November 9th, 2019
This manuscript was written in 2014. Although I have wanted to edit it and make it up-to-date I believe it is better to publish it as is to show exactly what I was thinking about during this time period. The main change that I would make is that the epidemic has metastasized into a “videotronic epidemic”. Videotronic standing for videogames and/or any electronics that create addiction or cravings amongst the population. Lastly, I would say that that this technology does not have to be banned, nor given up forever. We must be fully aware of what it is capable of as well as how to purify ourselves and only then can we use this technology responsibly with true moderation. I find it important to post this article now as it saddens me to walk into the local grocery store, gym, school, park or wherever and see nine out of ten people just staring at their phones, using them for whatever reason and not being aware of the harmful effects that it is doing to themselves as well as others. With that said, thanks for reading.
The Videogame Epidemic
By: David Eric Allen
First page: “For my late mother, Stephanie, a truly wonderful soul. Without your constant source of positivity, support, and love, I would surely not still be here today.”
Notes: There is nothing stopping me, but myself. If you are in the writing mood and have got something important to say, then by all means write until you can’t write any longer. Make sure you are not “preaching” in this book, but “teaching”. “This is what I have learned; maybe it can help you too”. Find books on videogames, addiction, vipassana, dharma, and Socrates/Plato/Aristotle.
I promised the monks at Chiwang a large donation after this book is published because I conceptualized a lot of it there and they are sending constant “Tara’s Blessing.” So no slacking! This book is not going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever has been.
List of things that must be proven or explained extremely well:
- Why is the world getting worse and worse? What is the underlying cause? – 1st of all, you must be a certain age to see the change. We risk getting to a time where people do not remember what it was like before and this is very dangerous. The world is losing its sense of morality that it has worked so hard to build over time. No one is connecting the dots. Those that try are not seeing the whole picture and are connecting the wrong dots. Can’t connect the dots because older people who may know the universal laws don’t play videogames. Young play games, but don’t know universal law. It takes an objective viewpoint who knows the ins and outs of both to connect them and see how it is affecting us all.
- Universal and moral laws do exist. Discovered by Buddha and Socrates along with other philosopher and spiritual masters throughout different parts of the world. Knowledge of these leads to virtue. Ignorance automatically leads to vice.
- Addiction – “Small leads to big”- “Buried addiction is bound to rise later in life.” –“Addiction leads to mental and physical health problems and bad decision-making.”
- Negativity, or harsher word “evil”, as well as positivity or “good” have their own plans or goals in the world. The only way to carry these out is through people. Most of the time this is done passively or without awareness of consequences, at least negatively wise.
- Dharma – Gamers fill themselves with negativity while playing videogames and when they go back into the open society, this negativity releases to other non-gamers in exchange for their positivity. And this process is repeated over and over. This is the true reason for the downfall of society the past 30 years or the exponential progression. Videogamers send negativity into society. Meditators send positivity into society. They are opposites. Virtuous and foolish. To become virtuous, one must know what virtue actually is. There should be no confusion.
- Chapter 1 – My Personal Story
- Chapter 2 – History of Videogaming – Factors of Development What had to be invented before they came? Was it a grand design to enslave us or did it happen naturally?
- Chapter 3 – History of Addiction
- Chapter 3 – Natural Laws: Mental science – Dharma, Karma, Positive-Negative Balance Theory
- Chapter 4 – How this affects the world now and in the future
- Where we are heading. Society is getting worse as videogames are getting bigger and better. Transition on purpose? Everyone is playing now and it is growing exponentially.
- Chapter 5 – The Cure – Removal of ignorance – Removal of craving/addiction
- Vipassana and knowledge of Dharma
- Conclusion – The Videogame of Life
In writing this book, I ask for help from the indomitable human spirit to guide my words in removing a dangerous thorn from the side of Mother Nature. Doing so purely in a sense of duty, use me as an instrument to relay what you seek to explain to the world. I have no need, nor want, for fortune as I have seen where this leads, or fame as I consider the freedom of anonymity to be a priceless commodity that once lost is difficult to retrieve.
I have written what you are about to read purely in a sense of “duty” for the indomitable human spirit, as well as Mother Nature Herself. To give a little nudge per se, to what I consider is, in the right direction. I have no need, nor want, for fortune as I have seen where this leads, or fame as I consider the freedom of anonymity to be a priceless commodity that once lost is difficult to retrieve.
In this book, of which is surely imperfect, I have attempted to inject a certain amount of philosophical and spiritual intellectual stimulation into current events, which will hopefully ignite a debate about why we are in the situation that we are in as a whole. While at the same time, making it simple enough that our youth, of who it is truly for, can certainly understand. A balance must eventually be restored and it is only through them that this lofty ambition can be accomplished.
Hopefully, my story can inspire others or at least help to elucidate the pitfalls that are certainly avoidable. Every stage in one’s life from birth to old age is a stepping stone. If you miss one step, it tends to throw off the whole process, but it is not the end of the world.
This book is just as much for the future generations of “gamers” as it is for our present generation. I have attempted to impart a message or vision that was slowly unfolded for me, which could possibly help relieve the pain and suffering for many in our current day and age. Furthermore, if it is successful in this goal for even one person, then I will consider it a victory.
May all beings be relieved of their suffering.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
And may all beings be liberated.
“I am a hole in the flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to the music.” – 14th century Sufi poet Hafiz
His disciples said, “Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it.” He said to them, “Anyone with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark.” – Gospel of Thomas 24
In all human beings, we are born with a natural tendency or “source” of positivity, which radiates love, joy, and bliss within our own bodies and to all those around us. This can be considered your innate “natural state.” If you have ever had a child or been around young children then perhaps this may be apparent to you. Babies are literally like little balls of pure love and positivity. Overtime, as children are exposed to more and more “adult” things, which many times encompass negativity, this “source” is slowly clogged up and the stream turns from “positive” to “neutral” or even “negative.” It is almost like a crust builds up and eventually a wall, where bits and pieces of the original pure positivity still trickle out, but on a whole it is blocked. Matthew 11:25 – “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” Infants receive this gift almost like a “head start” in life, and for many this can be the only time to experience the natural state of positivity. As most are ignorant about the causes of negativity, they are constantly falling away from this natural state. Although most don’t remember the actual feeling, it exists and can be found again later in life.
Before videogames and other technological luxuries, this source would last for a much longer period into adulthood or even throughout one’s life. Now-a-days, with the influx of negative influences and distractions throughout today’s society, we are lucky if our youth have this source into their early teens or even as late toddlers. My main contention is that videogames are history’s greatest cause for clogging this source and many people are unknowingly pumping this in high doses to their children as soon as they can pick up a smart-phone. Videogames are the culmination or climax of technological harm that one can do to their own mind, surpassing television and the internet, which manifestly support videogames in their dominant pursuit. This growth of the “videogame epidemic” has drastically affected the world throughout the past twenty years and the results will be even more devastating in the future if we don’t do something about it now.
In recent history, we have begun to see a downfall in the quality of life, morality, and ethics within modern society. My theory is that the chief cause of this decline is because of the rise of videogames over the past three decades, starting with computers, and eventually moving on to consoles and handhelds. In the United States and across the world, the spread of the addiction to videogaming and the decline in society is not unconnected, but directly connected and the former is a direct, but currently unknown and unforeseen cause of the latter. This is primarily because of the unique and immense damage that videogames can do to the mind that can be explained by the mental science or universal law of dharma, which unfortunately the majority of the world’s population is currently ignorant of. Because of this ignorance, society should not be blamed; for if they knew the truth, they would be less likely to do this harm to themselves or to their children. Socrates believed that no man knowingly does wrong, and I believe this is certainly true in this case.
