Video Games Were to Blame

Greek philosopher Democritus once said, “Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” This video, made by a gentleman who feels his past excessive gaming habits are to blame for his current less than optimal life status, reflects the wisdom behind that quote. He hints towards the poor decisions he’s made over the years and the loss of balance that slowly occurred within his existence, but are video games to blame or the lack of self control he exhibited when faced with the choice of indulging in his preferred form of entertainment or performing real life responsibilities? I think we can all learn from his life-altering mistakes but with the realization that the blame is inaccurately placed.

65 Responses to Video Games Were to Blame

  1. Though I sympathize with him, I find it disturbing that he’s placing the blame on video games. Yes, video games are addicted, but they’re only addictive if you allow them to be. No offense to this guy, but he obviously did not have enough self-control to stop playing his video games and to get out of the house (which is not the video game’s fault).

    I have been playing video games all my life; everything from Sonic to Halo. During those years, I haven’t been addicted to them nor have I replaced them with my real friends and real opportunities. You can still play video games and enjoy your real life as long as you have self control.

    • CodeMonkey76 says:

      Exactly. This guy is deflecting the blame from himself to an object. It’s as if a recovering alcoholic blames the alcohol and not their choices in drinking it. Any ‘entertainment’ can be abused to the point that a person loses their touch with reality. People can waste their lives watching television, playing video games, going to movies, etc, etc, etc, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still their choices that are the problem and not the object they used to waste their time away with.

      • halcylon says:

        But he’s not. While I don’t agree with him, he’s not blaming games for the downfall of man. He’s stating that obsessiveness and poor time management can lead to problems…

        … but one could say that for anything, like I said… you can change out “video games” in this video for movies, books, Facebook, and Twitter.

        • Glasses Guy says:

          Or anything in that matter. It’s sad really, how sombody can become obsessed with one little thing. Even the things that can improve your life. In 8th grade, I saw an all A’s student with a lot going for her, break down in front of the class because she got a B-. It’s all moderation, which humans tend to be terrible at. Look at drugs for instance, or beer. Those have been BANNED (Beer, being banned for a little while) because we are terrible at keeping ourselves moderated. There are even crimes, deaths, etc. because of our addictions.

        • Marksman says:

          I’m close to an all-A student. Maybe all-A but one or two subjects. Then about B to B+. And I don’t break down, I feel the need to improve.

  2. ReverendTiki says:

    *starts weeping. starts slow clap* BRAVO! *sniff sniff* BRAVO!.

    lol j/k What wuss. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.

  3. HellCat says:

    That hit me hard. i have two years left at school and i realised that i dont do much inside or outside school. Technology is to blame but since ive been using it so long ive gotten quite shy so i dont go out of my comfort zone much anyomore. im kind of trapped. I guess ill try to play less and just go out and do things while i can

    • CurbStomp says:

      I’m not trying to be a dick or anything, you’re to blame, not technology. Technology has made meeting and engaging people easier than it ever was. Gaming has such an incredible community now that there’s no reason to simply sit by yourself.

    • Mizzy says:

      “A bad worker usually always blames his tools”

      • Marksman says:

        I thought it was “A good worker never blames his tools”.

        Similar, but different meanings. I see your point though, even though my story almost matches HellCat’s. 2 more years of school after this one, though I’m accused of talking too much instead of being shy. I hadn’t been to the beach in aggggges until last Thursday, with my mates while we got out of school. I got mass burnt and I’m now peeling, but it’s better than the ‘box. Although 3/4 of those people, I have regular contact with them on LIVE, too, but y’know.

    • bs angel says:

      Some people are more introverted than others, and the recent advancements in technology can easily exacerbate that. Find other people with the same interests as you and do those things together in a group. Alone time is healthy, as is time with others. :)

      • ComaToast says:

        But too much alone time isn’t always a good thing. I don’t agree with everything he said. i have a friend online that I’ve known for a few years. Being homeschooled and moving to a new house left me without any friends. I think without video games I would be bored out of my skull or completely socially inept (altho I’m still pretty socially awkward right now anyway). Still video games are a huge part of my life, as is technology.

