What is the single most defining moment in your life? What event in you past is the one thing that you can look back on and say “Yep…that is precisely what made me the kind of person I am today”?
Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
Quote from Raven K Starre, success coach.
Ok, I know it’s been a while–sorry about that. Ok…my final thoughts and analyses about the experiment, and the aftermath.
Firstly, I think the experiment was a complete success. I managed to stay away from games, gaming, and almost anything video game related for a week. What I found interesting, however, is just how much video games have become a part of mainstream life. I walked through a local mall and found it almost impossible to avoid game-related media. More than just a few shops had huge video game posters in their display windows, and one of the days that I arrived at the mall, there was a massive Nintendo expo in the center court. I can compare this to almost 10 years ago, when all things video game were pretty much found in specialist shops in this part of the world. In fact, when I bought my first Sega Genesis (or Megadrive if you came from the UK), it was difficult to find shops that sold games for it. Now even standard groceries retailers have games on their shelves.
Back to my quest to find out whether I have an addiction: the answer is no. I didn’t go out of my way to play games, I didn’t sneak away in the middle of the night to play games, and I found that I wasn’t obsessing over video games so much the time I was away. I even learned a few things about myself. Despite these facts, however, I must say that I AM, and always will be a gamer. It’s part of who I am and I consume games in the same way, and for the very same reasons, that I consume books, movies, and tv shows. On the other hand, before the experiment, I was doing very little else in terms of entertainment other than video games, but I’ve rediscovered enjoyments in other pursuits.
I’m not going to miss the gameless week, but I do have a better perspective about it now. And I’m glad that my trusty DS is back in its pouch wherever I go.
Night Noises by Fayyaad Hendricks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
I apologize for the overimagification, but that’s the result of two days of challenge. It’s actually left me a little on the drained side, but…it was actually fun. It’s weird how much I can accomplish when I’m not actually playing video games! Don’t get me wrong…I miss playing them, but I’ve discovered activities and parts of me that I’d forgotten about. And I think that’s the most important lesson I’m taking away from all this–life DOES exist outside of games. The Darling Wife is impressed enough at this little book I’ve written that she’s actually at the moment in the process of trying to find it a publisher. I’m going to clean up the artwork and layout a bit, and then we’ll see if there’s a chance I can get this, and perhaps a few other stories into bookshops. Is that too ambitious for something I wrote and drew over the course of two nights? Probably…but it’s fun and exciting, even if nothing comes of it. Anyhow, enjoy the story and illustrations, as raw and un-refined as they are. If you can’t read it, my apologies; I’ve shrunk it down quite a bit so that I don’t overload anyone’s browser. If there’s a call for it, I’ll post the finished, reworked, cleaned up product at Flickr or Picasa. Just to get an indication, does anyone think they’d actually pay money for a story like this?
Back to the story of addiction. I don’t know if it’s just a case of information synchronicity, or…er…that psychological phenomenon where you only start taking notice of things because they’re relevant to you (argh, can’t remember what it’s called!!), but I’ve suddenly noticed an awful lot of articles popping up in my RSS reader about video game addiction. This statistic comes to us via Switched.com, and states that almost 1 in 10 US children are addicted to video games; 8.5% to be a little more precise. It’s an alarming number if you’re going to label it “addiction” vs “compulsion”. The sample size is significant: 1,178 adolescent children, with 8.5% of them exhibiting addictive behavior:
(Researcher, Douglas) Gentile looked for symptoms like becoming irritable when gameplay was cut short, avoiding homework to play, stealing money to buy gaming paraphernalia, and escaping reality and avoiding problems through games.
That sounds about right for “addiction”, and with kids of my own, I’m beginning to feel as though this hasn’t received enough attention till now. The article goes on to state that Dr Gentile has touted the benfits of video games before, so he’s not exactly a completely biased voice in this matter.
Gentile doesn’t necessarily think games are bad. He would just like to see game manufacturers use the significant influence games have over children for good instead of evil — for creating powerful educational devices.
I suppose it’s obvious, but it’s starting to get easier to avoid thinking about video games now, but there are still moments when I want to play. I had some spare time today that would have been dead useful for clearing a few levels of Gears of War, but I spent the time instead watching Doctor Who (my other addiction…I get a joyful upwelling in my spirit when I hear the theme tune starting up!)
So yesterday’s challenge was a two-parter, so you don’t get to see the full results until I finish today’s half of it. The challenge was thus: “Your children don’t have any of your writing that is purely theirs, so you are to write a short book in the form of Dr Seuss.” I’ve written the text of the story, and it’s not long at all. I’m going to be illustrating it tonight.
