Several years ago my husband and I were playing an online game. You had to build a village from scratch, gather building materials and create an army. With that army you attacked other villages around you and eventually take over as many villages as possible, to conquer the imaginary world.
Connecting with other players, joining a tribe and before we knew it, we were addicted to the game. Even to a point my husband would come home after work, he switched place with me behind the desk, I started to cook, and he played on. One day it hit us; what the h.. were we doing??! We had allowed the game taken over our lives and that was (an understatement) ridiculous.
Last year we both had a stressful year, for some similar reasons and some reasons of our own and playing a game can unwind you to a point. So, we started again. This time on separate accounts and we agreed just to play until we would move from the mountains to our new location. Since then we haven’t played anymore.
Recently I started to think about that game again. Not! to start playing it again, but about how a game can consume you completely. You can’t go through life without some sort of unwinding, relaxing time, or however you want to call it. Enjoying life, laughing, dancing, so important to not always take ‘things’ to seriously. Playing games, old school like monopoly or cards and/or computer games, is fun. They are just games.
Survival of the fittest. That’s natures core, therefor in our cores too. The attraction to wargames are explainable and for a long time I thought; better to fight in a game, a surreal world, then in the real world. I fooled myself by thinking; it’s just a game.
The frustration, anger and violence seems to increase worldwide. The level of intolerance drops by the minute, racism and discrimination are order of the day again. Although I’m wondering if it ever did not exist. Social media is increasing too and more and more, one can read an article about online bullying. Children and adults addicted to their mobile phones, tablets, games. Games who have evolved, no longer imaginary animated figures only, but realistic settings and almost impossible to differ real from unreal.
It’s just a game. Is it?
Playing war-games, fighting games, games with the intend to kill one and another. Children seem to grasp the fact the little animated figures are surreal even better as adults. Are they still able to do that with those new evolved realistic games? If I see a young girl beating up her little dog (did really happen and I screamed my longs out of my body to stop her, since I was too far away to get her of the dog) my concern towards the future grows. Children are our future and a song comes into my mind:
“Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be”*
How long will it take, before children stop laughing and nobody is left to remind us how we used to be? I intend to never play a game again wherein I have to stab, shoot, hurt, kill another creature.
It isn’t just a game.
N.B. I’m a Dutch soul, living in Germany, therefore my English will not be perfect 😉
*First couplet, Whitney Houston – Greatest love of all