The mindless joy of video games

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. When I love a video game, it’s one of the best highs in the world, and when I hate it, I could snap the disc. I’ll start off by saying, it is rare that I ever truly  obsess over a game. There are only 2 games that come to mind that I can say I love………. Guitar Hero and Mario Kart!! gh2.xbox360.06.lg

I can remember being absolutely addicted to Guitar Hero from about 18-21 yrs old lol. At one time, 8 years ago, I stayed up till 5am with blisters on my fingers playing. At times, I can play anywhere from 4-8 hours. I got started when my friend had it at his house where everyone chilled and partied. We would all pass the guitar around and play. It really feels like such an accomplishment when you beat the song list and get more songs!!!!  Then when I finally got my new game Guitar Hero 2 when I was 19, I couldn’t have been happier. I loved it, I can remember bringing it in my car to all my friends house, and we would all play. My ex’s son Tristan was like 8 and we would jam out all weekend long lol, we both had guitars and would do guitar duets on hard. I can relate sooo many good memories to Guitar Hero. Sometimes I’ll hear songs like Black Magic Woman, or Cult of Personality, and automatically think back to guitar hero.

But……. then I did get Guitar hero this Christmas on the Wii,Guitar Hero 7, and it’s just not the same! I literally have played it twice since I’ve had it. I don’t know if I’ve grown up a little, so that’s why I don’t like it, or if not being around my friends who like it makes it not as fun, or the fact that you don’t have to beat songs to win songs. They just give you all the songs off the get. There just seems to be no challenge. I like a challenge lol. Now the newest Mario Kart game is awesome! That game is a timeless masterpiece!!! Me, My boyfriend, and our friends, will have Mario Kart tournaments where we keep score, and play all the levels consequtively. I probably have 14 papers in our junk drawer of score sheets we’ve saved just so we have proof lol. This last Christmas I got the Wii U, along with the new Mario Kart 8 ( that sounds so spoiled, but those were my big presents, I’d been wanting for like a year :-] ). AND… ………..The Mario Kart 8 is freakin awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New levels, and new tracks to master! I haven’t played a lot of it though, because our friends up here don’t play, or aren’t as good as me and my boyfriend, so it’s not fun to write the scores down for them. I learned that I must really really like a challenge, cuz it’s not fun unless I’m competing. I like to win.

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So the other side of the coin I was talking about…… my boyfriend is addicted to Madden. ugghhhhh!!! I hate Madden!!!! Which is weird because I am a diehard football fan, but Madden is this fantasy……..fake!!! lol. I really only hate it, because 1. I am not good, 2. My bf literally will spend 5-8 hours daily playing Madden. I can walk in the door, and he wants to tell me what happened in this fake game where he scored this touchdown and what happened, and I honestly tune him out. I am not allowed to walk in front of the tv (which is right in the center of the living room) or he will throw a fit. I’m not allowed to talk to him or,  I somehow “mess him up”. He has now advanced his addiction by buying and using this headpiece to talk to other players online. He’s constantly talking trash in a headset walking around our living room like he’s a coach, and shouting at the tv. It is seriously an addiction. He has an issue. I can wake up to the commentators at 7 am, and he’s up drinking coffee with the game on. uggghhhhh!!!!!! I hate Madden.

People play video games for many reasons. They obviously find something extremely entertaining and fun. Some people like the challenge. I’m all for if it makes you happy do it, but I do think there is a fine line between happiness, and addiction. It is really hard to pin point the short term and long term effects of video games. It is hard to believe correlation does not imply causation. In Christopher Beam’s article Death from Above, he pinpoints one problem that is going on, “While improvements in technology make video-game violence ever more realistic—and desensitizing.”

I agree with Beam, and I believe some of the effects are lack of proper social skills for short periods of time, lack of building relationships with actually people, lack of productivity by wasting your days playing. And physical effects of being lazy and not moving your body. I believe that the messages that some video games send give us skewed perceptions on what is real, fake, or acceptable in real life. Games where you rape, and kill don’t necessarily lead to someone raping and killing, but for example, could lead a boyfriend thinking a women as property, and cause him to think treating her poorly is acceptable. In his science brief, Craig A. Anderson gives us his findings in his scientific brief about how media influences our behavior, “Repeated media violence exposure increases aggression across the lifespan because of several related factors. 1. It creates more positive attitudes, beliefs, and expectations regarding use of aggressive solutions. 2. It creates aggressive behavioral scripts and makes them more cognitively accessible. 3. It decreases the accessibility of nonviolent scripts. 4. It decreases the normal negative emotional reactions to conflict, aggression, and violence.”

I think video games have psychological effects that are hard to determine. As this generation gets older and science advances, we will see when we are 80yrs old, the true effects that video games has on a person.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/08/27/a-surprising-new-study-on-how-video-games-impact-children/

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5 thoughts on “The mindless joy of video games

  1. It is really interesting that you shared your personal experience with your boyfriend’s video game addiction. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be for you at times! I like the following point you made: “As this generation gets older and science advances, we will see when we are 80 yrs old, the true effects that video games has on a person.” I think it will be fascinating to see longitudinal studies done on the effects of video games…too bad it will probably be in quite a long time!

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  2. hahahaha! Exactly. It’s like watching people watch sports. People yell and scream and talk trash and sometimes throw things. I remember watching my first boyfriend break his Playstation he was so pissed.

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    1. haha that’s exactly what my bf says. he is always talking trash about gh. but i also think its easy enough for people w no skill to learn, where a real guitar is hard & would take forever to get to the point of actually playing an entire song and making it sound good! gh is more for the entire experience of the game, graphics, vocals, it’s easy, and friends can join in too.

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  3. I can say that I too have felt a huge accomplishment when I have beaten my friends in guitar hero. I believe that when a game really pushes you to want to win it is a success. I have also relished in the defeat of winning in Madden, though I play the N64 version, so the graphics are probably not as good as your boyfriend’s. Good Posting

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