We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: On the Addictive Escapism of Video Games

Longreads

In Vulture, Frank Guan, an avid gamer himself, digs deep into the appeal and addictive qualities of video games in an effort to understand the psychology that undergirds hard-core gaming — and whether it has an impact on or can predict our politics.

I wouldn’t trade my life or my past for any other, but there have been times when I’ve wanted to swap the writing life and the frigid self-consciousness it compels for the gamer’s striving and satisfaction, the infinite sense of passing back and forth (being an “ambiguous conduit,” in Janaskie’s ­poignant phrase) between number and body. The appeal can’t be that much different for nonwriters subjected to similar social or economic pressures, or for those with other ambitions, maybe especially those whose ambitions have become more dream state than plausible, actionable future. True, there are other ways to depress mental turnout. But I don’t trust my body…

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