        • Socket says:

          I’m basically in the exact same position as ComaToast, except without the moving part.

      • t0rm3n7 says:

        I work at a burrito place (Freebirds for any Texans out there) and I meet with tons of people every single day. My personal time is spent either at college or on my computer/xbox. If I were to get a job as a computer programmer in any field (as is my goal), I would definitely have to change the majority of my hobbies. You can’t always be shut in, there needs to be a balance, well at least that’s how I see it.

  4. halcylon says:

    So, like I mentioned to angel via email, we are supposed to listen to this message – while well thought out and executed – without a reason for his “big choice”? No where was it address what came up that lead him to stop playing.

    While I understand that many people have a tough time balancing their life and gaming, not everyone needs to take this video to heart as some of you have posted.

    To people like us, we take pride in our games. They give us encouragement and enlightenment, not to mention entertainment. I personally stopped listening when he mentioned that “online friends” don’t matter. I’ve made dozens for friendships, a few closer than real friends, over the 6 years of online gaming I’ve achieved. That was not a smart play on the author’s part. Social interaction online is only going to further your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. I know so many people that can’t travel due to this reason or another, and the fact that they can play with people across the world allows them an incite into the minds and thoughts of those people they meet.

    While I agree that it may not help someone with their social status, abilities in real life, or surviving the zombie apocalypse, this same video could be played for movies. Violence, time spending, and obsessiveness (ahem, Twilight fans…) are all the same features of avid movie goers.

    Like I said, this was well done, but short sighted. No where does this author base his analysis on his predicament. Its like someone in the ROTC telling me what war is like…

    I watched, I commented, I went back to playing Mass Effect 2.

    • On insanity? :)

      • Is it me or is Insanity monstrously hard?

    • augustelc says:

      i did the exact same thing. except instead of being all serious about the game, i relaxed and enjoyed myself. the way video games are meant to be played. just like glasses guy said, its all moderation.

    • InsaneViking says:

      Halcylon, I think this person tried to hint at the big breakdown being divorce (but you might have “stopped listening” before that). There’s a big gain to anything that can bring people together, but I personally want to vouch that video games can sometimes have the opposite effect, too! My social skills may never have been that great, but video games enabled me to escape that world. Yes, it’s my fault, but I do think my generation was the guinea pig for the instantly-satisfying and all-encompassing internet.

      Now that I’m finished self-deprecating, let me just say that I’m actually pleased with where I am right now, thanks in part to a friend I made during halo:ce lans back in the day.

  5. Mizzy says:

    I couldn’t even get through the entire video before falling into a mild rage. That’s like an alcoholic blaming beer companies for making booze taste so good. No one crammed the games into his hands, tied him to a chair, taped his eyelids open and forced him to play. He chose that of his own volition and is now suffering the consequences. If you’re turning down seeing friends and family just to play a videogame, there’s a serious problem.

    • halcylon says:

      No, he’s not blaming games, he’s saying that people need to learn to balance gaming and life better.

    • bs angel says:

      I see it more as he made poor decisions balancing his hobbies and real life priorities. Of course those of us that enjoy video games as a hobby would rather game than go to work. We’d rather game than do the dishes. We’d rather game than do the mundane responsibilities than come up each and every day. But as an adult, you learn you do the things you need to do first, and your leftover time can then be dedicated to whatever brings you enjoyment and relaxation.

      • I agree with you. He made bad decisions relating to video games and he is the one to blame. We’re all like that though, but as bs angel said, over time we will learn to suck it up and do the things you need to first.

        Nonetheless, I couldn’t get through this video without getting the feeling that he is blaming video games, so I stopped because I saw where this was going.

        • halcylon says:

          I’ll summarize…

          “I never opened the daily planner my ex-wife gave me.”

        • bs angel says:

          Lawlz. Fuck the honey-do list. THERE’S VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY!

  6. Wow, I just noticed he was burning World of Warcraft disks. WoW is a bad representation of video games because it is an easy game to get addicted to and if you don’t have enough self-control; you’ll never get off that game.

