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Luck

Gamer or lamer?

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Was watching Red Dwarf earlier, specifically the Back To Reality episode where the crew hallucinates they were in a game all along and Lister said "What kind of sad losers are we to spend our lives inside a video game?" and it really made me think.

 

A lot of us have been gaming since before it was cool and made it out of the bedroom and back then it was generally the haven of pasty social rejects with bad skin and greasy hair plus all the rest of the stereotypes that you might deny but still ring true. What it made me wonder was this:

 

People who can't get sex watch porn. It provides an escape, some relief, an alternative to facing the truth of a reality they can't accept.

 

With this in mind, what does gaming do for you? Don't give me that surface level BS of "Oh its just a fun way of passing time in other wise completely fulfilling life and a way to wind down after diving into my Scrooge McDuck moneypool before I engage in yet another threesome on my private jet" but look deeper.

 

Like it or not you've poured a heck of a lot of time, effort and money into various pixels doing pixel related things over the years. Now imagine how your life could've been with that energy used somewhere productive instead? Granted I expect a lot of kneejerk reactions given what I've said but I also think there may be a handful of you here with enough insight to get what I'm saying and make it all worthwhile because ultimately I'm not here to win any popularity contests but am genuinely interested in what you think of this.

 

Just switch your gaming addiction to porn and see how quickly your self perception would change as the substitution is so obvious and the difference between what you want and what you've got is immense. The powerless wage slave in real life who runs on the 9-5 wheel suddenly becomes a vicarious god of war via the power of technology during the weekend in which other online players fear and respect his FPS prowess or what about the cack handed, uncoordinated dope who excels at rhythm games? Lets consider the one who is petrified of girls and social interaction and yet has a wall full of obscure Japanese dating sims in which he's a digital Lothario and last but by no means least the guy who has an all zone bus pass but knows layout of Outrun 2 like the back of his hand. What a guy!

 

 

Taking it deeper, would you be up for a challenge? A fortnight of no gaming in any way shape or form. That means not even reading about games, using forums like these or even "accidentally" clicking onto Digitiser on Teletext to get your fix:

 

digitiser-screenshot-archive-1993-01-01-

 

 

 

 

 

Me: challenge-accepted-png-3.png

 

 

 

See you lamers next month!

 

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1 hour ago, Luck said:

The powerless wage slave in real life who runs on the 9-5 wheel suddenly becomes a vicarious god of war via the power of technology during the weekend in which other online players fear and respect his FPS prowess or what about the cack handed, uncoordinated dope who excels at rhythm games? Lets consider the one who is petrified of girls and social interaction and yet has a wall full of obscure Japanese dating sims in which he's a digital Lothario and last but by no means least the guy who has an all zone bus pass but knows layout of Outrun 2 like the back of his hand. What a guy!

 

If this is how you perceive other people who play games, I think you need the fortnight's break more than anyone. ;) 

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OP reads like someone who thinks they’re a brilliant writer but has no idea how cringey everything they type out is. 
 

I know because I was the same. 

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When I was in my twenties - after finishing university - single and unemployed with no real friends, I felt like a loser. There was this “panic” that I shouldn’t be playing games anymore, I should be going out, making friends, finding a job. Not spending all day getting a high score on Crazy Taxi.

 

I stopped caring when I admitted to myself games were something I enjoyed. And I still waste a lot of time and energy consuming different media: books, games, film. So what? Some people spend all day watching shit on TV.

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I don't think the porn comparison works. Plenty of people are having varying amounts of sex (even occasionally me...a gamer no less!) but I'm fairly certain many of them also watch porn. In other words I don't think porn is a substitute for actual sex. 

 

Having said that I don't think videogames are necessarily a literal  substitute for actual real life engagements. As an example for a long time in my gaming hobby I have enjoyed many FPS games.  I am certain I have never felt that this is an area of my life that I am missing physically.

 

I probably started gaming as I was slightly on the introverted side with a strong but smaller group of friends. I wasn't bullied or different from anyone else and although slightly introverted I wasn't anything like a recluse. I'm still on the introverted side now as I hurtle towards 40 it just means that I generally get my "energy" from within rather than from being out with others (which is what extroverts do).  My dad brought an Acorn electron home one day when I was very little and Chuckie Egg and Arcadians blew my mind. I must have only been 5 or 6 maybe (born in 82). 

 

To cut a long story short games are really fun for some reason. 

 

 

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What an odd post, I go to work to provide for my family first and to spend the rest of my money on enjoying life for whatever time I have - a big part of enjoying myself is gaming so I play games, I also like cycling, building Lego and driving cars and I’m sure if I gave them all up I’d be miserable and therefore less productive at work!

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It doesn’t make sense to think of the time spent playing games being used to do something else more productive cos it’s used as an outlet and a break from doing productive things and if i don’t have outlets i get burnt out.

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I had sex while watching porn the other week... it was a bit weird, yo.

 

Games are an escape, even if that is surface level BS... I’m a fairly anxious, fairly unremarkable person. So I doubt I’d have done much different with my free time if not gaming, just found a different hobby or outlet.

