video games

Justin

Jedi Master
I like video games and in the past played them quite a bit (mostly MMORPGS like Asheron's Call, Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, etc) but I got to a point where the most fun aspect of the games was interacting with friends and socializing while we played. We always used IP voice chat (Teamspeak) while we played and the discussions where only minorly related to the game itself. We talked about all sorts of things, cracked jokes, told stories and the game was just there as just a way to bring us together online.

So, in a social sense these games had value to me in that I got to talk to friends who are geographically dispersed, but the games seemed like too much of a time sink to play alone.
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
Hi all,

I must admit it has been interesting to read this topic because I too am a gamer. My current view on the entertainment (gaming/and movie) industry is the same as many here in which it is a definite form of control by the PTB. For example, it is interesting that many games that are being brought to top of the charts are war-games and games of a violent nature. This as I mentioned before is a perfect bate by the PTB. Since we are living in a time of war, I think this is one of the ways for the PTB to de-sensitise war and its seriousness. I also think that many games and movies being made today are missing a key element which is creativity. Examples of that are how we see that almost every classic movie is being re-made, almost every blockbuster hit is made into sequels or trilogies, and most of these movies are developed into games. My opinion is that 99% of all entertainment in the west is not creative. It’s as if the collective human creative energy is in relapse. It’s not going any where, it is not flowing as it is being collected. All of this of course is done for the purpose of energy collection just like many other things in the physical universe. In general I think the problem with games and movies is the same problem with our technology creation. Human beings create for the purposes of self gratification (that’s why we resonate with STS, osit). This point is made more clear in the book: The Secret of Shambhala- In Search of the Eleventh Insight, by James Redfield, that technology can and should be made for the purposes of development of the soul, ie. conscience innovation. My point is that since video games and movies are such a big way of getting through to people it is as much a key as it is a trap. If you combine creativity and objectivity making games and movies could have a different outcome on the mind of many users. Another aspect to consider might be…From my current understanding, 50% of the population are OP. And as we discuss the OP factor here, we should also consider how video games affect a potential soul individual and an OP?

Nina
 
A

Al_uh_looyah

Guest
i enjoy video games. got my "odyssey 2" console back when i was ten or eleven.
i owned a playstation for a few months back in 99, which was fun, but its really not a good idea for me to have one of those in the house. I'm distracted and lazy enough! when i go to my brother in law's houses, i love to turn on his xbox, find a good 1st person shooter game and get lost. can't help think i'd be a better uncle to my nephews if i could just not want to play it so much. but its my only time to really get my ya ya's out!!!
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Justin wrote:

"We always used IP voice chat (Teamspeak) while we played and the discussions where only minorly related to the game itself. "

I've used Teamspeak a lot as well - we should set up a teamspeak server for all of us - different people could be on at different times so we could say hello to each other in real time! =)
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
Hi all.

I just wanted to share with you an interesting synchronicity that happened right after I read this threat regarding video games. I was just going to check a game review on gamespot.com when I came across this article called, “Empathy and Conditioning Violence”. Although I’m not too sure about the sources they refer to in the article (ie. the FBI records)

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6143438/index.html

[…] Not so long ago, video games were considered to be a harmless distraction for young people. Now, they're being blamed for unhealthy addictions, acts of violence, and parental neglect. But is that really the whole story? With these ongoing reports, GameSpot will investigate how video games really affect us--how they affect our culture, how we perceive ourselves and other people, and how ongoing issues like game-related lawsuits and legislation affect us.

Neuroscience and video games. What do they have to do with each other? Aside from whatever research went into crafting games like Psi-Ops and Psychonauts, it doesn't seem like the two subjects have much in common. Sure, neuroscience is the study of the brain, and despite what everyone tells you, you do use your brain when you're playing video games. But what are the chances that the latest neuroscientific research is going to be of any interest to the game industry? Well, if you've been following the (relatively) recent work on mirror neurons, then you would realize that neuroscience is about to have a huge impact--if not on video games, then on the discussions we have about them--for a long time to come.[…]

Nina
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
knowledge_of_self said:
I just wanted to share with you an interesting synchronicity that happened right after I read this threat regarding video games.
i just wanted to state that i meant thread not threat.
 

