Monday, February 11, 2008

The addictiveness of systemic thought

A little 10 minute post here.

I've had my share of small addictions; happily, no chemicals or criminal behavior, but things which nevertheless have taken an embarrassing toll on my waking hours. Video games are not alone on that list, but they are chief among them. The game addiction is a corruption of a passion which has been the same source as my best and most redeeming work.

In a game, the impulse to succeed, to excel, to explore, to complete, is detached from the threatening body of real life and placed on a hamster wheel, where it becomes a perpetual motion machine of exponential acceleration. Where failures have no sting, and the potential for improvement is near infinite, the achieving impulse builds on itself without checks or controls until it threatens to consume everything else. One is reminded of a couple of scenes from "Spiderman 2".

The video game is a system. It is, as my friend Brother Thomas would say, the epitome of the metaphysics of presence. Absence--silence, nothingness, inactivity, darkness--has no inherent value, and time itself has no value, except as a container for presences. The metaphysics of presence is inherently addictive--like the slot machine,

No comments: