Video Games and the Cognitive Dilemma

Throughout my life I’ve spent countless hours on a console. If it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s cognitive dissonance, an emotional intelligence. People have the ability to turn on or off cognitive dissonance. Something I used to struggle with as a vegan was fighting or using animals in a simulation. I turn that off and enjoy the experience. The problem is the experience in a video game simulation has become too real, and that’s where the big picture comes into play. Not everyone responds the same to stimuli.

A developer creates a product that is intended to entertain, but can really root out some deep internal frustrations, sadness, hunger, and even manifest anger. The developer or artist creates a narrative that one can follow or try and choose their own path, depending on how the sandbox they are in is built. Ex: You’re attacked by a trained dog that the only objective for that dog is to try and deal damage to you. By default, you may hesitate. After a few different dogs attack you, you learn that the dogs will always attack you so you throw in some cognitive dissonance and dissociate the dog from being a friendly creature. I’m glad there’s more games that let you pet animals.

Through countless battles and deaths one internalizes defeat and can become very frustrated. It’s ones internal failure that manifests this anger, strong enough to snap a controller in two. One of my personal goals is to remember that video games are intended for entertainment and to tell a story. Trying to laugh off a defeat is likely more healthy than externalizing a defeat and using a destructive behavior.

There’s a lot to be learned and understood in the Gamindustri. Entertainment is an excellent opportunity for self reflection and understanding. There’s also a lot of young undeveloped minds who partake in the same experiences. I can’t fathom how some of the simulations impact other players emotions and behaviors.

Update: Playstation, Nintendo, and Microsoft are formerly addressing some of the issues in online gaming like bullying and harassment. You can read more about this on Xbox’s News website.

Published by The Hylian Vegan

I'm Sean Kilby and I'm from North Carolina I grew up with a great passion for music, arts, books, swimming, biking, soccer, Magic the Gathering, travel, electronic arts, and theme parks (Not Sea Parks). 5 ish years ago I started the process of moving away from animal based foods, now I'm completely vegan for about 2-3 years. I've studied nutrition by reading books, websites, and articles such as Thrive and Bigger, Leaner, Stronger (not a vegan guide). I took the approach of a plant based vegan diet so I didn't have to sustain myself by using an animal product for sustenance. I also do a lot of thought exercises and self reflection, meditation, and mindfulness to navigate through the experiences of life. I place these thoughts on this blog to have a good conversation with myself and others. The biggest and most difficult conversation that is taking place is that the global temperatures are dramatically increasing, putting our global ecosystem in danger due to methane gas from animal agriculture. The hardest part was I had lost the vision to improve the future. My work is ever changing, but setting clear goals have brought me to where I am today. Taking up the e-quill to tell a story.

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