Ok so, technically I am a ‘grown up’ but then again I am not. I’m not there yet. Let’s face it, ‘growing up’ is becoming more and more a spurious idea that attempting to fulfill is a like finding Fenn Foster’s missing treasure chest. However, we do come to points in our lives when we think about being asked as a child “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” and then thinking of our current situation and see that they don’t sync. We wanted to be ballerina, veterinarians, circus clowns and we turned into accountants, hedge fund investors, and lawyers. There isn’t anything wrong with changing your paths, but the moment you turn back and contemplate “What if” is when you shake the foundation of your identity.
My father works a world renown Jewish appetizer store where everyone wore a white coat. I took it one day for my 5th grade career day presentation where this same question was asked of me. When it was my turn, I stood tall with my big bottle coked glasses and oversize white lab coat draping over my body and blustered “When I grow up, I want to be a Mad Scientist!” You’d think the room would roar in laughter, but till this day I never fully understood why the room fell silent. Maybe it was the force behind my small petite voice that articulated such a menacing exclamation. Quickly passing me to the next person, I remember still proudly tripping about as if I had prophesied a miracle, but would it truly come to pass? Would I turn evil and run amok like the greatest villains in comic books and anime culture?
As I grew up, I became aware that “madness” is subjective. One person’s insane is another sane. Playing video games so much as a kid was ‘crazy.’ Now, if you playing video games for a living your ‘cool’ making millions a year. If your into computers and technology, your ‘hip’ and successful. Dorks in the 90s are CEOs in the new digital age. Kids bullied are now hiring the bullies to do their dirty work. ‘Madness’ is at it’s climax right now.
So what is my madness? I’ll tell you. It’s the idea the video games can change the world. When we play video games, we gain reinforcement, recognition, entitlement, socialization, accomplishments, love, happiness, and more by the Eustress we put in. Eu- is the Greek word meaning either “well” or “good” so when we attached the word stress it literally means “good stress”. This is the self-fulfillment we lack in our daily lives. To say gamers ‘escape’ from reality to virtual reality isn’t far from the truth. However, what if we take components of the virtual and made life more meaningful? What if we had meetings at work with the same positive reinforcement mechanism? What if schools change their curriculum from test taking to simulation assessments?
The problem with this idea already is you think I’m ‘mad’ or out of my mind for thinking to put video games in anything else besides entertainment. In which I retort, “No I think your mad for not thinking beyond the limitations it offers.” We simply look at video games as entertainment but it’s not. Just like books are windows into new worlds, music tap into emotions and experiences, or photos are memories.
Life is strange. More and more I feel madness becomes that to which we don’t care to understand. What turns out to happen is those that can’t understand something or cope with it’s evolution fall behind. A revolution is coming if it’s not already here. To get a better glimpse at what I mean, take a look at some articles on the combination of video games and psychology.
Let the madness unfold.