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Aging's Biggest Flaw: Obstinacy And Voluntary Delusion

One of the many human weaknesses that becomes more evident with every passing year of an individual's life is the childish response to discovering a misjudgment. In simpler terms, we get pissed when we find out we're wrong. Sadly, as we grow older, this seems to become part of our very chemical makeup; it's the reason why we all have grandparents that might still be considered a touch racist, and why parents and anti-gaming activists have become very, very bitter as of late.

It really is the office of the aged: obstinacy and voluntary self-delusion, all due to the fact that one doesn't wish to admit a personal failing. This weakness can manifest itself in a variety of ways; it can be shown in an increase in egotism and condescension (i.e., "I've lived long enough to know what's right, and I'm right"), or it can be portrayed in desperate attempts to cling to - and even defend - their old-fashioned belief that has since been proven incorrect many times over. Those who are younger may not notice it, but having been around gaming for a very long time, and having interacted with those who frown upon it for almost all that time, I've noticed that those very much against gaming have become more and more angry and defensive...and as a direct result, more and more sad. Many of us who grew up defending what we love would see it as a triumph; a blissfully realized dream we used to dream, lying in our beds at night, still smarting from the sting of a not-so-subtle jab from friends or family; "Maybe you should grow up and try something new," or "if he doesn't stop, he won't get anywhere."

But this triumph feels as if a wet cloth has been tossed over it, thereby greatly diminishing its brightness and intensity. Rather than acting like so-called "adults" who would criticize us for not being mature, they give way to the aforementioned human frailty and refuse to admit their mistake. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, they become even more adamant in their sorely misguided theories. They have so little left in the way of ammunition, they actually resort to invented nonsense and outright personal attacks; they won't condescend to admit to us that gaming now has intelligent stories and well-defined characters, they won't hold their scathing tongue long enough to listen to examples of wonderful artistry, choreography, acting performances, musical orchestrations, and unique advancements in the industry, and above all else, they will find a way to claim that nothing has changed. That gaming is still all about death, all about "getting away from other people," all about "addiction."

And as the world continues to turn and more people come to recognize the legitimacy and ever-increasing benefits of interactive entertainment, those same old criticizers and naysayers from decades ago persist in their deluded - and still highly offensive - attacks. They're all the more vocal when they realize they're being drowned out in a sea of those who are aware of the truth; I'd say it's probably very similar to those who defended the Church's assertion that the world was flat, in defiant albeit pathetic opposition to the newly established rule. The point is, no matter how big gaming gets, and no matter how many strides it takes, it will only continue to rile the unbelievers all the worse, and their words will become more inflated with hot air as time goes on.

The truly depressing part about this is, we gamers are certainly not immune. We are human, after all. If, in the next 25 years, it is somehow confirmed and accepted by the vast majority that gaming has always been harmful, that it can only have a negative impact on someone in the long term, we will all defend it madly, likely until our deaths. "None of us were hurt by it," we'll loudly proclaim, failing to understand how much it had indeed hurt us because we've turned a blind eye to that state of affairs. Now, I don't foresee this happening but if we can't admit we're made of the same stuff as those who continue to taunt, mock and deride, we're no better, now are we?

6/3/2010 2:54:02 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (48 posts)

Scarecrow
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:32:08 PM
Reply

Heh, I think Ben's trying to trick us

If professionals prove it (with many many, MANY tests) that v-games hurt us then hey what can you do.

But yeah, it's amazing how if relatives (the older they are the worse) see you playing v-games they start acting as if you don't hold a University degree or don't have a criminal record, don't smoke, drink, etc.

They probably see drinking/smoking and cirminal activity as "oh that's normal." But v-games is "OMG you're not doing anything with your life!"
They think v-games is different than watching a movie, tv shows, or sports.

It'll take at least 100 years for that mindset to fade away since there's still a lot of old-fashioned beliefs that still plague us.

Last edited by Scarecrow on 6/3/2010 3:32:27 PM

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Underdog15
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:38:35 PM

You're probably right. I'm banking on the Move to convert the wife. lol.

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Underdog15
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:32:32 PM
Reply

A great read, Ben.

Certainly a good point about how we are all viewed as gamers by friends and family alike.

