Finding of the week #238

A Substitute For Real Adventures

During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!

This week: This time, I think once again about how computer games help me to satisfy my needs and bridge over the times between real world adventures.

During and especially after every longer journey to an interesting region or country, I notice the degree to which computer games help me to bridge over the uneventful times at home. As I normally travel with my laptop to back up photographs, research facts about the place I am visiting and having the chance to stay in contact with others, I always have the chance to play a computer game during the evening while travelling. However, I never feel the need to load one of the installed digital games as all my needs are completely fulfilled.

In order to be happy, I need to be intellectually as well as phyically challenged and have the chance to discover new places or even experience an adventure. While the former two requirements are normally fulfilled by my job as a researcher and some regular fitness training, being able to discover new places and experiencing adventures is not possible. However, even the physical demands are only partly satisfied as, despite the physical training, I can not fight against strong wind or find my way up or down a steep rocky slope during my daily life.

Of course, computer games do not satisfy my desire to physically find my way through rough terrain, but they continuously provide me with new environments to explore and adventures to experience. That way, I can satisfy almost all my needs during times when travelling is not an option.

However, despite their immersive and flow-inducing effects, even the best computer game seems to be boring in the event of a real adventure that not only satisfies all my needs at once, but also provides so many other experiences that can hardly be simulated by a computer game. For instance, under normal conditions, a game can not simulate the changes in the temperature, the feeling of rain on the skin or the challenge of descending a slippery narrow mountain slope. As a result, my interest in playing computer games drastically dwindles down during times when all my needs are fulfilled and increases again when I do not have the chance to satisfy them otherwise. Also, it shows how uninteresting our environment has become as it no longer provides these challenges.

In the end, computer games become a substitute for real world adventures that allow me to experience things I can not do during my daily life.