now! also the, uh, hidden-object genre can train you to better locate things around the environment.. perhaps? and to pack your bags so everything fits nicely.
inventory management in MMORPGs helps with that too haha. there are also some more or less experimental applications of gaming in the medical field, in mood therapy and trauma rehab. (aand also the doctors really do train on, ahem, Surgeon Simulator
. true story, yep.)
so, generally speaking, there are some benefits of gaming if you care to look, but they can be subtle, intangible even. same with prose, music or, idk, solving crosswords. but there's a big difference here, because games are interdisciplinary media, so you have a mix of elements from various fields, so it's more stimulating this way. so even if, say, writing quality in your average VN is worse than what you'd normally expect with 'paper' writers, it can be accompanied by a great soundtrack or nice illustrations, so there's always something to go on with. maybe there's no 'concrete' skillset to gain here overall, but it will still make you grow somehow. and if you're keen on self-development, then every little thing can serve as a stepping stone.
but the point here is, there's really no need for all that anyway. not everything you do must necessarily result in gaining practical skills, not everything needs to have an aim and a purpose, and really not many things that we do in life have an aim or a purpose (or at least not a good one), if you think about it in a certain way. if you absolutely need a reason to do something, well just pick one! as with every situation, there are many reasons to choose from, all equally good or bad, depending on your current stance. and if you can't find a reason you like, then just pick one at random! that's what everybody does all the time anyway, even if they won't admit it.
Anyway, people used to say that there will always be a need for people in skilled trades. Not sure if that's still accurate.
to an extent, sure. still the world doesn't need, say, hundreds of millions of plumbers. but people who are genuinely good at what they do, real pros, are always needed, regardless of the profession. well unless it's very niche or archaic, as some professions die off at some point because they're no longer relevant. but i'm of the belief that it's best to respec several times in your career anyway. varied skillset is the key to staying on top whichever way the wind blows, plus it makes things less boring overall.
But we're probably getting off-topic.
yeah, back on point, the games in the study are casual, fun and relaxing, so of course they'll make people happy. same as their nights out or whatever else makes them chill. looks like, ahem, science is taking the side of simple common sense here, which is a refreshing turn of events when you consider things like e.g. modern physics.
so, is my life better because of games? because that's roughly what all this translates to. well it certainly isn't worse, that's for sure! i don't know how it would and why, because games are pretty harmless unless you really, really go overboard, but it's the same with everything else, and there's nothing extraordinary with gaming that would make it stand out here.
i guess the main thing for me, like personally, is that gaming makes things more 'interesting', in a way, than they would be otherwise. there's lots of cool stuff, especially with all the indies abound. i'm having fun even if it takes wading through the mud to fish out the pearls, but it's like we were in the '90s again, only there's even more of everything this time around.