I think your article also lightly touches a number of other areas another article could be written on. For example, the number of artistic expression, in depth storylines, and well thought-out characters raise an entirely relevant topic for discussion; one that has been discussed on this site in recent history, in fact.

One of the interesting things one might notice about a number of arguments offered by the 'other' side, however, is that they are usually saturated in at least part truths. People rarely defend flat out lies, and if they do, it's due to either a misinterpretation of information or text (as was the case in the Christians assuming worldly flatness) or due to a direct experience they may have encountered in their own lives.

For example, the arguments you mentioned other people may have about gaming being all about death, getting away from others, or addiction are, in and of themselves, not at all the essence of gaming as many of us have experienced, but they are, on the other hand, clear signs of human brokenness manifesting itself through an otherwise positive experience. I mean, all of those examples DO happen to some gamers. So if that is someone's experience with games, it's hard to blame them. Afterall, in their experience, it may have been a glaring truth.

However, it is only a -part- truth. And that's my point. Often that kind of negativity is easy for them to defend themselves with because it does have a part truth. Few people defend themselves with what they know to be a lie. They remain convinced of it's truth, and as long as it's at least partly true, it's easy to believe and defend.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 6/3/2010 3:35:22 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 4:07:03 PM

Certainly. All stereotypes have some semblance of truth to them, in that they are grounded in reality. It's true that gaming was a solitary hobby way back when (not nearly as much now), and we all know about EverCrack and other such instances.

It's basically the idea that stereotypes persist due to the same human weakness I mentioned above. ...as people get older, it gets harder and harder for them to admit they're wrong.

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Qubex
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 1:56:34 AM

You have some very strong points there Ben... I feel similarly as I age... which I guess I need to watch out that my mind does end up to be a grumpy ol'fart. You make valid and true points... a masterful editorial!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Rings0fUranus
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:38:05 PM
Reply

These old curmudgeonly politicians who constantly try to get stricter gaming laws passed, saying gaming is a childish hobby, etc., will inevitably die off on the next 20 years or so, paving the way for people who grew up with gaming to fill their seats. Take heart, noble gaming community! Our endless prosecution will not be in vain! :)

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Underdog15
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:39:10 PM

^.^

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 3:46:42 PM

Sadly humans live on average for about 75 years.

You will still have many generations of "game haters"

It's not only 'till all of those born before the 1980s have passed on that gaming will be allowed to truly be recognized as the most in-depth art form that there is, period.

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Gordo
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 5:07:45 PM

Phew, maybe lay off some of us oldies that were born in the 70's.

I was 12 when I got my Atari then moved onto the Spectrum 48K, then Amiga, then N64 then to PlayStation.
So us people in our late 30's are on your side!

;-)

Anyway, I think there is a shift. Going round my local video game store in the city, most the customers are in their 30's and 40's. They have the money to buy games and all the new gadgets.

My parents that are turning 60 have just bought DS's and are loving Prof Layton and all the Brain Training and Puzzle games.

I take my PS3 over for game nights and my parents love Buzz Quiz TV, Singstar and Rock Band Beatles.
(My Dad would always tell me his "did I ever tell you of the time I saw the Beatles in concert?" story).

I know it's not hard core but there is a shift and a convergance between all the media types.
Video games are infiltrating the main stream.

That's why Nintendo were so clever in their marketing. Give my parents a DS and they are not scared off. Give them my PSP and they wouldn't know how to switch it on. Silly, but it's a perception thing.

There is still a lot of ignorance out there though. Politicians and the media like to exploit that though. The oldies pick up on that and that is where most of them get their video game opinions from. Shame.

I'm still waiting to see scandalous footage from RDR of hogtied nuns being left on train tracks before we get another pasting from the conservative media. That is always a laugh!

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Naga
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 9:00:28 PM

No.. but if we spread the word of games that would open thier minds. Than of course stealing taxpayers money.

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mike rlz
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 4:23:15 PM
Reply

-- Edited by Admin.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/3/2010 5:49:32 PM

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mike rlz
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 10:48:01 PM

LOL case in point.

