Originally Posted by Helo
Lets take golf as an example, its a nice establishment game.
It requires special shoes and special equipment as well as clubs and course fees just to play the game. Punch that stuff into Amazon and see how high that price will go. There are clubs, ONE CLUB, that goes for upwards of $1,000. That's one club, the game is generally played with an assortment of them.
ANY pass time can be taken to ludicrous level of expense.
People may not loose jobs because of excessive baking but they certainly can put on large amounts of health and relationship endangering weight. Spending time gaming is almost universally looked at as an unproductive waste of time by non-gamers and even we gamers (yes, full disclosure, I am a gamer) tend to be sheepish when we stay up till 4am playing a game we're really into.
I think we're more likely to HEAR about gamers having an unhealthy balance because society isnt yet that accepting of games. We're far better than we've been but we've got a ways to go.
I do think there really is something about video games that makes them more addictive than other hobbies. It's not uncommon for gamers to reject all in-person social interaction in favour of their games. I have the same concern about people who can't go 15 minutes without checking fb or who can't drive past a casino without going in and maxing out their credit cards.
A person can be addicted to anything. In general, addictions are harmful. Indeed, whether a certain activity interferes with your day to day life is the deciding factor in something being an addiction rather than a hobby. For me, 4 a.m. is a reasonable bed time (I'm nocturnal by nature), so that in and of itself isn't an indication of addiction. But if you need to be up at 7 a.m. for work and you regularly stay up until 4 a.m. playing your game, then that's probably going to interfere with your ability to function.
Hobby bakers don't tend to stay up until 4 a.m. baking on a regular basis. They might do it now and then before a big bake sale or for a special project. But they don't tend to compulsively need to finish one last batch of cookies before they'll go to bed, only to find that that batch of cookies leads to a new secret recipe
for biscuits. Now they have to bake the biscuits or else they'll spend the whole next day thinking about that biscuit recipe!
At the end of an 18 hole course, you don't typically go back to the first hole and start again. You go back to the clubhouse with your friends, have a beer, and go home. Most people who join $1000 clubs are businessmen, for whom the sport makes more money than it costs. Many important business decisions are made on the golf course, and not participating puts you out of the game. Besides, golf is a sport. It's not much of a sport, granted, but it does involve some physical activity. Video games promote sitting in your chair, eating unhealthy convenience foods because you don't want to take too much time away from your game by cooking a proper meal. So does the internet. So does reading good books.
Video games are different from baking or reading books in that they're backed by a huge industry whose sole interest is profit. They want to make video games addictive so that you'll buy them, buy the expansion packs, and pay the monthly subscription fees. They're in league with the hardware producers, urging you to upgrade your system every 6 months to keep up with the newest games.
To be clear, I'm not bashing gamers or video games as a whole. I love video games. The other day, I heard "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" come on in the car, and I had an incredibly strong urge to go home and play Fallout 3.
What I'm bashing is gaming addictions. And make no mistake, very many gamers are addicts. And that, I'm pretty sure, is what most people have a problem with, and not video games themselves. That, and the fact that many children and young people spend much more time inside sitting down than they used to, because of video games, and that it's leading to a generation of sedentary, unhealthy people. Many video games are also accused of desensitizing people against violence. That's what I like about Minecraft; it encourages you to think creatively, and the violence is very cartoony.
Now back to this nerdy world champion Magic player. Quick search shows that one of his tournaments has a top prize of $40,000. Certainly validates spending 20+ hours a week practising your "hobby." But let's face it, at that point, it's not a hobby: it's a career.
In regards to their date, I'm confused. Did he blindfold her and drag her to the show in against her will? Did she not participate in the planning of her own date? She has only herself to blame if she left it up to him and she did not approve of his choice. But then she went on a second date with him. She already knew he was a nerd who likes one-man Jeffery Dalmer shows. Why the fuck did she go on a second date with him, and then act all surprised that he was exactly what he appeared to be?