Justin

Jedi Master
anart said:
I've used Teamspeak a lot as well - we should set up a teamspeak server for all of us - different people could be on at different times so we could say hello to each other in real time! =)
Yes, definitely. The server we use is a dedicated server just for Teamspeak so I'm pretty sure I could create another instance of TS on the same server for SOTT. I'll look into it and see what I can do.

:)
 
I think games are like anything else. In moderation, a pleasant way to pass the time. So is TV. So is having a drink with your friends. Watch too much TV, or drink too much, and it's bad. Play a game too often, and that's just as bad.

If you're playing a game (oh like say, World of Warcraft) and not doing your laundry, or eating proper food because of the game, does anyone really have to tell you that it's bad? I knew a guy who quit his job and played EverQuest for two years straight.

As far as games being violent, I've found the less emotional attachment you have, the better you play. At some point, you just abstract it to symbols moving around, and you're just manipulating the symbols.
 

j0da

Jedi Council Member
I think that with some cunning we can use something aimed to enslave us and convert it to another thing, which empowers and sets us free.

Once upon a time I found short text entitled "The Profound Wisdom of A Computer-Game-Junkie" , written by Max Sandor. You can find it here:

http://www.etext.org/Fiction/PurpleNotebook/ch453.html

Can there really be a link between computer gaming, quantum physics and spiritual freedom? In a hologram world everything is possible. And come on, let's don't be too serious ;) Evil purposes are part of STS mind-frame, and untill we get rid of that alien instalation from ourselves, we need to kick some butt from time to time. Decent FPP shooter does the job just fine :D
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
j0da said:
I think that with some cunning we can use something aimed to enslave us and convert it to another thing, which empowers and sets us free.

Once upon a time I found short text entitled "The Profound Wisdom of A Computer-Game-Junkie" , written by Max Sandor. You can find it here:

http://www.etext.org/Fiction/PurpleNotebook/ch453.html

Can there really be a link between computer gaming, quantum physics and spiritual freedom?
After playing a game for about 3 or 4 hours, the last thing I feel is spiritual freedom. More like a jelly-brained fog. And I hope that's not spiritual freedom. I think anything that sets us free would wake us up. Gaming doesn't do that, imho. Let's call a spade a spade. It's an addictive, mechanical process. What amount of freedom is found in that?

For more on waking up, you may want to read the thread on self-observation under the topic The Work:

http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=22

cheers mate :cool:
 

j0da

Jedi Council Member
Yeah beau, I know what You mean when talking about jelly-brained fog ;) But, the point I was trying to make was that there are some similarities of experience between gaming in the virtual world and real (real?) world and we can harness them to our advantage. Once the video-game junkie realizes that he pursues illusional feelings of acomplishment and wastes massive amounts of time, he can "switch" to the really interesting, demanding and sometimes difficult but ultimetely rewarding game called life. Keeping the attidute and awareness of "playing game" in life and trying to see movement from a static viewpoint as indicated in an article ""The Profound Wisdom of A Computer-Game-Junkie" are two simple spiritual exercises which can suit some of us, and which can attract attention of computer game geeks. Looking and acting in life, like it was a game (although I couldn't find a "save game" option anywhere, oops) certainly lowers emotional attachment to things, events and people and provides a gamer with another tool for acting instead of re-acting :) The second exercise supposedly loosens fixation on a body and exteriorizes individual a bit, and that might be quite beneficial.

So, that's what I had in mind when talking about relation between video-games and spiritual freedom. On the other hand, let's get ahead of ourselves for a while... Aren't we all video-game addicts? Sure, we can quit the video-game when we don't like it, when we are killed or overwhelmed by hostile opposition, whatever. But how about life? Can we quit anytime we want to? I don't mean "die", like one doesn't have to die before quitting a video-game, but just quit and not play any game at all. Or switch to another game? We obviously can't while alseep, deluded, fixated and dumbed down by STS PTB. But, those people addicted to video-games can "switch" the object of their addiction to life, and then get this funny idea of "quitting a game". It still is only a juggling with concepts, but who knows - maybe someone will benefit from those loose thoughts ;)
 

Russ

Jedi Master
Games can highlight certain personal attributes, such as mechanicality and habits. For me games have been a good way to observe myself.

For example, in a Quake 2 duel, if you keep doing the same thing over and over you're dead, even though you spawn again, your predictability will be the cause of your death over and over again.

