It is my last full day in England today. I must say there have been a few unexpected events. Baby Nahum (who was born just a few days ago) ended up in the hospital with a blood infection. It has been a tough week for everyone. Thankfully, after some painful tests and treatments, baby Nahum will come home today. Tam and I have stayed at the house to take care of the three other kids most of the week. Towards the end, I got sick too. So with everything happening unexpectedly and getting sick, I ended up spending a good amount of hours playing Nintendo.
I’m glad I don’t own a Nintendo. I started to get an idea of how it might ruin my life. I got an idea of what video game addiction could be like. I can’t lie though, I had a good time. My game of choice here was 007 Nightfire. I like the whole agent thing.
Tam’s dad once mentioned the kind of drug dose video gaming can be and it really made me aware of how video games can relate to other addictions. In my video game, the end goal was to finish each level. This often took me hours (which I know I’m pretty slow at compared to a lot of kids out there). But in the minutes that filled those hours, I had one amazing kill after another. That felt great since I could usually get hit a good number of times but my bullets seemed to have a much more biased effect on my enemy. All along in the game, I am told that I am stronger, better, faster, and just plain cooler. Sweet.
Endorphins are the natural chemical released in your brain to give the sensation of pleasure. Although happiness and joy are related to the emotion, I think pleasure is the best description since it is more of a momentary state of being. Endorphins are released in natural ways like exercising. I usually feel great after a good fast walk, and I ALWAYS feel great after a good surf. Endorphins are also released when you sneeze. Ever feel a little ditzy after a good sneeze? When you’re feeling down, just grab a pepper shaker and sneeze till you can’t sneeze anymore. That ought to give you a good buzz. Many drugs out there are focused on getting endorphins to release un-naturally. The problem is that every time you do the drugs to get endorphine-released or “high” your normal state of equilibrium is lower than before. The end result is that eventually you need to get high in order to just feel normal.
Every time, as a Nintendo 007 agent, I kill my enemy and I get that quick little endorphin dose…blam! But after awhile of playing I need more just to make me feel normal again, so I gotta grab the big missle launcher…kah-blam! That’s more like it. With all the little blams and kah-blams going off, my little brain is shooting me doses of endorphins. So after I’ve turned the Nintendo off, I’m still thinking about how I need to turn it back on and finish the next level. Its an endless road because if I finish the next level, there’s another level. And if I happen to finish the game, then there’s always another game to conquer.
Kind of like life. Always something else to do, something else to conquer. I’m always the one to get sucked into it all too. This treadmill of working to feel better, then working just to feel normal, then working not to feel totally depressed.
Musicians I believe have a greater tendency toward addictions. I’m addicted to coffee. That is my only addiction that I am proud of (besides my wife of course.) My coffee addiction can be annoying at times such as here in England where tea is more of the staple warm drink. But I love the consistency of one thing in my life that I get to have every morning. With a propensity toward other addictions though, I see a pattern in my life that I know I need to stay clear of.
So now that I’ve written this blog, if I get an Xbox or Nintendo someday, I will have a lot of people mad at me because of this. And most likely I will have either figured out a way of restricting myself, or I will be red-eyed and sore-thumbed from one of the most genius yet ridiculous inventions in the entertainment industry. Since the book publishing industry is bout half of what it used to be as a result of short attention spans and brief internet doses, I think I’ll go read a book now.