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Axe99
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 5:35:16 PM
Reply

I think part of the issue you're getting at Ben is related to identity. People's identities are made up, in part (often large part) by their views - the football teams the support, who they vote for, their favourite music. As people get older, if they don't keep growing, their identities ossify but where their views are out of step, this creates friction which leads people to be less and less happy and more snarky.

Of course, none of this is particularly bright, and a clever human would include as part of their emotional identity the ability to change when they realised they were wrong, but very few of us think this way. Because people often seen an admittance of an error as an attack on their core identity, they're quite reluctant to do it.

Now, these identity issues relate to all of us - I think it's one of the reason Ninty games get such a 'free ride' critically - I never had the Ninty identity ingrained into me, so I see them for their gameplay mechanics, which are fairly bog-standard these days. However, most of the industry that grew up on console (I have a PC background) have a big thing for Mario/Samus/Link, and so, because their identity is intertwined with these properties, tend to view them through rose-coloured glasses.

We're all subject to these issues of identity - the challenge for us is to rise above petty 'badges' to define ourselves, but rather define ourselves on the basis of our character and ability to reason :).

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Button Masher
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 5:43:25 PM
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@ Scarecrow

I have to agree with Gordo that not everyone born before 1980 is part of the witch hunt.

I've owned (by "owned" I mean got for my birthday or Christmas) a ton of consoles from Atari 2600, Commodore 64 to the NES. My first console purchase was the Sega Genesis and everything in beween up to my PS3.

My answer to anyone who questions my passion for gaming is always follwed by my stock answer: there are far worse things I could be doing with my money!!!

Gaming has evolved and will continue to evolve. It has to. The difference is if you've been a part of the crowd from Day 1, you've evolved along with the industry. Those who have never been part of our community can't relate.

For example, if you played Super Tecmo Bowl or Madden way back when the most you had to do was use 3 buttons on a controller, the evolution to calling audibles, pump fakes and the like are second nature. Imagine never beeing part of the growth process and someone hands you the controller to play Madden today? Being lost and confused as the only person in the room who may not relate just might cause you to run out of the room or tackle someone like Bobby Bouche.

"Stop makin' fun of meeeeeee!!!!"

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 6:39:28 PM
Reply

wow this is a really good article. my gf and her mother always say i'm wasting time playing games. i work 2 jobs and got to school full time i think i deserve to play my ps3 when i have spar time. they say video games are stupid but wonder why i have great problem solving skills.

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nogoat23
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 6:39:58 PM
Reply

Interesting article. It makes me wonder how I would react if something I knew to be true all my life was suddenly proven false. Would I try to devalue the evidence so that I could cling to my viewpoint, or would I accept it and update what I believed?

I haven't experienced anything like that firsthand yet, so it makes me wonder...

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SvenMD
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 6:44:58 PM
Reply

I think it's very difficult for people in general to admit that they are wrong. And the older someone gets or the longer they have held a certain belief (even if it's wrong), then it becomes even harder to admit it. The other side is that it's difficult for people to admit being wrong to someone that they feel is "below them", and by that I mean age, job class/experience, rank...etc.

Then there are just some people that will never take the time to realize that games have changed, or take the time to research games properly before they pass judgment. They will just stay stuck in their old ways simply because they don't want to change....again, because that would be like saying you were wrong all along.

Personally I fight my battles where I can win them....the parents, the wife, colleagues...that sort of thing. Word of mouth will spread. And there is definitely no STOPPING video games....they're only going to get more integrated into daily life with so many various platforms.

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Naga
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 7:36:26 PM
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I do not like it when anyone claims video gaming to be childish and immature. When I was a kid I had a negative view on Final Fantasy I believed it looked girlish. It... was a huge mistake as now I've fallen in a deep love with Final Fantasy IX in present age!

Anyhow people with a dislike to a random object have different defects to me. There's no use being against some object if you haven't tried..

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CharlesD
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 8:47:07 PM
Reply

Stereotypes do die, eventually. It just takes time. Modern gamers and future gamers will have to take the hardest part of the move to interactive gaming as an acceptable and understood method of entertainment, but once that move is made the stereotype will slowly die out and eventually be no more. That's my prediction at least.

p.s. good article ben, oh and FFXIII is great so far :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 9:23:42 PM

It gets a lot better later, but I'm glad you like it now.

