After being killed the 500th time by the evil General Raam (yes, I have graduated him to evil) in my alternate existence on the Xbox 360, I wandered back over to SL. I stayed up with alpha and FD until 2am, which was more than a little too late. We visited a wonder French cathedral, and then started to expound on the virtues of ancient pieces of computer equipment. It was only this morning, as my animator dragged his sleep deprived body to work that I began to wonder about the subjectiveness of addiction.
Why is it that some activities are considered normal and others are frowned upon? I’m not talking about alcohol or drugs, but rather activities generally considered “safe”, at least physically.
If my animator wasn’t playing the Xbox 360 or experiencing SL through my eyes, what would he be doing instead? Statistically, he would be watching television, an extremely passive media. However, my animator doesn’t even have cable access, and it would take him several minutes to figure out how to get the television to actually show a television show through the rabbit ears. He might also read a book (I don’t think there are too many people who consider “reading” to be an addiction). Again, however, it is a passive activity.
There exists a strong mental stimulation in Xbox games and in SL. Xbox games require strategy and problem solving. SL allows for creative expression and actual social interaction. From some viewpoints, this is a far better use of time than watching endless Simpsons reruns.
So, again, I come back to the definition that basically says that addictions are anything that prevents you from meeting social obligations. Writing, gardening, painting, playing music; any of these can be defined as addictions. Ironically, it takes addiction to excel at something. To excel at playing the piano, one generally has to be addicted to piano playing–an addiction I have been unable to cultivate. No one really gives a damn if Itzhak Perlman is addicted to playing the violin. It was that addiction that made him what he is.
So, again I a victim of a trying to make a point but having it wander randomly all over the screen, and now I am unable to find it. May all your addictions be happy ones.