 

I recharge when in my own company, and I’m quite content to sink four, five, ten hours into a gaming session given the chance. It’s pointless, but then so much is. And not in a woe-is-me way, more a we’re all going to be dust some day so might as well do things we enjoy way.
 

And some days I enjoy porn. I mean gaming.

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I do remember when gaming was mainly geeky teens in bedrooms, I being one myself. 

 

It still always surprises me when I meet a real handsome bastard who talks to me about some game they’re playing.  Deep down I wonder why are you not a hideous monster like me?  Like a true gamer... 

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What a load of wanky bollocks. 
 

I don’t regret a second of video gaming... except maybe driver 3. I’ll never get those few hours of my life back :(

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Maybe I shouldn't have played so many games in my late teens - I had to get a Saturday job to pay for them, and that was the real waste of time.

 

Still, it comes in handy having a decent knowledge of gaming history now.

 

Other than that, are games a form of escapism? Power fantasies? Just a bit of fun? Thought provoking? A way of socialising? Yes, any of those things and probably more.

 

I've written a fair bit about how games relate to the expectation of modern societies - how they reproduce the same demands, enable escape from them and reflect back critically on them at the same time. I find it interesting anyway.

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15 hours ago, Luck said:

switch your gaming addiction to porn

 

 

This doesn't work, as a parallel. I can quite happily play a game for several hours. Porn loses most of its appeal once fluids get spilt, half hour at max. 

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Think the OP needs to try and understand addiction a bit more before spouting nonsense like this. I've been obsessed with videogames for 37 years, since I was about 10, I've suffered a battle with alcohol addiction for 17 years. I know which has caused me the most problems in my life.

 

Games are a way to pass the time and have some fun. I find them more engaging than most TV and I use my spare time either with games or with books in general.

 

As for the challenge, as @moosegrinder says, depriving myself of something that brings me joy for two weeks would just make me miserable and more likely to engage in more destructive behaviour doesn't sound like something I'm going to do. I wouldn't deprive myself of seeing my children, reading or watching sport for two weeks when I can't see what the point of what the exercise is. I'll happily pass on porn for two weeks though, I'll let you go how I get on. I'll use that time and energy to do something productive, I promise.

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17 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

What a horribly depressing thread.

 

Games aren't productive? I consider the time I spend at work the least productive of all the hours I have. It's the time where I have to perform repetitive tasks I wouldn't otherwise choose to do, in order to make someone I'll never meet a whole load more money. And sure, I have - and learn - certain skills I need to do that job but all they do is allow me to do the same thing more efficiently. They're not practical skills. It's not productive time. But, like most people, I work because I need money, and that money allows me to have various other things: a house, nice holidays, security, good food, and freedom. Freedom from worry, freedom to spend time with my family, freedom to spend the rest of my time doing things I enjoy.

 

And sure, a lot of the things I enjoy aren't productive. Drunken nights out with friends where nothing of value was "produced" but everyone had a great time. Long walks in the park with my wife and son. Watching some of the best movies ever made, and several of the worst ones too. Listening to the same song on repeat because I can't get enough of it. Reading thought-provoking, prize-winning novels and terrible, derivative fantasy novels too. Paying inordinate amounts of money to eat in amazing restaurants where the whole experience is over and done with within two hours. And - like most people here - playing games. Lots of games.

 

So who are you to tell me how I should spend my time? When I've played games, I've lost myself in extraordinary, detailed worlds like No Man's Sky, Final Fantasy XIV and The Witcher: experiences on the technological cutting edge created by people brimming with ingenuity and creativity. I've chatted and played online with old friends where our busy lives don't allow us to catch up more than a couple of times a year but we can still spend hours together doing the things we love. I've had raucous multiplayer sessions with family and friends on everything from Goldeneye and Chu Chu Rocket to Nintendo Land and Overcooked, where we've all been laughing too hard to even hold the joypads. I've learned about history with Total War and Assassin's Creed. I've spent an entire day playing Rock Band, with upwards of a dozen people swapping instruments and having an amazing time together. Christmas is never the same without Singstar.

 

More personally, these games are part of my life. One of my best friends sadly passed away a couple of years ago and that Rock Band party remains one of my happiest memories of our time together. My son, aged two, used to sit beside me "drumming with Daddy" on his plastic drums as I played Rock Band; a few years later he picked up the sticks for real and now, aged 10, he's a proficient drummer who's taking his Grade 5 exam next month. Is that productive enough for you? When I was a teenager I hid in my room with my Spectrum and buried myself in the worlds of Amaurote and Starglider as my divorcing parents raged and screamed and threw things downstairs; it got me through. More recently, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture got me through the sharpest period of depression in my adult life by providing me with a quiet, idyllic space I could escape to at just the time I needed it most. To this day, it still feels more like a real place I visited than a game I played.

 

In short: if your life needs to be "productive" at all times then I think you need to take a long, hard look at yourself. We'll all be dead in the end, unless you're one of a handful of people who leave a lasting impact on the world (and maybe even then) your productive life will mean absolutely nothing. Enjoy yourself, expand your mind, spend time doing the things you love the most with the people that love you. Make memories. Play games.

Post of the year. 

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