And yes, I swear you'll be able to choose your party and do something more than follow one set path. It just takes time.

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DemonNeno
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 9:15:09 PM
Reply

Here's what I think. The natural selection and survival of the fittest needs to be incorperated back into our world. We think we're immune to it and that's the root problem.

Everywhere you look, people are stomping out and demanding their vision to be accepted. Illegal immigrants demanding rights on soil they.. ILLEGALLY are on. Not a citizen, you have no rights. Leave.

The Islamic Revolution (aka, manslaughter at it's most pathetic). You're religion has been exposed to America, the land of the Free who fight hard for our Freedom from your tormented tunnel vision lives. Striking down on Media, anyone who opposes them and anyone who doesn't take their word so rediculously serious (sane muslims, I feel for you). It's a shame that our country bows down to these idiots as we do. Censor our media (South Park episode) and apologize. Not on my behalf you wont because I'm not sorry. Freaks.

Music. Since when is it normal to produce music motivated by people who post actual criminal behavior? This is a sign that some people can't HANDLE entertainment mentally. Idiots. Eye for an Eye needs to come back in full swing.

Finally, gaming. With very little left on the chopping block to throw at us, it boils down to one direction. Prove that it'll hurt us. Now that games aren't childish and are actually far more entertaining that MOVIES(!!), the only choice is to talk about how it rots your brain and your life.

Yeah. TOTALLY makes sense. Because I could've swore these morons that are fighting the gaming community may have something else that's far worse for their livelihood to worry about.

This may not sound very shocking if you actually read my whole post, but I hope the world as we know it does come to an end. With our stupid cocooned in a society and nurtured by those of us who can function without going off the deep end of the pool... Well, we need to revisit survival of the fittest.

Sorry, rough day.

Last edited by DemonNeno on 6/3/2010 9:17:26 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 9:24:29 PM

I'm with you all the way. If we had to abide by "survival of the fittest" today, the species would be extinct in a week.

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DemonNeno
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 10:39:16 PM

Seriously. It wouldn't be pretty, but i'd bet it'll solve more problems than it'll create.. For the living, at least!

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Underdog15
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 8:48:40 AM

Dear Immigrants. Come to Canada. We love you here.

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MyWorstNightmar
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:36:44 PM

Underdog, carefull what you wish for. You don't want Arizona's problems. Not by a longshot.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 1:23:28 PM

Ya, truth be told, I don't have a clear idea of what it's like down there. But I mean, the only country that really borders with us is the US. (You could argue Russia with the frozen landscape of the North Pole, but seriously... common... who's crossing that illegally?)

Nah, I'm just a big fan of immigration and refugees cause my mother-in-law is an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher.

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DemonNeno
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 7:42:25 PM

Underdog, realistically, there will always be illegal immigration. Sometimes that effect could save someone's life. However, keeping the door too wide open allows more than a tolerable number in general. Now, don't get me wrong! A lot of the drug trade will be hurt. But you know what could totally change that relationship? Legalization and taxation of Ganja. Both countries will go rich!

You see, that's what I WISH would happen. That's not the way it works. Trying to fool yourself into thinking that being against it will ever stop it is non-sense. It's either going to be legal or illegal and the push for movers, who are truly more so the threat for our communities rather than the guy crossin' to live here and working for a living!

Where do you draw the line? The US is behind many drug rules while our southern neighbor Mexico made some drastic tolerances for drugs.
More than I'd agree with!! Yet we can't give our farmers a product that'll be of low maintenance and great growth strengths.

And by the way, I do admire quite a few things about life in Canada and always congratulated Canada for them. Not to mention, you're good sports to American criticism!!

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spiderboi
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 9:59:35 PM
Reply

It's more a "don't know it til you've tried it" approach to understand gaming. Some associate it with childishness, but if they even realized the different factors that come into "play" they will be overwhelmed.
And there are those people who poke at videogames just for the heck of it. No logic standing behind their views. The saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" should be updated to "you can't teach an old person new tricks" since it was proven in Mythbusters that old dogs still CAN learn tricks :)

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Metal Head
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 10:02:42 PM
Reply

DemonNemo you are so wrong on your post on religion and inmigration.
All religions are fake and slaughter innocent people in the name of a made up god. We humans are one race and should help each other and not be divided by crazy ideas that were imposed on us since birth.
No human is illegal,because our founding fathers and all humanity migrate for a better life in different parts of the world. This is "survival of the fittest"
Videogames will always be the scape goat to blame on for all the trouble youth. Have they forgotten that we learn prejudice,hate,knowledge from our elders?.
We can't change people,but we can learn from their mistakes.

