First of all, I apologize to any friends I have who may read this and find themselves described in this post, but it is something that must be said.
As the technology age progresses and computers become more ubiquitous the gaming industry is actually increasing at an alarming rate. Lots of people think it’s “cool” not “alarming” but in 2008 it took in $11.7 Billion. As an RIT alumni, I remember the size of the gaming lab and how the video game major was the fastest growing major and it virtually promised a high-paying job when you finished. And yet games are unproductive. What’s all the hype?
I’ve been sucked into a game or two in my lifetime. They are alluring, especially now, because they look so real. It’s like you get to control a fake world that appears real. I know how they let you get rewarded (points) to keep you hooked. The exciting music they play, the cool noises they make, the flashy images are all fun and they are addictive!
Let me be clear… Entertainment is an important part of life for overall mental health. Games help you focus and be competitive. And yes, they improve hand-eye coordination. They help you unwind and get out frustrations. They have an important place in life. Unfortunately, I hear people frequently talk about being up all night because they were playing some game like World of Warcraft or Halo 3. Now that I know how fragile the adrenal glands are in the human body, I know for a fact that it is physically unhealthy to do that!
Something that you never see on this blog is a tribute to any sports team. Sports are great in moderation but most people are obsessed with professional sports to the point where their lives are devoted to it. Sports games do not matter. In case you missed that I’ll repeat it: SPORTS GAMES DO NOT MATTER. Now, I’ll connect the two points here: VIDEO GAMES DO NOT MATTER, EITHER. These things are just hamster wheels that people like to have you in to prevent you from being productive while they profit from you. Just like drinking or gambling, when you become addicted, nobody is broke and ruined but yourself.
In Million Dollar Habits (pg 60) it says:
“Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
People who play video games become addicted and cannot control themselves. They know full well that staying up all night is using no self-discipline but they do it because of the addictiveness of the games. They feel something beneficial while they play but when it is powered down, they see the real world and everything that they should be doing is still there, undone. They felt like that had something to overcome in the game, something to beat, like a challenge that must be overcome! But when it’s over with they are reminded that it’s fake and like sports, it doesn’t matter.