It seems that playing videogames is a harmless activity, but this isn’t true. For one who has no serious addictions, a videogame addiction can be a “jumpstart” that cranks up the craving part of the mind. Because of how immersive games have become, as well as the rapid decision-making which necessarily involves constant unconscious cravings and aversions, even in a short period they can cause a lasting effect. This mind-altering effect can exponentially increase the more one becomes attached to their game of choice and continues to devote time to. Our conscious minds cannot react fast enough in making decisions when playing videogames so we invite the unconscious to react for us. Instead of acting neutrally, we react in a craving manner with unconscious thoughts of ‘I like this,’ and ‘I dislike this,’ engraining into our evaluating mind at an excessive rate. This is tantamount to opening the castle door to let the invading army in through the front gate.
We make a decision which causes an event to happen that we like or dislike, which forces us to make another reactionary decision, and this occurs over and over unconsciously in the reactionary mind. The more that we allow our unconscious reactions to build our sense of right and wrong, like and dislike, the more harm we are ultimately causing ourselves. The sensations from videogames occur so rapidly, we cannot be aware of them all. Meditation, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. We slow down the incoming sensations to where we can consciously be aware of each one and not react to them, being purely with awareness and equanimity. By not reacting, we purify ourselves of negativity, restoring us to our natural state of positivity. Negativity is essentially a combination of an enlarged ego stemming from ignorance, addictions that come from craving sensations within the mind, and hatred that develops as the advanced form of aversion.
Children and adults are spending an inordinate amount of time these days playing videogames either in front of their televisions, computers, or phones adding “negativity” to their source centers and slowly “wasting away” whatever trace of natural positivity they have left. Almost like zombies, a properly addicted gamer can be nearly impossible to pry away from their game of choice. I should know for I have been in this “highly-addicted” stage many times and with many different games. When someone reaches the level that cleanliness, social contact, and even food can be considered optional, then you can be quite sure that person is probably an addict. On the other hand, many people believe someone must be dependent to a certain extent before being labeled an addict, but this isn’t quite true. Someone can be highly or lightly addicted, but both are still an addict and one doesn’t have to “go to rehab” to be considered to have a problem. For the addict, it can be a heavenly feeling to be so immersed in their fictional gaming world, in what seems an innocent act. Conversely, for anyone dealing with someone like this, it can be a living hell seeing a transformation from an active member of the family or society into a non-functioning member.
This addiction can ruin lives and relationships just as easy as a drug or alcohol problem. It can and does compete with the most addictive substances and one of its biggest appeal is that people justify themselves by believing one is “doing nothing wrong”. There is little to no social stigma against videogames at the moment. Even when I was younger “gamers” were considered to be “nerdy”, which is a form of social stigma. Now it is considered “cool” to be good at videogames. Drugs and alcohol have an appropriately negative social stigma to where people tend to feel bad about themselves if they have a problem with either. This is not the case for videogaming and the social stigma is actually receding as more and more people begin to play. Furthermore, whereas drugs are typically expensive, at least on an ongoing basis, videogames are extremely cheap or even free these days.
In contract to past forms of addiction, videogames lead to an advanced form of dependence, which can get you hooked in areas where other addictions can’t reach. It is extremely important to note that an early videogame addiction can lead to other forms of addiction throughout the life. This was the case for me and I struggled with nearly every type of addiction as I got older. I always wondered why this was so as neither of my parents, nor my grandparents had any noticeable addictions as I grew up. Throughout all my addictions, videogames were the hardest to eventually give up and little did I know that they were the cause for the rest of my problems. After I figured out what they were actually doing to me, only then was it easy for me to stop playing. Once my ignorance was removed about the harmful mental side effects, it became much easier to get off and stay off this advanced addiction. This is the purpose of this book; to remove the ignorance present in society about what videogames do the individual mind, and through the individual the collective consciousness (or unconsciousness?) that connects us all.
There are many who will be able to relate to this book because of similar videogame addictions or habits, whether big or small. There are also many who cannot personally relate but maybe have known someone in the past that was addicted and could see what it was doing to them or how it transformed them. This transformation is taking place in individuals on a global level, slowly but surely. Although it negatively affects many people now, it will influence many more in the future as this epidemic is picking up steam and it is only going to get worse unless something drastic changes. Unless new knowledge is released to the consumer about its true side effects, we will continue to see the world slip immorally into a societal disaster.
I tend to view the world as a whole with a specific purpose, rather than an unconnected totally random mix of individual organisms, vying for supremacy. There is a logical and observable natural order about the universe, even if for many it seems otherwise. Furthermore, there are goals to be reached, even if they are not the final goals, but merely stepping stones for the next level. We cannot even see the next stepping stone until we overcome our current problems. Furthermore, throughout history, humanity has been forced to come together to conquer immeasurable difficulties in order to proceed forwards on the path of progress. Sometimes on the path, however, we can get lost in the” jungle of life.” The best solution is not always to continue to push forward, which would only make us more lost, but to backtrack and retrace our steps to where the correct path lies. From there we can then push forward on out to clearer paths and clearer skies.
In this “jungle”, there is an entity, which styles itself as the “enemy” of our progress. Sort of like the “bad guy” in modern wrestling. Behind the scenes, he is not actually a bad guy, but is playing a necessary role in order to push on the show. The “bad guys” face may continually change, but usually it is easy to differentiate between the hero and the villain. That is until it changes its tactic and the “wolf” puts on the sheep’s clothing. I call this bad guy or villain, “negativity”, and the good guy or hero, “positivity”. We will explore later though that both are actually “on the same team” and this dichotomy is necessary for “real” progress to be made. The only way we would know what the definition of “good” is, is by knowing what “evil” entails. Many would argue that evil doesn’t exist on its own, but is just a lack of good. This holds true for other pairs of opposites such as hot and cold, love and hate, limited and unlimited, etc. There is a harmony of opposites and even spiritualism needs materialism in order to be considered spiritual at all.
Negativity has an unlimited set of tools at its disposal and it is important to recognize them for what they are as they change from generation to generation. Videogames are just the newest “tool” that negativity has “built” over time to accomplish its own goals. (Expound)
It is important to note that even if you or your children do not play videogames, you are still both affected by the negative sources of other children and adults who do play. Even one member of a family who plays can and does affect or “infect” the entire family. I will explain more about this “overflow” from one person to another later on.
(Add more here) One can only have an intellectual understanding of truth if one hears or reads about it, whereas direct experience is a much stronger base to rely an argument on. The major topics in this book I believe I have directly experienced and so I feel confident enough to write about the subjects as an expert. Most of the information in this book is not philosophically or spiritually original, but it seems that no one is effectively connecting the dots of how technological luxuries, with videogames as the culmination, are creating great harm for our minds dharmically. Furthermore, society seems to have progressed to a point that it is no longer heeding the wisdom passed down from history’s philosophical and spiritual elders.
It is a huge worry of mine that our children, and the future generations, will think that the current paradigm of society has always been this way. If everyone is suffering from the same disease, it is easy to think that it is just normal human nature. I thought so as well until I began traveling outside of the U.S. and directly experiencing how “normal” people actually behave; “normal” people meaning those who are not constantly distracted and given in to negative influences and trivial pursuits. It is important to differentiate when traveling whether one is a “tourist” or a “temporary resident” who participates in an active role within the affairs of the community, because the experience received does vary. A tourist may not notice a difference between his own home and the tourist area. This realization that another way of life exists was life-changing for me and gave me great hope that the experience I was receiving in the U.S. was perhaps illusory or at least not always the way it had been.
The apparent lack of true community, as well as society, and general negativity that pervades the American population is merely a conditioned and temporary state. The population, to such an extent, is “so sick” that they are unaware of their “sickness”. Furthermore, unless the cause is found and properly investigated, the patient will continue to be sick until it leads to their death. One of the most fundamental hopes that drives me is that the eventual transformation from a miserable “negative” society to a healthy “positive” society will be all the more apparent and glorious to behold and be a part of. I am confident that this change will happen within our lifetime.
