Friday, March 16, 2007

Why video games are addictive, exhibit #1

The following conversation that occurred about five seconds ago. You must understand that I was trying to get Chris' attention so I could read him this tantalizing excerpt from dooce.

I just felt inspired to remind you of something that I think you already know but forgot when I read your post about anxiety today. It’s just this: when you eat animals that have been to the slaughterhouse, you are likely consuming on a more subtle and energetic level the adrenaline, fear and anxiety that they almost certainly experienced just before death. The anxiety you are feeling is not just your own but also the feelings of the dead animals.

The actual conversation ....

Me: Are you listening to me?

Chris: *utter silence as he plays Eve a.ka. the stupid game with spaceships*

Me: I want to read you something.

Chris: Ok, I'm listening.

Me: *reads excerpt*

Chris: *utter silence again*

Me: Chris, the kitten has grown a second head. She has two heads now, and both the heads are meowing at you. Did you know that she has two heads? And that they both meow? And that you should really go look at the kitten who has two heads now?

Chris: Shit, what did you say?! There are drones everywhere!

I rest my point.

(The kitten was not harmed during this conversation. She is sleeping on the bed.)


Jodi Meadows said...

I have conversations like that with Jeff. Video games are soooo important to boys! (And, to be fair, some girls. Don't mess with me when I'm playing Oblivion. :D)


Jeff Strand said...

What if a drone got him while you were distracting him? You could have ended his game and he'd have to start all over. It could have been his highest score EVER, and yet you thoughtlessly tried to carry on a conversation, because it's all about you, you, you. I think you owe your fiance an apology.

Joshua Minton said...

OMG, womene are still talking to men during video games outside of Columbus, OH? I marched on the State House in 99' to end that effing tyranny in my home state. Does that mean I have to come to yours too? That's it...I'm writing your Senator.

Long live the XBOX 360 with wifeless interference!

BuffySquirrel said...


Susan Helene Gottfried said...



What's bad is when I tune out the Tour Manager the way he tunes me out -- and then he gets mad, like I've committed some horrible crime.

Kimber An said...

Ah, the joys of marriage, welcome to it! In our house, I'm the one who writes the novels and my husband is the one who plays computer games. Of course, once our babies came along he had to spend way more time flying his tailfeathers off to feed them. (He's a pilot.) I've learned this is his way to wind down his brain at the end of the day. I leave him alone and am, therefore, still happily married after more than a decade and four babies.

brunoflathead said...

Allow me to identify with Chris. I write and I play. Rome:Total War is my game. As a big boy (57-and weigh slightly less than the aircraft carrier, Enterprise) I find playing this game stimulates my writing fantasy and detectives. Tatics, strategy, building empires; all the 'stuff' you find in fantasy.

Another point; When you live long enough with a woman, you soon learn when to tune-in and/or tune-out in the relationship. Obviously Chris is not into the gushy romantic novel stuff just read to him.

Scott said...

I just have to say it. If you were my agent, I'd listen to every word you said.

Unless there were drones everywhere...

resurrectedwarrior said...

*cracks up*

Sad but true. My nine-year-old brother is just starting to get into video games, and he's a total mess when he's on the Nintendo. I can barely get him to go play in rain puddles with me anymore!

Jenny Rappaport said...

I love you guys. =)

James Dashner said...

I have to admit I'm not a huge video game guy. My thing is sports. I can't BELIEVE my wife tries to tell me stuff when there's a minute left in a football game. Hello?

Robin L. said...

They respond similarly if playing guitar while you try to talk to them. ;)

And that, btw, is just another reason why I don't eat "slaughterhouse" food. Ick.

Sam said...

That could be my kids talking to me when I'm in the middle of reading a good book, or writing.

"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Mom, the dog's on fire and there's smoke pouring out of the kitchen."
me - "Uh huh. Go play some more dear."

See, it's not a question of video games. It's a question of having good concentration.

Ben S. D. said...

Well, I suppose I should I will...

What's Eve? How come I've never heard of it?


Kimber An said...

Sam, haven't you developed a list of standard answers yet? Here's mine:

1) Mars. (when asked where someone or something is)
2) Chicken-Fried Hoglegs (for what's in the next meal)
3) What'd I say last time? (good answer for just about anything)
4) Clean your room. (when child informs me of his or her boredom)

brunoflathead said...

Since reading that except to your Chris, Jennt, I've been thinking about what it said.

Essentially is says we feel the fear and anxiety of animals in the slaughter house. But of course, that's wrong. Our brain chemistery isn't geared up to decipher the chemistry of other humans, much less animals.

In some parts of the world cannibalism is still practiced. Apparently those who delve into this palate aren't too worried about the feelings expressed by the main entre.

And besides, eating meat is, at least, a 50,000 year old (from the beginning of Cro-Magnon) part of our diet. Without eating meat we would not have developed so rapidly and/or became nearly as curious about the world around us.

Eeeh, just a thought/

Julie Wright said...

Dashner isn't kidding when he says he is into sports. He and I went to a sports bar for dinner and I don't think he heard one word I said since he and the other author we were with stared at the football game the whole time. (you *do* remember going to dinner with me, don't you James?) My husband tunes me out when he plays video games too. I get even . . . I tune him out when I read. He doesn't have the guts to try to interrupt me when I'm writing so we'll never know if I tune him out for that.

Kelly Swails said...

Ken is a gaming geek and a programming student. When he's gaming I have conversations like the "two headed cat" one. When he's programming I don't have the nerve to bother him.

I am a writer and a reader. I suspect Ken tries to have conversations with me while I'm doing both ... but I don't have actual recordings of said phenomena, so I don't know for sure.

We're happily married, probably because we realize the virtues of quality alone time.

Katey Coffing, Ph.D. said...

Jenny, my husband has no idea what you mean. :)

KingM said...

Essentially is says we feel the fear and anxiety of animals in the slaughter house. But of course, that's wrong. Our brain chemistery isn't geared up to decipher the chemistry of other humans, much less animals.

If you follow the original link, the owner of that website clearly thinks this is bosh.

In addition to what you said, the act of cooking the meat changes its chemistry, and our digestive track breaks it down further.

Reading the initial thought gave me a moment of squeamish hesitation before the obvious logical flaws jumped out at me.