Thave played video games my whole life. Video games have a special place in my heart. They were essentially my whole childhood and it was a great way for me to connect with friends. My friends and I would pull all-nighters playing games and those were some great times. I never really thought of myself as an addict when it came to gaming. My mother told me millions of times to get my eyes off the television screen because it was frying my brain. I admit, I spent a great deal of time on video games and have had phases where I felt addiction kicking in. There is a certain high you get from playing games.
Constant repetition when failure occurs is motivating. Wanting to reach the next level and talk about it with my buds the next day was pure enjoyment for me. When I came across this article I knew | had to read it. This article “Why People Die Playing Video Games” written by Damon Beres opened my mind to the threats of video game addiction. Beres opening sentence of the article is an attention grabber. “He played the game to pass the time: ten hours of uninterrupted questing. Then, mind hazed by the room’s thick cigarette smoke and eyes stinging from the monitor’s flicks and throbs, he decided to step outside for some fresh air.
Feng stood, took three steps then stumbled and collapsed, his mouth foaming. ” The words belong to Simon Parkin, author of “Death by Video Game. ” Beres came at an angle when he wrote this article, that angle being fear. Beres was trying to work off fear to send a message to his audience, which is smart. People become enslaved to this virtual reality which is unlike anything of this world. Emptiness and sadness in the earthly reality can lead one toward addiction. Usually you hear about people turning to alcohol or even drugs. What is not ften reported on this side of the world is the dangerous video game addiction craze that dates back to the 1980’s. Beres did a phenomenal job when writing this article for his audience. No, the audience isn’t most likely heavy gamers but maybe for the parents of them. Earthly reality and virtual, video game reality is not entirely different. See, in the virtual video game world you can act and do as you please with no consequence. There is no judgement, there is no one to please other than yourself. One doesn’t play video games for other people.
People play video games to temporarily escape the earthly realities of this world. You can go into a Netflix binge of watching series all day, but there is something unique about video games. Perhaps the reason is that you are in control of your own fate for once. For once in your life you can control your next strategic decision. It isn’t often that you are in total control of how things will work out. It becomes addicting after a while, continuous achievement and leveling up; even the failure is addicting. Failing and starting right back where you left off is a high in itself.
When we fail in earthly reality we give up because we want instant results. We live in a microwaveable world meaning we want results instantly. The true fact of the matter is great things take time, but with video games you can fail but still be sitting on the couch ready to attack the level again. What people don’t realize is that one hour turns into three, and three turns into ten. Before you can even get up to check the time it’s been a full day in this other virtual reality that isn’t earth. Beres explains that video games reach our deepest of human needs.
Beres writes, “People like competition, people like rivalry: Video games are very good at quantifying achievement. ” Being an athlete I feed off competition and rivalry. Beres helped me realize that this is a big reason I was such a big gamer growing up. I lived for the rivalry aspect. Moving on to a more abstract note. I think there is something to be said about meeting our deepest of human needs through this virtual reality. In a lot of ways there is comfort in playing video games, it is like reading a book or watching TV. There is no immense pressure put on us to succeed, it is just you and your console.
There is a bit of beauty in it. Beres writes that most games deal with the aspect of “survival”. This in my opinion cuts deep in the human mind. It isn’t often that we are faced with survival strategies and life or death is on the line. Video games allow us to experience that side of life without actually being put into the situation. Beres brought up a very good point in this article when he spoke out the angle that designers are taking with video games. It isn’t just all sports games or shooting guns, designers have taken on a role of everyday jobs in video games such as delivering the paper.
As follows, ‘What we’re starting to see now is designers starting to try to place us in different kinds of roles in life that are maybe not aspirational in order to achieve interesting effects and say things about the world. In the game “Cart Life,” you play as a newspaper seller on the poverty line in America. That’s not something you’d think most people would want to do. But there’s something about playing as that character and seeing what his life is like that has interesting effects. It generates empathy for people who are in that situation.
We’re seeing a whole lot of games that are starting to explore this rich territory, and we’re just at the beginning of that. ” This makes us as consumers able to experience not life or death situations, but everyday situations that once again we would never experience in the real world. Designers are only getting smarter. Just like any other marketing scheme the marketer understands their target audience better and better over time. Designers are finding better ways to reach the consumer and this could be scary considering how addicting video games truly are becoming.
Beres had an interesting title that really jumped out at me “Why People Die from Video Games”. This title jumps out at the reader, but the purpose of this article was not to necessarily to talk about how you can die from video gaming. While there have been deaths related to excessive video game playing, this article was meant to shed light on the enslavement of video gaming and why so many are addicted. This article cut more into the psychological process of video game addicts. Why are so many people enslaved to this virtual reality?
I think Beres did a good job explaining the psychological reasoning as to why so many are addicted. The whole idea that a virtual reality meets our needs more than the earthly world is what stuck out to me. With that being said, I would counter that statement by saying we live in a “I want esults now” world. We have become lazy: we have the ability to search whatever we want just through our phones. Twenty years ago we had to look at an encyclopedia for information. Our brains have less of a need to take in new information. If we forget it, we can just google it.
That is how we think now in this world, and I believe that correlates to video games in a lot of ways. The constant resetting of dying on a video game is making us numb. We are a numb generation, but we are soft. We are numb to so many things going on around us, but when the going gets tough we get soft because a lot of us aren’t equipped to deal with the earthly world. A lot of us are used to the virtual reality in which you think you are accomplishing so much but really you are just killing your person to person communication skills and slowly making yourself numb.