You ever had a bowl of ramen that was so good you didn’t want it to end? You ever been so happy you wanted to hold onto that feeling forever? Dopamine. The chemical in our brain that makes us feel good. That makes us feel happy. That makes us feel pleasure. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s an addicting feeling.
That’s how it feels for people to be addicted to video games. Once you start, you don’t want to stop. Because it feels good. You get that fix. You get that thrill. That next kill. That next epic loot item. That next amazing achievement that makes you feel like you made it. That next hilarious moment with your online friends that you will remember together for the rest of your lives. How do video games have this effect on people? Because they are marketed that way. Just like cigarettes. They are designed for you to buy or download them, then take the plunge into the deepest depths that are the chasm of their adventure. And once you take that plunge, you either come up for air, or go deeper.
Alice in Wonderland went down the rabbit hole and therefore entered Wonderland. Video games encourage that same idea. And your community encourages it too. Here’s your scenario:
Your friend calls you up. They say there is this new cool game for 10 dollars on this site that they want you to buy to play with them. You have three choices here.
1. Say yes, buy it, go down the rabbit hole, experience and accept the consequences. Happiness or suffering follows.
2. Say no, do nothing.
3. Say no, do something more productive with your day. Like in my instance, do art, post on my youtube channels, do house chores, or spend time with my friends in real life. Or even spend the evening with my wife.
Option 1 is what I keep experiencing over and over again. And I just gotta be honest, it gets really boring and leaves a dull taste in my mouth. For all the times I chose option 1, I wish I had chosen option 2 or 3. While there have been great things I have experienced because of my choices to play video games, I feel like I’ve lost so many more experiences life has to offer. This is what I call “Getting Lost in the Sauce”; AKA the mistake it is to get trapped in the addictive online gaming world.
I would have to say, if I’d recommend a gaming experience, play it with friends in real life, not with random people online. You just lose out on so many more amazing moments by losing out on that wholesome in-person connection and experience. Plus in this day and age, it’s very difficult to trust everyone you meet online. You have to be careful. I’ve had many experiences where I’ve gotten taken advantage of, scammed, or even lied to by trusting some random person online. Do NOT be that person. Be smarter than that. Think before you leap. Heavily consider before you take the plunge. Make sure you are making the right decision not only for you, but for the ones who care about you as well.
But what I would like to note is that there is so much more opportunity and experiences that can be had besides just sitting at your computer all day. Go outside. Take a walk. Pick up a new hobby like drawing or painting. Make the effort to make a change in your life. My career has been shaped by my skill as an artist and a creative influencer. But so many times I could have had even more opportunities that I just simply gave them up for games. Being an artist is who I am and what I do. Finding what you are truly meant to do in life, to find your purpose, is not an easy task. But you won’t find it if you don’t look. Purpose isn’t given. It’s created. Create your own purpose. Play less games. Play more of the game of life.
Austin John Jones has been an aspiring artist ever since he was 5 years old, drawing all the time in the classroom. Very early on he went under the mentorship of French painter Sophie Plassard, where he learned under her tutoring for 12 years doing mostly drawing and painting. Because of this, Austin has a great amount of experience in oil painting. After graduating high school, Austin went to Art Center College of Design where he graduated with a degree in illustration and a minor in entertainment art. Austin loves cartoons, movies, video games, and almost everything entertainment. He has been a dedicated artist all his life, and has been teaching what he has learned to people of all ages ever since he graduated college. Austin graduated from the Teaching Artist Institute and has shown his work locally in San Diego County for the last five years.