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DemonNeno
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 10:33:55 PM

Sure, religious beliefs produce conflict. The color of our skin has been a conflict, too. To state religion is fake, however, is a horrible mistake. Every religion we know of, including Islamic beliefs, have helped humanity in some struggle or another. Just like Authority, however, it's abuse and excessive enforcement is detrimental. To label something fake that can't be proven as an invalid belief is.. Well, I guess you'll find out someday.

You may turn on some hippees by your statement about no human is illegal, but you walk your happy self down to the southern border and right into Mexico and I'll be more than happy to toss in a few pesos towards your coffin good sir.

Fact is, there ARE borders and have rules to cross them for the very same reason piracy, fraud and vehicular hijacks have rules against them. Our system works on a tax system. From our public aid to our soldiers and our government work off of what we contribute to them. Being here illegally takes away from those who give and in return taxes our system even more.


I do agree with you otherwise.

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Shams
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 11:54:24 PM

I guess one crazy solution to part of the illegal immigration problem would be to annexe Mexico. The government fears being swamped by millions of non-tax-paying people, yet lobbyists of prominent corporations continue to vie for their continued need of their workforce, and the government allows it to an extent.

What if Mexico enjoyed the luxuries of the US on their own land one day? Of course, the people of authority and power on opposite sides of the fence would never allow it, but it does sound does sound feasible.

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Underdog15
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 8:59:24 AM

Ya, I definitely disagree with calling religion fake or blaming religions in and of themselves for the problems we face in the world. -Most- religions promote love, forgiveness, and respect for one another and recognize the human brokenness we undoubtedly face daily. When it turns ugly is when those in power use religion as a scapegoat. Typically, those who truly follow those same religions wholeheartedly disagree with the tactics of extremists.

In recent history, I'm sure you'll find many Islamic believers heavily opposed to the actions of some of their governments who do things in the name of Islam. Similarly, way back when during the Crusades, thousands of Christians were against the Crusades and battled as violently politically as they could against the Catholic church and their onslaught. Certainly, weeding out other religions by killing their believers are not what true followers of whatever faith believe to be necessary, and it's incredibly short-sighted and almost self-motivated to decide that those actions are indeed the face of religion. It's a great excuse to not give religion the time of your day without feeling guilty for perhaps being narrow-minded.

I for one believe that debates and forceful means of convincing one another of a certain belief is bogus, and the notion that, as the Bible Belt folks seem to think, they gotta somehow save their "brotha's and sista's" is a vain attempt. If you ask me, the best way to convince someone that your religion is worth something is by living your life by example... not by forcing a thought.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, June 03, 2010 @ 10:48:09 PM
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I was born in 1952 and guess what????
I'm a biker with an attitude(how I got my nickname Saint), and I'm also a gamer, so I couldn't give a f*ck less that any a-hole might look down on my gaming

And, when it's my time to go, they better have me holding a controller at my funeral or Satan's just going to have to wait his turn, cause I'm going to be possessing a few dozen misguided non-gaming live souls for a very long time.

But until then, I defy.......no....I actually dare anyone to make an attempt to stop me from gaming!!!


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Scarecrow
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:03:16 AM

BikerSaint has spoken!

And I'm officially taking back the "before the 1980s statement."

That'd include Ben and a lot of cool people like BikerSaint

But we all agree that time will change people's opinion on gaming.

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frylock25
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:28:44 AM

my dad was born in 55 and just bought a ps3 with his new hd tv. he hasnt played video games since early nes times. his wife has never played video games. i had to set up their ps3 for them and they tend to treat it like a bd player. sadly i think they look at most of the games as a waste of time. every time i go there i share content with them and try to get them to use the damn thing but they just wont. they dont even own an actual game yet. i have brought over lbp and tried to get them to play. they just seemed to be confused.

