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  • “I Don’t Think, My Fingers Think.”

    Posted on April 9th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    After reading Sherry Turkle’s “Video Games and Computer Holding Power” one video game came to mind.  That one video game was Beatles Rock Band.  I felt that my experience with Beatles Rock Band paralleled Marty’s experience with Asteroids. I felt that we had similar personalities and played the video game for similar reasons.

    Marty describes himself as “a real worrier. A real ‘type A person.'” “The game forces him into another mental space where the thoughts and the cares of his day cannot intrude.” “The game allows him to feel swept away and in control to have complete power and yet lose himself in something outside.” “It’s the relaxation of forcing himself to withdraw from the rate race, yet receiving a score that reassures him that he is the winner.”

    I would also describe myself as a real worrier. A real “type A person.” I find it difficult to escape the anxiety of tasks upon tasks I have to complete. However, the anxiety is suppressed when I play Beatles Rock Band. I purchased the game junior year of high school. In a under a week my best friend and I had managed to beat the game on all levels of difficultly from beginner to expert. We couldn’t stop. Marty describes the feeling “where he feels like an extension of the game or the game is an extension of him.” After that week I realized that the movements my fingers made on a guitar were similar to those movements made when on a keyboard. I did not think about what buttons to press but saw the trigger on the screen and my finger pushed the button. It was as if my mind had created a short cut. “Call it ‘muscle memory,’ call it ‘flow,’ call it ‘trusting your instincts’ – the experience of feeling a continuity between mind and body is part of the inner game.” I did not work at this feeling, this feeling simply came. It was relaxing. It was a sort of meditation.

    It is this feeling that leads “one to say he or she is more “possessed” by the game then playing it. I think everyone can relate to telling themselves “one more game.” More times than not there will be more than one more game. What is it that causes this addiction? Why doesn’t this addiction wear-out? We may never know. However, what we do know is that the feeling is unlike any other achieved through drugs, alcohol, or any sort of psychoanalysis. Maybe video games will be the next form of medication.


    2 responses to ““I Don’t Think, My Fingers Think.”” RSS icon

    • I also like to play video games, like you I use them as an escape. However, I am drawn to video games with stories in them…you do not really have the same convergence of mental and physical. I wonder what the parallel is…I certainly have felt the feeling you are describing in music before, but not so much in video games that I play.

    • Jordan Jacobson

      I had the same thought when I was reading Turkel’s piece. It’s so hard to find something that will fully engage you to the point where you are not really engaged with the “Real” world at all. I feel like I need something like this in my life these days! However, I’m not too sure how I feel about it being a medication. I like the idea of having an escape when you are stressful, so maybe there is a therapeutic way to video gaming. But, what makes it so engaging? Most guys are engaged in violent games, whereas girls and boys alike both share a common interest in Rock Band. What is this circular effect of violence in video games? Does it act as a catharsis? Is that why the therapeutic aspect of video gaming is so prominent? How does this work with rock band? Interesting…

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