The bubonic plague, or ‘Black Death’ as it was eventually known as, killed tens of millions of people over a 300 year period from 1320-1620 AD. People knew there was a very harmful epidemic in the middle ages that was destroying society, but they never knew what the cause was. The cause of this disease was unknown until they discovered rats were responsible for carrying the plague from town to town. Eventually, the introduction of cats and non-disease carrying rats reduced the diseased rats population, and the plague’s 300 year reign of terror was over.
Now I am not trying to say that our current issue with videogame addiction is the same as the bubonic plague, but I am trying to make the point that if this were to spread for another 300 years, the “epidemic” of videogame addiction will be of such proportions that life would no longer exist in the form that we know it. Just because the plague threatened one’s physical life and perhaps our videogame epidemic only threatens the moral “quality of life” does not make one less serious than the other. Losing our sense of morality harms more than just the body, but also the Being within us; many have worked hard to get to where they currently are, and videogames are so dangerous they are neutralizing lives of hard work. The will of the people was never lost or threatened during the plague, and yet that is what we are at risk of losing during our current epidemic of videogame addiction. The will to work hard and the will to build something bigger then ourselves are both simultaneously being shattered. If this book has its intended effect, we can solve the riddle of our current epidemic and save ourselves decades or centuries of pain and collective suicide.
One major difference between the two is that one was externally caused and the other is self-caused. It is easier to come together as a world society to defeat something that is externally caused, than something that is brought upon the self willfully. Furthermore, people are willing to overlook their differences or not go to war over trivialities when there is an externally-caused disease affecting everyone. The plague was easily recognizable, whereas the videogame epidemic has spread extremely stealthily. During the plague, people could easily discern that there was a disease killing people and they needed to fix this problem. On the other hand, people today may not even sense there is a problem since it is sneakily damaging the mental level of society, which affects the physical and emotional levels after the fact. Furthermore, even if they recognize there is a problem, they have no idea where to start looking. This is how stealthily this is growing and we are going to reach a stage where people do not remember any other way. People may not be aware of the true harmfulness of videogames for many years to come unless we begin to think about it now.
Something self-caused, when we learn the full extent of its harm, is detrimental to the individual’s inner Being and not just the mental-physical body. This is why the videogame epidemic is more dangerous than the plague. Furthermore, although it may not seem harmful if you don’t play them, the videogame epidemic affects us all even if it only affects a small percentage of people who actively play videogames. Whatever this percentage currently is, which I expect to be high, it is surely going to rise in the future as more and more people fall to this sickness. People from all walks of life are playing now from our elderly great grandmothers to our little baby sisters.
Go out to dinner these days and what do you see? Less and less families are participating in actual conversation, or if they do it is meaningless and mechanistic. Even married or dating couples have little interest in each other. You see people immersed in their phones, either checking email or Facebook, and just as likely they are playing the new most addictive videogames. Our families are falling apart because of these issues. I can’t remember how many times I have been out and seen every member of a family or group of friends staring at their phones and usually playing some silly game. Our divorce rate in the U.S. is over 50%! Why might this be? It could be because people don’t spend enough time getting to know who they are going to marry because they are too busy on their gaming-phones. More importantly, through these addictions they are ruining the balance of their mind which makes a relationship of quality impossible.
I do not believe videogames are the sole problem, but I am fully convinced that they are the highest stage of harm we can do to our own minds; the culmination or climax of technological harm that we can inflict on ourselves and others. Ultimately, the things that once gave you pleasure no longer do so and you either have to enhance the quality or increase the quantity of the given external substance. This is addiction in a nutshell. True happiness from inside needs no increase as it fully satisfies at all times. Once the cause has been found, the disease can be treated. Once the danger is known, the trap becomes avoidable. Additionally, even if one has become addicted to videogames, there is a way out. If one such as me who has been at the pinnacle of addiction in many forms and especially videogames can find total salvation from all cravings, then anyone can do the same. Addiction is a universal problem, and a universal problem needs a universal solution, which there is one. Whether individually, or on a societal level, we must go through steps to fix the situation. Admission of a problem is the first stage, knowledge and awareness is the second, and lastly action and forgiveness is the last.
The technology for a videogame addiction is so new historically-wise that it is an exogenesis. Very few people could have imagined it only a short time ago. This problem is so new that most don’t even consider it a problem; it literally “snuck up on us”. For example, I can speculate or idealize only to a certain point because I only have what knowledge is available now to build an idea of the way the future may be like. As technological inventions have rapidly progressed over the past half-century, it would have been very difficult to predict videogaming and the resulting addiction to be as prevalent as it is today. As new “building blocks” of information become available then the speculation or idealization about the future also changes with them. Perhaps the building blocks were there, but we were merely unaware of them.
One of the greatest dangers that make the videogame epidemic unique is that there is not a social stigma against playing them. Or if there is, this social stigma is actually being reduced as time goes by and new generations of people find themselves playing games. If “everyone is doing it” how can a social stigma form or continue to spread? Since they are not stigmatized like say drugs, drinking, gambling, or philandering, people feel it is not a big deal if they take part in them or even give them to their children. Furthermore, people are ignorant of how they can negatively affect their minds, as well as health. Mental health is a precursor to physical health, not visa-versa as many people imagine. On a whole, people are unaware of how their minds work and how addiction, whether big or small, can change a person or entire family. All big addictions, it must be considered true, start from small ones. I believe once people will realize how these addictions affect society on a whole, and not just personally, they will quit.
Our minds are constantly changing throughout our lives. Have you ever watched a movie again and again throughout your life and noticed something new each time or even changed your mind on whether you really liked it or not? This is because your intellect is in a constant refining, culturing, and maturing process as you get older, evolving what it is capable of understanding as time passes by. If you had a favorite movie when you were younger and then watched it as an adult, but thought it was only “so-so” or, the other way around, you liked a movie later on that you hated when you were younger, that is a result of the maturing process of the intellect. On a whole, a healthy mind will go through this process as one gets older and experiences more and more. This is very positive and why historically we have put much value in our elders, because of their fully mature and rational minds.
Many people from their addiction to videogames are becoming “stunted” and this maturing of the intellect is not taking place. They are incapable of changing their perspective as life goes by and wrongly believe that what they currently hold to be true will always be true to them. A changing and maturing mind is a necessity to wholeness and a beneficial aspect of the natural aging process. Furthermore, the ability to be humble enough to change one’s perspective and mind is extremely important. Another example is that I can only write or try to convey what is true to me. It may currently be “false” to you, but one day it may become “true” to you as well. This is perfectly fine and occurs naturally in a refining mind, which ultimately seeks an ethical and rational end.
Our individual battles to overcome obstacles are just miniscule versions of the battles that the universe faces. The more we are capable of overcoming them individually, the more we are capable as a whole. (This could be said in better words. I like the way Hegel puts it) Our individual spirit’s goal is self-realization. The “world-spirit’s” goal is self-realization. The only way the “world-spirit” can accomplish this is through the individual’s efforts at self-realization, not the other way around. Self-realization leads to perfection. For too long I have heard people say perfection is not possible, so there is no point in trying. This is a sham. Perfection has been reached by many individuals throughout history. If this possibility existed in them, it exists in us. We just have to know how to find it. The very fact that a pyramid of good, better, and best exists should prove that divine perfection is attainable. If the world’s goal is perfection, the only way this is possible is if there is individual effort for perfection. (Perhaps move this paragraph to later in book)
If you do something that you believe is non-harmful to you, but in reality it is harmful, it will still affect you the same way either way. If you eat unhealthy food that you considered to be healthy, you will still get fat. Just because you think it is ok, this won’t change the outcome. Furthermore, once you do something negative, even if you think it is fine, it will lead you to do other negative things in the future. That is why it is important to label “videogaming” for what it is; “mentally harmful” or “negative”. Not just put a label on the package, but brand it in society properly with the social stigma that it deserves. If you want your children to grow up and have a better shot at leading a rewarding and virtuous life, abstaining from harmful substances and activities, then don’t let them play videogames. It’s as simple as that. Label it for what it is. Don’t sell drugs and label it as candy.
