Reading #5 – Video Game Addictions

I always enjoyed video games growing up as a kid and even well into my 20’s. Even today, I still will sit down and play a game here and there with my brothers or buds. I started off with Intellivision, jumped on board with Nintendo, got caught up with Sega, graduated into the Playstation’s (I&II) and ended on the XBOX 360. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve put in but I can do battle with the best of them on any controller. I was pretty good on the PC taking over the world time and again with the Civilization and Total War series.

What I find interesting in this article is what draws people into games and gets them hooked. In retrospect, served a number of purposes. Early on I loved technology and wanted the latest. Sega had the coolest graphics and I couldn’t wait to show my Nintendo friends. As I grew into my teens, games served as a place I could build and be by myself. As one of the awkward adolescents, I had friends, but I was also bullied. So I found games as a way to withdraw. Later in high school and grew into myself and out grew the bullies I found life outside the walls and socialized once again. As I became an adult in my 20’s, games served as a way for me to connect with my younger brothers. The three of us were in different places in life but it served as a common place for us meet.

I get why people become addicted. I’ve seen the appeal. However when I started living outside that realm, I moved away from the virtual to the real. While games fed a desire to succeed, win, and conquer it was time to apply that mentality to reality. The outdoors has become the new appeal. It’s real, it’s fresh. It’s life and needs to be conquered. In many ways what I wanted in video games transitioned well into the outdoors. Kayaking, camping, mountain biking, dating, entrepreneurship have all benefited from this. The way I’ve started looking at it was that there is only one life. No redo’s, no 1ups. I didn’t want to waste it and I realized that I was on something that was false.

I hope that those with their heads in the games open up the window and desire to go outside. It’s a world waiting to be conquered.

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