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.

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.

Finding our limits

We have become a soft society, seeking out ways to maximize our comfort and minimizing any kind of discomfort.

This may seem like a good thing, and it is in some ways, there is nothing inherently wrong with being comfortable and finding more efficient ways to do things, especially when it frees up time to do what you truly wish to do.

But unfortunately this seems to lead us to two different extremes.

There are those who wallow in comfort, never getting out of their comfort zone, and subsequently causing a myriad of psychological and physiological issues in the process. Then we have people who cannot seem to recognize that we all have limits and we need to respect those limits before our systems break down as well.

There is a fine line we must balance upon, the idea is to find your limit and very gently cross it, and then retreat and allow ourselves to adapt over time to a new limit and so on.

But many people just don’t take the time for the  introspection it requires to know your limits and overcome them in a healthy manner, while others simply never even begin the search in the first place.

Human beings are adapters, probably the greatest species to ever come into existence on this planet, because our limits, although many, are still radically small compared to the limits of most creatures on this planet.

We should be grateful for this, and push ourselves to be the best we can be, but within reason, and not to the detriment of other things in our lives, like our health and the health and happiness of those we care for.

Find your limits, push them, but remember that life will push back, and it is a hell of a lot stronger than we are.

 

Health 101:Our differences make us stronger

7 billion people on this little blue planet.

None of us, I would hope, would make the assumption that all of us have the same life experiences, grew up in the same environment, learned the same things.

We are all very similar in many ways, but overall there are vast differences in our birth and upbringing.

People forget that our differences make us stronger.

Yet for some reason people keep falling for these diet and fitness pushers. Those people who say do this one thing and you will be healthy, you will be fit, it’s a magical secret that only they have. It is ridiculous.

There is NO one way of eating that works for everyone, I don’t care if it’s vegan, paleo, carnivore, keto, vegetarian or any of the other thousand ways people eat. Each of us is fundamentally different, and what works for one person may not work for you, or it may work for some time and then not be the right thing for you anymore.

The same goes for training, we all have different bodies, different injuries, different jobs and lifestyles all producing a vastly different set of needs in and out of the gym that need to be input into our bodies to be healthy.

Don’t let yourselves be swayed by the masters and morality gurus, these people who try to make everything ethical. Figure out what works for you, find people you can trust, LOTS of them, not just one!  hear different opinions, think about it like a rational adult, and move forward and test again and again to the best of your ability.

The only way to succeed in life is to accept responsibility for your own health.

Be patient and kind with yourself because you will make mistakes, but it will be worth it in the end.

Just get it done.

Just get it done

All it takes is one decision to change the direction of your day.

It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, a week ago, years ago.

And it doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow.

All that matters is today.

This moment, this choice.

To do the thing that you know will make you feel successful.

And not that fake success of instagram, posting a picture of yourself doing something just for a like.

That deep satisfaction of knowing you did a good job, you did your best, you did what you needed to do as a human animal.

The simple things.

Be kind to those around you, even when they are not.

Be focused, be disciplined.

Lift that weight, take that walk, clean that mess, make your bed.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow doesn’t matter.

All that matters is today, and you know you need to get this done.

So just get it done.