Throughout history, meditation has been a major advancer of the overall good. A “force-multiplier” or “game-changer” that can literally turn tyrants into saints, as can be seen in many rulers including Emperor Asoka the Great, who was once Asoka the Cruel. If meditation is the force-multiplier of positivity, then my contention is that videogames are the force-multiplier or game-changer for negativity. Hundreds of years of technology have been developed just for this purpose; to introduce videogames to the world. They are essentially polar opposites in what they do to your mind. Meditation has existed since time began or there was a mind that could actually meditate. Videogames have just showed up and are already taking over, because people are unaware and ignorant of how powerful they actually are.
“Negativity” itself has overtime changed the parameters of what “negativity” entails. Even in my youth I was sure I was a positive person even though I was strife with internal negativity, on the whole unaware. Negativity has succeeded in changing the parameters primarily to confuse people. Once one knows the law of dharma and the technique to purify oneself, only then can one detect their level of “positivity-negativity”. Before that it is purely intellectual.
There have been cases of people dying of exhaustion playing videogames for day’s straight (research), but I think the real health danger can be seen on a longer timeline. Sometimes the “ticking time-bomb” of bad health can be more harmful then a temporary bout of bad health due to consumption of alcohol or drug use, which can be overcome, even though I highly recommend against trying either. If one does not have a strong foundation of health, which a videogame addiction from a young age can prohibit, then health problems will persist throughout the life.
Overall, the videogame addiction is here and now and it is slowly taking over one individual at a time. In our society, it causes the exact opposite effect of what meditation has done in the past. Instead of purifying people’s minds, it is toxifying it, causing it to unconsciously react with craving and aversion throughout one’s daily life. Whereas mediation has been a force for good or virtue throughout history, videogames are already becoming a force for bad or vice. Unless we can come to terms with this fact soon rather than later, this stealthily spreading epidemic will continue to ravage our children’s, as well as adults’, minds.
(Introduction needs some work, needs a bit more structure perhaps mirroring the structure of the total book, it’s a work in progress)
Chapter 1 – My Personal Story
Hello my name is David and I am a videogaming addict. Or at least I was one off and on for over 25 years, but I’ve been “clean” since January of 2014. No, I never went to a “videogaming addicts anonymous” meeting, but would have given it serious thought if there was one available when I was younger. Unfortunately, there is an extreme lack of actual information or help on videogame addiction as a whole. (Add more later)
I can still remember the first time I played a videogame when I was 3 or 4 years old. My father brought home a brand new Nintendo NES with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. Mashing buttons and watching Mario break boxes was great even then. I still cannot grasp how the Duck Hunt gun was able to sync with televisions in the 1980s, but that is beside the point. This combination of guns and gaming was a sign of things to come and now “shooters”, as they are called, occupy a high percentage of videogames today. It is interesting how we started with ducks and have progressed to people, cops, etc. I was hooked even then.
I remember soon afterwards my father subscribed us to Nintendo’s monthly magazine and on the first cover was none other than Final Fantasy I. This series would play a major role in my addiction growing up as games used to be primarily single-player and these were the crème-de-la-crème of single-player fantasy games. It is such a successful franchise, that they are now going on Final Fantasy 15 and beyond. One day at our local Wal-Mart with my uncle Doug, I saw the game on the shelf and asked him if he would buy it for me. After a bit of smoozing, the new game was mine.
Anyone that has played the early Final Fantasy games will know that it is quite a bit more advanced than Super Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt. Most importantly, it required knowing how to read. A little problem I had not yet overcome. The Nintendo happened to be in my parents’ bedroom and I remember playing before pre-school, asking them while they were getting ready for work if they could read what the characters were saying. If you couldn’t understand them then it was impossible to proceed in the game. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it immensely, even just seeing the characters “hit” and “kill” creatures. “Hitting” and “killing” things seems to be in our blood so doing so even in a virtual form at such a young age excited me.
As a few years passed, new incredible games, as well as higher graphic consoles continued to flood the market and therefore my mind. My father continued to buy us the newest games and systems because he himself was addicted and he thought he was doing good by making my brother and I happy, while at the same time “spending time” with us. Even before the Nintendo, I remember sitting on his lap and watching him play videogames on his old computer. Something I would continue to do, as computer gaming early on was much further advanced then console gaming for many years to come. Even in our local “Little Mr. Dogwood” pageant, when they asked me what my father did for a living, I responded, “He likes to play with his ‘puter,” as I couldn’t quite say “computer” at the time. Since the crowd died laughing, I ended up eventually winning that year.
It is important to note that there is a difference between children who start playing videogames when they are very young compared to children or even adults who do not play videogames for the first time until they are older. For me, videogames always existed in my life. I do not have memories of a time before videogames so that I could compare what my life was like before. It seemed to me that they were just a “part of life” and that all people used them like I did. I think this played an important role in the “non-questioning” of my addiction to videogames growing up. To me it didn’t seem that there was any other way of life, constantly escaping to videogames throughout my childhood.
I think my addiction was exasperated by the fact that every time I would get tired of a game or even playing all together, a new game would come out or an upgraded system which would totally recharge my addiction, therefore giving me a new reason to play. It seemed every time I would “give up” or stop playing videogames, a new one would come out and pull me back in. This “upgrading” or “pullback factor” is unique in addiction and does not exist in substance abuse. Once you have had the best alcohol and best drugs, you know what they are like. They don’t have a yearly or bi-yearly upgrade or “expansion” like videogames do. This problem still exists in the fact that new games are constantly emerging which keeps people from losing interest, but I think it is not as prevalent as when I was younger. It seemed every latest system from Nintendo to Genesis to Super Nintendo to PlayStation and Xbox was a huge leap forwards in all aspects. It was an enamoring experience to try out new generation systems back then.
Now-a-days, we have sort of reached the threshold graphic-wise, but are still progressing in terms of connectivity, soon-to-be mass virtual reality, and overall pure addictiveness. It is as if they have learned what the most addictive attributes in games are, they then combine them and re-distribute them in new packages, but with a different name. In reality, they are just the same games being recycled over and over with fresh levels, new characters, and upgraded weapons. Furthermore, the movement to smart-phone gaming and independent game design with a click-and-buy marketplace has totally changed the video-gaming industry over the past few years. There are literally new games coming out every day, even though most are just copies of the most successful designs. Many are free-to-play, so with a smart-phone it is possible to play a different free high quality game every single day without playing the same game twice and without paying a cent. The free-to-play model makes money from in-game purchases and has also revolutionized the business. A kid with a credit card and a smart-phone is infinitely more dangerous than a kid with a credit card in a candy store as there is seemingly no limit to the amount of “virtual goods” one can rack up. This is a huge progression in the industry for gamers and developers.
I was a pretty good athlete growing up playing baseball, basketball, track and football religiously and this was a huge “neutralizer” for the negativity that I was acquiring playing videogames, which I played just as religiously. In high school I would spend nearly every hour I was not at school or participating in sports, playing videogames. I suffered many injuries including a broken spine that perhaps would have been avoided if my system was not weakened from the negativity of playing videogames. I am lucky to have not been paralyzed for life, but I was back on the field within a few months. In general, I had an overall apathetic and lazy feeling from my teenage years until recently when I learned how to meditate and my videogaming decreased and eventually ceased. In contrast to my late teens and early 20s, I now feel constantly energized and not as apathetic as I did before.
I had a very rough childhood growing up in a “dysfunctional” household. Not so much that there were external problems, as we had everything that we needed materially, but there was a tremendous amount of fighting and negativity that seemed to never go away. Throughout my life, I had wondered why this was and why there was so much hatred and anger in my father towards my brother, my mother, and I. I now know that it was primarily because of his own videogaming addiction that he acted the way that he did to us. This caused an overbearing amount of negativity on top of the other issues that he was dealing with at the time. My brother and I were also heavily addicted so this created a disastrous amount of pent-up negativity in all three of us. He was the only person that I ever had a problem with growing up and he could flip his mood bi-polarly from one second to the next and at the drop of a hat. I would never know whether he would be nice or angry and so I tried to stay away from him as much as possible. Every time I would rebuild my trust in him, he would always on cue shatter it once again, like an infected scab that could never fully heal. This can be devastating for a young adolescent’s mind.
