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Buddhist Monks’ Take on Video Games

This article on Buddhist Monks’ perceptions of the values/risks of video games is interesting and, in some ways, relevant to our practice of Ji Do Kwan. Two ideas of particular note:

  1. some monks believe video games are fine in moderation, but it’s easily possible for them to become too important in one’s life. this is similar to the way our school views tournament competition in Tae Kwon Do: not inherently bad, but a possible slippery slope to undesirable qualities that have the potential to undermine the value of training.
  2. is the concept of death and rebirth of a player’s avatar in the game (i.e. getting “killed” and starting a level with a new “life”) an interesting way to think about the concept of reincarnation?

Read the article from Vice here.

‘It doesn’t mean we cannot play the game,’ he clarifies. ‘Playing a game is ok for relaxing.’ A monk crosses a line, however, when they cannot stop playing, or begin to draw their happiness from a game. ‘Your happiness is not dependent on anything external. You do not give the key to your happiness to anyone else.’

This Post Has One Comment
  1. I have three things to note/add.
    1. Games and video games are a vast landscape of which first person shooting style games are but one genre and one style of play, albeit a very popular one. It is fine to focus on it for the purposes of an analysis (as the article does) as long as that scope is well understood (which is unclear).
    2. Some games and video games may provide the player with a false sense of accomplishment. That imho is where a large part of the danger lies.
    3. An often overlooked mechanism of video games is a medium through which to consume stories.

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