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.

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.

Sleep and sleep some more

We live in a society with very little respect for sleep.

I could go off on a rant and spout all the scientific reasons why you need to sleep and how it is incredibly important for the health of your brain and physical performance, but these points have been made over and over again by health professionals.

At the end of the day, every single one of us knows they feel better when they get to bed earlier and sleep properly. Each of us knows we feel better when we don’t stay up staring at our phones and computers.

We all know what we need to do.

So just do it.

Don’t limit yourself to the gym

Human beings are one of the most versatile movers on this planet.

We have the capacity to perform incredible feats through a host of diverse physical activities. So when I hear people say they don’t like to workout, I am a bit stumped. You are telling me that you don’t enjoy any kind of physical movement whatsoever? working out is not relegated only to the gym, it is something that can be done anywhere and in a myriad of ways.

Nothing can hold you back from physical activity except possibly a serious ailment.

You can walk, you can run, you can jump, you can play any sport or dorky game you want. Go swimming, climb, do whatever makes you laugh and have fun, that is working out, that is going to get your blood flowing and your neurons firing and help your body express its animal self.

Don’t limit yourself just because the gym doesn’t seem like a good place to be.

Beginnings

The beginning is always the most difficult.

We can fantasize about something, plan it out in the most excruciating of detail, compile note upon note with the intention of having the most perfectly executed start, and then never get off the couch.

It’s the fear. It drives our procrastination, can make us drown ourselves in an information flow, justify a thousand delays. We can reason ourselves out of anything we want to because of that damn fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of not holding up to the standard we imagine within our minds.

At the end of the day there is no other thing to do but just begin.

Whatever it is, just start from the beginning, and work at it.

No magic, no 6 easy steps, just begin.

Strong body=A mind without limitations

Many people dig too deep down the rabbit hole of consequences when it comes to our decisions about our health and fitness.

They talk about cigarettes causing cancer when a more pressing issue should be how much it affects our day to day energy, our capacity to breath and quite frankly just how damn smelly it is.

They talk about obesity causing all sorts of fancy sounding medical issues down the line which people cannot connect to when simply telling people that it will hinder them in any sort of physical activity, like playing with their kids, walking the dog, or planning any sort of trip that requires physical exertion will do quite nicely.

We don’t need every reason to be healthier to be some do or die necessity to spur people to make some small changes in their lives.

A healthy, strong body allows the mind to be free of limitations.  That is really the only reason you need to take care of yourself.

After all, if you need the fear of hell to spur you to be a good person, then you were never a good person to begin with.