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CharlesD
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:13:09 AM
Reply

@Ben:

Good to know, I do feel a bit restricted but as long as the choices will eventually be available, I'm fine. The battle style, overall looks, and story are good so far

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BikerSaint
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:26:20 AM
Reply

Thanks Scarecrow,
Just like my club, I'll always have the gamers back covered too.

And that's why it's so important that anyone from the USA who hasn't signed this gaming right's petition yet please do so now or forever lose those very rights you're now so fond of. And yes, all Canadian gamer can also sign this petition too!!!!

Stand Up for, Gaming, Free Speech, and the First Amendment:

For close to two decades, elected officials have tried to regulate which video games you can buy, rent and play. Each time they passed a law, the federal courts ultimately stood with gamers and struck it down as unconstitutional.

This fall, the Supreme Court, has agreed to hear Schwarzenegger v. EMA. That means later this year, or early next, the highest court in the land will decide if they agree with the precedent that's been set.

Over this summer, the Entertainment Consumers Association will be drafting a brief to submit to the court, defending our rights.

We're asking you to speak up and sign onto the Gamer Petition and show your support for video games as protected speech.

This is the single most important moment when it comes to our rights to play, rent and purchase video games. There are no guarantees in how this case will be decided and the court disagreeing with the lower court's decision could lead to new bills and laws restricting our access to our hobby across the country.

This is your chance to make your voice heard before the highest court in the land. Take part, speak up, and fight for your rights. Sign the petition(linked below)today.


Thanks,
Brett Schenker, Online Advocacy Manager

http://action.theeca.com/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1781

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 5:10:46 AM

Just so you know, there is a rather interesting article on the whole Supreme Court issue on IGN, the latest State of Play. I read through it about an hour ago and it really opened my eyes to the whole issue you guys are facing. I swear that if they try to pull that rubbish here, I will RIOT.
I assume that you of all people will know what all about the whole AB 1792 Bill, but for anyone that is a bit confused, best check it out. Also, the article pokes all sorts of holes in the intended legislation.
Anyway, I can't sign the petition, Aussie ya see, but I most certainly would in order to avert this travesty of justice and violation of basic human rights of a person to enjoy what they want to enjoy. Someone needs to blow up anti-gaming activists. (Kingswood Country reference. Please don't arrest me.)
Peace.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 2:33:34 AM
Reply

Slick read Ben. Unfortunately, I must go for dinner now and as such I will read the comments and post my own take when I get back. I must gestate on this and decide what to say. BTW, finally putting that(Psychology?) degree to good use. Thanks for the great words.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 5:31:17 AM
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Yes Ben. I wholeheartedly agree with what you have to say. I'm nineteen and although most of the people that I hang with are pro-gaming or at least impartial, my parents are entirely against it, and I have no idea why. My father is the biggest fan of westerns that you will find anywhere in the modern world, but as soon as I fired up RDRedemption and he realised that it was a game, he denied it. He was absolutely vile in his diatribe against it, all because it was a game. He didn't bother to try to follow the story, he wasn't interested in the myriad things that you can do, it was simply 'get that crap off my TV, I've got two dollar movies to watch.' I was all like WTF? You'd rather watch movies that aren't worth the paper the script is written on to a venue of entertainment that can easily engage and engross you for well over twenty hours?

Enough about my close-minded father, for now. I would be the first to admit that gaming is my 'escape'. I would even go so far as to say that my gaming habit borders on being unhealthy, but really, I don't see anything wrong with it. Other people drink or smoke or sit down and watch TV or a movie, but I don't really see the appeal in any of those things. I like reading stories, writing my own stories, listening to all kinds of music from Heavy Metal, through to Rap through to Symphonies and Jazz, and above all sitting down with a well-rounded game with engrossing controls and story and simply relaxing. Other people frown upon and deride me for all these things. For not being a goddamn **cking clone of the modern age, or of themselves, but I am damn proud to stand up and say that I am willing to try (almost) anything once. I am proud to say that I will listen to what other people have to say about their hobbies to see if I might be interested. I am proud to say that I am an open-minded person in a world of closed-in BS.

