Sifu Lee on Video Gaming
The problem with video games is the addiction it can cause. It is not a good addiction. It is an inactive addiction – similar to being addicted to watching television. Before the invention of these high definition video game consoles, people would play more sports – people would be more active. I remember as a child going to the park & always seeing people playing basketball from day to night. Now I rarely see anyone playing basketball. What I see in my neighborhood is the community has banned a lot of basketball hoops in the parks. Nearly all basketball hoops have been taken down, mainly due to residents complaining about teenagers making a lot of noise & getting into physical altercations.
The energy that people used to have for sports has been directed towards video games. Rather than spending 10 years developing themselves to be competent in sport or art, people are spending 10 years playing video games. I’ve witnessed how addictive it can become especially for the child & I see how unhealthy it can become. One can stop eating, stop sleeping, & stop living fully. One can think about nothing but the video game day & night. If a person is so addicted to playing video games that he cannot find much happiness without playing video games, then there is a problem. If a person is well-balanced in Life & finds happiness in many activities other than video games, then it is okay.
Another problem I see with video games is the over emphasis on violence. Over 90% of video games revolve around violence. Nearly every video game is about beating, killing, and shooting. There is so much killing in these video games that you can very easily end up dreaming about killing. You are virtually playing the role of a killer and when you become addicted, it indicates that you deeply enjoy this virtual world of killing. This can lead to something very unhealthy for the mind and spirit.
These are not games of Tetris, Monopoly, or Chess. These are games of virtual warfare and extreme expressions of violence. Every game becomes very repetitive, a different name, a different title, a different scene, but leading to the same thing- killing. It does not lead towards any positive growth. The energies you have within are drained and wasted by playing these video games. This energy can be turned towards art and creativity. Playing music for 20 years will turn you into an artist, playing video games for 20 years will not lead you anywhere, there is no growth.
People need to be lead back to Art, Music, Dance, or even Sport. Playing a peaceful expression of sport is much better for the body than video games. Playing basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, etc. is much better for the body than playing video games. At the worst, video games can turn you into a psychopathic killer. At the best it will just make you lazy and dependent on the virtual world for happiness. It is not completely bad but it also has no real benefit to your existence when it comes to developing yourself in body, mind, & spirit. I do not completely frown upon the playing of video games, as it is the next step above being completely inactive and watching TV. A basketball fanatic may spend 2000 hours a year watching others play basketball. The 2nd step is a video game basketball fanatic who spends 2000 hours a year playing basketball video games. The 3rd step above that is the athlete who spends 2000 hours a year playing real basketball on the courts. We all need to get to the 3rd step; we need to become athletes, artists and full participators in the actual activity of which we enjoy.
Now the real problem may be that people want to kill but they are not allowed to kill, so they end up killing in the video game. They feel more freedom in the virtual world to do as they wish than in the real world. Now this desire to kill may be the real problem that needs to be addressed, some people may be able to play paintball and receive joy in this. For others this may not be good enough so they may join the army, they may enter the ring, or cage. They may go hunting. Or they may actually do what they fantasize about and end up being sent to prison after they are caught.
Those who do have the deep desire to kill should keep that energy within the virtual world and not take that into reality. That energy should go backwards, not forwards. One who is addicted to killing in the virtual world, should stop this addiction. One who then becomes addicted to watching others kill in movies, should stop this addiction. One who then becomes addicted to thinking about killing others, should stop this addiction. One who then constantly dreams about killing others, should find peace of mind so that these violent dreams no longer occur. Eventually, one will be liberated from this psychological violence. When you are in the virtual world & you are killing, immerse yourself in the role, discover the futility of it all. Once you discover this, you will be free.
Once you are free, you will no longer be addicted to it. Once you are no longer addicted, you will find peace of mind.
[via FMK Facebook’s Thoughts]