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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

The-Eden-Mind

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  1. Dear Cameron, Im here replying to your question. Question: would a "why you should stop gaming" section be the "title" you'd want? The reason I ask is because I know a lot of people "on the fence" may be defensive to a title like that (as in the title implies that it's going to tell them that they should quit). I think you deliver a very good point. Although a lot of the people on the fence quite literally want to be persuaded to stop playing video games, like myself, I also think there are people who are on the fence leaning on the other side, and can't visibly see the effects video games have on the brain. Perhaps instead of "why you should quit playing video games" you could include a chapter titled "your brain on video games", as it isn't critical of gamers and simply lays out the effects of video games, pertaining to things that gamers are interested in and typically have problems with - including a lack of motivation, social anxiety, depression, boredom with 'normal' 'unstimulating' activities, like, say, being outside. Like I said, a lot of people such as me are on the fence. Many gamers have social anxiety, lack motivation, depression and other such problems and have an inner struggle. A struggle between the desire to not have the mentioned problems, and a desire to continue playing video games and drown out that rather unsettling 'reasonable' voice in their heads. It's your job with this book to let these people fully realise, with complicated science explained simply, that many of these issues are due at least partially to gaming, and perhaps other forms of technology as well. If you can convince people that these effects are due to gaming, and not simply unfortunate character quirks, while at the same time telling them how they can find happiness and content in other, 'real' activities I think you'll reinforce that voice in people's heads, telling them what they already probably subconsciously know. Im especially interested in the idea of you explaining the 'supernormal stimulus' that is video games. If you don't already know (you probably do) a supernormal stimulus is something that stimulates us beyond what is 'natural' or rather what we've been exposed to for over millions of years. E.G sugary chocolate bars such as snickers are a super stimulus, as they are much sweeter than fruits or honey. If you're interested in the science, definitely check out Doug Lisle's ted talk and book 'The Pleasure Trap' where he explains the idea of a super stimulus, but in relation to food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX2btaDOBK8 There is also some research looking at the super stimulus that is pornography (looking at hundreds of videos of women / men is much more stimulating visually than we are used to) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oFVOJf0TzY The problem with super stimuli is that the body simply isn't built to cope with that much stimulation, so it causes a 'numbed pleasure response' (fruit doesn't taste as good, real women aren't as attractive which leads to people getting fat and having erectile dysfunction) who knows how serious the effects of video games are, since they are so much more stimulating than say a sweet treat, as it completely encompasses our attention and hits our brain over the head with amazing graphics, immersion, sounds, action, lights, music - so much more than the body is built to cope with. Is it any surprise that children in Africa or other impoverished countries have the time of their life simply being alive, kicking a ball, running around, yet the children of the first world are constantly bored, no matter which gadget, video game or doo-hickey they come across? (After all, how could kicking a ball compare to the super stimulus that is call of duty?) Could it be the swarm of video games, apps, and possibly even television (I know you aren't focusing on that, but I think its relatable) that cause us to become so numb that even playing video games becomes dissatisfying, yet they are the only thing that comes close to making us feel an ounce of enjoyment, decreasingly so over time? THIS is what I want to see in your book, the science is out there, obviously not very organized but It is out there, and it's your job to put it together if possible. TLDR - You don't have to be critical of people, simply lay the science of video game addiction out there. Reinforce what so many people already believe about video games, that it is addicting, that it leads to decreased motivation, happiness and pleasure in the real world. Educate people, with science, on exactly what video games (and perhaps technology in general, if you feel so daring) are doing to their brain, how they can feel fulfilment and happiness without video games, and adjust to 'real' activities such as real world communication and play, which are perhaps 'less stimulating' but arguably do so much more for our feeling of contentment. After all, we evolved with these real world activities for millions upon millions of years. Real world socialisation and play is what makes us happy, and I think most people already know that, but the real world has its trials, and no do-over button, and you can stuff up big time, but its still so much more worth it, so much more important to us as humans. Anyway, thats the end of my little ramble, I hope I helped you, and I look forward to your book! (This was completely unedited and only written once so forgive me for any mistakes) Contact doug lisle and gary wilson, the author of your brain on porn, for more information if you can't find it yourself. Perhaps they can help, even if their specialty isn't video games. Ramble edit number 2 - Although this sounds a bit cheesy, perhaps in one part of the book you could introduce a section challenging the reader to compare the experience of playing video games to the experience of doing something in the real world. (perhaps a number of stepping stone challenges, such as going to the beach, bunjee jumping even?) Although many people like gaming in the moment, many of us feel, after a long gaming session where our dopamine and pleasure receptors are absolutely obliterated and desensitised (usually after an all nighter playing the witcher 3) I think I can speak for many people when I say that often people feel afterwards that it was a waste of time. Nobody looks back on their life and thinks "I wish I had more time playing video games" and other than childhood, video games in general feel like a blur to many people, unlike the experiences we have in the real world, like being of assistance to others, helping people, enjoying a view, hiking (thats a good challenge idea, hiking. Get in touch with nature yo) Not to mention being with family, but perhaps video games desensitise us to these activities as well. Anyway I hope that helped.
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