What’s not “practical” about fun?

July 15, 2014 by Joshua
in Art, Awareness

The New Yorker published this judgmental statement about practicality in an article on a video game. As you know, since the term “practical” creates a value judgment, I try to avoid using it to impose my values on others.

There may not be any practical application for [the] game and its findings, but he nevertheless believes that it has significant value aside from science-fiction entertainment.

I barely play video games and don’t like much science-fiction, but I recognize that those are my tastes based on my values. Others choose to play based on their values. How can anyone call one person’s values better than another’s. I ask you this:

After taking care of life’s basics like food and water, what do you value more than enjoying yourself? Why on earth should entertainment not have significant value? Why call someone having fun impractical?

I grew up thinking opera and classical music were somehow better than rock or pop, that art was better than sports, that academic classes were more important than gym. You know the mainstream hierarchy of values. I’m glad I’ve outgrown that judgmental view. Self-awareness means knowing your values, which means not necessarily accepting others’ values.

I wrote about how people trying to impose their values on you discourages people from doing what they want or understanding themselves in “I have to take care of “real world” issues first.” I hope this blog helps people protect themselves from others imposing their judgment on them.

If people like something, it’s practical to them. End of story. New Yorker’s writer’s values or judgment on practicality are no better than anyone else’s.

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