Aspergers and gaming vs other interests

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krex
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28 May 2008, 3:37 pm

Don't flame me please because I am NOT making a value judgement about gaming. I think it has many positive qualities for AS or NT. I have only played a few games myself...mostly Resident Evil/Silent Hill/Parasite Eve....and I really enjoyed them. I think beside the fun aspect...it may have helped me with my co-ordination and memory problems. I would say it is a mass improvement over "chit-chat", hanging out at the mall, garbage TV shows ,etc.


What I am wondering about is....for the aspies who have it as their "main" obsession, do you think it steals time, that was once used by pre-gaming era aspies, to read, invent, explore nature and learn from it ? I mean, we only have so many hours in a day and so many neuropathways to use. If they are being used primarily for remembering things that don't apply to our daily lives...in which case I seldom encounter Orks or the living dead...is that cheating us of becoming the great inventors and discovers we maybe meant to be ?

I am 44, don't want to come off as "kids these days" but I am curious how gamers feel about this and if they find that they get some long term benfits from gaming that I am unaware of .


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t0
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28 May 2008, 4:09 pm

Yes, I think most time spent gaming is pretty much a waste of time. I still do it though. i think there are a few areas where gaming might be beneficial to people - but it's outside the mainstream of gaming.

For example:
- Educational software. I learned the geography of Africa during High School by playing an Indiana Jones knockoff game. There's also pretty good software for learning foreign languages. My father used to write basic quiz games for memorizing lists of things like state capitals that we used during school also.

- Chat based games. Before there was a WWW, there were multi-user dungeons (MUD) that were text based and involved teamwork via chatting to kill monsters. Not very useful, but you could argue that someone with socialization issues might be able to learn via chat.

A lot of people like to make arguments about reflexes and hand-eye coordination but I don't really agree with those. Firing a gun in a game is nothing like firing one in real life. Gaming was partially responsible for me getting a job at Microsoft during the internet boom - but that's because I stopped playing and started building them.



krex
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28 May 2008, 4:23 pm

One of my special interests was using plants to heal and I always thought when they designed the "magic potion" part of games they should base it on current research on plant use. I mean you get flamed by a dragon...pull out your alovera plant :D

I can think of a lot of uses based on learning chemistry or electronics, even soft ware programing that coud be used in designing games...why don't more of them do this...I'm sure parents would feel better about letting their kids sit on line all day if they were learning "practicle things" .


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Rainbow-Squirrel
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28 May 2008, 5:24 pm

Videogames are becoming my main interest, I guess they will become basically the only one and I'm 100 % content with this. I played a lot when I was a kid, then I had a break for some years when I was more social, also had a girlfriend, but that was just a fake me, trying to do the things everyone does for its own sake, in fact everything went to waste. I'm convinced this is the best for me. To me gaming is exploring possible worlds, empowering imagination. I've spent 27 years (the school years) storing TONS of knowledge and I'm really sick of that, everything seems so pointless. Fantasy is way more interesting than reality to me right now, and I think this is not something so weird, what about all the literature, isn' t that fiction too ? Imagination is way underestimated to me. I mean, I have never played Final Fantasy (please, forgive me ! :oops: ) and right know I can't imagine anything more stimulating than exploring that fantasy world. You talk about inventing. Yes, to me playing is inventing something new every single day. There a lot of other things I could say in favour of videogames, but I'm too tired to go on right now, maybe I'll post again tomorrow :wink:



krex
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28 May 2008, 5:52 pm

Gaming is creating and does make use of your creativity...you can create your own charactors and worlds. I'm not "hating on gamers",honest, I see lots of NT's making poorer use of their free time.

As far as literature...I think it depends on the reader and the author. When I read I create voices and visual images in my mind...that is creating to. I also find that even good fictional books contain a lot of factual, scientific or historical information...at least my favorite books do. it also gave me a lot of important information about how people think and feel that I probably wouldn't have figured out if my only knowledge of people was my own experience....(I pretty much avoided people and vice-versa), so that was very limited input of information to understanding people. I don't think I'm the only aspie who may face this problem...so that is why I think reading can be a good thing for us.


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Bradleigh
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28 May 2008, 11:54 pm

I enjoy gaming, the worlds interest me alot and in there i can do things that i can not do in real life. plus i am fairly good at it, and it feels food to be good at something. in real life i am often too afraid to use teamwork, but in a game i am not, infact i am often telling other players what to do.



SabbraCadabra
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29 May 2008, 1:49 pm

krex wrote:
What I am wondering about is....for the aspies who have it as their "main" obsession, do you think it steals time, that was once used by pre-gaming era aspies, to read, invent, explore nature and learn from it ?


I've been playing videogames since 18 months, so I don't remember a "pre-gaming era".

I don't think it steals time from anything, though...I'm not addicted to it. Sometimes I'll find a rare game that can steal my interest for the good portion of a day, but I'm nowhere near as bad as some people I know. They'll play MMOs constantly, and not even stop to hang out with friends when they stop by for a visit.


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samantca
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29 May 2008, 2:28 pm

When i was stuck infront of my computer 18hours each day playing WoW, i loved it. For quite some time. Now i cant stop thinking about all the time i could have spent better. I still miss WoW though, however odd that sounds.

I wonder how smart i would be if i had spent all that time studying for instance..



