The philosophy of playing video games and existentialism
By Ardan Bramall, Srinand Mudunuri, Sean Quigley and Cayden Tsai
The inevitable little light at the end of the tunnel we all anticipate or monger our fears over. We all can’t get it out of our heads. That’s why the closing title of this is going to be nothing more but an aberrational taste of the near, feathered future we so desperately want to embrace. Although we can now know our time here has always been and always will be until the end. Our current time can be observed from the perspective of culture. We can also view it from the hindrance of isolation and the lack of serotonin. The world creates conflict, so those who find solace in art can coexist with the total modernity of human civilization. This modern way of solace is something not only for the desire of escapism but for the comfort of being fixed together like a kintsugi piece. In other words, we take comfort in the broken fabric of society in a laid-back manner of control. The story we read along the walls of our gaze, creating a psychedelic maze through the pixilated corridors of buildings and the thick grasslands in the northern Windsor of the bay that stretch far away.
This need for engulfing our perception is in turn, healed by the midst of high serotonin levels. Once said by a great man, opinionated, yes. Although still more understanding than most honest jurisdictions. Bhaysd Mahnn stated: “Gaming is an important factor in putting the central ideas of art and the minds of other people into one complex perspective of solving the world of its hedonistic tendencies. Uhh, but I think the greatest thing to come out of gaming is the cooperation between one (sic) stupid human being to other. I don’t really care about anyone, but the idea that people can come together and solve problems in this pixelated plain is truly outstanding and beautiful.”
When I asked him about the retreating feeling of anemoia and indecisive angst that the effect of gaming had on his perception of reality, he said, “I wanted to kill myself during the end of middle school, I felt like my life was sinking into itself, like a portal was sucking me into the dark abyss I would now forever live in. But I changed, instead of giving in to my fear of Roko’s basilisk I embraced it by watching the Terminator and playing the heck out of portal 1&2. As well as my fear of burning in eternal hellfire I embraced it by playing the entire Doom franchise over a winter break and by the end of it I had a speed-run ultra nightmare on each Doom game in under 12 hours. Games have used this fear and turned it into a passion, in my opinion. Now my desire to kill myself is far less, because then if I do kill myself I’m going to miss half life 3 and portal 3 as well as gta 6. I also heavily want to see the day Bobby Kotick loses money.”
Now I realized that the room I was in was alternatively far hotter than what I originally thought it was. The pain in your neck when you face the never-ending screen of pixels is a haunting photo of modern jealousy and toxic work environments. The art of it, the tiring dream we always indulge in…addiction. Addiction isn’t only set into one form of media. People like Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Martin Scorsese, Drew Barrymore and Charlie Sheen have had their struggles in the world of drugs. Scorsese, being one of the greatest filmmakers of the last 100 years, has also had his fair share of struggles in his life. Although this addiction helped evolve his characters in the stories he told, it also negatively impacted his life. Such as during the filming of Cape fear he had scored drugs in Paris that almost killed him. Later his friend Robert DeNiro stood up to his addiction, helping him recover from the restraining euphoric powder so many others stayed taken in. We can also somewhat attribute this addiction to games. Although there is a difference between a toxic addiction and a hobby. Most people can agree that toxic addictions are far more demanding in one’s day-to-day life than just a hobby.
Addiction to gaming is what can cause harm to other people, but most of all yourself. Nathan Yao stated, “If it gets out of hand it can be bad because you’re wasting like 90% of your day just doing stuff. Although overall [gaming] is kind of like a good escape and reduces a lot of stress in your life and if you just study that’s bad but if you also just game that’s bad, so you have to find a good balance.”
This toxic addiction is resulting in toxicity among a community; for example, League of Legends. This addiction can result in horrendous acts of trash talk and beta male behavior. Due to the psychological adherence to a certain piece of media, or game in this matter. We can see the heavy stress this addiction causes, day and night. For when this addiction overtakes a person’s mind and inhibits their interactions with other people, that is when the addiction has become too far gone. This leads to the toxic nature of heavy addiction and in a way glorifies the unhealthy obsession.
Toxicity in gaming is a prevalent problem that many gamers face. After interviewing a number of people who have encountered this sort of toxicity we can almost say that there is a dawn in the human psyche of fantasia. When asked about toxic communities in gaming, Terrence Cookson stated; “I think it depends how toxic you’re being. If you’re just poking fun at people just to get some reactions, that’s fine. But if you’re grieving or anything like you’re messing with other people’s stuff, I think that’s when you’re being a little toxic.” After further being asked about how toxic communities can affect the game itself he added, “Of course, it goes back to how it is and everything. Depending on how toxic it is, it can affect player count, people might leave the game, people may not pick up the game based on what people say about it and some might just come to it just to be toxic.”
Further, he stated about his own experiences in encountering toxicity when gaming: “I’ve seen people go from trash-talking to calling other people things I won’t get into. I’ve also seen things like TK-ing (team killing) in games like Rainbow six siege, in Insurgency sandstorm or even Escape from Tarkov things like that. I’ve seen a lot of stuff even in minecraft you can go griefing there, like in creative games like Terraria. I’d say that’s how it would go, affecting the game itself and how people look at it.”
The idea of gaming is one that helps to exceed the possible barriers of human emotion, through the visual aspects and the audible. But when that barrier is pushed so far into one’s mind, they feel entranced by it and feel as if they belong there.
The result of pulling someone out of it can be one that heavily harms one’s status and calm. This explains the heavy proportion that gaming has on people. The toxicity feels like a grown mess that has enthralled into a deep spiral of total isolation, when that toxicity makes its way into the exterior image of the person, it truly shows anger and frustration to the purest form.
This feeling of frustration and anger is only foreshadowed by the addiction we see inside. This attachment is a clear response to the denial of reality, and they want to separate themselves from it. This feeling of lost existentialism is helped by the escapism that gaming provides. From the interviews conducted, we see how the involvement of toxicity in gaming has greatly impacted the way people play and watch games. We also see how the world provides the need for escapism, through the events that occur every day as well as the things that we can never understand. This outlet of gaming puts people into a trance, a trance that involves the majority of people keeping their eyes away from the struggles of life. This need to escape reality is only proven due to the promise of a life of fulfillment and prosperity, for when that promise is broken we see the large volume at which we feel the heavyweight of existential dread. For this to impact our lives, we can only acknowledge its existence and let it be what it is. All we can do now is just float around, hang out on clouds and have a hangover.