On its own, its nothing useful, as Quake 2 doesn't do anything in the real world. But there is something to learn from it about yourself, which can be transferred over to the real world, IMO. Games can be destructive, but if you are constantly trying to learn, and apply what you have learnt (in terms of being less mechanical in situations, the way you approach puzzles and problems etc.) in the real world, it can be useful.

In other words, if you are paying attention, and you are aware of what you're doing and why you're doing it, and you can transfer skills learnt in the game into the real world, it has a use. However if you aren't progressing at all, getting the same result every time, and playing it over and over again "hoping" to learn something from blind luck, and having it eat up your life, then its not very productive at all. The same patterns of "yourself" are in the real world, and game playing can highlight these patterns without any actual danger to yourself (as long as you don't let it rule your life anyway). OSIT.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
I notice as I read and re-read this thread that a part of me wants to find a convincing reason for believing that gaming is, if not beneficial, at least not harmful. I love it. I had a blast with my EQ toon, my WoW toon, even my EQ2 toon and there are days when I am tired of thinking and I would love to just disappear into a Ranger's world. (stop snickering, yes, a Ranger) The fact of the matter is that it is not conscious mentation. It is not thinking with a hammer. It is not paying close attention to what is happening to the left and right. It is not reading. It is not writing. It is not creative. It is not breaking free of this prison in any real way, shape or form. I wish it were. Perhaps it is just my experience with gaming, and others are able to access creativity and conscious mentation while gaming, but I must admit to being skeptical of that. It's a distraction from what I really want to be doing, which is the Work. For me, it is the easy way out, the zombie way to pass the time, not really ever noticing when six hours have passed because I've been raiding Time and finally have the DKP to get that bow or sword. Heck, I don't know, but I suspect that we're all trying to justify doing something that is just plain fun and nothing else (assuming that there isn't subliminal programming going on behind those Orcs). Then again, there's nothing wrong with just having fun from time to time - as a matter of fact, I think it's critical to maintaining one's sanity. I've no conclusion to present, really, I'm just letting you all know the thoughts this thread brings to mind. Who knows, maybe it is good for us, or at least not harmful? Yeah, that's it....right? ;)
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Came across this article today... funny how they say video games make you smarter. I always thought that smart people played video games. At least smart people get into the games more. But then how smart are people who play games longer than their shift at work? There was an interesting exchange over this article here



Better living through video games?

CAROLYN ABRAHAM

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

When he snags downtime from his schoolwork, Ryerson University student Brad Evans gabs with friends, grooves to Kanye West on his MP3 player and races virtual hotrods on his Sony PlayStation. All at the same time.

Before you assume gadgets and video games fry the minds of the future, consider this: Canadian researchers are finding evidence that the high-speed, multitasking of the young and wireless can help protect their brains from aging.

A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks.

A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable.

"The people who were video game players were better and faster performers," said psychologist Ellen Bialystok, a research professor at York University. "Those who were bilingual and video game addicts scored best -- particularly at the most difficult tasks."

The York study, which tested subjects' responses to various misleading visual cues, is to be published next month in the Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology. Three other studies published in the past two years have also concluded that action video games can lead to mental gains involving visual skills and short-term memory.

No one is certain how this translates to general learning or everyday life. But Mr. Evans, 21, an aerospace engineering student, said years of gaming have added valuable dimensions to his thinking.

"I grew up with video games, starting with Nintendo and SuperMario . . . from the age of 8 or 9," he said. "I know it helps with my dexterity; it's good for co-ordination and faster reflexes."

Prof. Bialystok suspects video gamers, like bilinguals, have a practised ability to block out information that is irrelevant to the task at hand.

"It's like going to the gym," she said. "You build up the ability to control impulses with practice."

Brain-imaging research released this week shows that the physical inability to silence mental noise is key in making the elderly prone to distraction and poor multitaskers.

That study, published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, shows the elderly lose the ability to power up brain regions, such as the frontal lobe, needed to focus on a task, and to turn down activity in inner brain regions that are most active when a person is in idle or default mode.

"You can't turn off the extraneous things . . . the areas involved in thinking of the self -- 'What do I have to do? . . . Gee, I have a really bad headache," said study leader Cheryl Grady, senior scientist and associate director at Toronto's Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.

