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THe Psychology of Gaming

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posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 07:27 PM
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Put simply, games are an immersive escape for millions.

More interactive than books or film (to some extent) due to the player's direct involvement, they allow us to create new, temporary versions of ourselves; to do things we would otherwise never have the chance to do; to follow the paths of heroes or villains; and to explore stunning worlds in whatever way we see fit.

And, of course, the best thing about them is we can do it without leaving the comfort of our own homes.

Relaxation and solace at their finest...unless you're one of those folks who enjoys a good rage moment, in which case it can be quite the opposite.

There are few small things in life finer than firing up a new game for the first time. I love it.

P.S. An interesting thread indeed, so thanks to everyone for their contributions thus far.




posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 10:56 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Then your thread title is a misnomer. You're talking about the psychology of gaming; ergo, if you're going to use a psychology term in such a thread, you should probably first learn what it is.

Dissociation (psychology)

If you're not going to use the actual psychological terms properly as defined in a thread that you declared was the psychology of gaming, then well, yeah...that makes what you're doing as basically pulling terms out of a top hat.

It's even more humorous when you're trying to correct someone with dissociation about what it is. Deny ignorance, my friend.
edit on 7/11/14 by WhiteAlice because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

What games are you playing?

I haven't found a game I liked in a long time.

I hate POV/games and shooters. The rotating worlds and motions do not do it for me, though they were amusing for a few years. This rules out 90% of all games.

I also don't enjoy killing things which rules out 98% of all games.

I enjoyed something about old school 2D games like Lode Runner, Pac Man and Kung Fu fighting style games which were appealing, but of course those are now conceptually and graphically dated.

Games like DOTA, Diablo, starcraft, etc. bore me.

I wish someone would come up with a new concept.
edit on 8-11-2014 by nOraKat because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: WhiteAlice

Ok, buddy, could you cool it with the arrogance? Would you like me to post pictures of the dozens of psychology books I own? Or books where dissociation fits in the title?

I clearly am aware of the problems you're referring to; I even acknowledged some of them.

But perhaps, maybe it's your dissociative tendencies, but you are not properly paying attention to what is happening right now.

If the word dissociation bothers you so much, and you want it completely for yourself, replace everywhere that I use "dissociation" with "zoning out".

Clearly, you do not understand the phenomenology of consciousness enough to understand my point.



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: EternalSolace

I think it would be the latter.

Gaming can be very useful mental training. But it depends on how much a part of your life it is.

For example, a certain someone could regard himself as a "gaming champion" - be very proud of it, but have absolutely no "social skills'. Why? In terms of development, there is little doubt to me that his "immersion in gaming" is an adaptive response that is making the best of his own arrested development.

Dissociative disorders are arrests in development. Anyone who knows how good it feels to experience a deep laugh; or to be with others, socially; and to experience all those emotions that we call "embodied", can understand that there is absolutely no comparson between the pleasure of being good at video games and having a successful social life.

The former is a sad state of affairs (if this is all you do) because phenomenologically, in terms of the energetic quality of your human existence, it is dull, stale, repetitive, quiet, and most of all, lonely.

Though of course there is always the possibility that the dissociative video-game player in question would deny that his life "sucks" - but he would be speaking out of ignorance. Perhaps the best person situated to answer this question is someone who has experienced both states; and for this person, the invariable preference is being alive: feeling emotions with other human beings in social contexts. Physically present with them; and not virtually "connecting" - which of course is not the same as most people know.

Schizoid personality disorder is probably the most common 'dissociative' condition for the avid and obsessive gamer. Like I said, when you've been traumatized by life and life has left you dis-associated with your environment (the social world) then you got to fill the vacuum with something else; fortunately for them, video games and computers can fill up their time; and it can even generate interest. But the interest in playing a game - and the focus felt - is of course nothing similar and undoubtedly inferior to the emotions shared with another person phyically present with you. I want to hammer in this point because dissociative people can be really arrogant - and sure of themselves - and in a sense it is quite sad because the don't recognize the extent of their own issue; they don't know, for example, that something early in their life forced their body to inhibit conscious interest in their environments - because their environments had become metabolically taxing. They don't think this. Like Descartes, they probably don't even recognize how their minds are organized by their bodies; and how what they experience subjectively, the quality of their experience, is produced by a developmental history that they are too removed from to understand.

So long as you have a sense of yuor life - and can honestly say to yourself that video games aren't being used to "replace" a lack in your social life - and you aren't being excessive or obsessive with your playing, than video games can be downright useful - as well as entertaining. But I think the entertainment part should take a back seat ontologically to the neurobiological happenings while you're immersed in the game: don't get lost in the act itself; or, don't be ignorant to what the larger picture of what you want in life.

