Binge gaming part 5: Stasis pod

How binge gaming can help a player

In truth, binging on a game when life is at a low can be a saving grace; it can help you to continue feeling like you are growing as a person even though the world around you has forced you to feel small or powerless.  Since games are active pastimes, the player is always learning, always taking action, and sometimes those experiences are enough to propel the player from taking positive actions in their games to being confident enough to take action in the real world.

It is not simply a matter of forsaking the real world for a virtual existence but rather that games can serve as an escape when needed, a training ground for thought, and a springboard for the player’s return. It must be understood that the more a player is pushed to feel like they will never be understood the more they will feel defensive about protecting the games that take care of them when they feel weak. Thus we must look at what causes the behavior of binging to understand what role it plays in the players’ lives.

Are they depressed or feeling socially ostracized? Are they playing a game they have been excitedly talking about for months? What does the game make them feel, how do they express their enjoyment of the game?  These clues can help us understand if the problem lies in their compulsive playing of a game to mask greater problems in their lives, or simply out of their passion for a game.  If it is the former then we must provide support to help the player overcome the problems they are facing, if it is the latter then they should be allowed the freedom to enjoy their game.

Have you ever binged on a game? If so has it ever become unhealthy, felt unhealthy, or negatively impacted your life? Did your binging correlate with a low in your life?  Do you believe that binging on games can lead to an addiction, or do you feel that binging is ok in the right context and that gaming addiction is a myth? Please express your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think.

This is the final installment in my 5 part series titled Binge gaming, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series. I welcome discussion on this topic and if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please do so in the comments below, or write in to playprofessor@gmail.com.

 

Andrew Mantilla is a ludologist and video game journalist for Play Professor.  You can check out more of his content on FacebookInstagramand Youtube.

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