    • Marksman says:

      Most of my friends are addicted to WoW (I never let them hear the end of it), but just today, a mate of mine, Nick, who plays on his bro’s account, told me and another mate who doesn’t play WoW that if you play it for more than 20 minutes, you’re addicted. I’m glad I hate it.

  7. It’s a thoughtful essay and there’s genuine feelings behind it. The message would have been better if it wasn’t so heavy handed.

    Thing is, he IS blaming games, and proselytizing to everybody else, assuming that we all have the same problems with game addiction that he does, and it’s borderline insulting. He’s blaming games for being a zero-sum equation that he willingly participated in. Sure, they are- I don’t claim that my games have made me a better person, but it is my choice of recreation, much like reading War and Peace, Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, and all 7 Harry Potter books are now apparently his. I also wonder if he’s lit his television on fire as well, or perhaps deleted his internet browsing applications.

    None of those books are particularly life-affirming or create value. They’re all time sinks like grinding to level 80 in WoW or a level 50 General in Halo. I’m thrilled he’s “moved on”, it seems the best for him.

    I’ve made bad choices in life, sure, but not because of video games. I’m glad he’s recognized he has a problem, but it’s not necessarily shared by the entire world.

  8. AnTi PRO says:

    I’m also Joshtacular on Twitter, I didn’t have enough room to write out my whole response.

    I feel like I’m in the same situation as this guy. I spent so much of my life playing video games and pushing away the things that were important in my life. I would skip out on real life things in order to play in clan matches, make machinima, run my website, etc. After I was involved in a near deadly car accident in Oct 2008 I sat down and rethought my life. From that moment on I vowed to not let video games get in the way of me living my life. Till this day I feel that I am accomplishing this goal 100%.

    I don’t blame video games…I know it’s a self control thing and I think this video also states this. The creator admitted he had a video game addiction which is his fault, just as it is with smokers and drinkers…Even though the video may say it was Gaming’s fault I don’t think that’s really what he’s trying to say.

    • Josh, I agree with you. His main message is that you need to learn how to balance video games and real life, but he still opens it with “Video Games were to blame”. Saying that in the beginning of a video makes a huge impact whether he realizes it or not.

      Nonetheless, I see that his tone and views started to change as he was doing this video. He did start off by blaming video games for his problems, but as the video progressed he changed his views completely.

      Inconsistency is not the best way to get your point across :/

      • AnTi PRO says:

        I think you are being way too analytical about the whole situation…It’s a good message and doesn’t deserve to get shot down by you or anyone else. At the end he says games are good for the communities that they create and I agree with him 100%

        • halcylon says:

          I don’t think she’s being overly critical at all. You can’t sell a point if you don’t have ground to stand on. Now, he says he had an issue… but what was it? I restate that you can’t take the word of an ROTC College Student about war because he/she’s never been to war…

          So saying that the author is misguided by his statements isn’t overly critical. The message misses the mark because there is no substance. He says “talk about what you know”…

          How does he know? He never says it.

        • Analyzing is a fun hobby for me, I use that to help you sir :P

          Nonetheless, I just think he’s skewing his views with his inconsistency. It’s hard to follow what he’s saying when he jumps between two different things: blaming video games and blaming himself. Though I get the point, he needs to lay down a clear message or others may not get the point.

        • bs angel says:

          The majority of people are not shooting him down. Many people recognize his intentions and are taking something away from it. However the heavy emphasis on gaming is unnecessary and obscures his message. He could have done a video on the importance of moderation and balance. Instead he did a small percentage of that and a lot of focusing on the video game aspect of it. The focus is what people will be drawn to stating their opinion about, and that’s the creator’s fault.

  9. ViVo 444 says:

    I think that 4 many ppl, gaming is IMPORTANT!
    Ppl like me! In real life I´m a nobody who changed class.
    But in gaming I´m SOMEBODY! Ppl remember me for maps, screenshots, film clips and a whole bunch of other stuff that I´ve done in gaming.
    I think that humans have a need to respected, and in gaming, if ppl don´t like U, then there is also a MUTE button.
    Why do I write this? Well I can just say that:

    My Internet life is so much better than my stupid real life.
    (At the moment)

    Sry 4 bad grammar

    • Mizzy says:

      Saying your internet life is better is like declaring you’re the winner of the Special Olympics.