A negative individual itself is bad, but is much worse when combined with other negative individuals so we clashed aggressively. My father was never physical with us, but his emotional and verbal abuse drove me to thoughts of suicide for many years. Without the purity and love and positivity of my mother, I would probably not still be here today. And yet how can I blame him now when all of us were ignorant of the harm that videogames were doing to us; the negativity literally took control of us and was the cause of each of our fights.
When you are young you naturally get a “head-start” and have lee-way with the negativity that tries to enter and control your life, especially when you are growing and active in sports. Once you get to a certain age though, if you don’t stay physically active and have problems in other parts of your life, negativity can overtake you, turning into pure rage, anger, and hatred and I believe this is what happened to my dad. This is important to note, that perhaps in the past the world had the same problems or negativity that would consist of “normal” life, but the recent addition of the extra “bump” of videogame addiction, which is actually significant, overpowers those that would have in the past been able to cope. It changes people who would have been positive to neutral, and neutral to negative, and negative to highly negative, unstable, and seemingly “evil”. This throws a huge wrench into the “normality” of society and you are left with an imbalance of very few positive people and many more highly negative or even “evil” people.
Eventually with this constant fighting I had to increase my “escape” and so turned to alcohol and marijuana, which would eventually lead to harder drugs as I got older. After I graduated from high school, I succeeded in my plan to get as far away from my dad as possible and went to college in Orlando, Florida. Anywhere I would have gone would have been fine as long as I was not near him. Two years later, my brother followed me to Florida and in essence we left my mom and little sister to “soak up” his negativity. I am sure that if I would have known then what I know now, then I would not have left them there alone with him.
Many times before and after graduating from high school, he was very sick because an overflow of negativity causes terrible physical problems, especially after a certain age, but our relationship was so bad that I would not have cared in the least if he would have died there and then. That is how much I hated him for the way he treated us. Only a few years ago we got into another fight and I remember telling him something like, “I love you more when I am not around you.” It’s funny how that was a pre-cursor to my knowledge now of how dharma balances positivity and negativity between individuals. I knew it to be true then, but couldn’t quite solve the reason why.
Throughout college, I did not play videogames as much as I did when I was in high school, primarily because I was not trying to escape from my father, but eventually my cravings or old addiction arose and was filled by other means. I didn’t really have time for videogames with school, but the hardships of college eventually led me to new escapes of partying, drinking, doing drugs, and constantly looking to hook up with new girls. Although during my summer and winter breaks going home, I would fall right back into the habit and start playing whatever new game expansions had been released, doing whatever it took to keep out of the sight of my father. Luckily, I somehow still graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of History in four years and with decent grades.
(Should I go into specific games I played growing up or do this in the chapter on gaming history? Computer games: huge into strategy games which were unavailable on consoles. Dune, Command and Conquer, StarCraft/War craft, Fallout. On Nintendo 64, Golden-Eye was pre-cursor to all modern “shooters”. NFL Blitz. Add about playing hooky and staying up without sleep playing Counter-Strike and other games. World of Warcraft was a huge addiction and “pullbacker” since it was released. Last game I was hardcore addicted to and probably the most out of all was EVE. The most addictive as it was the most difficult. Once you were good, you “were somebody” as it is a sandbox game, which means it is possible to meet and fight anyone else in the entire MMORG in the game. There are not multiple servers like other games; just one giant one Even when you aren’t playing, your character still progresses on a training schedule so you are still technically connected in a way. You don’t want to cancel your account and it gives you a reason to logon to update your training. Plus, you can actually lose or gain lots of real-world money so this plays a huge realistic and addictive factor. CCP allows “evil” to happen in a “buyer beware” type world. People get screwed out of tens of thousands of dollars every day; the way I heard about it was a heist where a guy made off with $80,000 in one long investment heist, not chump change. There are very few rules that stop people from being “bad” in this game. Lastly, it is like no other game in the true “rush” experience that is received which makes it the most addictive. This was the last game I played and finally gave up.)
Should I talk about what happened to Mom? She always hated us playing games. I feel like she would want me to as I still think that the negativity that came from games had something to do with what happened to her. She needed our true love (because of what happened to her own mom) and not just love that we showed externally. Very delicate subject but I think it would help the book and cause.
I initially conceived of the idea for “The Videogame Epidemic” in January of 2014, while at a meditation retreat in Kaufman, Texas. For the previous year, I had been practicing a very beneficial result-oriented form of meditation called vipassana. Vipassana literally means “seeing things the way they really are.” This technique was re-discovered by Gautama the Buddha 2,600 years ago in Northern India. It spread for 500 years, but was lost again to humanity for 2,000 years surviving only in Burma from guru to disciple. It was re-discovered in Burma and brought to India by my teacher S.N. Goenka nearly fifty years ago and has continued to spread across the world ever since.
In this meditation, if one continues to hold a foundation of morality called “sila” then they will not lose their physical and mental health benefits that they have received as a result. The foundation includes five main precepts including no lying, no stealing, no killing any living beings, no sexual misconduct, and no intoxicants. For many people unacquainted with abstaining or restraining oneself, this may seem difficult, but the benefits are such that it becomes easy over time. So to keep my benefits I held my sila, but I had noticed over the past year that any time I had started to play videogames again, I would lose my benefits and self-control and start craving for sense pleasures again like drinking, drugs, and sexual relations.
This particular retreat also happened to be my brother’s first time to learn the technique of vipassana. Additionally, my brother was also a videogame addict like me at the time. I worried how he was going to react when I told him that playing videogames would ruin all of his progress. When I was thinking of the best way to tell him if he continued playing afterwards he would lose all the benefits, the realization of the “videogame epidemic” slowly started to unfold itself. Like light bulbs flashing, things just started to progressively click in my head. Over time, the understanding of videogames as the reason for many of my childhood problems, as well as many of the world’s problems, slowly trickled into my mind. This trickle eventually turned into a stream and finally a river. Suddenly, my whole life started to make more sense, as well as why the U.S. and world was the way it currently was. Both questions had plagued me for most my life of why my childhood had been the way it was and why the world was currently in a state of de-function. Before this time, I just couldn’t put my finger on it even though the answer was literally staring me in the face.
If you, like me, have had or are now looking for an answer to why your childhood was the way it was or why the world is the way it is, then perhaps this epiphany is true for you too. If you have ever found a single answer to the question of why your childhood was dysfunctional and why the world is in a downward spiral, it can be an extremely gratifying and enlightening “a-ha” experience. When or if an ‘a-ha’ moment like this occurs for you, you will know it immediately to be true. For I take truth to mean that which satisfies the intellect, and my intellect had been dissatisfied searching for these reasons for a very long time. Finally something came along that made sense and as I analyzed it further, it only continued to strengthen, bearing more fruit and unfolding the truth clearly in my mind.
At the retreat, you are supposed to restrain thinking or at least conscious conceptualization in unfolding new knowledge, but I couldn’t contain this newfound gem of an idea. Since you take a vow of silence for ten days, I had no one to share it with but this actually made it easier to analyze and self-doubt. Overtime it became a universal truth to me that videogames are the most harmful self-caused infliction we could possibly do to ourselves.
It is important to analyze the history of videogaming to understand how we have got to this point. How can people become addicts to technological luxuries so easily? How are parents not connecting the dots and letting their children ruin their own childhoods?
Chapter 2 – History of Videogaming –How did it come about? What had to happen? – Invention of computers, television, internet, cellphones, ancient love of playing games. My belief all were developed for the end of videogames. Bible quote – End times Devil will provide something that people will hang themselves with. I always asked what this could be?
