Living Life & Video Games


This is going to be a bit of a quirky article because I have been so heavy on the philosophy and science topics lately. I thought it would be a nice changes of pace to go with something leaning a little more towards hobbies and enthusiast activities. It occurred to me that all I’m doing as I get older is real life versions of what happens in a lot of the over the top violent and fantasy filled video games I spend way too much time with.

Just 10 minutes ago I was driving a Corvette ZR-1 around a road course going 150 MPH and handling turns like a hungry cheetah chasing a gazelle. I could feel the vibration of the car through my controller, even feel when my tires were losing traction. A quick down-shift and full throttle to let the tires grip on to the track and straighten out the nose. Back to red line, 3rd gear, straight away, up-shift to 4th, pedal all the way to the floor. And across the finish line.

I feel like what I just described, many actual race car drivers might be able to relate to, but I have never even sat in a Corvette, much less taken a car around a legitimate race-car track. But I do have my own car. A Dodge Caliber SXT. An every day 4 cylinder engine that get’s 32 mpg/highway, and a top speed of 120 mph on the dashboard. While I readily admit to breaking some speed laws here and there, I would never be able to go as fast as I go in a video game. The mundane task of driving though, seems to be brightened by playing a racing game. It makes me think of all the little bits of metal working in unison just to get me to point B safely.

I also, like many younger men and children, enjoy the blissful playground that is violent video games. From open world free roam style games like Grand Theft Auto, to burning people to a crisp with fire magic in Skyrim. There is nothing more satisfying than bringing my enemies to their knees and rendering their life complete.

Of course in real life, the more mundane version of this is being extremely nice to as many people as I can and collecting knives, guns, and survival gear to pretend like I’m saving the world. But I am fascinated with survival gear. Not just because it is so useful to have around, but because of the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into tools we all love to collect and review. I would never use any of these tools on anyone in an aggressive manner, only ever in a self-defense survival situation where my life depended on it.

But if knives and guns are the violent parts, how does magic translate in the gear world? Perhaps flint fire starters, magical metal blankets designed to keep you warm, medicine tablets, water purification tablets, and bug repellent comes to mind, but all of those cost extra XP. Sorry noobs, you’ll have to stick with large leaves and tree sap to survive this one.

Anyways, back to my original point for posting, to have fun. It is said that violent video games create mass murderers. I beg to differ, while anything can have an adverse effect on some people, and I certainly don’t deny the possibility of negative reinforcement through entertainment, I do not see a clear link between video games and violent behavior. Perhaps though we also shouldn’t use excuses to avoid our responsibilities and other duties to friends and family and waste too much of our time with entertaining ourselves.

Too much of anything can be a bad thing. But I’ll never be convinced that another man can create a piece of entertainment that will make me kill someone else. Unless of course The Matrix comes real, because we all know, if you die in the Matrix, you die for realzzzz.

Thanks for reading! Have a good day!

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