The Phatgamer’s satirical take on signs of gaming addiction
It may or may not be evident, here are methods to spot signs of gaming addiction
While I was opening the flap of my laptop to write this article, an angel flew over my head telling me to stop writing this article. One article that is in contrast with my blog tagline, however I realized that my article is a lot similar to the tagline and in essence supplements it. Have you ever played video games for so long that you buttock starts bellowing in pain, your eyes screaming with rage, your collarbone is steaming mad and your fingers turn gangrene? Well here are symptoms of binge gaming.
1) Food that you eat feels like heath/stim pack
You wake up and realize that your team has moved to the next check post and are capturing it. Suddenly, you hear a voice calling your name to get ready for breakfast. In the meanwhile, you find your character is sluggish and struggling to reach your team mate. It seems he is starved, exhausted, and weary and has grown feeble. An enemy approach from behind the fence and your eyes meet his. As you point the crosshair and cock your rifle, the enemy fires his sidearm towards you. A couple shots misses by a hairline but one of the bullets pierces you. Your health drops significantly; you turn panicky and hip fire at this shrewd enemy and miss all but a few shots. After an exchange of couple more gunshots, you get shot and lose sight, there is darkness everywhere.
In the meantime, your allies come to your rescue, you are served with bowl full of cold milk and honey coated cereals. Refill, eat and repeat till your body is filled to your throat. Ultimately, you rejuvenate and jump right in. At this point, you reload your rifle and take 3 shots at the armored enemy dropping him dead. Your path is cleared, and you rush to the point to unite with your team mates. Sun rises and then it hangs perpendicularly to the Earth’s surface.
As a result of direct exposure to the sunlight your character is burned out, and lays unconscious. Another instance of heroism is displayed by your allies who serve you with roasted chicken, brown rice and cool salad to restore your health. In addition to this, your focus sharply rises and your precision shooting gives your team an upper hand in the battlefield. The stim-pack you consumed brought you and your team a much needed victory. Is this enough sign of gaming addiction?
2) Completing assignments and studying rewards you with EXP points
You finish school/college assignment with excitement as you gain exp that level ups your character. As you complete dreaded and tedious task, the amount of EXP increases which accelerates the evolution and growth of your character. At the same time, your character learns new moves and becomes stronger to deal with bigger challenges. Furthermore, when you assist others, you not only gain exp point but also build allies. Continuing to do so, builds your character to an invincible state where he can face any challenge because of moves/skills that he/she has acquired.
On the other hand, you wallet size swells when you encounter unclaimed money dropped on the floor of the bus. On combining all of the excess supply of clothes, appliance and unused items in the house, you get superior crafting item. You can now hold more currency, stock more ammunition and at the same time move with higher mobility. As you walk in your locality, you witness unclothed child who is begging for food, you open your back-pack and hand over the lunch-box that you did not eat, this adds moral or karma exp. At the end of each night you go to bed relatively stronger and grown up from previous night. One of the signs of gaming addiction.
3) You see shopping centre, tourist spots or amusement park as areas filled with hidden loots
As you grind through the game, constantly seeking hidden chest or rare items you are overwhelmed by the sheer area of the map. In order to speed up the process, your allies and you strike a deal to scatter and scavenge elusive articles. Your close ones start looking for basic groceries to feed the tribe, while you vigorously hunt for animal hide, raw leather, rare amulet and elixirs that will upgrade your character and make you some currency.
When traveling to these spots, you tend to wander into secluded corners excited by thought of coming across specialty items. Cutting through masses as rare don’t belong to commoners, you endlessly venture out might even distance yourself from the tribe. Objects that are apparent do not fascinate you anymore, you find myself yourself digging into the ground in search of exclusiveness. Finding your treasure brings an overwhelming sense of excitement and adrenaline. With all the loots at your disposal, you either utilise it to upgrade your weapons or sell them off to pimp your gaming setup.
Remember going to your friend’s birthday party or a colleague’s house warming get-together? These areas promised huge scope for wonderful and valuable loots. However, before you set out in delight to collect them, you should nurture or catalyze or let nature take its accord to create situations which help you thrive. As the night progresses everybody drink their way out of sobriety, your loot instinct becomes active. Everything seems morally correct, if it done purely to upgrade, craft or acquire better gear for you character. If there is a hint of any gain other than customising the game character, then you should start hating yourself and poke a few pin in your skin to punish yourself. Still dont think you see a sign of gaming addiction?
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4) Driving a car or a bike feels like a race against the clock
As you commute to work or ride your bike to school, traffic along the path is AI racers trying to out-race you. With every opponent you beat, your position on the rank chart shoots up. Conversely, as you are overtaken by a faster car, you rank takes a dive. At this point, you have exited the arterial road of the city into the 5 lane highway. However before you can turbo charge through the highway, you wait at the red traffic light at the mouth of the highway. Engines roar from neighboring riders as you set your feet on the pedal. You hear the voice of commentator who says “3, 2, 1, GO.”
No doubt, you are here to win this race, however the enemies AI also have their eyes on the prize. Entering into this realm of velocity, you shift gears like a scientist mixing chemicals in lab. As this drag race is all about precision gear shifting. Mastering the RPM and gear shift, you smoke away the competition and blow them out of the waters. As you close in to your destination, the timer magnifies indicating a few seconds before it runs out. Your skills are put to test as there is a parking spot at the far end, with not enough space to park your vehicle there.
Two cars adjacent to the spot stand facing each other with a gap that requires extreme accuracy. The clock and situation seems to stack against you, however the gamer in you wants to win. You hit the gear and put the pedal to the floor, as the car speeds up just enough. Immediately you pull the handbrakes jolting the car into a semi-circular motion and diving it into the space locked between two cars. Your front and rear bumpers kiss the respective cars before it safely nest into the spot. You gain extra points for accuracy and time bonus which translates into reputation among your social circle at the college. Hence magnetising the class towards you. Any signs of gaming addictions??. Nah!!
5) All the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players
It is one of most potent signs of gaming addiction. Everything around you is created out of polygon. Pixels and resolution are scientific synonym of atoms and molecules. Your vision is a graphic card that can be tweaked by adding layer of powerful lens. Every person you meet is built on a character creation screen. Every vehicle on road is either a starter class or bought after racing career progression. Moreover degrees issued by universities are license to venture out in different genre of career path. Unexplored countries and location are hidden portion on the world map that needs a link to unlocked areas in order for them to become accessible.
This is penultimate sign that you have flashes of reality; it seems you have chosen the blue pill over the red pill. You life runs on 60 frames per second, you capture and raise Pokémon pets. You constantly roam the streets to find Easter-eggs and occasionally play real world to escape the pain of reality.