Saturday, June 23, 2007

Are Video Games Addictive?

Well of course anything can be addictive, when the opportunity costs become high enough. What else might you have done with your life? The subjunctive weighs heavily.

On the other hand, I'll say "she's playing with her dolls" meaning The Sims on her computer, which is exactly what "playing with dolls" means, with added features from puppetry and the simulation sciences.

Since when was playing with dolls for hours and hours a symptom of a psychiatric disorder?

Since a long time, actually. Girls might lock themselves in their rooms and do nothing but dolls, dolls and more dolls for days at a time. The family doctor with the black bag might recommend a little alcohol (just a teaspoon or two) and maybe Alice would become "more social" again.

Here's another question for you parents. Why not join them, by picking out mutually agreeable games, such as Uru in our family, and explore together? Television may likewise be a lone body tranced out on a couch, or people engaging in social activity, with what's on TV more of a side show, given the company.

Maybe we need more philosophers into family feng shui, coaching folks through those endlessly varied addictions. "Cold turkey" is not always advisable. How about some Nietzsche or Swedenborg instead? Just kidding (only sort of).

But my point is this: don't pass up on every chance to develop those lexical skills, those 3Rs, and in ways that're honestly fun for you a lot of the time. I'm suggesting it's an option, no matter what your special walk of life.

And it's not strictly either/or either. Sometimes the next best thing to an addictive video game is just a window away.