Quit playing games

Share Button

Just about everywhere we go these days we are surrounded by people who are into gaming – console, PC and online games. There are a lot of games that have to do with war or violence in terms of first person shooters or FPS. These are shooting games where you are the character who controls a weapon that shoots other people or characters.

There are also a multitude of sports games having to do with hockey, car racing and all types of performance vehicles. There are also MMORPG, short for massively multiplayer online role-playing games. These types of games have to do with you being a character in a digital world where you play in scenarios and settings with hundreds or even thousands of other players on-line.

These games are mostly played on a console platform such as the Xbox or PlayStation or a computer, but gaming is now becoming popular on smartphones. These games are very seductive and in many cases highly developed with incredible life-like graphics and storylines.

One huge problem with gaming in general is the amount of time it takes up as people become addicted to them and spend countless hours playing them. It becomes their world and is often an escape from reality. Gaming can be like a drug or alcohol addiction in many ways. Although it seems harmless it causes a lot of problems.

Some of these games can contribute to confusion with reality and real life. Some of them are so violent that they can cause a person to normalize violence. Shooting other characters is a big part of many of these games.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that a person becomes very sedentary. Sometimes gamers forget to eat or instead have drinks that are not good for them. They consume a lot of junk food so they do not have to leave their game and they drink high-energy liquids to keep them going. Sometimes gamers will go for many hours without sleep.

I have always enjoyed games as they were an interesting form of escape for me when I was living in Attawapiskat. However, these days there is better on-line service in remote First Nations and a multitude of games. Youth are already dealing with difficult times in remote communities so gaming is very attractive to them as an escape. Many people in First Nations communities don’t have access to healthy diets so gaming leads to a lack of exercise and motivation, ultimately contributing to obesity and diabetes.

Diabetes is already an epidemic in many First Nations. We are producing a new young crop of people with diabetes because of addictions to gaming.

People spend so much time on their devices playing games, communicating with others and browsing the web. This is happening with people walking on the streets in cities and towns as they carry on conversations without knowing what is going on around them. They are doing the same while driving their vehicles and I see many in restaurants with friends and family. It is so strange to be sitting at a gathering but realizing that half the people are somewhere else in their on-line world through their smartphones or tablets. I find it really weird because it is special to be able to get together with friends and family for a visit but disappointing when they do not really commit to involving themselves in this social opportunity.

Gaming makes sense in some ways, but I believe the negatives outweigh the benefits. Teens and people in their 20s and 30s should be thinking about how to have interesting and satisfying careers. They should be working to contribute in some way to their families, friends and communities in the real world. They could be thinking of travelling to other places in the world in search of new experiences and cultures. Those are real-life games I believe in.

We only have one life to play with in this reality. We should do our best to rack up as many experience points in the game of life and keep our health bar as full as possible.

Reality is what you make it.


Share Button

Comments are closed.