November 02, 2006

A Dark View Into the Future of Game Addiction

Reality by Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell

A truly shocking illustration of young boy’s unfortunate addiction to the popular massively multiplayer online video game World of Warcraft.

From the artist Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell:

First, World of Warcraft- and videogames in general- were not specific inspirations in the creation of this picture. Obviously these "total experience" VR goggles don't really exist. I was more concerned with escapism in general. Not just the fact that it is a pervasive facet of our culture, but the fact that it is downright EASY. It's easy to relate to it, because everyone escapes into something when they can't handle life. I, personally, used to escape into books to avoid my problems.

Books, videogames, drugs, food, TV- anything can be used as a tool for escapism. Videogames, and other such distractions, are not the cause of the problem, they are only a symptom. If efforts are to be made, it should be at the source of things- the very nature of our society, and of our species. By attacking the symptom, and not the problem, we compromise ourselves, our civil rights and the very cause that we hoped to accomplish in the first place.

Reality by Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell [deviantART]


Comments

This is the most over exadurated picture ive ever seen. The kid looks like hes in a Crack House. Obviously not...considering you need a good computer, monthly fee money, and the internet to play World of Warcraft. Hes obviously not too bad off in the way of money. And what are these goggles? Lol...you guys will go to any lenghts to make video games look like the "devil" you americans with nothing better to do.

I'm glad to see that his mother is taking all that time to comfort her child.

The are two parties at possible fault in this photo. The game and the upbringing (or environment...probably more appropriate). So, which of the two is there for him? The game of course. Indirectly, any friends made while playing are also there for him.

Additionally, can I assume that we are dealing with a representation of the near future? Goggles like those do not exist presently. Does the living space of this boy look like a representation of a quality lifestyle. If I was his guardian, if there was no way I knew to help him away from the game I would at least provide a chair or perhaps some shoes as they are less expensive than a carpet. Seems like a lack of care in my opinion.

That not saying the game described is fault free. The nature of it means that it requires a time investment to 'be the best', an activity that is in our nature to strive towards. One thing is for certain, it is defiantly not marketed with an aim to undermine lives.

The developers, Blizzard, are intelligent and imaginative folk. It is actually less productive for their business if the game is 'power played' as it requires that they expand the game content more frequently. I'm sure they are as against detrimental gaming schedules as the artist of this piece is.

heh, sorry to say it, but that looks more like splinter cell headgear to me...

what a poor confused child

If I lived in a house like that, I'd be putting those goggles and escaping that reality too.

If you read the artist's comments on his picture it has nothing to do with World of Warcraft. He meant it to be intrepretive and to take his piece to try to condemn video games because that's how your twisted mind sees it is truly appalling.

"I'm glad to see that his mother is taking all that time to comfort her child."

Perhaps in your mind this is real--in actuality this picture is as fake as the video games you loathe. If the people at this site could think of some concrete issues to talk about perhaps people would care.

Nevermind, I just read your site header and started laughing very hard--"the most disturbing trend: clans and guilds, an underground video game phenomenon which closely resembles gangs"

Maybe to people as ignorant as yourselves they really do.

Here is a great idea, mothers get ready...
*drum role*
.....
.....
....

Why don't you stop buying your kids violent games and raise them yourself instead of sitting them infront of a box that screws them up anyway, video game or not. Don't try to ruin an industry just because you can't raise your kids. Take them outside, take a road trip, they need to experience life, not Nickelodian or Cartoon Network.

I myself play World of Warcraft, and I know many people who do.

It has not effected me or my friends in any way we are all active in school sports and out of schools sports and we have made the honor roll many times. We do not bully people, belittle people or intentionally hurt people.

We play video games because they are fun *gasp* can you believe that video games....being ....fun?

We don't think of it as a fake reality we think of it as a time waster, if it's cold out or if we have nothing better to do we can meet up on line and do things.

I find it horrible that people like you make a site about how video games are evil and yet haven't played any video games yourself and have only talked to more people in white coats who also say video games are the devil.