I can still remember in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the U.S. was a different place to live in. There wasn’t so much hostility, greed, and overall negativity or at least where I was from. This change became more and more apparent in the late-90’s until today, perfectly coinciding with the rise of videogames. Most people will say that many things could be the reason or cause for this, but videogames are the one new unique invention that coincided with this time. Even the internet is just an innovation of communication and information. It could certainly be made a case it has caused a large amount of “negativity,” but it doesn’t immerse the user in a full-sensation experience that mimics real-life like videogames do. The internet can be highly addictive, but not to the level that games can.
My contention is that with the invention and spread of the internet, after gaming was already established, the goliath of videogame addiction started to reach its full potential. Beforehand, games were mostly single-player, making them slightly less damaging and less addictive, or LAN-based multiplayer which forced gamers to be within certain proximity of each other. Now the world was connected and the infection could spread globally. Another huge problem internet gaming has caused is it now gives gamers and excuse to constantly play saying things like “Oh I am just playing to stay in contact with friends,” or “Look, I am being social… I am talking with real people.” I have noticed many gamers use these excuses as a reason to overlook their addiction.
It’s now possible to play videogames every waking hour on a computer, television, or phone with anyone across the world. This is quite a remarkable jump in progress and was unimaginable to most even two to three decades ago. Whether it is at home or at work, or while eating, or at church, or the bus stop or whenever, gamers can get their “fix” with little to no noticeable side-effects or immediate change from before to after. This is unique to addiction in that, in the past, addicts had to be sneaky as they could only fulfill their craving at a certain place or time. Furthermore, the overall image of an addict, as well as difference between before and after usage had occurred is very noticeable.
I think the emergence of smart-phones and specifically the iPhone, with its independent game designer support and implementation of an “App Store” to purchase games, has been the most recent thrust upwards for gaming addiction. Whereas, the internet connected addicts, the smart-phone has made it universally acceptable and reachable for the world’s population, whatever the age, race, or social class. With how cheap games can be (even free) and with how many new ones are constantly available, the stage is set for videogame addiction to reach new heights and although it may seem slightly far-fetched and diabolical, begin its conquest to take control of the world.
Chapter 3 – History of Addiction
“Virtue is knowledge, Vice is ignorance” – Socrates – Basically, “no one knowingly does wrong.” They are ignorant of the law or what constitutes virtue. Only way to be virtuous is to be knowledgeable of the concepts of reason, which constitute universal and moral laws. If you are ignorant of the laws, this naturally leads to vice.
- For this book, it must be made extremely evident that small addictions eventually lead to big ones,” “addictions unfilled don’t just leave the mind, they are buried deeper inside. These eventually lead to other addictions later in life,” and “addiction leads to physical and mental health problems.” These three MUST be proved to make the case.
The videogame addiction is what I like to call an “advanced addiction.” Whereas substance abuse affects a specific part of the mind, videogaming spreads its claws into multiple parts because of how sensation-based it is on so many levels. We become addicted to the sight, sound, feeling, and thought of videogames. They provide an amazing escape from reality and the sheer variety of videogames ensures that nearly anyone can find a subject that suits their fancy.
It is important to note, it is not so much the subject matter of videogames that is directly harmful to the mind, even though it still plays a role, but the constant stream of impulses and sensations that the game creates. It is impossible to be aware or conscious of each and every one because of the sheer bombardment that enters the mind.
Although I cannot say for certain what it must be like to play videogames for the first time at a later age, I can speculate. At first it must just seem to essentially be a “time-wasting” technological luxury. As the pleasant sensations of videogaming arises, it can quickly become more than that and before one knows it, it can become a “sole reason for living” or a major reason at least, turning the rest of our time into a “meaningless” existence or an existence chiefly for the aim of fulfilling the videogame habit. (Turn this into a question. How does something go from being a “time-wasting” technological luxury to a “sole reason for living” so quickly and effortlessly?) I know this is not true for everyone, but for some it is.
How can one have actual free will if he cannot control his own self and cravings? When you are dependent on something external for your happiness, you do not control your life, your addictions do. Only if you are free from addictions and free from mental ‘tugging’ can you then consider yourself to have free will. Those who cannot control themselves, like wandering homeless drug addicts all the way to videogame addicts, are no different than non-reasoning animals or ‘automata’ machines thinking how to get their next ‘fix.’
Chapter 4 – The Laws that affect us all
“Man! Know thyself!” – The Oracles of Delphi
“Attachment is the source of all suffering.” – Gautama the Buddha
Jesus said, “Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit. Good persons produce good from what they’ve stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they’ve stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil.” – Gospel of Thomas 45
To Note: Emphasize Socrates and virtue. People are unaware of what virtue consists of and the universal and moral laws that lead to it; vice is the automatic fallback for ignorance. Across the world and unconnected, the Buddha re-discovered the law of dharma and vipassana. East and West both discovered these truths near same time. Socrates meditated on “contemplation of the good”. Buddha was first to find out I believe, probably spread to Greece by traveling monks, then to Israel before time of Jesus with Essenes, etc.
There are universal laws that exist within the framework of the world. The law of dharma affects us “internally”, shaping our happiness or misery level. The more we become attached to outside objects, whether craving or averse to, the more miserable we become. Furthermore, the larger the ego becomes because of its ignorance of impermanence, the more this eventually results in suffering. The law of karma, or “cause and effect”, changes us “externally” and influences what happens to us in the outside world. People usually are aware of karma, which basically states that if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you, but they are unaware of the law of dharma, or how the mind works and creates misery for you and others around you.
There is an important part of dharma I have labeled the “positive-negative balance system” which exists to keep stability throughout the world overtime, which ensures a measure of balance between good and evil per se or positivity and negativity. Basically, every being carries with them a certain level of positivity and negativity depending on their dharmic level. One who has more positivity could be considered to be an overall positive and this can range from “low positive” to “high positive”; and visa-versa with a negative person or one who carries more negativity then positivity. The balance system works when two of these beings come together. A highly positive person will “give” some of his positivity to a negative person to bring him to a higher positive level and a negative person will “give” the positive person a certain amount of his negativity. This system is passive occurring naturally and brings balance to an ever-changing society.
For example let’s say a “positive” person is sent to jail. The majority of prisoners in jail carry with them a certain amount of “negativity”. Even if this positive person tries to remain conscious and positive, the sheer amount of negativity often forces them to become a negative person. On the other hand, say a negative person comes to spend a few months in a monastery around overall positive monks. This negative person will overtime become positive because of the sheer amount of positivity the monks carry with them.
The reason this balance system is so effective is that the possibility of “absolute good”, “perfection” and “pure positivity” exists, but there is no such thing as their opposites; it is impossible to become “absolutely evil”. Once one reaches this level, they imamate pure positivity to all around them without loss and extract negativity infinitely without affecting their own level. This ensures that eternity runs smoothly. Even if there is occasionally an imbalance of negativity over positivity or evil over good, it will never stay like this forever. Good or positivity will always return and in the end it will ensure “golden ages” will occur. Additionally, the ultimate aim of humanity is to reach perfection as a whole, which would effectively abolish evil.
So in essence gamers play videogames building up their negativity level, they then return to society and release this negativity in exchange for positivity with other non-gamer human beings, and repeat the process continually without being aware of the damage that they are doing. Sort of like a daily toxic waste dump with other people being their dumping site. Gamers who never leave their homes or go into society tend to be highly overweight compared with gamers who have to work or move about in society, not so much because of a lack of exercise, although this does play a role, but because they have no one to absorb their negativity. This is the opposite of meditation, which spreads positivity, love, joy, and compassion to everyone they encounter. Furthermore, in metta bhavana meditation, we learn to cultivate and share our love, peacefulness, and compassion with all. Essentially meditation and videogames are polar opposites.