In contrast, the brain images of people between ages 20 and 30 displayed a far more dramatic see-saw effect activating and de-activating regions as they shifted out of idle to task. The study found this pattern begins to dull in middle age and actually results in cognitive deficits beyond age 60.

Dr. Grady said the results suggest that the brains of today's youth might grow up differently.

"Young people using all of these gadgets all of the time, at the same time, it may actually make a difference when they're old, like bilingualism does," she said. "We know that practice changes the brain, as with playing an instrument, a motor task -- it makes physical changes in the brain. Maybe those kids who play video games and who are also bilingual will be the best of older adults at filtering out distractions."

Neuroscientist Shitij Kapur, chief of research at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said "it would be quite reasonable to expect that these teens are good at multitasking, because they grow up in a world that demands it."

But, he noted: "Today's teens may be better than their grandparents, but when they are in their 70s, their grandchildren will say, 'Hey, he can only play three games at the same time and I play seven.' It's relative impairment. Their grandchildren will not think any higher of them."

Prof. Bialystok first noticed bilingual children were proficient in blocking out irrelevant information about 20 years ago. When asked to identify a grammatically correct sentence, for example, both bilinguals and monolinguals are, by age 5, able to choose, "Apples grow on trees," over "Apple trees on grow" as the correct one.

But when it came to asking "Apples grow on noses" versus "Apples nose on grow," only the bilingual children were able to choose the right answer. Although the first sentence is grammatically correct, monolingual children could not get over its silliness. "That's crazy," they'd shout, "You can't say that!"

"We have been able to show on a huge range of cognitive tests that bilinguals are always better at problems with tricky, misleading information," Prof. Bialystok said.

On average, she said, monolingual children take a year longer to learn to block out irrelevant information and focus on a specific task.

Skeptics have argued that this matters little since monolingual children eventually catch up to bilingual ones. As well, children fluent in two languages can take slightly longer in tests identifying objects and also go through a period when they might have smaller vocabularies than those fluent in just one language.

But for anyone of two minds about learning a second language, researchers are finding that bilingualism -- be it in French, Greek, Portuguese or Hindi -- has lifelong benefits.

"Does bilingualism protect you from cognitive decline? Every study we've done suggests that it does," Prof. Bialystok said.

The York team recently compared 94 bilinguals and monolinguals between the ages of 30 and 80. It found that while both groups started showing cognitive decline by age 60, the rate of slowing for bilinguals was much slower.

Now young people who play video games are showing this similar pattern of high performance in resisting irrelevant impulses. The current report compared 50 avid players against 50 non-players and then subdivided each group between bilinguals and monolinguals.

When asked to describe the colour of the word "blue," for example, when it is written in green ink, non-players were far more likely to choose the dominant impulse and say "blue," though the colour is green. "The [video game players] are much harder to mislead, to trick," Prof. Bialystok said.

Although Prof. Bialystok is a strong proponent of bilingual education, she is less enthusiastic about video games. Recent studies have found overexposure to violent video games may desensitize children to violence and that gaming can become addictive enough to distract from other activities.

"I'd still be plenty concerned if my child played them all the time," Prof. Bialystok said. "Sure, they're getting better at rapid search and response problems, but I really would prefer my child read a book."
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
It's logical that bilingual people would be better at 'tricky' questions, or at ignoring irrelevant information when solving a problem. After all, they've learned that language is simply a set of symbols and sounds that describe things - not the things themselves. A monolingual person, especially a child, would think, "that is a cat" - not, "that is what is called cat in english". In some small way, it is as if bilingual people are one tiny step removed from the illusion that how we label or describe things is what they are. I'm finding it a bit difficult to clearly explain my point (being monolingual myself). Clearly, I need to become fluent in another language first, then I can get back to killing Orcs. =) As my family is learning from my father, who is currently fighting a battle with Lewy Body Dementia for his mind, any mental exercise reduces the deterioration of the mind. It can be anything from painting to reading out loud, so problem solving in a gaming environment would surely qualify. Gaming does use your mind, which will keep your mind more active than if you just sit and watch television, however, does that necessarily mean that gaming doesn't do some other, as of yet unidentified damage, or that your mind might be kept more active by engaging in another activity? Who knows?
 
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