    • InsaneViking says:

      The funny thing is good screenshots and clips is potentially a real world talent. Maybe one day you’ll be remembered for some nice photography. Have any you’d like to share now?

  10. TofuDragon7 says:

    So the moral of the video is…don’t play World of Warcraft and you’ll be okay?

    = D

  11. moosejaw says:

    So, entertainment wastes time and it’s only positive affect is creating community? Then what is the purpose of you sitting down and spending hours animating and narrating this short film? We are not meeting in real life to discuss it, we are simply left with the thought that you blame video games for decades of bad choices you made. I agree, we spend way too much time playing games instead of actually improving our lives or relationships, it’s why I traded in my 360 and only play when I go over to my brother’s house. But dude, if you’re overweight and divorced, you have bad time management skills and no decision making ability. I am sure if it wasn’t video games it would be some other hobby that wasted just as much time.

  12. VoltRabbit says:

    Its so simple

    Everything in proportion, nothing in excess

    Its a simple philosophy that has been around since ancient Greece times

    There is value in this guy’s video, but be perfectly honest it boils down to passive/aggressive presentation.

  13. SonofMacPhisto says:

    I can’t watch the video yet because I’m at work, but I’m reminded of the fact vices, particularly the best ones, do tend to hit back.

  14. Captain Spark says:

    I guess I’m jaded against people like the guy in the video. I know 10 people in my life that blame everything wrong in their lives on something other then their own stupid decisions. No one put a gun to this guys head and forced him to play video games and spend thousands of dollars to play them. If this guy in the video is really serious, then he has no one else to blame for his bad decisions.

    I guess I’m old school because I really would like to slap this guy on the back of the head and tell him to get his head out of his ass and GROW UP!

    • SonofMacPhisto says:

      Do you slap him before, or after, he pulls his head out of his ass? ;)

      • Captain Spark says:

        I’ll put on some gloves first :)

  15. so… who wants to play some halo tonight??? =P

    but really, anything can replace the important things in life. in his case, as with many of us, it was video games. but since so many gamers can view his message, it would be like someone going to the world series of poker tournament and telling them that poker is addicting. am i right?

  16. DethPwn says:

    I stopped the video the second he said that, and I quote, “…beyond making you feel good, they (video games/entertainment) have NO lasting value”.

    I don’t wanna rant, so basically see Kyle’s speech on reality from “Imaginationland”.

    As for his claims that “video games didn’t make you smart”, that’s a given. Reading books won’t inherently make you smart either. Furthermore, expecting to pick up attributes from a medium outlet is just goddamn stupid, even if he was just making a point. I hold gaming to be the greater of most (if not all) media forms, as it’s the most immersive. However, it is in no way a crutch or addiction.

    This guy is full of ass. I’ve played video games since I was 3, and religiously since I was 7. For more than half of my life gaming has been the biggest part of it. I have friends in the hundreds, I’ve had succesful relationships with the opposite gender, and I’m on the fast track to a career in writing. I spend every waking moment that’s not spent on friends and family on gaming, and I can’t imagine living any other way.

  17. I’m feelin’ a rant coming on…

    First off, I’m so glad I don’t play WoW. Second, I don’t actually have many virtual friends. I have 2. One on Xbox Live, one from deviantART, and they’re awesome. But my XBL friends list is made up of people I know and am good friends with in real life, plus random friend requests that I accept and then delete a month or so later.

    I don’t think that games themselves are the cause of the problems that “our generation” is facing. I guess who’s generation you’re talking about is different depending on the person. I personally am a “young adult,” so that’s the age range that I am personally referring to. The problem comes from an inability to prioritize things. It’s perfectly ok to indulge yourself in a good game, but you should not blow off classes or work because you have a goddamn guild meeting and raid.

    And if we’re talking about the younger generations of roley-poley snot-nosed brats, well, I think the problem comes from bad parenting. In that case it’s still an issue of not setting your priorities straight. Instead of telling your kid to shut the hell up and behave, you stick a gameboy in his face and reward his terrible behavior. Go you (Not referring to anyone in particular, just a bit of observation on my part).

