Letters to the Editor

Hideo Bruckheimer


In response to “Fifteen More Minutes from The Escapist Forum: Interesting philosophy about the “15 more minutes”, I never thought of it as the smallest possible unit of time we can devote to something else. But I have to disagree about your intro.

You can infact, finish a level in 15 minutes. It’s more than enough for a few gunfights and a bit more. You can get to the boss and at least get the taste of him in those 15 minutes (if you’re right at the end of a dungeon).

That’s the whole deal with 15 minutes. When we were just beginner gamers, we once decided just to continue a little bit more to see if we can finish another part till the next save point, and we saw that 15 minutes is just enough. At least I know I did. I found out that in most mission-based FPS, repeating a failed mission is just around 15 minutes. And in RPGs, you can just barely make it either to the next save point or just to see what lies ahead. Or figure out how to reconfigure your inventory.

Those 15 minutes were never pointless to me <3

retro himself

Fifteen more minutes also represents another, external factor: it allows us to “come down” and “wrap up” whatever aims we were trying to achieve in the game, so we can leave the game on our terms. It represents an internal shift from fun mode to responsible mode that is more effective for us, as we internally embrace the idea that we are in control and choosing to move onto the other engagement.

The flaw with this process comes when we don’t want to accept the other engagement at all – in which case procrastination kicks in, and more often than not, we milk those 15 more minutes, and then some, until it hopefully somehow becomes too late to do the other engagement, at which point we might as well continue with the game instead until the next engagement comes along.



In response to “The Five Habits of Highly Addicted Gamers” from The Escapist Forum: Er, what? Those are signs of addiction?

The controller movement was something I’d attribute more to newbies who don’t yet understand that the controller does not have motion sensing (and hey, now it DOES) and mimicing the regular control system for whatever you’re controlling doesn’t work. The only time you could see me turn the controller around was on the C64 but back then we were using joysticks that could barely withstand the force of being used.

Talking smack to the AI kinda makes it feel more interactive and helps a bit with feeling like a movie hero (who talk smack ALL THE TIME), after all that’s the feeling most games nowadays try to create. I mostly talk to my computer when I voice responses out loud before typing them in discussions, I think of it as a way of exercising my spoken English (it’s not my native language and I only use it in text form usually so I had trouble in the past when actually trying to speak with someone rather than use text), I think I’ve become more fluent that way.

Modding is something completely different from gaming addiction, in fact from what I see most modders pretty much quit gaming. Modding can cause a fall into the coding zone, that feeling where everything around you stops mattering as you write your code to implement what you wanted to and your brain focusses only on the task you face. The coding zone, as the name implies, can be reached from all programming and possibly even all creative tasks. Modders often spend long times only modding, not touching any game except for implementation testing. That’s not a gaming addiction.

Messing around (or “emergent gameplay” if you like buzzwords) has been around for a long time and I’d say that’s the pioint where you actually PLAY. The kind of playing that children do. A child who only uses Lego according to the instructions would be weird, why is it expected that a gamer always plays according to the regular rules? Why can’t we toy around with the system until we break it and see it fail gloriously? Hell, wasn’t there an article about exactly that on here titled something like “Play like a 5 year old”?

Killing Sims seems like a normal part of The Sims, I think every random casual player has already done that. It’s the whole building up/tearing down aspect that makes people pick stuff from the disaster menu in Sim City or use the demolition feature in Lego construction programs.



In response to “The Lost Years” from The Escapist Forum: For sure, for sure. It’s natural to be defensive about an activity you enjoy, particularly when people are suggesting that it’s unequivocally harmful and / or a waste of time.

But when you say “Games can be addicting to some people”, I think we should really be focusing on “some people” rather than “games”; those dudes could be addicted to any number of substitute activities. Can you really blame an entire medium for the lax self-control of individuals? That’s the kind of blame-passing that results in retardedly frivolous lawsuits, where people spill coffee on themselves and then sue the company that sold it to them because they weren’t warned it was hot.

