[RL] A recent study released by the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that 90 per cent of American youngsters play video games. What followed the AMA's statistic was a request that video game addiction (VMA) be officially recognized as a medical condition.
I don’t think we need to go into a debate here as to whether or not SL is a game. Game, virtual world, metaverse, whatever it is, it is extremely addicting. And I am, (have been?), addicted. I meet at least half of the characteristics of VMA, the most serious one of which being:
- Hours playing video games or on the computer increasing, seriously disrupting family, social or even work life.
And, as I now attempt to achieve a healthy balance between SL and RL, I find that a lot of the reasons why I avoid RL is that a lot of RL is just plain tedious. I’d far rather be building Cataporters ™ than trying to sort through a ton of crap down the basement which we simply don’t have room for. Washing dishes, vacuuming floors, hauling around 40 pounds bags of sterilized poop for gardening projects, these things just don’t do a lot to give me pleasure.
Of course, messy kitchens don’t give me pleasure either, and the gardens grown from the poop DO bring me pleasure. What I do when I immerse myself in these little virtual environments, be it in SL or on the Xbox 360, is find a way of effectively being lazy with something mentally stimulating enough to allow me to ignore things like messy kitchens and to conveniently forget the fact that I like RL gardens.
Much or RL is, frankly, tedious, and in many cases quite lonely. It’s far easier for my animator to ostrich-ize himself behind a keyboard or a joystick than to try to overcome the issues creating tedium or loneliness. Will Power? I’ve only met the man a few times in my life, and I can’t say that we ever really hit it off.
SL is an incredibly powerful medium for gaining fulfillment and making friends, far too powerful for me to say that it is useless and to choose quit it cold-turkey without considerable cause (and I have more than once been on the brink of that “considerable cause”). It is oh so tempting, however, to say that it is the ONLY medium for friendship or fulfillment.
So, this is basically a post to state where my struggles lie. I’ve made some major improvements of late, but that only says that I’m holding on to the wagon with my fingertips. I still have many issues to overcome, and my goal is to overcome them without giving up. I’m not attempting to resolve these issues with this post. I just want to get them out there and sniff at them for a while. Half the struggle with addiction is admitting that there is a problem. Okay, I admit it. I still need to get comfortable with the other half, as soon as I’m more confident that I know kinda what the other half is.
More to follow…