1 September 2018


In particular response to addiction of video games:

Games are an escape from reality. But games are also a form of play. Both are important to be a functional human being. Technology has evolved a lot in the last few years and I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface. Addiction in general has become a problem with technology, not just games. Social media, movies, series, games, dating: many vices and sins are now easier to accomplish than ever before.
This Kurzgesagt video explains addiction well among other videos they've done on drugs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg and this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS6LoRYUdhw

Modern Day Sins (source)

Mental Health

But I think the real problem here is actually mental health and the generalised problem of addiction itself. I'm not sure if it's best to blame video games. I'm more inclined to blame technology. But I feel most that any addictive behaviour is detrimental. What we really need is to reduce addiction on a much bigger scale. If we properly recognise and incorporate mental health awareness into society, and get everyone to feel completely unburdened to talk about their mental thoughts - even to a stranger standing next to you in a queue - then, and only then we will actually be on top of the wider issue of mental health.


To do that we need to break down some stereotypes of masculinity (not showing vulnerability). To other species it's normal to hide vulnerability, but in this modern world, vulnerability can mean life or death when it comes to mental health issues. The world simply does not suit this innate compulsion to display self-confidence, charisma, and high self-esteem at all times regardless of how you actually think or feel. And this isn't just a throwaway first world problem. This problem actually kills people and that means it really is a serious issue. Sometimes these issues go unlooked as well. PTSD can haunt people their entire lives and never recover (just look at the Hillsborough disaster). Unfortunately, we can't yet erase memories, so we must have after-care.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (source)


I don't blame video games. I blame the education system for not adequately preparing kids for how to live in a modern day world with modern day problems. There is a huge range of subjects that kids need but just don't get (common sense, finance, communication, presenting, respect, owning problems, mindfulness, proactiveness, etc.) This link has some great ideas for example https://successfulstudent.org/20-life-skills-not-taught-in-school/ (except guns of course).
And if we look after our children, all of the gaps that society has to fill will become far less problematic, and then they will know better how to look after themselves. We should arm our children with all of the best weapons to deal with whatever life will throw at them, based on the current modern day issues.


We also have to 'preserve' that creativity that kids have - modern day parents are scared of letting their children play outside alone, meaning they spend more time indoors. But it's so important that kids do have time to play and have fun - not just for exercise or energy release, but for mental well-being: it builds up skills in team-working, and doesn't have to be as serious as sports. Play is crucial to development. See this most popular TED video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY


Video games, in principle, and on their own, are good. Addiction is not good in any form. Society must be reshaped to deal with all addictive outlets and properly prepare children for modern day issues. Fear of showing vulnerability must end. Communication is key.