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June 23 2018

aren
06:20
Hm… I would think you don’t need them to get addicted, not the way you phrased it. It’s more like you need certain aspects of it, which you would require regardless. As an adult it’s something like:

- Regular income
- Shelter (not just under the bridge, but a place to rent or such)
- A tool for videogame use
- Being able to live for months or years like this.

The basic point is, if you have a job and play games for escapism, this doesn’t mean you have are addicted. Addiction is, to go with the wikipedia definition, “characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences.” You can keep your job and your flat and still be addicted to games, the same way you can kill 4 pints of beer every weekday evening and get shitfaced over the weekend and still have a job. (Though this may not be the job you started out with.)

The issue is with the negative consequences. 

In an exemplary scenario you start playing a game for escapism or relief for a stressful job or just because it’s fun. You still have friends, family, go to the movies, take care of yourself, etc.
You keep playing the game, and over time the focus of your life shifts. It moves from wherever it lay before to the game, how to get better at it, how to beat it, whatever. You start to neglect your friends (“Sorry, I don’t have time that day, maybe another time”), not going out with them when you usually did, finding excuses, telling them you’ll be there next time, but in your mind you’re still halfway thinking of a problem or something you had in your game. You were putting on makeup or going jogging every other morning, and now you’re foregoing that for another quick game. You start to set your alarm to a different, oriented to more game time instead of healthy sleep schedule. Your work starts slipping. If you were average before, now you do below average work, with your mind and focus being constantly elsewhere. After a year or so your boss starts to notice and asks if you’re fine, if you’re having problems, or simply they reprimand you, and you know you should listen to them and get your shit together, but you tell yourself the game is so much fun.
Instead of facing your problem you start looking for another job, one needing less of your focus, one you could get by with working less, even if your living arrangements didn’t change. You only need to make enough money to pay the necessities (rent, food, probably internet). Your friends and family are worried about you and express it to you, but you slink by, not answering the phone, or making weak excuses when they do manage to get you.

One can manage all this. 

The part of society more in danger of getting addicted to video games would be kids, I think, and that is more a function of their freedom of these prerequisite necessities. They (usually) don’t need to work, they have shelter, food, and internet provided by their parents, and more free time, too. Since they don’t need to worry about these things, at least not initially, I think the obstacles to addiction are easier, or the much cited slippery slope is steeper, and since they are initially more disconnected from these obstacles they may slip deeper. And, depending on age, the harm addiction does would be multiplied due to the brain’s still ongoing maturation. Fiddling with the reward mechanism in the brain while it’s still not fully matured can’t be good and will carry lifelong repercussions.

However, it’s not helpful to put all addictions into the same pot and expect them to come out the same. Video game addiction is, basically, a first world problem (though not limited to the first world, I assume you get what I mean) that requires a certain affluence, one that is easier reached in more similarly affluent societies. But it’s still an addiction by current medical understanding, a way the brain’s reward mechanism gets taken over in a bad way. 

Or to look at it another way, the brain is shittily programmed, with spaghetti code and legacy implementations and old, old APIs still being open to manipulation. 

Since we don’t know how to fix the code, we have to deal with the harmful exploits and error codes just as much as the atypical pathways and results this leads to, be they addiction or transsexuality. We can’t simply take out the brain, rewire it, and put it back in. We do not have the knowledge for this, nor the tools to do it effectively, so the best way to accommodate and regulate the scenarios. 

Where societies draw the line for these treatments isn’t self-explanatory or obvious, but I think a decent benchmark would be self-destructive behaviour and the erosion of free will. 

June 22 2018

aren
05:15
It’s not about inability, but difficulty. Think of it this way: The majority of people are going through their life on a planar and level surface, but there are some who have to constantly walk upslope because life dealt them a shitty hand, because life’s a bastard that way. 
Then you go and complain about how they’re trying to keep up with everyone else while at the same time having to walk upslope all the time just to stay level with everyone else.

But hey, if you want to blame all the rocks and obstacles you encounter on your own personal path of life on people who face different but equally challenging difficulties that’s your prerogative. 

June 21 2018

aren
16:15
Sure, let’s make light of people addicted to gaming, why don’t you. 
Let’s mock people who’ve been abandoned by their friends and family because they literally could not force themselves to stop. 
Let’s ridicule people who feel disgusted by the genitals they were born with, cursing their body as a matter of daily routine.
Let’s deride the people who at times rather die than live with the shame society foists upon them.

It’s not like they’re people anyway, is it.

You failed the basic premise of punching up, mate. Look it up, it’s not hard.

