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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Webb students reflect on gaming at Webb

Sebastian Hoffmann (’23)
Yoyo Meng (‘23) plays a round of Apex Legends in his dorm room.

A Minecraft Halloween building competition. Students playing FIFA in the Hooper Centre. People enjoying a round of Super Smash Brothers in the Ruddick Room. Throughout the campus, gaming is a decent part of Webb. During the pandemic, students spent their time in virtual spaces with their friends, connecting when they were physically apart. However, this can have a significant time impact.

With blockbuster and multiplayer games, time spent playing can amount to hundreds or thousands of hours. This contrasts with books, movies, and television shows; books take roughly 10 to 15 hours to read, movies average two hours, and TV shows typically have only 10 to 20 hours of content a season. Video games are a unique hobby in terms of their length and amount of time spent; big-budget (AAA) games can range from 15-30 hours on average, and their interactive nature makes them highly replayable.

The return to in-person classes and the general pressure of schoolwork has influenced the experiences of video game players at Webb.

Video games have helped Webb students connect with others during the 2020-21 school year and some are deciding whether they want to continue with this hobby or abandon it now that they are able to spend time with their peers in person.

Some have questioned their time spent on activities, and how to effectively use that time.

Jonathan Lou (‘22), stated that he has been moving away from video games as a hobby to concentrate on other interests that he thinks serve him better.

“I like playing games, but can I get more than a good experience out of games?” Jonathan said. “Let’s say […] you play video games or you learn how to cook. What experience will you get more out of? […] Is the experience of gaming more valuable than other hobbies?”

He reflected on his time learning how to cook during quarantine.

“I cooked a lot of food,” Jonathan said. “I put in the time to cook food for myself […] I learned something, but also gained an experience out of it, so how does it stack up with video games?”

Joseph Ferrari (‘22), however, offers a different view on the matter. He prefers to vary his hobbies rather than focus on a single one.

“When there are weekends, I wouldn’t spend 6 hours gaming or 6 hours cooking,” Joseph said.

“Gaming is definitely a big part of my life,” said Katie Arzate (‘23), who prioritizes video games over most other hobbies or skills. She said that she has other hobbies, that include crocheting, animation, digital illustration, and sports; Still, gaming remains a higher priority, as she games around six hours on weekends.

Webb students also criticize the length of games themselves, as some find it difficult to balance schoolwork with longer games.

“Personally, I can lose interest very quickly,” Katie said. “I don’t think that a game should take you 24 hours of straight grinding to finish. When I was trying to beat We Happy Few, school got in the way of things.”

“I think that most of the titles I engage with are narrative-based games, or games that have a definite ending point, so I generally try to get to the end of a title,” Joseph said. “Sometimes that takes me a year.”

During quarantine, video games created a space where students could meet with their friends; this was beneficial in a time when Webb students could not meet with others in person.

“I think gaming has helped my friends bond over the last year, as we couldn’t meet in real spaces,” Joseph said.

“For us, we lost one year of our Webb experience,” Jonathan said. “We have limited time left. So do you want to spend that on games or [on other activities]? ”

Overall, Webb students are mixed in their views on video games. Some want to pursue different, more practical hobbies, whereas others want to continue gaming. Schoolwork has affected all hobbies, but due to the time needed to engage in video games, many students find themselves unable to balance gaming with schoolwork.

To maintain a balance between Webb’s intensive schoolwork, gaming, and social activities, some students have found it best not to invest too much time in one hobby, such as Joseph. Instead, they have found to take advantage of Webb’s many clubs to try out all kinds of activities without the pressure of spending too much time and effort. By moving away from gaming, students such as Jonathan have found benefits in other hobbies that are more useful or enjoyable. Other students, such as Katie, have decided to keep gaming as a priority in their schedules.

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About the Contributor
Sebastian Hoffmann
Sebastian Hoffmann, Staff Writer
On a typical morning, Sebastian Hoffman (’23) wakes up in his dorm, Kirkhill, and reads for 20 to 30 minutes. Working at a local bookstore during the last summer, Sebastian’s favorite book is Roadside Picnic and enjoys reading science fiction that explores insightful themes on the nature of mankind. Of course, books are not his only source of entertainment; Sebastian loves watching Peaky Blinders, playing the video game Nuclear Throne, and listening to synthwave, his favorite music genre. This year, the Bay Area native is taking Advanced Studies Cold War, which is fitting considering his fascination for history. Sebastian is also always up to date on current events, especially news about the economy and the market. As a staff writer for the Webb Canyon Chronicle, Sebastian hopes to guarantee the factual accuracy of his articles, while connecting global issues to the school community and increasing their relevance among the student body.   Favorite song: "Paint It, Black" by the Rolling Stones

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