Re: DSM: Video games

From: Allan Saugstad (asaugstad@vsb.bc.ca)
Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 11:17:05 EDT


Christopher Weeks wrote:

Is this antisocial "meanness" the kind of psychological phenomenon that you feel
from your computer games at all?

Sometimes I escape into this race car game I am trying to master. There is this
one race in the snow through these treacherous mountains, and I just can't seem to
ever master the course. I try and try and eventually start getting frustrated. I
even start swearing out loud, even though my kids are around. If anyone tries to
interrupt me I get a little knarly. When finally stopping, usually because I have
to do something else, I feel exhausted and frustrated. In my mind I think "what a
fool I am, I would have been much better off playing with my three-year old or
staring out the window for an hour". After awhile though, I 'm ready to tackle the
game again!! I do agree with you to a point about the range of emotions. I still
love the thrill and even the frustration of competitive games. The agony of it all
can be excitingly dramatic. I just think that for me, right now, most games,
especially difficult games, are not worth it for me. But can I stop? Hmm.....

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your insights.

Allan

Christopher Weeks wrote:

> Allan Saugstad wrote:
>
> > Just wanted to throw my two cents worth in on video games, if I'm not
> > too late.
> >
> > I used to be a bonafide expert at a whole whack of games. I spent many
> > hours in my youth mastering a wide range of arcade and computer games.
>
> Me too.
>
> [lots of stuff with which I agree, snipped]
>
> > As soon as I "finish" the game, it completely loses it's appeal.
>
> Yes. I've been doing it long enough that I have had several instances where
> I was able to go back to a game long (10+ years) after mastery and dismissal
> and play it with a very strange sense of nostalgic deja vu. The games
> sometimes regain some appeal in that way.
>
> > Life lessons, all of these, I think.
>
> Agreed. And you're going on to discuss the downside for you. I really think
> that each person needs to decide if the pros and cons balance out for them in
> a way that is beneficial. Video/computer games did for me when I was young.
> They do less so now. But so did soccer. I see many similarities between
> computer games and other games (sport, board games, whatever). No one
> complains if their kid is a soccer or chess fanatic.
>
> > On the downside though, video games are also a way to escape from real
> > life. Even now, in my mid-30's , I find myself turning on a video race
> > car game or golf game for a little entertainment. I tune out the world
> > and focus on the fun of the game. After a long while of total
> > absorption, I finally finish and I really feel spent - and not at all
> > relaxed or rejuvenated - kind of like I feel after reading the newspaper
> > for too long or TV. It's not healthy for me.
>
> Must you feel relaxed and/or rejuvenated for an activity to be healthy? If I
> go for a long bike ride, neither of those words describe how I feel. "Spent"
> does a much better job. I might get wound up playing a computer game, but at
> least I'm feeling something different. I like a range of feelings. If I
> want to relax I go sit in the hot tub and listen to the birds while I read.
>
> My son's mother has two brothers who are mentally captivated by video games
> and turn mean when they get to playing their little Nintendo/SEGA/whatever it
> is, and she is afraid of that happening to our son. It didn't happen to me
> or any of my friends, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't to him. I tend
> to think that their "wasted life" is more a result of a messed up home life
> as kids, but who knows. Is this antisocial "meanness" the kind of
> psychological phenomenon that you feel from your computer games at all?
>
> Christopher Weeks
>
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