I'm the artist who drew the picture in question, so I think I deserve to speak for myself. I prefer to be notified when my work is hijacked for a political cause; a third party pointed it out to me. Thank you for linking back to me, at least.

First, World of Warcraft- and videogames in general- were not specific inspirations in the creation of this picture. Obviously these "total experience" VR goggles don't really exist. I was more concerned with escapism in general. Not just the fact that it is a pervasive facet of our culture, but the fact that it is downright EASY. It's easy to relate to it, because everyone escapes into something when they can't handle life. I, personally, used to escape into books to avoid my problems.

Books, videogames, drugs, food, TV- anything can be used as a tool for escapism. Videogames, and other such distractions, are not the cause of the problem, they are only a symptom. If efforts are to be made, it should be at the source of things- the very nature of our society, and of our species. By attacking the symptom, and not the problem, we compromise ourselves, our civil rights and the very cause that we hoped to accomplish in the first place.

This is the only thing on this site i have seen that is not laughable. And it is only not laughable due to the artists comments. Escapism is a natural reaction by humans to life. I completely agree that any distraction used to get away from reality should be used in moderation. As a gamer I understand how easy it is to get sucked into a game but I also realize if it wasn't that it could be something far more harmful.

fairly children are controlled by these games.
utterly we must do something to stop this.
children need to be more social.
keeping games in our homes hurts.
yes these were things to take over pearl harbor.
our children are in grave danger.
useful stuff would be reading...NOT GAMING!

Everything I have read on this sight so far has been complete ludicrous. I am a 14-year-old who PLAYS World of Warcraft and I guarantee I am - In better shape, smarter, and speak better then alot of those of you who support this sight. And why, you ask? Because of two things, firstly, because you have nothing else to do, which means there is probably nothing else you COULD do, and also, because as far as I have seen, those who do not believe in the things being said on here, speak/type much better then those who support these articles

The above author is a prime example

Some of this is laughable,
I have yet to see solid FACTUAL evidence that this causes any damages to our youth, back in my day it was MTV that was considered to be the scapegoat for uber-conservatives to try and go up against in a shock campaign.

I myself am what most consider a hardcore gamer, I work a 50-ish hour work week, After i get off i come home, eat, shower, and play some half life 2, i play it for hours on end, not becuse i like killing real people, but because i have a close circle of friends there, we know each other, without seeing each other....But enough capt'n Crunch stuff.

In my humble opinion,
I believe LeetSpeak to be a very useful tool,
But as with all tools, it can be horribly misused. For instance, In the military, a squad of marines uses hand signals in combat,
they are short, and to the point, much like leetspeak. Because in combat a commander in a night op isn't going to shout "I see two men around the corner" to his fellows.

Leetspeak is very practical, to the point, and if used within context can be a very helpful tool, it's done wonders on my SMS bills(that'd be a text message for phones for all you stuck ups).

In any case, i think jack thompson is just a washed up Person who thinks that the government should watch his kids instead of himself regulating what his kids watch.

And to you parents who say " oh well i'm different, i use the V-chip to block all unwanted content from my home.
That device sickens me, it shows a lack of discipline, not on the childs part, but on the adults for not having enough authority to keep their kids in line.

Oh, BTW, I am a 22 year old who graduated from high school with full honors at 16 and had a degree by the time i was 20. May i also mention that i am a Baptist Preachers Kid who enjoys Death matches with his father online?

Yes, even my Dad knows how to have a good time
with a game...why?
Because its a game, and i'm sorry to say that no manner of game or television show influences a child more than his own upbringing and his peers.

So parents, do not place blame where it isn't due, the only reason a child turns into a monster is because his/her parents and so called "friends" were never there for them.

The Columbine Shooters were not influenced by KMFDM, Satan, Or videogames to pull the trigger. They made that decision themselves, a decision which could have been averted had Someone shown an intrest in them.

