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Escaping from Reality
A free-for-all area to discuss what's on your mind, within reason of course.
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Sardonicus
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 02:33 PM
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I don't know about you, but I'm a bit peeved lately. I'm beginning to resent the characterization that playing MMORPGs is an attempt to escape from reality or that playing any video game somehow makes one weak and unable to meet the challenges of day to day life.

How is it any different from other people that like to fish, hunt, play golf, have poker night, read books or watch movies on a regular basis? As a matter of fact, playing an online game is sometimes cheaper than those other hobbies and the opportunities for social networking are on par (pun intended).

Just to go fishing, you need poles, lures, a license, bait, and transportation (unless you're lucky enough to have a fully stocked lake in your back yard). Hunting is the same thing, just with different tools and is usually performed on dry land.

My father-in-law recently took up golf. Between the clubs, bag, balls, membership and greens fees, after only a few months he's already spent several thousand dollars even if you don't include the scotch at the ninth hole and the steaks, cigars and drinks afterwards.

A while ago, I was listening to comedian complain that his kids would rather play MLB 2K6 than go out and play "stoop ball." He went on to explain how he took his kids outside, gave them gloves and threw the ball against the stairs. The kids didn't bother to chase the ball down and stared at him like he was an idiot. Maybe because stoop ball with dad is "stoopid?"

I used to work with a guy that spent most of his time on the phone, e-mail or in chat rooms devising strategies and trading players for his fantasy sports teams. Sometimes the only way to get him to focus on his job was to wave a memo or a spreadsheet in his face.

My wife spends what I would call an inordinate amount of time on various "social networking" sites such as MySpace and FaceBook. A short while ago, my wife had a friend visiting from D.C. They were sitting in the living room chatting up a storm and then, suddenly, they went quiet. After a few minutes, I couldn't resist the urge and went to see what movie they were watching. What appeared before my eyes was so amazing that I had to take a photo. They were sitting side by side on the sofa, blackberrys in hand, totally engrossed in updating their status on FaceBook and responding to AIM messages...completely oblivious to the person sitting not 2 feet away.

For a while now, I've been getting grief from my wife about the amount of time I spend playing various games. But, I wonder how playing video games is any different than any other hobby. Surely, it's not as healthy as going for a hike with the dog or playing softball and it's not as productive as building something in my little shop in the garage, but I do those things, too. I submit that playing video games is no more an escape from reality than it is to join a bowling league or host poker night once a week.

Anyway.../rant off

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StonePost
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Post Post subject: Re: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 03:25 PM
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All in moderation!

I have experienced a few players that escape, to MMO's and online in general, in effort to pass time. They asked me once how I can have friends, girlfriends, and social life outside of work.

Thankfully to one of them I was able to pull them away from the keyboard and help open their eyes to reality. They have since then attended college, had girlfriends, made multiple friends and has become more of a socialite "IRL" then they have ever been.

There are those who do use gaming as a substitute to reality/socialization. Some can hide from others, pretend to be
someone/something they are not. It becomes easier to hide then face fears head on and become social. I have seen it!

In all, as with anything else in life moderation is the key. Yes socializing is socializing, be it gaming, hunting, fishing....but I don't fish every waking free moment I have


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Anviras
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 08:10 PM
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This is a good topic and seems to me it should maybe turn into an article? Dragon, your thoughts?

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`Smaug
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 01:49 AM
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Sure, it couldn't hurt. I was waiting to see a few more responses before I chimed in Smile


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Triax
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 09:36 AM
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Escaping reality is always useful and often needed. Keep going to long and you just get fed up and annoyed, always better to stop and escape. Be it a good book, tv, gaming or what ever. But i agree all in moderation!


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You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
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Kaalenarc
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 02:24 PM
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Moderation is the key. If you find you are drawing too much "wife agro" take some time off, spend some time with her. The "escape from reality " thing can be a danger, but then for those people, they get too drawn in, too emotionally attached to ingame events, and in turn, they escape the problems of the real world only to create their own in game.

Only you can judge if you are playing too much. Chances are if you think its possible, you are. So take a couple nights off, skip a raid, etc.


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"Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." - Gary Gygax
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Texfire
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Post Post subject: Escaping from Reality
Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 02:32 PM
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Hmmm, I was one of those who could have been labeled as an "escapist gamer". I started playing WOW when my marriage was on the rocks and continued it while separated leading up to my divorce. Not that it was a direct cause of the separation, there were other issues there, but as an escape.

I know I played a lot of hours in WOW, enough to worry some if they knew about it, but I was never dysfunctional. I still functioned and went to work, but that and gaming was about all I did. I think the fact that I played this heavily, as a substitute for relating to real life and dealing with the hurt I felt at the end of my marriage, was directly related to how I burned out on MMOs. That's not to say that I didn't have other hobbies, but gaming was the main one. I have played some since, but never that deeply.

Was gaming the right therapy for me? I don't know. I think that I would have tried to lose myself in whatever activity I chosen. I wasn't ready to interact with others again for a couple of years, and gaming was social interaction on a level I did want.

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