Sunday, 21st of April, 2013.
When I think about addiction, I think about drugs and alcohol past the point of it being recreational perception altering blasty blast, to the point in which it takes you away from “real-life”, actual life and living. Addiction is when you are using something to escape what’s really going on into a realm where you can block out all your problems at the expense of your relationship with the people around you who you end up shutting out as well.
I occasionally use drugs recreationally, I like to drink every now and then and when I drink I like to smoke. My lust for these substances, I wouldn’t class as stone-cold addiction, although over the last couple of weeks I fear I may be mildly addicted to video games.
When comparing the behavior of substance abuse and video game dependence, you start to draw certain parallels.
The aggressive mood swings: Daniel Petric from Wellington, Ohio at 16 years old shot his parents, killing his mother after they had confiscated and forbade him from playing his copy of Halo 3.
A negligence of responsibility: Gregg J. Kleinmark of 24, left his two sons unattended in the bath for 30 minutes while he played his Gameboy a few rooms away.
And even overdose: Xiao Yi, a 13 year old from Tianjin, China jumped from the top of a 24-story high-rise. He left four notes before he committed suicide; all written through the eyes of his online character. His parents are not mentioned at all.
These are very extreme examples of gaming getting out of hand. As bad as it got for me was not taking the rubbish out, blowing my girlfriend off when she wanted cuddles and just generally not putting the amount of hours I spent playing to any real use.
I asked my girlfriend a few questions about what she thought of me playing video games.
Does it bum you out when I play video games?
No, it doesnt bum me out, it’s the things you do when your playing xbox that bum me out.
What do I do when I’m playing xbox that bums you out?
You just don’t care about anything apart from xbox.
I guess my attention is pretty much just on the game when I’m playing.
And then you play it so much that i’ll be like “can you do the dishes” and you’ll be like “yup, after i’m finished” and then you won’t do the dishes because you’ve been playing it so late that its time to go straight to bed. So tired from playing that you just can’t do the dishes.
That happened once though, right?
It happens all the time. The dishes still aren’t done from two days ago.
The last time I played that game though, you came down and did the dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
No, the last time you played that game was the next morning when I was trying to study. And asked for your help with photography and you yelled at me because your too busy playing xbox. And then I had to rush off to my test and i’ve been busy ever since and the dishes still haven’t been done.
(What follows is a little off topic, although justified rant about her doing all the chores around the house and no one else doing their fair share)
When I play video games..
You don’t care about me.
Would you say it’s like i’m on drugs when I play video games?
No, it’s not like your on drugs it’s just like it consumes your whole mind and you don’t have any space to even be nice to people. Unless they want to talk about the game you’re playing.
Do you think I should never play video games?
No I don’t think you should never play them I just think you should not let it take over.
How do I do that?
I don’t know, I have no idea, I don’t know how it takes over ecause i’m not that kind of person. I just wouldn’t do that for that long, I have other things on my mind.
How long did I play that video game for?
Long time. On and off for what? Three days?
How long at a time would I play it?
I can’t think.
Did you worry about me?
I don’t think it’s bad enough to worry at this stage.
But it annoyed you?
Yes, because you let it consume you.
Well, maybe I was just board but never the less, video game achievement doesn’t really add up to anything against everything you can achieve in a world with no loading screens.
Don’t play ‘Dark Souls’ unless you want to waste your entire weekend.