Look I have been playing video games since I was five and that was thirteen years ago. I also am an avid reader, and very active in my school. I see it as a crappy excuse for parents to find a scapegoat, most parents don't spend any time with their kids and the kids become "anti-social." Some people are not good in social situations, commonly known as being shy, so in video games they can be less nervous because they are not there in person but there through a character. I also have played violent video games and love playing them, not for killing, but as a way to have fun.

Fun (adv) meaning the process of enjoying oneself with what one finds entertaining.

There is a thing called the game rating system (GRS) where it tells you what is in the game. Maybe if parents didn't have their heads so far up their butts they might just notice these things. My parents looked to see what was in games before they let me buy them, hey there is a novel concept. TRY USING IT!!!Quit finding scapegoats parents, you are there to guide your kids. I may not always be the most obediant child but I love my parents because they raised me right by CENSURING what I played. Another thing most parents complain about the Grand Theft Auto games because their kids played them, HELLO they are rated M+ which translates hey only 17+ should play me because there is something only once they reach a certain age should be seeing. You also complain about war games, in case you didn't get the Memo America is at war!!! (sorry to those who are affended) Call of Duty teaches about WWII and what the soldiers had to do without putting them through the stress of the real deal. I learn from video games, so how does that make it bad?

I'm an 18 year old student who is very much a peaceful person. I have a girl friend and live a somewhat normal life. I have never killed and never plan to.

you are missing the whole point of the picture. you should actually read what Eran wrote, before jumping to assumptions

"First, World of Warcraft- and videogames in general- were not specific inspirations in the creation of this picture."

that doesnt really seem like its having a punt at World of Warcraft now does it. nor at any video game specifically.

its rather having a go at our society as a whole as we rely on media to provide an escapement to our reality. its saying that our culture as a whole is whats wrong, not just specifically video games.

you need to focus on the fact that there are larger issues out there today than just video games.

Wow, does this post deserve my attention or what? Such a diverse subject as well. The picture above does display a potential issue some people may have and in some way do have. All in all our life's experiances are what we make of them and if any such person, as depicted above is allowed to reach such a state with any knowledgable loved ones near, then I truly shake my head. Games, like reading a good book are fun. And the psychological notation that these games are involved with deeper psychological desires is to a definite extent spot on. Exactly, correctomundo! But the same goes for books, sports and other challenges where bettering your oppenent makes you the winner. Now as humans we are designed to grow goth mentally and physically. So people should have much more of a life than this game. If someone you know is starting to get anything like the picture above, they need your help! And like stated above, there are many issues that play into the state of video games today. these issues actually go far and beyond anything to do with games. They do, like books, etc. offer and escape from reality that can be pleasing to the player,or likewise the reader. Like reading stephen King. I honestly read his books for every tid bot of excitment and horror because it does tingle my senses in a safe environment I know is not real and I can put it down, or turn it off anytime I don't like the way things are going. Thusly the atmosphere is very safe. You can also adjust parental settings on WOW to limit how long your children can play and under what settings. And contrary to this whole attack an games being bad and like depictions listed above, there are many succesful and fruitful people that play games. Some of us even get inspiration and time to relax. I'm in the army frequently deployed in thrid world coutnries etc. It helps out out to play games in softened environments where you can get away for a while. I dare say it is an extreme MINORITY that anyone gets as bad as the picture listed above. And people being people will sometimes go astray. You will always have a few, gamers, drinkers, smokers, the lactose intolerant, diabetics, that will push their limits and fall. does this make alcohol bad? Do we ban the distribution of cheese? Do we return all that good chocolate to Germany? No. The answer for all of this is no. If someone has a problem, do not point solely at the substance. Now you may have to remove that substance from an individual whom it may not be healthy for. That case has and will occur. But in such cases, it is sheer ignorance to attack games or the gaming industry as a whole as if it were some big monster. Yeah they want to make their money, but look at the bright side. They got people who don't like what they do coming up with prameters and guidelines that need to be enforced, like with parental control settings, which most games and game-like devices come with these days. If you as a parent haven't taken interest in these enough to make these settings, you probably should do that a lot sooner than just trying to ban games from your children's lives. Their friends will be playing and you will be far better off educating and help regulating rather than prohibiting. Because hey, kids are kids and when they want to get into something they go for it. And if there's no logical explanation why that makes sense to them they will often go their own way. No I'm not saying their disobediance should be overlooked. To the contrary if they disobey you to participate in these games then there is an obvious issue or respect, etc. But just like if Johnny wants to play football. Telling him it's a bad game, or that "FOOLZBALL IS THE DEVIL" quote from waterboy, you're not really helping them. They will seek out more educated answers from their freinds if they can't get them from you. And guess which they are more likely to go for. So when educating your children, don't fail in forming some kind of understanding. Games are fun and should be enjoyed, but if to some unhealthy extent they have taken over their lives, then intervene you must.
But this is such a broad subject and again one of much itnerest. I feel obligated to post more.
:)