    Now I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this behavior he’s describing. I parked my ass on the couch and played Mass Effect 2 for days, stopping only to shower and sleep and pee. Not exactly productive, but I had an absolute blast, and I enjoyed that time spent. I’m a bit of an introvert in the first place; I’ll spend days in front of my computer working on a photoshop project, but I consider that accomplishing something, learning something new about artsy stuff that will hopefully help me in the future.

    It’s sad, what happened to him, but I think the lesson here is to make sure that life comes first, and our beloved video games come in a very close second.

    My bad for dropping a wall of text like that.

  18. cardo8 says:

    Just a great video that makes you examine yourself. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Don’t like it, don’t watch, ya know?

    • bs angel says:

      Anything that can spur such great discussion is to be applauded and bare minimum means it is well done to strike such a chord.

  19. DeepCee says:

    Something I noticed was the video was actually pretty well animated. This guy could do pretty well if he puts his mind to it. Just took him too long to realize it I guess.

  20. Kalamarikidd says:

    I feel that there is a dire need of more analysis such as this. When I was in college I witnessed first hand the effect of spending too much time on video games. Luckily it wasn’t myself. :)

    That being said, I cannot imagine how addictive games such as WoW are effecting today’s college students. I feel that some game designers intentionally design their games to be addictive, which I feel is somewhat irresponsible on their part. Sure, it is your responsibility to moderate your video game play time, but is it really your fault if you get sucked into a game because it was intentionally designed to be addictive?

  21. CyanDeadEye says:

    All these comments are really great, it’s nice to see so many people in a discussion like these.

  22. soulofaqua says:

    Games, they teach you nothing… yet. I learned a great deal of English from both Videogames as well as cartoons when I was young, not to mention that I learned about the American Constitution thanks to Fallout 3, refreshed my geography, with Bully. I used to play educational games like RedCat a dutch series of mostly educational games about all kinds of different topics. Combining for example a small race with at each checkpoint a maths question for a boost. In the end it was about coming first not about the maths but the only way to win was to actually get it right. There are tons more games that taught me stuff, educational games or not.

  23. Marksman says:

    The video won’t buffer for me because my Internet’s being weird (0.29 mbs Download speed…), but just reading the comments, one addicted gamer explaining that addiction was [ruining, for want of a better word] his life.
    On New Years’ I went to a friends place in Lake Munmorah, not far from where I live (10 mins maybe), and we got massive drunk. A friend of his, whom I am neither friend/enemy to, said to me, while massive drunk and having a smoke that tonight he’d quit. He told me I probably thought he was a mass derro (derelict, drug abuser/smoker/poorer person), but he planned to quit smokes and weed, because he only did it cause his friends would, and he was now addicted. He told me not to think less of him, and I understood, peer pressure, whatnot. I think he stood by his words, and he’s now clean. But by the sounds of it, Ben (that was his name) sounds a lot like this guy. Addiction to anything will drag you down, and only determination will beat it.

    • Marksman says:

      ..and in the end you can only blame yourself. I forgot to add that…

  24. Schoony says:

    Like most of you, I have spent a good portion of my years playing games. And with the exception of only a handfull of time, i have never let video games rule my social life. In fact, I used my love of video games to foster new friendships in college. Nothing bring a group of strangers together better than virtually competing against eachother. However, while palying in those group sessions, if it were suggested that we go out and do something else, I would go. This video is nothing more than a guy trying to make himself feel better by telling everyone that he has found the light and to follow him to true salvation. If I want to be preached at and told where I have gone wrong with my life, I will go to church.

  25. DethPwn says:

    …Someone went on a thumnbs-down rant..

    • bs angel says:

      It’s always funny when people do that. And over 50 comments too, now that’s dedication!

  26. Thors toe says:

    It took me playing Wow to figure out how to balance my gaming with RL but that was a couple of yeas ago now. If a friend calls I go hang with them. What every game I was playing will be there when I get back. Unless my cat hides it. :-)

  27. Faren22 says:

    One question I wondered, as he talked about how he wasted his life on these games, was: Did he enjoy it? Was he playing the games because he wanted to? Because that’s not wrong. Playing marathon sessions or unlocking every achievement for a game isn’t wrong as long as you enjoy it.

