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Are Video Games Lifeless Without Us?

It’s kind of like the zen koan that asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If without us games are lifeless then obviously they need a bit of our life to exist. It’s probably why so many of us are willing to invest so much time in eSporting, its nice to be needed.

Found this gem of a quote when reading an article in Edge magazine based on the book “Death by Video Game”:

“Glory, justice, immortality; a chance to live over and over again in order to perfect our path, a place in which change and growth in us are measured on the irrefutable high-score table. Video games offer all of this and more. The allures of the video game, and the ways in which it salves our internal problems and instincts, are myriad. Is it so curious that a person might become forever lost in this rift between the real and the unreal?”

Without a resounding doubt that is why we are obsessed! I can remember playing RPGs for hours on end in a dark garage and having a hard time navigating reality a bit afterwards, today’s games are probably a thousand times more immersive and engaging.

Overwatch Dragons
Overwatch Dragons

This post really isn’t meant to convey a bunch of doom and gloom, but I think it does get at an important aspect of “full immersion” into the mind. The body will waste if you don’t feed it with movement as well of course. You would think our whole being would work in concert with each other’s health needs, but our minds can be as greedy as our bellies. And so like a bag of chips sometimes we have to set the controller down and escape in a different way.

I’ve embedded the google book snippet of the longer story on the next page which chronicles the death of a Taiwanese gamer. Many of you have probably heard of it. Outside of the spectacle I think it has some good notions of what can suck us in beyond the awesome visuals.

Until the Okagami Runaround Omnidirectional Treadmill is in Every Home – Beware the DVT!

On the floor, directly underneath my suspended haptic chair, was my Okagami Runaround omnidirectional treadmill. (“ No matter where you go, there you are” was the manufacturer’s slogan.) The treadmill was about two meters square and six centimeters thick. When it was activated, I could run at top speed in any direction and never reach the edge of the platform. If I changed direction, the treadmill would sense it, and its rolling surface would change direction to match me, always keeping my body near the center of its platform. This model was also equipped with built-in lifts and an amorphous surface, so that it could simulate walking up inclines and staircases.

Cline, Ernest (2011-08-16). Ready Player One (Kindle Locations 3429-3434). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

For the majority of people, being a dedicated eSports athlete means a lot of time logged in a chair. Unfortunately, this makes eSports athletes very prone to deep vein thrombosis or DVT. DVT is no joke and for young eSports enthusiasts who log many hours a day in their chairs, even if they are very comfy chairs, can have serious health implications.