May 02 2018

22:15

hillaryrene:

themarysue:

becausedragonage:

makingfists:

It’s like this…

You’re fourteen and you’re reading Larry Niven’s “The Protector” because it’s your father’s favorite book and you like your father and you think he has good taste and the creature on the cover of the book looks interesting and you want to know what it’s about. And in it the female character does something better than the male character - because she’s been doing it her whole life and he’s only just learned - and he gets mad that she’s better at it than him. And you don’t understand why he would be mad about that, because, logically, she’d be better at it than him. She’s done it more. And he’s got a picture of a woman painted on the inside of his spacesuit, like a pinup girl, and it bothers you.

But you’re fourteen and you don’t know how to put this into words.

And then you’re fifteen and you’re reading “Orphans of the Sky” because it’s by a famous sci-fi author and it’s about a lost generation ship and how cool is that?!? but the women on the ship aren’t given a name until they’re married and you spend more time wondering what people call those women up until their marriage than you do focusing on the rest of the story. Even though this tidbit of information has nothing to do with the plot line of the story and is only brought up once in passing.

But it’s a random thing to get worked up about in an otherwise all right book.

Then you’re sixteen and you read “Dune” because your brother gave it to you for Christmas and it’s one of those books you have to read to earn your geek card. You spend an entire afternoon arguing over who is the main character - Paul or Jessica. And the more you contend Jessica, the more he says Paul, and you can’t make him see how the real hero is her. And you love Chani cause she’s tough and good with a knife, but at the end of the day, her killing Paul’s challengers is just a way to degrade them because those weenies lost to a girl.

Then you’re seventeen and you don’t want to read “Stranger in a Strange Land” after the first seventy pages because something about it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. All of this talk of water-brothers. You can’t even pin it down.

And then you’re eighteen and you’ve given up on classic sci-fi, but that doesn’t stop your brother or your father from trying to get you to read more.

Even when you bring them the books and bring them the passages and show them how the authors didn’t treat women like people.

Your brother says, “Well, that was because of the time it was written in.”

You get all worked up because these men couldn’t imagine a world in which women were equal, in which women were empowered and intelligent and literate and capable.

You tell him - this, this is science fiction. This is all about imagining the world that could be and they couldn’t stand back long enough and dare to imagine how, not only technology would grow in time, but society would grow.

But he blows you off because he can’t understand how it feels to be fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and desperately wanting to like the books your father likes, because your father has good taste, and being unable to, because most of those books tell you that you’re not a full person in ways that are too subtle to put into words. It’s all cognitive dissonance: a little like a song played a bit out of tempo - enough that you recognize it’s off, but not enough to pin down what exactly is wrong.

And then one day you’re twenty-two and studying sociology and some kind teacher finally gives you the words to explain all those little feelings that built and penned around inside of you for years.

It’s like the world clicking into place.

And that’s something your brother never had to struggle with.

This is an excellent post to keep in mind when you see another recent post criticizing the current trend of dystopian sci-fi and going on about how sci-fi used to be about hope and wonder.

No. It used to be about men. And now it’s not.

Tell us again why equality in spec fic doesn’t matter. We dare you.

I’m crying tears of rage and joy. THIS.

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aren
12:55
8214 73a3 390
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May 01 2018

aren
06:42
0431 c3f1 390
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April 27 2018

aren
06:04
2540 d319 390
Blumenkohlcurry mit Erbsen und Mango
Es ist ein leicht süßliches, sehr sehr wässriges Curry, die 3,5-Sterne-Bewertung ist irgendwie angebracht, aber wenn man darauf achtet, nicht zu viel Flüssigkeit hinzuzufügen ist es ein angenehm leichtes, rein pflanzliches Gericht.  Der frische Basilikum passt sehr gut, und Mango geht halt immer. Statt einer Chilischote habe ich getrocknete Chiliflocken (1 TL) und Chilipulver (1/2 TL) verwendet.

[Rezept]
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April 25 2018

aren
15:23
Thanks for clarification! Turned the whole thing from punchline to poignant.

March 27 2018

aren
15:40
Emergency fire extinguisher at Kennedy Space Center
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March 22 2018

aren
07:58
5380 0a47 390
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February 27 2018

aren
10:23
Tardigrade Walking Through Algae x
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February 26 2018

aren
11:12
Tree branch falls on power lines
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February 20 2018

aren
15:33
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aren
08:45
6532 4ec0 390
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aren
08:25
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February 11 2018

aren
08:49
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January 31 2018

aren
09:06
2994 9e8d 390
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aren
09:01
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January 26 2018

aren
16:04
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January 22 2018

aren
09:18
2157 02fe
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