Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blaugust the 20th: You Game Too Much

Braxwolf has a post up about setting priorities, of which gaming is only one, and perhaps not high on the list. His post was inspired by The Couch Podtatoes' latest, Episode 58 "AMA," wherein Izlain and Eri discuss, among other things, regrets they have due to their gaming habits. They've neglected schoolwork, potential careers, and even relationships due to their gaming. Because of the age at which I started playing MMOs, I don't think such games have affected my life in any horrendous way. I do neglect things and procrastinate, but that is more a personality flaw than a result of my choice of pastime. I could just as easily have gotten involved in golf, weightlifting or some other activity that actually interests me, and the only real difference would be my level of physical fitness.

People make all sorts of economic decisions (jobs and purchases) that increase or decrease their wealth and happiness. One might "get ahead" by knuckling down in school and snagging a higher paying job. But will that actually lead to more happiness? Higher education certainly helps improve economic outlook on average, but there is still a huge wage gap between a teacher and a dotcom CEO, for much the same degree of schooling. And which person would be more joyful?

(As an interesting side note, while writing this, I got involved in a discussion with "Fel Bubbles" and another individual that seemed to place a great deal of value on the discrepancy between his accumulated wealth and hers, disregarding the fact that she works, helps her ill mother, and attends medical school full time.)

The most important thing about this discussion is how gaming might affect your relationships with other people. Izzy commented both during the podcast and on Braxwolf's post that the fact that his ex-girlfriend was not a gamer, combined with his own tendency to retreat into the game, had a tremendous impact on their relationship. But I don't think this is a problem exclusive to a gamer/non-gamer relationship. My parents own some four-plex apartments, and my dad insists on doing most of the maintenance on them himself, when my mother would rather he pay someone else to do it and spend more time doing things together with her (and not building maintenance, either). There's no denying the maintenance needs to be done, but he prioritizes his time (and money) differently than she wished he would. How many people go out on the links or spend time at church when their significant other would rather they be doing something else?

Scooter and I game together. Additionally, I game when she is unavailable, whereas she is more likely to watch a TV show or something if I am unavailable. You could ask her, but I don't think the fact that we are both gamers increases our addictive/obsessive tendencies the way Eri mentioned might become a problem. A big key is that neither of us feels that gaming is an immature waste of time. Also, with the kids grown, we don't have many time-consuming priorities outside of work. Again, are there things we procrastinate due to gaming? Perhaps, but they are not necessarily things we would be prioritizing more highly if we did some other pastime together.

One last thing about gaming and relationships. Obviously, as with any incompatible pairing, there will be a certain amount of tension in a gamer/non-gamer relationship, depending on how they deal with the issue. However, gaming online can also have a wonderful impact on one's social and romantic life. Obviously, we need to prioritize our life in a way that leads to our long term well-being, and gaming (just like any pastime) may need take a back burner while we take of our needs and the needs of others. But you never know when gaming may drastically change your life for the better.
If you're interested in joining the madness (Vloggers are welcome, too!), Belghast has a set of rules for qualifying for any prizes at the end. Your second stop should be the Blaugust Nook, where Bel is keeping track of everything and community members are sharing encouragement and ideas.
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  1. It's weird how gaming is frowned upon as a hobby. You ask the top 1% and none of them game and think gaming is for stupid/ poor people. Even though it's common place to have more destructive hobbies like gambling or alcoholic binge sessions every weekend. Those are ok because you're socializing. Gamers are a bunch of introverts that are just waiting to snap and kill people.

    Yeah I could spend my time better. I could be reading quantum physics or becoming a fitness guru, but I except I'm just not cut out for it and would rather be a middle class sheep.

    1. A significant number of the other 99% agree. But you're right, gamer are misrepresented and maligned all the time for a relatively benign hobby.

      And I thought you already were a fitness guru.