Gam­ing is the ad­dic­tion of the new mil­le­nium

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - OPINION - North­ern Skies XAVIER KATAQUAPIT

Just about ev­ery­where I go these days I am sur­rounded by peo­ple who are into gam­ing. By gam­ing I mean con­sole, PC and on­line games.

There are a lot of games that have to do with war or vi­o­lence in terms of first per­son shoot­ers or FPS. These are shoot­ing games where you are the char­ac­ter that con­trols a weapon that shoots other peo­ple or char­ac­ters.

There are also a mul­ti­tude of sports games hav­ing to do with hockey, car rac­ing and all types of per­for­mance ve­hi­cles. There are also MMORPG which is short form for mas­sively mul­ti­player on­line role-play­ing games. These types of games have to do with you be­ing a char­ac­ter in a dig­i­tal world where you play in sce­nar­ios and set­tings with hun­dreds or even thou­sands of other play­ers on-line.

These games are mostly played on a con­sole plat­form such as the Xbox or Plays­ta­tion or a PC how­ever gam­ing is now be­com­ing pop­u­lar on smart phones. These games are very se­duc­tive and in many cases highly de­vel­oped with in­cred­i­ble life-like graph­ics and story lines.

One huge prob­lem with gam­ing in gen­eral is the amount of time it takes up as peo­ple be­come more or less ad­dicted to them and spend count­less hours sit­ting and play­ing them. It be­comes their world and is of­ten an escape from re­al­ity. Gam­ing can be like a drug or al­co­hol ad­dic­tion in many ways.

Al­though it seems harm­less it causes a lot of prob­lems.

Some of these games can con­trib­ute to con­fu­sion with re­al­ity and real life. Some of them are so vi­o­lent that they can cause a per­son to nor­mal­ize vi­o­lence. Shoot­ing other char­ac­ters is a big part of many of these games.

Per­haps the big­gest prob­lem with play­ing these games is that a per­son be­comes very seden­tary and spends so much time sit­ting and not mov­ing that it be­comes un­healthy. Some­times gamers for­get to eat or in­stead have drinks that are not good for them. They con­sume a lot of junk food so they do not have to leave their game and they drink high en­ergy liq­uids to keep them go­ing. Some­times gamers will go for many hours with­out sleep.

i have al­ways en­joyed games as they were an in­ter­est­ing form of escape for me when i was liv­ing back home in at­tawapiskat. how­ever, these days there is bet­ter on-line ser­vice in re­mote First na­tions and a mul­ti­tude of games to be­come ad­dicted to. First na­tion youth are al­ready deal­ing with dif­fi­cult times in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties so gam­ing is very at­trac­tive to them as an escape. many peo­ple on First na­tions also don’t have ac­cess to healthy di­ets so sit­ting and play­ing games con­trib­utes to obe­sity and lack of ex­er­cise or mo­ti­va­tion to do things.

di­a­betes is al­ready a huge prob­lem on an epi­demic scale with so many First na­tions. The ad­dic­tion to gam­ing with peo­ple ded­i­cat­ing much of their day to sit­ting in front of their mon­i­tor means they are not both­er­ing to eat well and not get­ting any de­cent ex­er­cise. i think we are pro­duc­ing a new young crop of peo­ple with di­a­betes be­cause of ad­dic­tions to gam­ing.

Peo­ple are gen­er­ally spend­ing so much time on all their de­vices play­ing games, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­ers and brows­ing the world wide web. This is hap­pen­ing with peo­ple walk­ing on the streets in ci­ties and towns as they carry on con­ver­sa­tions with­out re­ally know­ing what is go­ing on around them. They are do­ing the same while driv­ing their ve­hi­cles and i see many in restau­rants with friends and fam­ily. it is so strange to be sit­ting with friends and fam­ily at a gath­er­ing but re­al­iz­ing that half the peo­ple are some­where else in their on-line world through their smart phones or tablets. i find it re­ally weird be­cause it is special to be able to get to­gether with friends and fam­ily for a visit but dis­ap­point­ing when they do not re­ally com­mit to in­volv­ing them­selves in this so­cial op­por­tu­nity.

Gam­ing makes sense in some ways but re­ally i be­lieve in gen­eral the neg­a­tives out­weigh the ben­e­fits. Teens and peo­ple in their 20s and 30s should be think­ing about how to have in­ter­est­ing ca­reers that sat­isfy them. They should be work­ing to con­trib­ute in some way to their fam­i­lies, friends and com­mu­ni­ties in the real world. They could be think­ing of trav­el­ling to other places in the world in search of new ex­pe­ri­ences and cul­tures. Those are real life games i be­lieve in.

We only have one life to play with in this re­al­ity. We should do our best to rack up as many ex­pe­ri­ence points in the game of life and keep our health bar as full as pos­si­ble.

re­al­ity is what you make it.

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