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.