If you play video games with this larger idea in mind - as an act to mental training - you can play the game, get immersed in the story or gameplay. But outside that, you have unwittingly traded off real-life for virtual life. And that, to me at least, is immensely sad.



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Interesting. A differing opinion and a link stating that dissociation is not as you defined it is met with accusations of arrogance and a plea to authority of taking pictures of all the psychology books that you own as if owning psychology books makes one an authority. Additionally, you attack my understanding of consciousness despite the roles of consciousness being something of so much fundamental importance to someone like myself. Could you be anymore fallacious?

Even your remarks below this one are all ad hominems really. Schizoid personality disorder is not on the dissociative spectrum and is not one of its disorders. However, like many other mental disorders, one of schizoid personality disorders subtypes has depersonalization as a facet. That is the only similarity between the two. Dissociative disorder and schizoid personality disorder are two very, very different things. This is the problem that I have with what you're doing. You've done some reading and now you're presenting yourself as an authority on the subjects; however, your comprehension of the subjects and the differences between various disorders is really very significant.

You go on to describe what life must be like for a dissociative video game player and again, you have no real comprehension of the subjects that you're discussing. Dissociative disorder is an abnormal stress response. To put it quite simply, someone with dissociation has enhanced self-protective responses to external stress. That does not mean that the person is in those states around the clock. On the contrary, it simply means that, when given the right scenario that triggers the response (due to it being somewhat approximate to those events that led to the dissociative state), the dissociative individual will dissociate through anything to an altered state of consciousness (fugue, sleep, or in its most extreme, alteration of personality coupled with amnesia) to simply becoming depersonalized for the duration. The rest of the time, an individual with dissociative disorder will be just like anybody else--capable of loving, laughing, and etc. I never had any problems with any of those things. The only expression that I lacked was the ability to cry while intensely depersonalized. However, I can shed quite a few tears if a friend is going through something hard. The tendency towards a failure to cry was solely surrounding those circumstances affecting me personally.

I think you should probably read up some more on dissociative disorder. There's actually an entire thread discussing DID--the most extreme form of dissociative disorder--going on these boards right now where you have several who have been diagnosed with dissociative disorder discussing it. The individual who started that thread was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder and queried about it out of interest for the differing ways that the child brain develops in response to extreme trauma. It might be good for you as well to see that the guy with SPD knows that he has something entirely different from those with dissociation. If you're so interested in psychology, then such a thread and discourse should be of interest to you in developing a better understanding of what you're attempting to talk about.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: WhiteAlice




Interesting. A differing opinion and a link stating that dissociation is not as you defined it is met with accusations of arrogance and a plea to authority of taking pictures of all the psychology books that you own as if owning psychology books makes one an authority. Additionally, you attack my understanding of consciousness despite the roles of consciousness being something of so much fundamental importance to someone like myself. Could you be anymore fallacious?


Fine. Want to talk logic? What have you on your side in this debate? I mentioned my books because I, unlike you, am a psychologist. Because I, unlike you, am already quite aquainted with the orthodox viewpoint. Because I, unlike you, am cogitating this subject at the philosophical and phenomnological level: and this is precisely where you get lost. By referencing wikipedia you unwittingly take whats wrote there as the "de-facto" truth, and not, as I understood it, as a faulty view based on an objectivist "3rd person" analysis.

I also tried to clarify for you this issue, but you overlooked and chose to deny me my obvious superiority on this subject: a superiority implied - and really shouldn't be stated by me - by the fact that I am a psychologist and you are a laymen (in this particular area) who merely knows that he's been diagnosed as "dissociative".

Like I said, there can be a clinical and more general understanding of dissociation. But understanding this really means understanding the phenomena in question: clinical dissociation is pathological; which is to say, a rigid mental structure has formed that keeps its place because of an implicit unrecognized relational trauma that has left the dissociative in a state of rigid self-environment subjective awareness.




Could you be anymore fallacious?


You know whats really fallacious? Your attacking my entire thread based on an issue you have of my use of the term "dissociation"; that, I think, was insulting and very poor reasoning. Think, if you replace just one term - dissociation - for another, "zoning out", the psychology I try to describe still stands. It's still psychology: and by saying that my entire thread amounted to gibberish,because of that one problem - does not mean its "not psychology" as you averred.

Yes, that annoyed me. And yes, my subsequent post was essentially about you. I apologize for that; it was in bad taste and it was personal. But I was still reeling from you wrote earlier. It didn't seem fair, what you wrote.