And yes, I find that the older a person is, the more close-minded they are, in general of course. The more racist they are, the more vile they are. Unfortunately, my generation are even more closed in. Encapsulated in their own little world based around their computers and online friends. Sure, they may have friends in reality, but do they really care for them? Do they really have these strong bonds that are a relic of the last generations. I think not. I truly do fear for the future of humanity. I fear that in twenty years, we will self-destruct under the burden of people that refuse to grow up and look around themselves at the real world and the people that populate it. It may be seen that religion is an open thing, but there will always be something divisive in this world as that is human nature. We are simply unable to get along with each other.

Holy hell, how far off-topic have I gone? Well, anyway, if in twenty-five years, scientists definitively prove that gaming has had a detrimental effect on society, then you'd best believe that I will defend it tooth and nail. However, even as I do so, I will willingly admit that sure, gaming is destroying us, but at least it is something that we can derive life lessons from. Something that we can truly use to escape from the bounds of our boring monotonous lives. Anyway, I feel I've written far too much, and I'm a little tired.
Peace out, my droogs, I shall see you another day.

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Gordo
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 7:04:49 AM

Lawless, you hit on a good point about the differences between the generations. The older generation tends to be a lot more closed minded and less open to new ideas. They seem a lot more threatened by new technologies and the new social ways of communicating.

I also remember trying to show my parents some excellent game when I was young and getting blank expressions at the least and hostility at the worst. They didn't understand then and they barely do now 20 years later. My mother still says to me on occasions "are you still playing those stupid kids games".

It is frustrating and pretty narrow minded. Movies, TV shows, books, art, music, they understand those media but video games seem to be totally alien to them and they end up being very negative and dismissive towards it.

I feel that video games are definately becoming an art form and we don't in most cases play them mindlessly but with feeling, mindfulness and love.

You seem like a well rounded individual and I would like to say that this website is forever astounding me with the quality of the comments and decent people on it.
It is such a good place to meet and discuss things with like minded individuals who are from all over the world with a variety of backgrounds but all with a love of gaming.

Life is all about trying new things, moderation in most activities and keeping things in perspective.

On a tangent, a Buddhist monk imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese in Tibet was asked on his release how he coped with his 10 years in prison. He said that every time he was tortured he smiled at his agressors and said "thank you for giving me this opportunity to practise compassion".

So the next time someone closed minded says something negative about gaming take a deep breath, smile and think "I feel sorry for you as you will never experience the immersion and joy of playing a really good game".

Phew, pretty deep for a Friday night ;-)


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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 7:54:41 AM

Oh, always good to give your brain a bit of exercise before dropping off to sleep for a bit. I thank you for the compliments and nods of agreement. Also, I've heard that story of the monk before a long time ago, but had all but forgotten it. I thank you for reminding me that there is such a thing as a true pacifist.

Which sort of makes me wish there was a modern day Ghandi :/. The idea can really slot into any point in life though, don't you think.
Peace, Gordo

(P.S. As for this site, it feels like home, to be honest. So warm and friendly and inviting, and yet dysfunctional in a heart-warming way. Thank you Ben, Arnold and John for keeping it that way.)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:24:29 AM

Referring to the fact that it's an "escape" for you...I say, so what? Considering the other "escapes" people can choose these days - and they just keep getting worse, as far as I can tell - I honestly believe gaming may be the least harmful form of escapism on the effing planet.

I suppose your father would rather have you "out and about," right? I suppose you've heard him complaining that you spend too much time playing and you don't go to parties or something, right? ...ever ask him if he'd rather you drink, do drugs, smoke, drive like an idiot to impress friends, get into fights, or get a girl pregnant? Ask him if he even begins to realize the countless evils that exist right now for a a young man of 19; ask him to think about ALL of them, and THEN see if gaming can somehow even compare.

Wanna know how to cut down on all the sh** that teens and young adults participate in? Get 'em playing. They're home, they're safe, and they're not constantly tempted to do something that they - and everyone around them - will regret later on.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/4/2010 10:25:00 AM

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DemonNeno
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 7:30:03 PM

Here's one of our biggest problems with modern society. Teenagers, at some point, drop out of recreational activities they loved to explore at a younger age. Why would this be? It's all because commercialism has driven out various physical hobbies (skating rinks, forest preserve parks with recreational equipment for more mature folks, arcade rooms, that are more of a relaxed, anti-correctness. Those wonderful places I enjoyed and messed around at. We'd have bumperball we could shoot out, pool tables, arcade games awesome swimming pools full of gorgeous chicks you can actually talk to..

