Monday, January 7, 2013

Video Game Ayurveda (This Might Be a Weekly Feature)

Namaste readers,

Hopefully you can tell via the links on the side of this blog that I follow the Art of Living organization. And hopefully you also know that the Guru of the Art of Living is H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. And I also love video games. The point I'm getting at is this: recently, in response to the horrible shooting in Connecticut that occurred last month, Guruji said something that I initially didn't agree with, but after thinking about what he said, I better understand.

To be specific, what Guruji said was that violent video games are (partly) to blame for such spree killings...they're not the sole cause, not by a long shot, but they can contribute. Honestly, when he first said something along these lines, my first reaction was utter disagreement, but that sort of came from a gut reaction that Guruji was trying to take my video games away. This gut reaction I later realized was false, as Guruji later elaborated that it was kids playing these violent games and then not being able to subsequently differentiate between fantasy and reality that was a contributing factor.

This is what made things clear for me - I actually began to agree with Guruji's point. I more clearly saw what the problem was: parents need to actually care about what their child is playing, and not let them play violent games. Government censorship of these video games is not the answer, and I realized Guruji was not advocating such; what is the answer is parents getting involved and caring about the video games their children play. You know, actually being parents for once! ;-)

However, I know some parents need help with this. That's why I'm pondering making a weekly feature on my blog about what video games are appropriate for children to play. I know for this particular blog post, I have one particular genre recommendation: racing games!

Racing games are plentiful on today's modern video game consoles (e.g. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), and most provide a great way to involve the player in competition without having to resort to violence. Two I can think of right now are Forza Horizon for the Xbox 360, and Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3. And I can tell you, as a gamer, racing a car at high speeds is every bit as thrilling, if not more so, than shooting someone in another video game. I find racing games to be a very sattvic, non-violent alternative to first person shooters. And some studies have shown that playing racing games can make one a better driver in real life!

There are other non-violent game alternatives, but I'll stop here as this blog post is getting long. If there's enough demand, then each week I can highlight more non-violent video games. Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.

    I'm not a gamer - never really was, but I was one of those strange individuals that enjoyed watching people play and "helping". I have to say that I don't think violent video games are a problem, but a symptom. After all, not everyone who plays a violent FPS goes out on a killing spree. you are right that parents need to be more involved in what their children play, but I think violent video games only exist because the society they are created in is on some level very violent to begin with. Also, there is a fine line between games in which a person kills monsters or aliens, and a war or zombie game in which one is shooting people. Also, temperament is a factor. I simply can't watch or play FPS. They just make me uncomfortable. I also hate those hunting games. So in this sense I am more sensitive then the average gamer, which probably explains one reason why I don't play often. =) good post. Congrats again on your award.!