Sephiroth Na, you make a very good point. You get a "Tip of the Hat". As for 'Rick', shove off. I've learned plenty of vocabulary from video games, including various medival weaponry, so I know I'd excel as a historian for the Middle Ages. And what's not to say that we who play video games don't read? I play many hours of Guild Wars and Final Fantasy, as well as a bit of Sword of Mana, and yet I read at least one hour everyday by CHOICE. They open your mind to new ideas you never thought possible before, so for that, you get a major "Wag of the Finger". Nick, good post. You, like Sephiroth Na, get a "Tip of the Hat". And just so you know, MAVAV, I usually play an excess of 5 hours every day on the weekend, and yet I have excellent grammar. Go figure.

You said you "escaped" into books. Books can be just as violent as video games, and so can movies. So why not just make a site against all those things?

Just because you play a violent game doesn't mean you suddenly become violent. And you should be relieved the kids are only being violent in the games, and not real life. Video games are a way to do things that you can't, shouldn't and won't do in real life, plus they're just plain fun.

And anyway, what's something like Paper Mario gonna do? Make us try to give each other paper cuts? Or, perhaps, make us want to throw turtles around?

As for MMORPGs, they allow us to make friends online, without actually meeting in person, so we can chat about things we have in common in a fantasy setting. Runescape is fun, and World of Warcraft must be if all those kids are on there playing.

And about that picture... Not gonna happen. That's just unrealistic, and stupid. You're judging video games and the people who play them too harshly.

jesus christ. what do u ahve agaist video games. there fun. not all shootings have to do with video games. they are fun and entertaining. what else do we have to do all day. u soccer moms banned everything awesome from tv and now video games. so what. just because u hate vodeo agmes doesnt mean u should have the world hate them. an stop making stuff up just so people will go to your side. guess whta, im 15 and my brother is 11 and we both love Grand theft auto and we dont shoot people. i dont steal cars and speed. i love racing games but i dont street race. we only have one fun thing u guys havent takin away from us, video games so go back to your life and stop tuining ours.

my theory: you take away all the fun video agmes like GTA and first person shooters, people will get really bored and do really dtupid destructive stuff because there is nothing to do. and one more thing, im a WW2 fanatic. i no everything there is to now about WW2. where so u think i learned it, video games. do you think any kid is going to pick up a book for fun. NO. if u ban video games and kids start reading, ull find bad material in books causing a rating for books and then there will be a moms agaist violent books. no if you take away violent books, no one will read. u gotta let kids be exposed to life. if you keep them away from reality and censor life, theyll will be really screwed up. parents who let tehre kids play M games and watch bad mvoies and not censor tv are better parents than parents who sensor everything

If your children can't understand the difference between game violence and real life violence then you have done something very wrong in raising them. If you are good parents it doesn't matter what your kids are exposed to, it won't squrew them up. Why don't you just talk to your kids when their young, make them understand that it's just playing. Then when their older and bound to be exposed to the horrors of our violent culture it won't be a problem. If you care that much just don't buy your kids certain games, but just stop bitching. There are so many more important things than worrying about video game violence.


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