Tag: gaming

The Truth about Death and Dying

Image courtesy of images4.wikia
Image courtesy of images4.wikia

Dying has been glorified in recent years. Meanwhile, Death remains an insidious villain. Recent experience leads me to believe these two attitudes have no basis in reality.

Hear me out.

It’s not my intent to start an argument or step on anyone’s toes. Death and dying are personal avenues for every living soul on planet earth. My thoughts on these concepts will hardly prevent me from treading the dying path toward death.

If only it could be so easy.

Glorification of Dying

Movies glorify dying. Look at the soldier throwing himself on a grenade. How about the stranger tossing a child from in front of a speeding car at the cost of his own mortality?

Gaming forums are the worst offenders in this area. Actual snippets overheard during an online gaming session:

  • “Would you stop dying? You’re killing our team score.”
  • “I’m on my last life so try and keep me from dying, will you?”
  • “What do you mean? I only died three times!”

In isolation, these snippets would be cause to call in a grief counselor for an intervention. They are commonplace in a household where first person shooter games are cool and hopping onto Xbox Live to kick some alien booty with friends is a favorite pastime.

“Dying grace” is a phrase I used myself – before I had to watch my mother die. Dying in a bed of affliction in never graceful. If the phrase is speaking of an attitude toward death, it might make sense. If it’s a rephrasing in regard to God’s grace for daily living, I might be able to swallow it.

Dying is ugly. Whether there is blood and gore or just a silent slipping away, it isn’t glorious.

Death: Hero or Villain?

I recently read a novel that depicted Death as just another guy doing his job: collecting souls and taking them to the afterlife. How does that make him a villain?

Death is a gateway. It marks the end of this thing we call life. We love life; therefore, we hate death.

The actual moment of death happens in an eye’s blink. Dying provides time for that last monologue (courtesy of Shakespeare). Death silences those lips. Dying is the thing that prolongs suffering. Death is a doorway to relief.

In this sense, death can be a hero. If death is a villain to be avoided at all costs, it’s wrong to make dying appear to be something marvelous and desirable when its end is death.

My logic could be faulty, but here’s the bottom line. We glorify dying when it is done in a certain manner: sacrificially or stoically. In the same breath, we vilify death as a lecherous beast that sucks life away. It’s backwards. We should despise dying for diverting us from the pathway called living and embrace death as the gateway into the next life.

Crazy? Maybe if you have no faith to mark the gate of death for what it is: the elevator to eternal life.

Regardless, dying is ugly. There is blood, pain, sickness, and heartache. Dying involves a loss of vitality, a surrender of dignity, and the murder of hopes and dreams. My prayer: to skip dying and just screech, tires spinning all the way, from life into death.

What truth can you share about death and dying? How does your perspective differ from mine?

Time Wasters or Stress Relief?

You were warned!
You were warned!

Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Words With Friends, Farmville…and the list goes on. You know what I’m talking about: those free games for Facebook. To really snare you, they make the app free to download on your phone or tablet.

A year ago, I purged a slew of these games from my phone and iPad. I decided to keep two of them and to allow only check on them at certain times. All notifications were turned OFF.

Then someone (who shall remain nameless) begged me to get Candy Crush Saga so I could help them reach higher levels. This is the noose these game inventors use.

I’m a nice person *shrugs* so I downloaded the game on my iPad. It seemed harmless enough. I didn’t see where any help was needed. Oh, right, because you have to connect it to Facebook for that option to appear.

At that time, I didn’t have a Facebook page. Do you see where this is headed? I’m morally opposed to story plots that are obvious. Shouldn’t I feel similarly about my life?

Anyway, the day came when I succumbed to the demand of social media. I want to build my author brand. Facebook is essential for platform building.

With a simple click, suddenly all my games were linked with my Facebook friends. I had a dozen games of Words going simultaneously. Candy Crush Saga reached the point where I begged others to help me “unlock” the next episode. High scores listed on Bejeweled mocked my lame attempts to demonstrate mastery.

Obviously, my competitive spirit jumped to attention and took control of my body. Possessed by this manic gamer, the era of time wasting mowed me down again. Sure, it was only four small games.

Playing these helps me relax *nods vigorously.*

It’s only a few minutes after breakfast and lunch.

When I stand up to refill my water glass, I’ll just check to see if anyone played a word.

Bathroom break – another opportunity to check and see if the three “tickets” I need have arrived so I can reach the next level and crush more candy.

“I hate this level.” My son’s response: “Then why are you playing the game.”

He doesn’t believe me when I say it’s therapeutic. For some reason, screaming at my tablet and pounding my fist on the counter don’t seem like signs of relieved stress.

Kids! What do they know?

In the end, I have had to schedule time for these games. I might check Words often, but I don’t get to spend more than 5 minutes at any one time on it. The others have allotted times during the day – times when I’m NOT on my writing clock.

Do you believe these games are time wasters? Do you think they help relieve stress? Sell me on their advantages so I can lift my personal restrictions. *Shoves game demon back into locked cabinet.*