That was my neighborhood. It was great... And that's all gone. Other areas had their own losses so different from mine but with the same result. The saddest part about that is there can't be any blamed given to the crowds of people who enjoyed them, it was the fault of the market evolving. No longer were such places immune to growth around them. They were lost to the depiction of simply being trendy and out of style.

Neighborhoods for kids around here are now outdoor-based activities with no direction. And so has crime and arrests, not that they were serious, along with a lot of vacancies. They've taken it all away. Despite all they have lost, you do realize what has been left? Out of everything they've taken away from our society of all ages, they never got our gaming. Unless you find like a skate park or pay tons of money (on most teenagers budgets) just to go out and do something.

To point a finger at gaming, which is an extremely enjoyed activity for quite a few teenagers', is insanity. It's one of the few mentally demanding activities. It keeps kids safe, so long as they're no psychos/kleptos and still have some helpful family discpline.

Again.. And they're worried about the effects of gaming?! Seriously?!

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:15:04 PM

I guess I should be thankful that things around here haven't changed drastically at all. I imagine that that is because I live in a small town, and there never really has been any gathering hubs, I guess I'd call them. You generally just hang out wherever you want to, and as long as you're not causing mischief people leave you alone.

Unfortunately, it's a no-win situation as there really is nothing for the young people here, except for a single rather half-arsed skate park and the show when it rolls around at the end of July. But yes, in the cities, I've seen the soul being dragged away due to there being few small cost, or no cost activities for teens to participate in. It's a sad fact of reality, that the world is becoming more commercialised and money-focussed and losing its appeal for the lower-class citizens and children.

Of course, I could be completely off-base in my statements here as a result of my lack of life experience, but that is just what I've gathered from looking around. And yes, people seem to point the finger at gaming for introducing this culture of violence in the young, when many movies which are rated M and even PG show extreme levels of violence and provide an example of crime. People have an unfortunate tendency to follow what they see, and when combined with alcohol consumption among other things, it grows to be out of hand.

Also, when you factor in the idea of there being limited social activities for bored, young people, the attractiveness of criminal activity only becomes more blatantly obvious to the objective viewer. Gaming has little to do with the upswing of negative behaviour, in my opinion of course.

And you are both right, gaming is a (usually) harmless hobby that, while it can be expensive, is safe. It keeps people off the streets, it exercises the mind and reflexes, and it offers little temptation to go out and cause chaos.

Oh and Ben, I will make sure to ask that of my father next time he tries to paint gaming as Public Enemy #1, thanks for the tip, I'd never thought of doing so before.
Peace.

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LightShow
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 12:38:38 PM
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the only criticism i've ever gotten from my parents refers to the fact that, money-wise, gaming is a depreciative hobby, i.e. your never gonna get more money out than what you put into it. they've never insisted that i "grow up" or something similar, they've just always emphasized the point that i'll never make money off gaming, and that i've gotta make money somehow.

i suppose part of it is that, anymore, i dont view myself as a gamer. since i dont identify myself as a gamer, people recognize that i do lots of other things in addition to gaming, and they dont give me crap cuz they dont assume that i'm some unbalanced, antisocial kid who crawled out of his cave just to say hi.

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maxpontiac
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 1:16:56 PM
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I actually believe the Wii has brought on a universal acceptance of video games for the most part.

My hobby used to be looked down on quite frequently by my parents and their generation, but ever since the Wii hit the scene, alot of people's opinions have changed.

Over the weekend, my parents came over to see the Playstation Move videos on the PS3 store that I had downloaded. My Father want's a PS3 for the Blu Ray (and due to my reccommendation) while my mother is intent on buying a Wii this Christmas. I honestly believe those Move commericals might have changed her mind.

Eventually gaming will be just like "going to movies" for the general public.

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Jawknee
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 1:45:03 PM

Yup i can agree. my 75 year old grandfather was rather impressed with the Wii.

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