Notice that people who talk about ‘getting past’ video game addiction are usually the ones who realized that their own behaviour needed to change, not the ones who sat around complaining that society was in the wrong for offering them a buffet of indulgences.


Gawd… For one, it was a good article, but I don’t really agree with the wording.

This whole article is choke-full of things like addiction, going cold turkey, irresponsible, wasted life/years, coming off of [substance]…ect. You treat video games like it’s cocaine or heroin or something, and I don’t like the comparison.

First of, I belong to the same generation and same general setup. 56k->college->broadband->”wow, awesome”->long nights of gaming…etc. But I still don’t consider my gaming a life-braking, threatening addiction. Sure, I play my games whenever I can, and it does chip away at my responsibilities a fair bit (I myself flunked out of college once, but that had other reasons involved too). In the sense of devoting very much time to gaming and related activities, I’m an addict. I’m a fucking video game whore, in fact. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Still, I built my life around it fair and square. I have a (part-time) job reviewing PC games (and I’m soon gonna start working full-time at network maintenance at the university). I’m majoring in Computer Sciences and learning stuff about games, I’m here at the Escapist reading and socializing with other gamers…etc. Games are an integral part of my life, and I refuse to let go. Why should I? I have a job that I enjoy doing and is also my hobby, unlike 90% of people working today. I have many friends IRL and even more friends I never even saw in real life, still, I’m happy to have them. And yes, I spend most of my free (and not free) time sitting in front of my computer… playing games mostly. Am an addict? Guess so. Am I happy? Hell, yes I am.

I refuse to believe the ancient wisdom, that “life has to suck to have a meaning”, that anything remotely fun or entertaining must be inherently bad, addictive, sinful, unhealthy…etc and has to be kept under guard. I refuse to believe that having fun is just a mere illusion because life inherently sucks and we are here to suffer, because that gives life meaning. Bullshit! If it means giving up games and related stuff to have a “normal” life, I don’t want normal. I won’t go cold turkey because some people consider it laughable, childish, counter-productive and not suited for an adult. Tell ya what: I don’t care. I accomplished more in my 24 years of living, than most of these die-hard traditionalists and sceptics (realists) will in their entire life. I defeated a fucking dragon today, right before finishing my college assignment with a friend on MSN, and right after I went back to build my factory complex in X3:TC.

Gaming is a form of life, and NOT AN ADDICTION. Deal with it…



In response to “Adverse Interaction” from The Escapist Forum: It’s also easy to get addicted to websites and the like. I know there are any number of Escapist Forum ‘regulars’ who would tag themselves as addicts. There’s something so tasty about the ability to spout opinions endlessly. So satisfying.

A degree of scepticism is understandable when it comes to this kind of thing, but the blatant refusal to suggest that the addiction is an independent psychological issue just hamstrings any attempts to help sufferers. As far as I’m aware mental health is an increasing issue globally. It’s about time someone gives the chance for treatment.



In response to “The Escapist On: Gaming Addiction” from The Escapist Forum: As was explained to me by a psychologist, the key characteristic of addiction is a loss of control. It doesn’t really matter the circumstances that lead to the addiction to determine whether there is an addiction, though dealing with those circumstances may help in the process to overcome and recover from the addiction. Using this key characteristic, one must then distinguish between enthusiasm and addiction. Even obsession is not necessarily addiction. It’s only when control becomes an issue that there is a high likelihood of addiction.

One must also be careful to examine behavior because one can repeatedly fall into excessive gaming due to other subconscious motivations, not necessarily addiction. This is not to say that addiction to gaming does not occur, but that the diagnosis has to be made carefully.


Every gamer has become so engrossed in a video game that the real world took a back seat. However, when the game is finished, we typically allow ourselves to return to reality again until the next big thing comes along. It’s the games that have no real conclusion that create the biggest problems because we continually strive to progress within the game; almost trying to achieve some sense of finality where there is none. Ambitious sandbox titles and multi-player online games create this kind of scenario. Trust me, video games are about as addictive as anything else that’s enjoyable, but without a definite conclusion, they prolong the initial enjoyment to the point where it becomes habit.


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