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29 May 2008, 4:52 pm

samantca wrote:
I wonder how smart i would be if i had spent all that time studying for instance..


To me life is not about being smart (for its own sake), it's about being HAPPY, it's about doing the things you like; videogames are the thing that makes me the most happy, why should I do something else ? That wouldn't be smart...



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29 May 2008, 6:11 pm

Topic makes me think of Steven Johnson's book "Everything Bad is Good For You" (haven't yet read, but heard about it)-in which he challenges assumptions: such as that playing video games is worse than watching tv which is worse than reading books.

Didn't grow up with electronic toys/recreation (except for black & white tv-no remote, cable nor vcr). No computer & no videogames-didn't go through phase of video games 'til around 1998-2002 (my late 20's). Husband-at-the-time was obsessed with them, so it made sense for me to try to get interested in them, which eventually worked.

Enjoyed the few games which I heavily got into (Ogre Battle for N64, Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario World, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Animal Crossing, Yoshi's Island, Tetris). Still miss them but am glad they are no longer competing for my time, attention & resources (investment of money & energy). Know my personality and understand that I wouldn't be able to "only play a little" (from experience, realize how obsessed I become)-so I no longer play them. Just because I stopped is in no way a criticism or judgment of other people who make different choice.

Depends on what matters in the life of each individual, priorities & opportunity costs-if not doing this, what else might I be doing instead-and is that alternative better or worse for me ?
Think OP (krex) had thread on this a while back-except asking something along the lines of "if you weren't here (online, at WP), what would you be doing ?".


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Daewoodrow
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29 May 2008, 6:15 pm

If the human mind has a capacity limit, it is impossible to reach it during an average human life span. Engaging your mind with something irrelevant to normal life wont compromise your ability to focus on other things in the slightest. As long as you want your brain to expand, and continue to challenge it with new concepts, it will continue to grow and adapt. You'd be amazed what a single human can achieve in one day.


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krex
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29 May 2008, 6:37 pm

Daewoodrow wrote:
If the human mind has a capacity limit, it is impossible to reach it during an average human life span. Engaging your mind with something irrelevant to normal life wont compromise your ability to focus on other things in the slightest. As long as you want your brain to expand, and continue to challenge it with new concepts, it will continue to grow and adapt. You'd be amazed what a single human can achieve in one day.



I am amazed at how little I can achieve in one day...especially one that I am working for 8-12 hours of it. I don't doubt that the human mind has a much larger capacity for growth then we use but there is a time limit and I prefer to learn one thing in depth then just "scan the head lines" way of learning.

One of my original thoughts about this topic was my own inability to use my time "effectively"...don't know if it is executive function/ADD?addictive personality/AS...but I never have enough hours in the day to do everything I should and want to do...I'm always amazed when people say they are bored??? 8O When I start doing something...lately it's either crafting or WP or research...A day can disappear in a blink of an eye. I know when I was playing video games it was the same way....I had to finish the game even if it took all day or night to do it.


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Daewoodrow
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29 May 2008, 7:02 pm

I know sometimes it might feel like you aren't capable of much, but that's only natural. When you start feeling like you're achieving everying you can with your mind, you've officially stopped improving yourself. By its very nature, if you're aiming to achieve more than you feel you're capable of, your mind is attempting to expand to compensate. But people like that will simply aim higher every time they approach a goal.

Right now, I feel completely overtaxed. I'm constantly compressing information into my head for my exam revision, i'm scouring the town looking for a summer job, i'm attempting to make the remainder of my cash last till i'm employed, which requires constant budgeting and learning new more frugal recipies. On top of all that i'm running a personal experiment to prove I can appear socially adept using psychological manipulation, which is very successful, and preparing for my move off campus to my first house in July. I'm even arranging temporary accomodation during the time between leases, which has to suit any job I might get, and I still need money to pay for the temporary accomodation and my new rent.
I still find time for videogames in the evening.


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kit000003
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29 May 2008, 7:50 pm

Yes, but what about the aspies whose main obsession requires them to read abnormal amounts of material, that has nothing to do with daily life....

like romance novels, or murder investigations, or the entire series of classifications of a specific type of animal.....

The issue that arises with all of our "obsessions" I think is that they can overpower the desire to do anything else.

Like right now, I am on WP, responding to you, I could be outside, watching the sunset. I could be playing with my cat. I could be unpacking my boxes (from when I moved 2 months ago). I sometimes forget to eat/take my meds because I have been feeding an obsession.

It all depends on what makes that particular person happiest at that particular point in time. If they come to realise that their obsession is eating away at other types of their life, then they need to find a way to restrict it, timewise. No matter what the obsession is.



Krickey
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29 May 2008, 7:58 pm

I started playing video games when I was very young, so young I can't remember a time before them. I used games and reading during school to have some sort of interaction with characters since I couldn't get that in the real world. Unfortunately, I watched my brother become addicted, watched him fail college and get fired from his job. That stopped me from playing for a long time.

Now I play one game obsessively until I beat it then I don't play any game for a while.

I think gaming helps people. Not with hand coordination, although my hand-to-hand coordination is really good, but with critical thinking skills. When I was a hardcore gamer, I was very quick thinking, although a bit over the top. Now that I've stopped, my mind has gone a bit dull. For some people, they just will never get to experience things in the real life, and games are a way to give them that experience even if it is only virtual.