Schizoid personality disorder is not on the dissociative spectrum and is not one of its disorders


Clearly were operating from a different understanding. Mine is phenomenonological, whereas yours is strictly referential: "this is what wikipedia says!" How do you think these definitions come into being? Do you not think, perhaps, that todays regimented objectivism is ultimately at root for present definitions? Tell me, please how a state of general cognition can morph into "dissociation" - if, logically, there wasn't some continuum between ordinary consciousness and pathological consciousness?

And yes. Schizoid is a "splitting" of cognition from bodily experience; to use winnicotian idea, a break of cognition from the "psyche-soma". I have plenty of books on my shelf on this VERY disorder. It may not be the one that makes personal sense to you, but then again, you have demonstrated that you don't even understand how definitions are established in the first place.




You go on to describe what life must be like for a dissociative video game player and again, you have no real comprehension of the subjects that you're discussing.


Maybe you should check out some of my other threads. I have been dealing with 'developmental trauma'; also known as "relational trauma" or "complex trauma"; a de-facto dissociative disorder. What, again, is meant by this? Post traumatic stress in any form triggers some separation within the mind i.e. a dis-association.

Generally, cognition (or perception) should be coupled with bodily experience. With post-traumatic stress, they become split; the body "enacts" the dissociated affect; while the mind or perception is following another discourse. Thus, there's no connectedness as there should be; as there ordinarily is in a normally functioning mind.

Schizoid personality disorder is another prime example of dissociaton. In this case, the personality becomes blunted and "decathected" from bodily - and thus - environmental experience.

Because response is ultimately rooted in a prerflective awareness of meaningful self-environmental interaction, a normally functioning mind - one experiencing within the "psyche-soma" - does not need to "generate" its affectivity. It happens unconsciously; the self is related to the environment and affects are generated without any conscious activity.

Schizoids, like other traumatized people, have so succesfully dissociated their catalyzing trauma - probably because it originated in preverbal times - that they operate cognitively, but without much input from the body. Thus, they tend to be loners; computer geeks. Basically anything where their "autonomy" can be preserved and their mind can be free from dysregulating affects - hence, unconsciously and implicitly, they are very uncomfortable with high-energy emotion.




That does not mean that the person is in those states around the clock


Did I say that? Again, if you were paying attention to what I've been writing (and perhaps I have just been doing a bad job of explaining it) because every conscious state is a dissociated state - that is, a "unique profile", every state we experience is simultaneously a sef-state: everything we experience is implicitly a part of a "self-network". We have MANY selves; therefore, even the dissociative person - and I dissociate from time to time myself - will have self-states that arise that are affectively "alive" and not dissociative in the clinical and "hypoaroused" i.e. depersonalized, state.

The reason states shift to begin with is because the mind is organized by MEANINGFUL self-environment couplings. Meditate on that. And you'll see that what I'm writing is essentially true. Not because "I invented" - as you may be inclined to thin, but because very intelligent psychoanlysts, influenced by phenomenoloigists like Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-ponty etc, have given us a "science of the subjective" in contemporary psychoanalysis.



The rest of the time, an individual with dissociative disorder will be just like anybody else--capable of loving, laughing, and etc


Dissociative disorders come in many different flavors; you can be pathologically "stuck" in a low-affect state, but stable enough to create a sense of self i.e. schizoid; you can also be in a state of dissociated anxiety i.e post-traumatic stress; you can be in states where the self is literally fractured - one part "knowing and having meaning' that is consciously and semantically separated from other self-states i.e dissociative identity disorder; you can be narcissistic and yet exquisitely sensitive to environmental cues that resurrect dissociated relational traumas i.e. borderline personality disorder.

Suffice to say that dissociation is an area of academic interest for me. I have written a lot about it. Both professionally and casually.



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: WhiteAlice

Buddy, check out Peter Fonagy, Beatrice Beebe, or Donnel Stern or Philip Bromberg for a deeper discussion of this issue.

I don't want to struggle in getting you to understand this subject. This thread was not even about this - but about the phenomenology i.e first person psychology - of video game playing.

I though I introduced some ideas to help people; I even tried to connect it to deeper existential situations, such as how we oreint to the world, and how video game playing can be used to strengthen meta-awareness i.e. ones ability to organize his attention by highlighting certain features of his attention - such as focal-background, the energy one puts into focusing; the flow, or subjective emotional present of attuning to your environment.

If you appreciated anything I wrote, I'm happy I could have been of some help. If not, oh well.



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I don't need the help from someone on an internet forum.



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