All posts by derekzhli

Reflection of it All

Overall I expected this all to end in a much worse scenario than it currently is in. I have learned that I learn best on my own accord. I soaked up the info I read during this project like a sponge and as able to effectively put it into text. I have gained a sense of urgency and time consumption when writing during this project which will let me learn how properly gauge my time when writing for essays for the ACT and college in the future. I learned that I was much higher that I thought in terms of reading, writing, and thinking. At first I didn’t know where to think I would be, but in the end I found that I was actually sitting in the threes and fours. That taught me that I really underestimated my abilities to work in English and now I have a confident and strong grasp on what to do if I have to do anything similar to this in the future.

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Final Post

I dove into this with a fairly bleak outlook, I knew that this was a depressing topic which is why I initially tried to ignore VGA, but in the end, I knew this probably was the best topic for me to choose. So without further ado here is my final post and thoughts on video game addiction.

 

It never was a pretty picture, VGA has been around for less than 2 decades at the time of this post with public opinion looking at it like a diseased abomination. You can tell how I felt about tackling this issue. My spirits lifted temporarily after starting my research, temporarily, even now I think it is going to take time for public opinion to change. When I started this I asked, what causes VGA, what is the truth behind the tragic stories we hear in the news, and what about it that makes people go bezerk? Those answers were clearer and easier to find than I thought, but in my search for those answers I found another issue, “is video game addiction a subjective term?” First I’ll go into those answers I found, then I will talk about the new issue that had surfaced during my searches.

 

People handwave VGA as its own distinct thing that shows up out of the blue and ruins lives. However what people fail to realize is that it is not its own disorder. According to psychcentral.com internet addiction, and by extension VGA, are not real disorders listed in the DSM-5, the official handbook for mental disorders. So in the first place, the American Psychiatric Association hasn’t even listed it under further study so what is VGA if it isn’t its own disorder? It is a symptom or a replacement for something else in our lives, a result of cause and effect. As humans we like to do what we like in our spare time, for some that is collecting items, for some playing sports, or for some it is their job. If we do not have something to take up our time then we become bored, dull, and ultimately failing to function as a human. So answer this for me, what is easy to access, easy to learn, accepting regardless of current condition, and generally very safe to participate in, I’ll give you the count of 3,

1…..

2……….

3………………, ok all together now, VIDEO GAMES! Don’t agree with me? Let me break it down and explain it. First let’s all admit it to participate in a sport you need to meet certain physical requirements, varying from sport to sport, comprised height, weight, speed, and etc. What are the physical requirements to start playing video games: hands, eyesight, and partial brain and nervous function; no speed, no weight requirements, and hell you don’t even need LEGS. You probably get the point by now, video games are incredibly easy to access and start playing. But some of you may say that sports are easy to access too you just need to have a passion. Unfortunately passion is no match against the mighty bench, according to cbc.com on the story of Brandon Crisp they said that,”Brandon had put that passion into hockey years earlier but stopped playing at 12, frustrated about getting benched because of his small size,” you see sports aren’t the all-inviting activity that they are thought of to be, and because of that Brandon got addicted to video games and got his name into the paper posthumously. However the story of Brandon Crisp gets me started on another point.

 

For all the parents this is going to hurt, but this is necessary to say: if you don’t want your video game addicted child to commit or cause any tragedies DO NOT take away the video games. As stated in the above paragraph video games are generally a replacement for an activity a person used participate in or was that activity in the first place that we need to occupy our minds to keep them active. Attempting forceful removal of video games when it becomes a childs habit (addiction or otherwise) is the wrong thing to do. Don’t believe me? Brandon Crisp, mentioned above, left video games after heated argument with parents after they, forcefully and without his consent, confiscated his video games. Daniel Petric, according to wikipedia, tried to kill both of his parents after they, forcefully and without his consent, confiscated his video games. You see there is a pattern. However I am not saying removing video games doesn’t work, a keyword above is “consent.” According the the Libertarian Prepper the author of a particular article managed to stop his VGA by removing video games from his life under his own discretion and choice. There is one distinct difference between working to remove VGA and causing an incident which is consent and choice of the one afflicted with VGA. The parents of Crisp and Petric tried to stop VGA by sudden removal of video games and their well intentioned but misguided action resulted in tragedies that made television. I bet that if their parents sat their child down at a table and tried to negotiate and/or convince to have their child willingly give up their video games, the names of the children would not have been mentioned above. However they didn’t, they did the wrong thing. Why they did is my next point.

 

Any parent that thinks that taking away video games without their child’s consent simply doesn’t know video games and thus is why they do it anyway. The issue with most parents is that they don’t understand that video games are mean to their kids. Crisps parents had no idea what the games meant to him and I bet 1000 dollars they never asked in the first place. Same bet applies to Daniel Petric whose father was strictly against video games with a strict no games in the house policy. Just simply denying video games pre-emptively and a refusal to negotiate is what caused the unfortunate events to unfold. The likely reason is because video games are new, they are a scapegoat for groups to sink their teeth into for media coverage; they take advantage of naive parents to start a frenzy for the sake of getting views as parents panic and flock to major news outlets as parents gasp in horror of these stories thinking their child is next. Ironic isn’t it, that misguided research leads to a misguided thought that leads to the names of those parents becoming the headline of the next story on the news.