Because a child starts off with a “pure heart” of positivity, they are in essence given a head start in life. This helps to balance out the fact human children need such a long “rearing” time compared with animals that are up and walking shortly after birth. Children or babies with health problems or broken bones can be healed faster than adults because of their “overflowing” amount of positivity. This positivity leads children who have light colored hair to have extremely blond or near white hair, which as they become older and the positivity reduces, their hair becomes darker. Furthermore, as people age, hair loss is a direct effect of excessive “negativity.”
I was born with light hair and growing up my hair was about as white-blond as it could possibly be. This lasted until I was around 13-14 when it started to darken. I continued to dye my hair because I missed the natural blonde color it was in my youth. I had no idea at the time it was because of this “positive-negative” factor. As I got older and into college my hair began to recede like my father and grandfathers before me. Many would say hair loss is due to genetics, but I will attest that more likely it is that overall negative children come from overall negative parents and this carries on from generation to generation. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. Remember in the balance system, a negative parent will “sap” the positivity of their children, giving positivity to the adult and negativity to the child. Many times, parents who have their first child can change from negativity to positivity quickly not only because of the desire to provide for their family, but also because of the balance system. After I started meditating and purifying the negativity that existed in me, my hair began to grow back thickly and turned back to the bright blonde color of my childhood.
It is important to understand that even if one is unaware of the universal law of dharma, it still affects you and controls your life. The same for karma. Karma is more easily understandable and recognizable, especially in terms of “instant karma”, but both are just as important to be aware of and the two are intimately intertwined. To be willfully ignorant of either law is a very perilous decision indeed. For if one has never heard about the law, the judgment will be less harsh, but if one has heard and continues to transgress, he or she will be judged and sentenced accordingly.
One may think if I am internally “negative”, yet externally “positive” or a “good person”, this is all that matters and I will still make to Heaven, but I am sorry to say this is not true at least in or after this lifetime. This is what I mean in that “negativity” has over time changed the perceived parameters of judging oneself or others to be positive or negative. It has done this to confuse people and to make them feel “safe” in their placement in the after-life or “after this life.” It is time that the population comes to terms with what constitutes actual positivity and negativity, for it is the true test of where one will go in the after-life. If one has ever thought, “Why am I not happy when I am a good person?”, this is because you are ignorant of the universal laws that inherently make one miserable or happy. You cannot be blamed for this, as an ignorant person cannot be blamed for breaking a law that they are unaware of. But it must be your duty to learn the laws and stick to them. I promise you from my own experience that it leads to true peace, joy, and happiness.
The negativity is such that unless properly purified, it will stay with you and either “pull you back in” to the addiction or transform into another addiction all together. The good news is that it can be purified and the “positive” source can shine again. This is not a problem without a solution. It’s also important to note that children and adults that have obtained this negativity can appear positive externally, but this is only by appearance. Even those affected may be unaware of how it is inside of them. Whatever the person displays externally like “happiness” or “joy” has nothing to do with the internal truth of what level this person is at. One can try to act out joy or love or happiness, but this never takes the place of the real thing. Furthermore, people try to “buy happiness” through momentary pleasures, but this also always ultimately fails. It is a battle that can’t be won. The only way to find true happiness is to live virtuously and purify the mind.
We can attempt to “act” happy and joyful and loving, but all these are actually states of being that naturally shine forth when we are overall positive. The attempt to copy them cannot even come close to the reality of your natural state’s true ‘beingness’. In our day to day life, we attempt to imitate what we think encompasses these concepts but no imitation can match the real thing. After one experiences the actual emotions themselves, only then will they know the difference, and this is the problem. Our youth are starting at such a young age, they are not aware of what real happiness, joy, and love is like and so try to act it out based on what they see in public, or worse, from magazines, T.V. shows and movies. I am optimistic though that the change will take place in the near future. This will be dramatic once the world begins its transformation to an overall “positive” society from its current state. I can only imagine what fully positive societies must be like as I do not believe they exist at this time. In just walking around the community, one could purify a negative mind and re-energize their body.
I constantly interchange words for who I consider God to be. I do this in real life and have continued to do so in this book. “Mother Nature” in times of need will call on or choose individuals to pass on messages to her children. I hope I can be this messenger and I have asked for her guidance in writing this book. (Expound)(Add earlier)
The biggest problem with the major religions, including my birth religion of Christianity, is that overall they have been fully drained of all their original spirituality. My teacher would make the analogy that religion is like a broken clay pot, where all the original nectar of spirituality (which was actually its foundation) has leaked out, leaving only a hollow shell. As if by intuition, I recognized the inadequacies of modern-day Christianity at a young age, but rather reluctantly and under peer pressure continued to attend church services thinking perhaps a broken record could one day play a harmonious tune. Rather than initiate me through love, I was constantly drilled and instilled with a sense of fear. Fear of burning for eternity in hell. Surely, this was not Jesus’ teaching.
(Expound when talking about Gnostic gospels, lack of spirituality in modern day Christianity) – Add how doing everything they say will make you no more a good person and the belief, “You can’t be perfect, only Jesus can,” is extremely harmful. There are no bigger “we-art-holier-than-thou’s” then Christians. Prayer is just mediation. Jesus was not born perfect, he has to purify himself and attain perfection. When I started reading Gnostic gospels, it played a huge role because I finally found what I had been looking for to connect my youth’s religion with my adult spiritual beliefs. Jesus finally became real to me and the truth about Christianity finally started to make sense. Lastly, one cannot understand most of the Gnostics unless one knows about dharma and vipassana. This is why the Gnostic gospels were shunned by the early church and claimed to be ‘heretical’, because the early bishops could not interpret what the Gnostics were talking about. Once one understands vipassana and dharma experientially, then it is easy to interpret and extremely beneficial.
(Add how Buddha, Jesus, Plato, etc., spoke about reincarnation, immortality, bondage, can be born an animal, how precious the human life is and how must take full advantage of it. Also add animals play a role in the positive-neg balance system)
Chapter 5 – How the Videogame Addiction affects us all now and in the future
The videogame addiction is causing a major internal “brain-drain” in the newer generations where specific intellectual advances are not being made and we have an abundance of workers for meaningless and menial jobs. Not only in the younger generations, but across the spectrum, advances and progresses that should be coming to fruition in our supposedly advanced economy are not showing up. Overwhelmingly in the past, research, invention, and innovation have been a process of individual achievement. Many potential Einsteins, Jobes, Franklins, Edisons, Teslas, Bethovens and Mozarts are falling through the cracks of history because of our overly-addictive society, spurred and sustained by the videogame addiction. It is unfortunate that our youth do not have the drive or attention necessary, and certainly not the amount our ancestors had, to carry the torch of progressivism and I believe that videogames are the main reason why. Those that do, carry the torch in the wrong direction, for they are building onto a system that is bringing us further from our spiritual or historically humanistic goals. I shudder to think where we are headed and what our children’s children and beyond will look and act like at the rate we are heading.
Every generation, new paths for new jobs are opened up by conceiving of ideas that previously were unthinkable. Usually, these are spurred by monumental ideas through specific individuals and then by continuous innovation until a new career path unfolds. This is not happening at the level it should especially in our current day and age. Yes, new jobs may be opening up from start-ups and Kickstarter, etc., but new paradigm changing ideas are not “popping up” like they have in the past. Perhaps that one person who could truly think outside the box and would have had that monumental idea is no longer being given the chance to think it because their mind is too preoccupied with how to beat the next level of their respective videogame. A truly inventive mind needs space and rest to think “outside the box”.
The more our working class waste time on trifling or arbitrary pursuits, the less likely they will be able to put food on the table, and the more they will become dependent on the State or charity. The new jobs that are being generated are based on an old model moving into already overcrowded markets. The videogame addiction removes one’s will to work hard and builds a “the world owes me this” attitude. In the U.S. we are operating the largest welfare society of all time, printing records amount of fiat currency to sustain our obligations. Yet at the same time we have nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt, a figure that is statistically impossible to pay off. This is a ticking time-bomb that is bound to blow up in our faces. When our money eventually becomes worthless, the welfare will dry up and there will be millions of apathetic people with zero will to work and zero knowledge of how to survive on their own, primarily stemming from addiction and their dependence on the welfare society.