Off the topic of the challenges and onto the “gaming addiction” part of it, some experts are of the opinion that video game addiction shouldn’t be treated as an addiction, but rather as a symptom of something deeper, such as depression or an inferiority complex. I suppose in some cases, this may be so, but I think the problem a little too widespread to be attributed that way. What thinks you?
So day one of the “Do I have an addiction issue?” experiment went by. And I’m sorry to say that it was a reasonably painful day. I’m going to go out there and say that if I’m not a addict, I’m borderline at the least. Let me put it this way: I took an afternoon nap to pass the time and had dreams (yes! Plural!) that I was playing a video game (Sonic the Hedgehog, I think!)
Console I missed the most? My trusty little go-anywhere DS. During the day my fingers kept itching to pick up a controller and get on with Gears of War 2 or Oblivion, or to try and obtain the last few gold medals on Rhythm Heaven DS (Seriously, one of the best games I’d ever played in my life….but I’m not allowed to think about it right now except in parentheses or as part of the experiment!) More than that, however, I found myself actively thinking about the games I was involved with, and how to get around the challenges I was facing at the moment (damn you, Oblivion!) and once on that sort of trail of thought, it’s difficult to find something else to think about…mostly because I haven’t actually had to think about much else before.
What this seems to tell me, I think, is that if not addicted, I’m at least heavily dependent on games to entertain me and keep my mind occupied. The sad thing is that I’ve not read a decent book in MONTHS, and I used to be a really avid reader (the other UtterInsanity authors can testify to the size of my personal library). I also seem to dimly recall that I might have once had an artistic streak about as wide as the Pacific Ocean. I may have even created a few paintings, written a few poems, drawn a few sketches, composed bits of music, and I have it on good authority that the half-finished book sitting in a dusty directory on my computer is actually mine.
I haven’t picked up the guitar to play in…ages. I haven’t plinked on a piano in at least twice as long. I haven’t written a poem in at least a year. My books, which I had such grandiose dreams of finishing and publishing, lie forgotten. And let’s not get started on the drawings. So these activities that used to be a big part of who I am have been lost in in all the gaming that I do. So I think I plan on revisiting those activities that I once used to find so much enjoyment in, above and beyond the games I’ve been playing since I was six.
You might find, as I did, this story about a woman dealing with addiction in her kids very interesting and amusing. It sounds very…familiar. I wasn’t playing under the covers at night when no one is around, but I’m going to admit that there were times I’d be playing something until lights-out. Which I’m very sure didn’t make the Darling Wife too happy…hence the challenges I have coming up. More on that as the week goes by.
I seem to have touched an interesting nerve with my first post about gaming addiction: had a lot of people weigh in their opinions on the matter, and whether or not gaming as a social device counts or not. Meeting online once or twice a week for a few hours to play a few games together? Not an issue. It’s when you’re playing more than 20 to 40 hours a week that you can start saying that there’s a problem. Guess why I didn’t pick up World of Warcraft?
So the first challenge happens today. Will let you know more about what happens, and how it all went down in tomorrow’s update.
[Link: Wanna Feel Old]
Yea, I know it’s a day late. Had a pretty busy Friday and in the rush of things, I kinda forgot about Nostalgia Friday. So…I know that a good number of viewers from my side of the world will remember La Linea, the strange two-minute cartoon about a line drawing and his antics. The show is Italian in origin, and 88 episodes were produced starting in 1969, so it’s WELL old. The show, as you can see from the clip above, features the line man vs his animator, and the antics that follow. Back when I was a kid and this was regularly on TV, I think there was no way of telling when one of these would appear, so it was always a delight to see one pop up on the screen.
Does anyone else remember watching these?
The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability.
Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60.
Great. Just frakkin’ great…*grumble grumble*
As some of you may or may not have heard, there are people in the world who have the ability to smell sounds, see smells or even hear colours. The ability is called Synaesthesia – from the Greek “syn” and “aisthesis” meaning with sensation.
…consists of the pairing of two bodily senses by which the perception of a determined stimulus activates a different subjective perception with no external stimulus (in science, the evoker stimulus is called inducer and the additional experience concurrent)
Now why am I bringing this up you may ask, well, this morning I thought “Imagine if people could see a fart, would they be so quick to let one go if they knew there is the chance that a trail of colour could be following them around like a bright rainbow from there ass“. Then I remembered a very interesting documentary about people who saw numbers in colours and people that were in accidents which now see sounds and taste colours.
Even in early days of my eplipesy I used to get strange tastes just before a seizure. So there are many unexpected things that can happen and that the human body can do.
So my thought of the day boils down to a question… Is there anyone out there that can see a fart?