 

In the end this wall comes down to my final point that renders almost everything I did irrelevant, “Is video game addiction subjective?” In a way it kinda is, what I perceive as casual gaming, a parent could perceive as a growing addiction. What I call an everyday occurrence, a parent could see it as something horribly wrong. What my experiences led to me getting VGA are completely different from someone else’s. Brandon and Daniel were bored and thus drawn to something exciting, I on the other hand was either depressed or pretty close to it when I developed VGA. Oddly enough, my parents never said I was overly addicted yet I type these words today. Unfortunately, the parents of Crisp and Petric said their children were overly addicted and their names are being used here.
VGA is only as bad as you make it and once again I can’t give you the end all be all solution only what I know and what I have observed, and what I have observed is not the brightest of pictures. VGA is a complex matter beyond what I can cover, parents are causing thing to get worse by taking wrong actions inspired by incorrect information. However the most important thing about all of this is that VGA is not something that is definite and is likely not going to be for a long while, but remember to be tread carefully around it and don’t become the next story on TV.

Another reason you don’t take games from someone and leave guns around the house

As stated I will be covering the Daniel Petric shooting in greater detail.

Once again this is a case that has video games way overblown with VGA being a cause and apparently nothing else. This time I will focus on the parents instead of the events that unfolded. But first some background, Daniel is the son of Mark Petric and has been house bound for a year . Mark wouldn’t let Daniel play video games in their house. Eventually Daniel sneaked the game into their home and it got confiscated and this was Daniels apparent motive.

There are times when I swear parents are all but asking for their kid to be mad at them. While it is a tragedy that one of them died their methods used to get Daniel away from video games is the same, flawed, and asking for tragedy method, taking the games away, no attempt at reasoning just taking them. As I have stated in my VGA = neglect post that is a surefire way to piss off your kids especially if they can’t do anything else.

VGA and Poems

This poem,by Catherine Inscore, is one thing that you don’t want to tell your kids if they have VGA.

However Catherine’s words in the second half of the poem do resemble a very common viewpoint of parents that video games cause obesity and there is always something better to do. While I can’t say anything about the former I do have some points on the latter. There are cases like the Daniel Petric shooting where the Video Game addictee was housebound and unable to do other things( will be covered in more detail later). Before I go on a rant I wish to end this, so my final points are that just because someone or your kid is playing video games don’t just tell them to get up and do sports, that is harder these days that before.

and now for some poetry of my own:

I hated this I really did

Video Games and poems

go as well together as heavy metal and church hymns

so in order to analyze this work for my bibliography

I shall  hold in my agony

as I ad lib my tragedies

as this part was the hardest

sorry for that, I needed this catharsis

 

 

China has a Cure?

I know right out of all the places in the world to have a cure for VGA it is China, a country where breathing urban air is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes.

Apparently yang yongxin (杨永信) has found a solution to what I have been trying to figure out.

Say hello toXingnaojing therapy aka shock therapy for internet addicts.Used to invoke Aversion therapy in patients, a shock is sent through a patients brain to cause the stimulation of pain without actually causing any harm to the patient. The shocks are put through the patients brain whenever they perform a bad behavior. Over time the brain will automatically associate the behavior with the pain and thus causing an end to the addiction right?

Well that would work if Aversion therapy was consistent in the first place. While initially it will be effective, as soon as the person leaves the hospital and realizes that they can do as they please without the risk of shocks they are likely to return to their old habits so it looks like this is going to be another one of China’s growing social problems.

The Void to Fill

For those of you who remember my last post on an article, I ended on a note saying that I will go into greater detail about the void in our lives that video games fill and why it isn’t easy to replace. That is exactly what this post will be about, one part out of an unspecified number on how the void we get in our lives are made open to video games.

Some activities require proper weather and physical conditions to be met for participation. Video games only requires two things sight and hands, no size or weight requirements no flexibility needed. You could be the size of a smart car or as small as an ant you can play video games.

Sports are widely considered to be the #1 activity for being social….. if you are good enough, have proper levels of fitness, and even things that you can’t control like a good height and weight. If you don’t meet the requirements then prepared to be benched in each game and ridiculed for it for the rest of your school life. That is why we look for other forms of entertainment and that is the hole video games fill.

Leaving addiction?

In an article from the Libertarian Prepper gives probably one of the most accurate descriptions of VGA as well as the risks of VGA.

The article identifies why VGA develops and the effects it can have on  a person. The article also goes into detail about how you can leave VGA.

Many articles online neglect to mention how VGA first forms in a person’s mind such as not having much to do in the first place or having a form of handicap mental or otherwise. The author admits to having social anxiety and I had a low sense of self-esteem if not depression when I developed VGA. So there are parallels that I can personally draw a parallel between me and the author and say that what he is saying is highly likely. Most unique thing that this article covers is how to stop being addicted. Interestingly is that the first attempts to stop were failures such as limiting time played and the only method that worked was stopping entirely. This method does have its strengths but it leaves a void to be filled and I do not agree with how the author says to fill this void by making a list and perform other activities. This is a topic I will cover in greater detail in a later post but this is not a great solution.