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I know this discussion is more or less dead, but I noticed one other thing while playing Skyrim. Playing this game (and I suspect most others) makes me feel pretty tense. It's not that I don't enjoy the game, but it doesn't seem to have a soothing effect. This seems to run counter to the way meditation usually relaxes me.
Any other gamers notice this?
I frequently play video games and have 'killed' countless pixels. That said, I do believe that violence, whether real or imagined, leaves a karmic imprint. Now conciously killing an actual, living human is far more serious than killing his avatar in a video game, I still think it leaves a negative impression. This whole discussion reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh's Fifth Mindfulness Training:
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.
Emphasis is mine. I think violent video games would fall into the category of toxins for Thich Nhat Hanh. Sadly, I can't say I live by that precept, though I think I do an OK job of following the regular five precepts...
The book referenced in the article was the outcome of Robert Wright teaching this course:
I took it a while a back, and it was a fascinating discussion about how Buddhism is a big middle finger to evolution - or at least to the drives and mindset that evolution has given us.
It's kind of funny because based on what you read, you assume the US has a huge gun loving culture. But it's not really true, it's just how vocal they and the gun lobby are and how much they own our politicians. Depending on the factor considered (ie banning assault weapons, making guns harder to get for people with mental illness etc) 60-90% of Americans support better gun control. 60% of Americans don't own guns. The media often makes it look like we all own them because of how many there are "There are as many guns are there are Americans." True, but 40% of Americans own all those guns.
In a nutshell, gun owners are passionate and actually show up for things like hearings and write letters (not emails or Facebook posts, real letters) to their congressmen. In contrast, when a massacre like Orlando or Las Vegas occurs, there is an initial public outcry, and then the public's interest is recaptured by the truly important things, like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. The National Rifle Association also has a simple, easy to understand rallying cry, and viciously punishes any politician who dares impinge in the slightest way on gun rights.