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I don’t care what anybody says, we all spend too much time playing video games. Only the people who complain they never get enough hours because, you know, an actual job gets in the way can realistically state they’re not in a situation where the process of gaming can consume your rational existence. Except, of course, even some of those people have spent all night grinding for something… we all do.

Gaming companies are well aware of the consequences. Some deal with the issue in different ways to others. The fact the WHO has now stepped in and decided to classify gaming addiction as a disease is pretty much spot on, because it is. All addictions have consequences, and the more people realise this, the better it is, especially as time goes on, and more of your life is thrust into the palm of your hand.

Having played games for over four decades, it is no wonder that we’re now in a position where gaming’s service industries are perhaps more important than the makers themselves: when word of mouth will make or break your title, using social media as a marketing tool is more significant than ever before. In my case however, my new interest is an eight year old game, recommended by my own daughter.

Retro gaming is as big a business as the major new releases and upcoming IP’s, but is far less influenced by companies. In fact, if you look at how Nintendo’s cashing in on the retro market with it’s mini console releases, one could say the system works in reverse. Old games, previously lost to time, are suddenly of immense commercial interest when revived and revamped. That Sonic Movie is already generating interest…

I’ve realised over the last two days the importance of having somewhere to decompress. I’m also acutely aware of how that ‘just one more turn/quest/mine’ mentality can alter an entire existence. Understanding you have an addictive personality really helps in situations where such decisions have major consequences. At the same time, the benefit of complete distraction to allow reality a chance to percolate…

Despite what some might try and tell you, your path to enlightenment is never as simple as the instructions suggest. For me, a new future isn’t just returning to those same old habits. This is a means by which everything continues to be balanced, and I have something to use as relaxant when, as is the case at present, everything’s a bit stressful. Most importantly, however, because it’s a sandbox game?

There is no compulsion to play daily because I might be missing out.

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The clamour for attention and inclusion is never likely to go away: it’s been like this for decades, after all. The reminder, writ large, must always be Play Responsibly. As I’ll state in the personal blog in a second, I’ve got a lot from two days of kicking back and effectively learning something new from scratch. I’m not nearly as intractable as was first thought. Yes, there’s many things out there I could play.

Just have to remember to play them in sensible amounts, that’s all.

One thought on “Industrial Disease

  1. It is difficult to even discuss gaming habits in a culture where everything is treated as a possible attack on “my fun”. “Fun” is sacred and everything that could even potentially put a dent on it must be eliminated. Yes, it is (sometimes) allowed to blame companies – after all, you can frame it as them ruining our fun. But to ask questions about the behaviour of players themselves, “why do we play”, “how do we play” etc. in a critical way? That’s dangerous. Better not think about it, better be silent.

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