Little Joys Ch.9

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Today was the first time since I was a young teen that I played an online video game with a friend. It was surprisingly enjoyable, it transformed the entire experience.

I have spent the majority of my life playing single player games, highly focused on the story and interactivity of the experience. I had forgotten how fun it can be to venture into a new world and discover it alongside someone you care for, and it’s made me realize why the younger generations have become so hooked on online gaming.

Although I still have many reservations about the culture that online games seem to produce, filled with negativity and producing groups of kids who do not know how to interact in a healthy manner due to not having to deal with face to face interaction, I believe that when games are played with those we know deeply it can be a beautiful experience.

Even relatively repetitive games can become intensely amusing and fun when shared with another. I hope to get back into it in the future, especially once I return home. A few mmorpgs have piqued my interest, such as Ashes of Creation and City of Titans.

Here is to a future filled with geek filled fun.

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?

Cultural evolution

What drives Human culture forward is imagination.

The capacity to create new realities within our minds was a game changer in our evolution. Language is what enabled it, being able to put word to thought allowed us to shape our reality in a way that simply was not accessible to us beforehand.

Evolution is moving forward in new and interesting ways, utilizing culture to drive itself at speeds never seen in history.

The bashing together of minds from all over the world has created a giant pot of ideas that are just fermenting and growing.

It really is an exciting time to be alive.

Knowledge begets responsibility

Someone has to start. Be the first to say “no”, that we can be better, have to be better.

To hold ourselves accountable, to reach for a higher standard, an ideal.

The question is what that ideal will be?

A certain level of safety is required for people to feel capable of striving towards other ideals, so we must begin with that first choice, the one to cause no harm to others. After we can begin to talk about the aesthetic, about beauty, about art, about how we wish to express ourselves.

We do require hardship though. Resistance is a necessary component to life. Struggle leads to a collapse of our inner beliefs, yet with the right conditions it also leads to renewal and a fresh, stronger perspective.

It helps to think about these basic tenets of life, because most of us are so distracted by the mundane tasks of eating and getting to work and hanging out with family and friends that we don’t take the time needed to really address these deeper issues.

As a society and as individuals we need to start thinking about why we have decided to live the way we are living, in a rational and optimistic fashion.

Societies tendency to lean towards the negative aspects of life and not appreciating any of the good is deeply troubling as people are becoming completely bat shit crazy believing that we are living in difficult times when the reality is for most of us we are living in the safest most desirable period of time in human history, ever.

So we need to acknowledge how damn lucky we are, yet still put our foot down and say no to those things which still need to be re-examined and changed or completely eliminated so that our children will have an even better future than ours.

So get to talking people, calmly and hopefully with a bit of research behind your statements, it’s our gift and responsibility to use the knowledge available to us to better our societies.

And please have fun while doing it because no one likes a grouch, take it from me.

Listen to your inner child

From when we are very young we find delight in the simplest of actions and joy in the discovery of new things. As we grow older, we maintain that curiosity, until it is beaten out of us by school and work and the people around us who have lost sight of what it means to be Human.

People talk about finding your passion, finding what makes you happy, and most of us have no idea what that means.

The reality is that no matter your age, each of us is a child still. We hit these culturally decided upon numbers and somehow we are supposed to be an adult, but we are all of us just children pretending to know more than we actually do.

If you want to enjoy life, then do not let school or work or your culture determine how you are supposed to think or act, even when it is some guru telling you that to be happy you just need to find something you’re passionate about.

Just listen to that inner voice in your head that has been around since you were a small child, the one that giggles and wants to just scream in public because it feels great, and whenever it is screaming the loudest, listen to it, because that may be the thing you are going to be able to take the greatest joy in.

As a side note, that voice can be hijacked by drugs and negative emotions so don’t just let it go nuts, there is a reason we developed consciousness, to put a brake on the primitive side of us that wants to just go crazy at every opportunity, so stay cautious.

But if something passes the test and is a genuine pleasure of yours, go all in.

You never know where it may lead you.