Video Games as Mythology; Not Behaviorism

Individuals who play video games are yet again under attack from media for addiction effects.  Research into these “problems”, as some people seem to be calling it, has shown conclusively that behaviorist approaches to this are not quite understanding this phenomena.  A reason this may be happening is due to behaviorist approaches not taking into consideration a deeper perspective of looking at video games rather than an outside approach.  What I mean by this is there have been at least 17 different addiction surveys looking at whether there is an addiction problem.  Even the faulty DSM-V has concluded (surprisingly) these methods have been inconclusive.

What I project and surmise is we are looking at this from a negative perspective and therefore are “damning” the effect and positive regard gaming can do for us.  For instance, they allow a different perspective to be had in another realm.  When we are bound by our own physics and capabilities here in reality, gaming allows us to try different ways of viewing worlds with other norms and standards unlike our own.  Personality comes into play as well by the ability to take on different personas in game that are unlike our own.  Some research has shown this to be a major impact into decision making and why styles of play are pursued over others.

What we can do as therapists and psychologists is to look at video gaming as a new story telling of our lives.  Additionally, it can be looked at as incorporating mythology into the individual’s life in a way to allow them to play out a different way of living.  To take this into account, you need to be fluent in geek culture while also have at the very least some basic video game knowledge of interactions within the game to understanding the different genres.

Mythology is so very influential on our society, why wouldn’t we be drawn towards it?  It has been so important to define who we are individually and socially, yet is rarely looked upon these days.  In fact, some parts of the world and theoretical models even state that we crave it to the point we begin to act out these new and old myths in our daily lives.  Video games allow the individual playing them to try out these myths in a new way.  Looking to mythology and gaming would increase the ability to work with the individual playing the game while also not condemning them for playing a game that they love.  We are drawn towards them, why try to stop it by controlling it; instead try to understand the draw and work with it instead.  Video games are not inherently bad, it is all about the view one takes to understanding the situational and contextual variables that are right in front of the individual rather than projecting our own beliefs onto the individual.

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