Engawa Behavior: Life is Not a Video Game

Gaming is a huge industry in the United States and across the world. People and companies spend billions of dollars promoting, inventing, and experimenting with coming out with the “latest” in games and accessories.


Calcite Television. Photo by Divi Logan.

While there is so much time and energy spent in everything from designing to packaging to advertising games and boxes and plugs-in with which to play these diversions, there is another side to games. There is a good side and there is a negative side.

A good side to the game industry is the chance for creative expression, the opportunities for inventive and clever people to plan and follow through with placing a product on the public market. They test the waters of the entertainment industry, who will and will not buy it, what stores to put it in, what to power it with, and how to promote it. These are where the good points end- the free enterprise and the freedoms of expression that are granted to us and which we need to use wisely and protect can be blatantly and deeply misused. It is against this poor use of these privileges we must guard.

One can certainly find more cons than pros to the gaming industry if there is a closer look at what happens during the playing process. There is the electronic herd mentality factor of the power of the devices we are so attached to, and this can be considered addictive behavior. There is the idleness factor of playing for hours, which can lead to constant snacking during playing, thus to obesity and then carpal tunnel syndrome through repetitive motions. There is also the expense of the gear, with hundreds of dollars cost for even the simplest accessories and sets of games.

But a worse factor to the game principle is that there is a “do – over” or “play again” attitude. The figure bounces back, inflates, or gets up and continues on even through getting shot at, into automobile incidents, fires, disasters, or falls that would disable a real human being. In life there is no bounce back or do over or play again. It is seen in kids’ cartoons, so this mentality is programmed into the youth of America from early on. The figures bounce up and pop up and are flattened by rocks the size of houses, tractors, cars and dynamite but somehow they get up and wobble away or are brought back to life. There are fake talking animals, magical implements, and illusions of light and color. Inventive yes but unrealistic.


Calcite Television 2. Taken by using a piece of the mineral calcite and rotating it until this image is projected and then using a digital camera.

Once an incident is done it is done: the person is actually shot, the car wreck actually happens, the robbery is committed, the auto is stolen, and the fall happens. There is nothing glorious about these aspects of gaming, which lend a false sense of the do over society, absolutely false and fake. This is violence brought to the screens and hands of idle and vulnerable minds within the bodies of those who sit at home or are out and just cannot seem to get enough of the little glowing moving bouncing and running figures on the little glowing moving tangible screen, and with each passing moment sealing and fueling the addictive behavior, the obsession with the little personal device.

Being glued to these technological terrors is obsessive behavior and can be extremely antisocial in many aspects. An obsession shows that somewhere in the person there is imbalance –  there is lack of something or too much of something, there want of some aspect of life or the fear that there is no chance to improve and so the person seeks some means of escape from what is out there and what is within them. Some people game, some gamble, some use drugs, some drink at clubs till they cannot even walk or talk properly, and others go to the local coffee-house for the “see and be seen” capture. Attempting to escape what is within you is challenging; you can try to manifest it outward by shopping for those games and being seen with those boxes (diversion by attention from others), which is a sign of arrogance and want of socialization or you can pause, put the devices down, put aside your supposed need for them (as you would turn away from drugs that are deadly) and think, “Why do I need these things? This isn’t helping me at all.”

Then what do you do? It comes down to checking your ego at the door, understanding the realities you are in, and grounding yourself in the basics about yourself. Clear the mental decks; think of this as aura housekeeping. You do your own personal makeup cleanup campaign as you do when cleaning your rooms. You put away everything you do not need, you organize your dusting and mopping and sweeping supplies. You wash the windows, make the bed, vacuum the carpet, clean the bathroom, and open the windows when there is good weather to allow for circulation of fresh air.


Calcite Image Projection. Here you can see the piece of calcite that makes the colors and distorted images. The reality is the calcite before the ever – changing images on the screen, the attraction is the colors and the changes made simply by rotating the stone.

Just this routine can relieve you of the need to constantly divert your attentions from necessary tasks and actual human interaction in order to turn to electronic devices such as gaming systems, tablets, cell phones, and movie systems. Getting the manual routine can be steadying and calming because you know that you are doing something that needs to be done, and the results from your output of elbow grease will be great. Your place will look good and smell nice and be freshened. This is Pure Tao in action. There is nothing used or put out that is not necessary to that which you are presently doing.

You will realize the futility of the gaming biz as a hazardous, divisive, diverting, obsessive and addictive series of behaviors when you find better things to do with your time and money. You might just realize how much money you save and find really fine things to do with your money, like getting fresh clothes, a new pair of shoes, or dishes to replace the ones you discovered were cracked or broken during your housekeeping, or even a new dining set, bedding, something for your newly cleaned space. Who knows? You might even toss out the gaming system and pick up a real book to read.

Live, love and learn. Discover balance in and power within yourself and leave the electronic junk food behind.

Divi Logan, Chicago 2016.

All photos by Divi Logan using a Leica V-LUX-4 Digital Bridge Camera.



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