We can put to rest the long-standing debate over video games. The anxiety over how much is too much and angst about decreasing attention spans and loss of imagination can finally end. We have a verdict. None other than Ogyen Trinley Dorje–the only senior Buddhist leader recognized by China, Tibet, and India–has declared that video games are a valuable source of “emotional therapy.”
From a CNET News article, here’s Ogyen’s perspective:
Well, I view video games as something of an emotional therapy, a mundane level of emotional therapy for me. We all have emotions whether we’re Buddhist practitioners or not, all of us have emotions, happy emotions, sad emotions, displeased emotions and we need to figure out a way to deal with them when they arise.
So, for me sometimes it can be a relief, a kind of decompression to just play some video games. If I’m having some negative thoughts or negative feelings, video games are one way in which I can release that energy in the context of the illusion of the game. I feel better afterwards.
The aggression that comes out in the video game satiates whatever desire I might have to express that feeling. For me, that’s very skillful because when I do that I don’t have to go and hit anyone over the head.
I especially like this quote: “If I’m having some negative thoughts or negative feelings, video games are one way in which I can release that energy in the context of the illusion of the game.” Well said.
Plus, if you play long enough, you’ve got an outside chance of attaining total consciousness. So you’ve got that goin’ for you, which is nice.