The toxicity of gaming culture

Many people will think this post is some man hating rant about how male toxicity is ruining the gaming industry. This simplistic idea is shared by a bunch of people who don’t understand biology nor how our environment affects us.

Take a human being, someone who is already introverted and shy, stick them in a room alone, barely interacting with other humans face to face, not learning proper social cues and emotional control, make them play something aggressive with other people who they cannot see or hear or touch, and we wonder why gamers can be assholes.

Twitter, facebook and instagram are another perfect example of what happens when you remove people socializing face to face, let them remain relatively ambiguous and free from consequences, and the shit will fly.

There are aspects of male biology that make men fall into this trap more often, higher testosterone levels can really play havoc on aggression, especially considering many gamers are young teens who are already have very little control of their emotions.

But it has nothing to do with male toxicity, and everything to do with the toxicity of online gaming culture. In the same way that the toxicity on social media has to do with its culture.

Social interaction online can be a great thing, people can connect from all around the world. But we have to be realistic about the fact that most humans in the world get zero training on how to take care of themselves emotionally, physically and intellectually. They sit around in front of screens banging away, feeling like shit, cut off from the real world, and it all goes to hell.

Gaming in and of itself is great, regardless of the type of game. What we need is a paradigm shift in how we raise our children, we need to focus less on math skills and more on life skills.

We need to teach ourselves how to behave, with empathy, with courage and most especially with a higher level of understanding of how our brains are primitive and need our higher consciousness to rein them in constantly.

This takes training, lots of it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

A holistic view of the body

For in everything that we do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical fitness as possible.

-Socrates

A holistic view of fitness would have to include not only the muscles and heart and bones like most training protocols do, but also the brain.

We have to view the body as a synergistic system, and that includes the brain. Everything that our muscles do is tied up with our minds and nervous system.

So if you really want to be the best version of yourself physically, then you need to train your mind. Luckily for us there is no better time in history to train our whole bodies. Books are everywhere, paper and online. Articles abound online, thousands of videos and audio format information exist.

Push your brain out of its comfort zone, the same as you would do for your muscles.  This will not only make you a more intelligent human, but it will help you to master your emotions, one of the greatest boons of humanity and also our greatest enemy. Uncontrolled emotions are one of the main reasons we do dumb shit over and over again, and should be trained like any skill, as young as possible.

Once all that’s done, get your ass off the couch and get outside, get some fresh air, walk a lot, run sometimes, lift some heavy stuff and have some fun.

We all get sad sometimes, don’t stress it

Sometimes we get stuck in a frame of mind that just does not let us move forward.

Regardless of how much we know we should be doing work,or taking care of ourselves whether with better sleep or food, we just can’t find an ounce of motivation to move our asses.

Those moments where ice cream and binge watching shows become our stalwart allies against existence.

They come often, due to a variety of stressors in modern day living, and they can be a real pain to get through. The most important thing to remember is that you have already gotten through moments like this, small or large, and you will survive.

The world will not implode because you didn’t do something special for a few weeks or months, you won’t die because you ate all that ice cream and pizza.

You will survive, and improve, and ultimately be a stronger person for it. Doing the wrong things is what teaches us the real importance of doing the right things, without all those failures we would have nothing to compare.

I am not advocating to just give up and go with the flow whenever life gets you down, but remember not to compound your issues with self hate just because you weren’t perfect at every damn moment of your life.

We only get one shot at this thing, we might as well be kind to ourselves.

Focus on the basics Padawans

So many people, myself included, over-complicate matters when getting into fitness.

People start worrying about whether they are doing the right kind of training, eating the right kinds of food, going to the gym as many days as they should be.

But like all things, the only focus you should have when entering into something new is mastering the basics, and the basics are well…basic.

For fitness it’s relatively simple, consistently train. Whether that is once a week, twice a week or more, the most important thing is actually starting and continuing, week by week.  When you go from nothing to something, you are doing it right.

The next advancement would be focusing on doing a movement as well as can be. Many people start panicking because there are so many exercises to do and so many training protocols, when instead they should just be doing the most basic of movements and attempting to get as good as they can be at them.

Squat,pull, push,hinge,lunge and carry.

Each of these movements will look different for you depending on your level of fitness, and all you should care about is doing them as well as you can, nothing fancy, nothing crazy.

This same mentality should be taken into nutrition. Who the hell cares about the minutiae, which diet is best and all that crap. Focus on the basics!

Get rid of junk food and stop eating out at restaurants every week.

Get a solid 3 meals in a day, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, a nice serving of protein and good quality fat.

Stick to that for as long as possible, until it becomes a normal part of your life.

Once you’re moving well and eating well and you don’t even have to think about it anymore, congratulations you’re now a decently healthy person. If you want to start focusing on little things like specific programming for athletic goals or cranking out that extra 10% benefit from food that comes from eliminating certain things that may be bothering you or adding in supplements and whatnot then go for it, so long as you maintain those basic principals that get you 90% of your goals.

Other lifestyle changes that I would consider basic would be getting quality sleep and just walking as much as possible, and these can be implemented at any point in your life without much stress.

May the force be with you all.

And if you don’t believe in the force, well, you probably would have been Sith anyway so we don’t want you.

Wonder struck

I am wonder struck

To feel the hand of Luck in a universe of misfortune

To be born in a time and space

free of war and and pain

subject only to the hurt that I bring upon myself

through misdeed and foolish choice

I am wonder struck

filled to the brim with liquid gold

The tree of eternity

strumming fates chords

holds me cradled within the shelter

of  flower bloomed arms

gazing out through leaf shaped eyes

that have seen the infinite

and I

I am nothing but wonder struck

to be witness to lifes glory

nothing but a witness

simply existing

in this time and space

brought to my knees

weeping

at the beauty of it all

The power of books

“I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read.”

-George R.R. Martin

 

Books are portals through which imagination can soar through uncharted skies, skies the likes of which we who live on this floating ball called Earth can never inhabit in the flesh, but can dig our hands into through the mind of another.

One of Humanities greatest gifts to itself was the written word. We can never truly grasp how much of an effect it has had on our society, the ability to pass on information from one generation to the next, expanding our minds through the years.

When it comes to fiction, which holds a special place in my heart, I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I had not grown up with the stories I was blessed to read.

Who would I be without Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Philip Pullman and the host of other amazing authors who blessed my mind with their many worlds.

A lesser person, with much less capacity to envision other lives, other perspectives.

My ability to connect with others is so strong because I have connected with thousands of people through their stories, real and imagined.

We need more stories in this world, more inspiration, more beauty and art and wonder.

To those out there doing their best to create, keep on giving, the world needs you.