There has been a huge influx of unemployed people in the U.S. and around the world in the past few years. One reason is many people feel that certain jobs are beneath them and their qualifications, but a larger reason is that people’s “clogged” minds are not able to see possibilities in the market that are not already there. Furthermore, that one monumental idea is being passed over or suppressed, but even if that idea does come, the general apathy of most people does not allow it to come to fruition. There are perhaps many great ideas, but no drive to see them become reality, which would inherently spark new ideas in other individual’s minds.
Many schools have already done away with any requirement of physical activity such as physical education or sports. (Add Plato talking of need of P.E.) It is not too far-fetched to see some type of mandatory gaming class requirement even just to pass the time. Furthermore, new teachers that have been entering the profession the past twenty years and specifically in the last decade, carry the addiction and corresponding “negativity” with them into the school.
In the U.S., we used to take pride in our strong family relationships. This is no longer the case and the family structure has been breaking down for a number of years. One reason our divorce rate is so high is that sex is treated as a trivial event. Our sexual openness and promiscuity has left in its wake a plethora of children with single parents, as well as devastating sexually transmitted diseases. People have so many partners before they are married, that when they do marry, they compare their overall sex life with perhaps a one-night stand in their past that was sexually very good. They then think if their overall sex life was always that good, then they would then be happy. Furthermore, in the U.S., sexual compatibility and regularity is seen as a primary perquisite for marriage without considering how fleeting looks and sexual attractiveness can be. If anything sex should be considered a bonus and not a “contract-breaker.” If two people don’t have common interests or intellectual compatibility, which videogames can reduce, then no love marriage will last. I say “love marriage” because many marriages across the world are still arranged and most last longer than marriages in the U.S.
If either partner goes from being an overall positive person to a negative one, whether it be from gaming or another source, the chances of the sex life staying strong or the relationship staying intact are highly reduced. My mother used to say, “Bees are attracted to honey,” and this is very true when it comes to a strong sex life. No one wants to live around, or much more have sex with someone who is internally negative, which eventually overflows into being externally negative. Even though I have never been married, I can attest to this fact in my own parents’ relationship. They stayed together for many years out of a sense of duty to their children at the sake of their own happiness.
How can the typical American youth know any different if this ongoing promiscuity is the normal set of affairs? How can we blame ignorance in our youth, that before two people should be sexually active they should think about the possibilities that someone could get hurt emotionally or a child could be conceived unwanted which would harm all three of the individuals? How can we ask them to “get to know each other first” when our adults can’t set the example themselves? No one wants to admit this, but sexual promiscuity in the U.S. has become a rotten carcass from the “free love” paradigm of the 60’s and 70’s. When I see that it doesn’t exist the same everywhere in the world, I know it must be a conditioned and temporary unnatural state. Seeing people actually “courting” in more conservative countries brings me great hope. Lastly, the temporary and quick-burst of satisfaction that videogames produce is translated into cravings for the quick and temporary satisfaction that sex produces. Rather than investing time in a relationship which will reap continuous mental pleasure over an extended period of time, our population prefers the immediate physical pleasure that is sure to not last.
Chapter 6 – The Cure
It is quite amazing to conceptualize how the world works. Something so maleficent and so stealthily harmful as videogames comes along and paralleling this problem at the same time is the perfect solution for universal addiction. Some may call this ‘fate’. I am speaking of the ancient purification technique called vipassana meditation. Dharma may be the law, but vipassana is the balancer and “game-changer”. If there was ever a perfect describing word for vipassana, and especially in context with videogame addiction, it would be a “game-changer”. (Will expound greatly) (History of vipassana – came back after 2000 year hiatus, purifies all addiction, not just videogames) –
It is almost like the cycle of material existence attempts to climax or overtake spiritual progress with the invention of ultra-real virtual reality videogames, which become so real, we move to a new existence and this goes on infinitely until we “wake up” and put a stop to it as the collective unconsciousness comes together in society and says no more. Maybe this is the ultimate goal of negativity; to create something which eventually every person would be addicted to in some degree, slowly making the world a worst place to live in while making the videogame world a better place to “live in.” This may seem far-fetched now, but after a few generations down the road, it may seem to be a very realistic scenario indeed.
Think about how many people are involved in the videogame industry as their livelihood, whether directly or indirectly, majors and independents alike that are completely oblivious to the damage they are causing. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, far surpassing movies and television, and it seems everyone has their hand in the cookie jar in some way or the other. If you are ignorant of the law, you can still be held accountable, although at a volitionally reduced level. Once you know the true harm though, if you continue you are accountable to the damage you do. Maybe Steve Jobs knew this and that is why Apple was not a company that actually supported computer gaming until rather recently.
I tend to see myself from the perspective of a multitude of lives, rather than just this one. Empirically, or through experience I cannot know for sure, but rationally I am quite certain. I ask what would my past lives tell me and the number one answer that always comes to mind is “don’t waste your time.” This is essentially what videogames truly are, a waste of time. We run from birth until death, wasting time, and not stopping to ask “What is all this for?” and “Why am I here?” I am not a perfect human being, although why not aspire to be? Not in terms of doing this or that perfectly, but by being perfectly virtuous and not transgressing the natural laws set forth. This is the only way to true and lasting happiness. If you attempt to “buy happiness” or constantly use external objects for pleasure, it will always eventually lead to misery, whether in this life or the next. Why not use this precious human life to do actual good rather than just appease your own momentary pleasures over and over? When will it be enough? If we can come together and defeat this demon, it is such that for the foreseeable future, there is no higher demon to defeat. It is a straight shot to our goal or destiny of global self-realization and universal happiness, which nearly all major religions, in some shape or fashion, point towards.
In my opinion, this is not a small blip in history, but a well thought out and coordinated plan that has taken centuries to realize. For this matter, it could not have been because of man’s wish for power alone, but for a subjugation to take place by “negativity” itself over “positivity”. This could have been initiated by a well-connected, yet unknown organization or group of people in the upper echelon of society, but there is no way the oldest members could have seen exactly how we would reach this point. It was on a strictly need-to-know basis. I truly believe that the videogame epidemic is nothing less than a plan for subjugation; subjugation of the human will and spirit by stealth over an extended amount of time, where no one would be able to connect the dots and see where we are heading.
Even if this wasn’t well thought out by a specific group over time, it has come together by the enemy or rival or the human spirit, which one could call “evil” or “materialism.” For the human spirit to continue to progress in the direction of its destiny of global self-realization, many obstacles have been built by “evil” that must be overcome. This videogame addiction is just another such obstacle, but a well laid and entrenched obstacle at that. The U.S. along with the rest of the world is becoming so sick, it doesn’t even realize it, or does but it doesn’t realize the cause which is most important. It is like the example of boiling a frog. If you throw the frog in to boiling water, it’s just going to jump out. They key to success is to slowly turn up the heat and the frog won’t notice until it is too late. (Of course I have never done this before, but it makes sense)
At the present moment, it seems like an unwinnable battle with the overwhelming majority of the world’s population “hoodwinked” into supporting the material side of the universal “match” against positivity and spirituality. Materialism holds all the cards and controls the majority of the board, but it can’t keep the spirit down forever, which is its ultimate aim. Its goal is to pacify the population generation over generation so that any other possibility is unthinkable, but I am here to tell you we are not going to let this happen! For I will say again, the transformation from a miserable materialistic society to a healthy spiritual society will be all the more apparent and glorious to behold. For as long as I am in this body, I will continue to uphold a virtuous life as an example of what used to be important for man. The struggle to restore balance in supporting the ‘positive’ side of existence is a battle that will always be worth fighting.