Cyber-psychologist Berni Goode talking about Flow on Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames Changed the World.
Flow is extremely important. So, so important.
It’s what keeps some people sane. It’s what drives the world’s most skilled and accomplished athletes, the most intense gamers, the hardcore hobbyists, even many of the most talented artists, musicians and actors - flow is what you get when unstoppable drive meets an unflinching will and unlimited dedication.
Flow is being utterly, truly “in the zone”. And it’s one of the most amazing feelings there is.
This is why finding a sport, or a hobby, or a martial art, or a handicraft, or a new video game, or any skill-based activity that uses focus and requires practice and repetition is so beneficial for things like depression and anxiety and overall mental/physical well-being.
This is how I feel every time I log in
Flow is one of the most important keys to mental health and happiness (see life-changing documentary Happy for more on this), but videogaming is probably not the best example of how to achieve flow as there are many detrimental effects to extended gaming sessions and I know this because I’m hugely addicted to games but break away from them often and stay social and extremely active (another huge couple of keys to happiness).
If I play games all day my body feels a huge low because I’ve been inactive. Not only on a physical level have I not released endorphins from exercise but I’ve also lost a huge amount of time practically doing nothing and not achieving my goals.
Moreover, in contrast to gaming, many other skills and hobbies find practical uses beyond keeping your body active and healthy, as well as require social interaction and cooperation.
Gaming often does not require sociability (in my experience). As someone who does promotions, works as an administrator in a busy clinic, and as someone who trained in and studied Journalism, online gaming is not something I would count as being social for way too many reasons but I’d say even online chatting doesn’t create the same feelings as talking in person to someone, especially in regards to physical contact - another huge part of psychological health.
In my opinion one of the greatest elements to the success of other hobbies from a mental health perspective, is that they require creativity and adaptation to a vast variety of challenges (including injuries, believe it or not), whereas games only require small adjustments in your approach and are largely impractical outside of gaming culture, and the game world.
Gaming also rarely CREATES a product that is then shared unless you are a developer. As a gamer you are the recipient of someone’s work, and only in Minecraft and its ilk are you making things to impart to others. This is the same issue in becoming obsessed with TV shows, you are effectively spending huge amounts of energy thinking about things that are effectively intangible, and your mental health is affected indirectly through this process.
For me, although I love playing games and reading/hearing great stories like Mass Effect 3 or Portal’s unusual narrative and writing, I find gaming to be almost an involuntary time-sink, and an addiction I’d rather not have at times. It’s not that I have no control, but it’s too tempting as an escapist mechanism, as is Tumblr sometimes. I think it is important to balance this concept of “flow” along with other elements of psychological wellbeing as the original post largely focuses on the benefit and not the inherent dangers of gaming for many, including many I have witness from the people around me.
You hear your name in the dark. The siren song of the waves calling you under. That ancient harmony that bends your knees and pulls at your shoulders.
It echos in tea cups vibrating as they kiss the ground. You hear it just before the train flies past. Most days it falls from your eyes to your tongue as the wind falls out of you. It’s there, waiting for those nights when the moon is full and your bed is empty. It’s there in her sobbing as she left the car dreaming of the day she wouldn’t love you anymore.
It never left, though you exorcised it so well; it hung to you like the smell of another life lived; it followed you past airports, and old cities full of noise and wooded smoke, and through all the barking dogs and crying babies, and through all the cold mornings waking to the smells of your mother’s cooking, and through the cracked teeth covered in blood, and all the nights spent with people who’s names you’d soon forget. It followed all the violence of a man desperately trying to escape himself when all he knew how to do was throw his fist again and again until something at the other end had broken.
It waited, until you were exhausted and crying, and asked you to follow.
So here you are, wondering if it holds any truth; if those dulcet arias are divine, or if you’re being lied to again. It’s always been there, eternal and hungry; that is all the truth you need - persistence.
The icy water is the test. When it hits your skin screams, but it’s not a warning. It’s just telling you that you’ll be home soon.
If you live in Melbourne, come to Bok Bok and L-Vis tomorrow at Revolver Upstairs.
XXYYXX is playing on Friday the 23rd of March at Liberty Social, which you should also come to.
I don’t know anyone here so meeting people would be great.
It was as though the most he could do lately was remember dreams. Faces had begun to blur and words would evaporate like the moisture expelled from so many mouths around him.
Finally, everyone’s masks had fallen and all the vibrations that had previously been kept inside began to reach out to him. They collided with fatty cheek bones, stretched on the bony shoulders of a woman he’d dreamed of, and come to embrace him as he shook, resisting their momentum. They spilled about him as if oceans were undulating through him, beyond his will. They called him, thrumming like the loosed bows of ancient armies.
Me: You don’t love me anymore, after 9 months of saying you love me every day?
Me: I’m a fit, intelligent guy, I make you laugh, I’m caring and considerate, I have a great group of friends, I’m well-groomed, I am very positive, I like to travel and I love having fun. I don’t do drugs, I don’t hit or yell at women, I never cheat, I spent a lot of time with your family and friends, I took care of you through your depression and anxiety, I love kids and animals, almost all the same music, clothes, books, movies, dance, TV shows and art as you, plus I can produce most of those things to a decent standard (AKA I have some talent).
Me: We get along great and I’ve never done anything to hurt you, so why don’t you love me? It would all be easier to accept if I understood it but it really makes no sense.
Her: I don’t know, sometimes things don’t have reasons. Please leave me alone. Bye.
This is the recent shit I’ve been going through. It’s like a bad TV soap opera I’ve been struggling to recover from, thanks to not understanding how this could happen. Whatever the case, I know I have a lot of value, and it takes a lot of denial to throw it away like this. I thought I was done with it but there is just too much wrong with the situation. I know this is gonna leave a hell of a scar.
Sorry to share on this blog but it might help followers understand my recent post quality and themes, plus it’s always good to vent. It’ll pick up soon, when I feel better, I promise. :)
Thanks for understanding <3