    He may not like his decisions now, and he may wish to undo all the years of playing, but he can’t. What he can do is move on and accept his past, and try to improve in the future. And he started to understand another level (he leveled up in understanding) of gaming at about 4:25.

    I think what irritates a lot of people, and certainly irritated me, was that he talked about video games like they were a single-player, lonely, obsessive phenomenon, when in reality I’ve had very few of those experiences. I talk to my brother all the time about games we’re both playing! Gaming has really always been a social experience for me, if only because my bro was always bugging me to save so he could play his games… :P

    Also, burning your WoW stuff with EPIC MUSIC playing seemed a bit dramatic, but I guess whatever works… Maybe he wanted to “save another” from his poor decision-making and his inability to completely and correctly reason.

    Anyway, my rant is done. Time to do a lab report and then maybe some TF2. :)

  28. bobweadababbyitsaboy says:

    He is correct neither of us will be doing things alone. I will presently be typing this while doinking his mother.

  29. I’ve been meaning to write this for two days, so here we go:
    Let me start with something that I want to make sure nobody misses:

    How many actually finished the video (Past the burning of WoW)?
    Between 4:25 and the end of the video he does go into the positives of Video gaming including the sense of community that Video games can start. I highly recommend watching this part of his video.

    Addiction is an interesting thing especially at a neurological level. Essentially anything that is enjoyable or gives pleasure can be addictive. Whatever causes a good amount of joy or pleasure for a person can be addictive, it is generally only seen as an issue when it is etiher A: a destructive habit, or B: Has reached the point where something good has gone passed into the realm of being destructive.

    For example look at something like this http://www.brainphysics.com/exercise-addiction.php . Exercise too much and it can be destructive. This is strictly to point out not all things start out as a bad thing.

    At it’s root, in my opinion, addiction stems from not being able to accept life cannot be about pleasure (with minimal effort) and usually starts as a type of escapism. The problem arises when it moves from something enjoyable and a good escape to relax and passes into an attempt at permanent escape from life. Everyone has something they love to do more than anything, it is when that is used as a crutch or as a _permanent_ escape from life that an addiction can truly begin and start causing problems.

    Video Game addiction is an interesting concept, and I have seen people that get quite addicted to video games. No it is not the game’s fault it is the person who allowed something to take over their life. Thankfully my friend stopped before it began to cause permanent repercussions to the rest of his life even though he was nearly kicked out of College due to his addiction. Thankfully hearing that he was about to get kicked out helped make him realize he needed to cut the shit.

    I can see what the guy here was trying to attempt, he was addicted and he felt he needed to make this video for others. In reality he needed to make this to make himself feel better so that he can feel like the years he lost can be turned into something useful for somebody. It essentially is the same as the recovering drug addicts that become motivational speakers. Thankfully as he was recovering he came across videos of PAX and gamer communities where he saw the social aspects that a lot of us love. Where it is not an addiction but a passion, and a passion that we want to share. While he may not get to experience this because of his fear of falling back into addiction, he was not against the idea that it may expand some people’s lives.

    I may add to this later. But this seems to cover my main points well enough. Enjoy and I would gladly continue with conversation on this.

  30. SK CRISIS says:

    Personally I feel World of Warcraft is a phenomenon so ridiculously popular that it should not be considered a video game, but yet have it’s own category which everyone knows by now, and that’s ‘WoW’

    This guy put a fair amount of emphasis on WoW than ‘regular’ games. In that sense I can agree with him, WoW can easily consume you as it does millions of people (yes, MILLIONS.)

    Stay way from the game equivalent of cocaine and keep on toking on the less harmful games which can be compared to marijuana, which is legal in some states. ;D

    I don’t smoke weed (or cigarettes) in case you’re wondering. I take pride in that.

  31. ya mum says:

    What if you belive in reancanation dont you get 5 lives?

    • Nuclear Pi says:

      Technically its infinite, as each time you die you will come back as someone else. However thats about the sum of my knowledge on the subject so someone else will need to add anything i’ve missed

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