Hi there, and welcome to the end, yes. I am afraid this is the last series blog post to ever grace hungryandbored blog. Cheer up though, if I get hungry and bored again I might post another series of stupid things again.
Last time before I went to see the sky go techno on me I mentioned one more scary concept about the Skinner box, here it is; Calling the Skinner Box ‘Home’ Yep, you read that right. Think of if, most of you here in the United States of America don’t need to go to internet cafes just to get on the internet, you have broadband connection at the comfort of any room in your home.
Though I have a question; do you have a job? Are you satisfied with it? Considering you guys should really be working instead of reading this blog answers my question. Which brings us to gaming addiction,like general addiction, is pretty hard to beat. Remember some people’s lives are ruined because they were too distracted with videogames? Thing is, those people were probably weren’t interested in anything else BUT videogames; Again, skeptical of my statement?
-Autonomy ( A say in what you do)
-Complexity (Not mind numbing-assembly line repetition)
-Effort and Reward Connection (You see results of your work)
Thing is, most people don’t get all three in their jobs or daily aspects in life however video games provides all three (or at least the illusion of it)
Really, thing about the young gamer demographic is that most of youth have little to no patience and they expect to see results from their work, no matter how trivial it is.
Allow me to display this using a specific game out there:
1. Autonomy; In World of Warcraft you have the power to do a lot of things
-Pick what race and class you play
-Killing other players
-Doing some quests
-Making funny WoW related videos
-Exploring the world
-Or just plain hanging out and be creepy to a 16yr old Asian girl [Sorry, this may or may not have been my girl's story]
2. Complexity Look back at my previous blog post about mining all those iron ores, into iron ingots to make a piece of an iron armor to complete an iron armor set? There, my friends is complexity that eliminates the feeling of grinding. It eliminates monotony due to the fact in the end you get something very very shiny!
3. Connection on Reward and Effort; In WoW, when you level up light shoots from your character signifying that your effort has paid off.
See, all of the above are missing from real life. Quick, tangible rewards because it comes down to in the end is the sense of accomplishment, like again, no matter how trivial you know you earned it. See? This is work that is fun!!! Once you level up new things and features are unlocked and therefore more work for more fun!!! What’s the problem? According to Erin Hoffman, Addiction is not about what you do but you don’t do because of the replacement of the addictive behavior” She basically said that attraction to a game as simple as bejeweled depends on how you REALLY REALLY WANT TO AVOID THE WORK YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!
The horrible truth is we all have begged to crawl into a Skinner Box that resembles a world we WANT to live in. Life is just terrible and cruel and so much hard work with little to no tangible benefits. David Wong here discusses my point entirely on numerous subjects [to be honest, there's a reason why there's DIE in diet], with that. Gaming addiction is nothing but another form of escape, like Alcoholism or Drugs
Another dosage of reality is that, though it may seem bad now that we are the ones who wanted this thing….think of in the coming years of what kind of MMO’s that will use more advanced psychological gimmicks on us in the coming years, they can only do better from here folks, mark my words.
But before we worry, I want to leave this blog post in a semi-good note;
The government (at least the American Psychology Association), no matter how much they denied the existence of Video Game Addiction, knows it’s there. That is why there are programs to help gamers, think of the equivalent of Alcoholic Anonymous but for computer geeks
If you simply look up ‘What has the government done about video game addiction’ you can see an extensive list like how South Korea [unofficially known as the gaming capital of the world due to its unusually high internet speed available to the public and how gaming is such an accepted part of their culture] literally holds up programs to help their populace deal with video game addiction.
Really, if a country that basically thinks its national past time is watching the people play computer games competitively via this competition [note who has the most medals] you can clearly see there’s a really good message here.
Now, I’m down to the last $.02 I own so here goes;
Unfortunately, Video Game Addiction is not just a media hype, it’s an addiction. In essence if you had self-control to begin with you wouldn’t find yourself sitting on your butt and wasting two or more hours playing with animated pixels on a glowing bright screen. Video game is an escapism, and like most escapes, it doesn’t really solve the problem and you might end up as an old person that feels terrible for wasting their 20’s playing videogames and the only way to feel better about yourself is to play even more videogames while staying at your totally sweet bachelor’s pad [IE, your mom's basement]. It’s a terrible cycle of rinse and repeat. Sadly, this is no different from Drugs or Alcohol, it is just less looked down upon by society due to the fact it’s legal, tendency to not really harm others but yourself [IE, you're too distracted to hit your wife for not helping you level your character up].
Truth of the matter is, it’s up to you to avoid certain things, like how your parents taught you to avoid drugs, smoking, alcohol, or that stranger in the van that gives out free candy; it’s up to you to differentiate what to take and not take, where to go, what to eat. It’s your life, in the end no matter who tells you what to do, it’s ultimately up to you because at the end of the day, there’s no one to judge you (but yourself)
With the up to you lesson given: There’s really only one thing you can do about a vice.
Well, it has been a bumpy ride. But this concludes my Series Blog Post. I am Mr. HungryandBored and I have been very happy that you wasted parts of your life reading the trash coming out of my head. Well, I hope to see you all in real life :) as a recovering gamer, I find the urge to to be more irritable and less goal-oriented unless I get my hands on killing some people in Team Fortress 2 which by the way is Free To Play now. If you’re interested drop me a call and maybe we can play a round…and only a round/a day .