Buddhist Leader Says Playing Video Games Lets Out Aggression; Better Method Than Meditation

from the no-moral-panic-here dept

While other religious and political leaders around the world are busy creating moral panics around violent video games, it appears that one Buddhist leader feels quite differently about them. The third ranking Buddhist, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (and, according to the article, the only Buddhist leader recognized by China, Tibet and India), apparently sees video games as therapeutic and a way to let out aggression:
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.
In response, the interviewer asks "shouldn't meditation take care of that?" to which he replies: "No, video games are just a skillful method." So, kids, next time some politician says that violent video games are bad, why not point out that one of the most peaceful men in the world uses them to let out some aggression in ways that meditation cannot provide.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:36am

    Better Method ThaN meditation?

    Not trying to be a stickler for spelling, but shouldn't that be "Than Meditation" instead of "That Meditation" in the title?

     

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  2.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: Better Method ThaN meditation?

    Oops. You're absolutely right. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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  3.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Ninja Pirates

    Didn't think monks played video games, hell, I didn't even think they had electricity. Well you learn something new everyday I guess.

    But seriously, us ninja pirates have no such time for such childish endeavors. We prefer to release our aggressions through looting and plundering. We live by the motto, "If you see a Ninja, you're dead. If you see a Ninja Pirate, you're dead & your booty has been plundered."

     

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  4.  
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    TheStupidOne, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Good for Him

    What he was saying makes total sense. If I'm in a rotten mood I can't just focus, meditate and calm myself down, but going around and killing a bunch of people in a video game can let me vent in a completely harmless way. I could alternatively go around and kill people in RL, but as long as I have my games I'll stick to those.

    I imagine the real danger from playing violent video games comes when you cannot separate the game from reality, but there is probably some kind of medical condition you can associate confusing reality with illusion and I bet there are some fancy drugs you can take if you have that problem

     

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  5.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Good for Him

    Actually there ARE fancy drugs to take care of that problem, but they are all covered under patents so.. well, you know that whole deal. And add to that the odds of this person being in the middle class & you have yourself one messed up situation.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Hopefully Ogyen is respected enough that folks will actually listen to what he has to say rather than just brushing him off. I completely agree.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Gamer, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Fascinating

    I'm completely conscious that I developed a game playing habit as a way to deal with personal stress and anxieties in a relatively harmless way. But I've always been "in the closet" about it because of the traditionally negative stigma and stereotypes associated with being a game player, and have constantly struggled to reconcile this behavior with what I "should" be doing.

    They say something is truly an "addiction" if you intentionally use it to moderate your mood, which I do. But now a Buddhist leader suggests that it's actually a reasonable alternative to meditation... that certainly puts a different perspective on it. All things in moderation, of course...

     

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  8.  
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    Bob Vila, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Been saying this for years.

     

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  9.  
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    Brendy, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    Ditto. It's only the people that have NEVER played a violent video game that argue the opposite.

     

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  10.  
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    MeJack (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Ninja Pirates

    Ruh row, all knowing Ninja has mistaken a Buddhist Monk for an Amish Farmer. I myself prefer the flight simulation so I may enjoy the excitement of flight while keeping my feet upon solid terra firma.
    Have I just given a jab to a Ninja? How may this be? Oh,,mebbe I be a Ninja too.

     

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  11.  
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    adsf asdf, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    "getting out aggression" is not the point of meditation

     

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    Rasmus, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    video games IS meditation

    When you play a game like Counterstrike its possible to reach a state where you are completely calm and everything you do just flows like you're on autopilot.

    This state is in almost every way exactly the same state you reach in a successful meditation session.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    Indeed. I hear a lot of people say they want to meditate to calm themselves or release stress. Or they think meditation is a way to "empty your mind" or something. Meditation, however, is actually meant to be the opposite of emptying your mind of thought.

     

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    GT, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 2:54am

    Concepts

    This entire article is misleading. The Buddhist monk didn't say playing video games is better or more effective than meditation at letting out aggression.

    He just said it was a skillful method, nothing else.

    Kind of disappointed seeing something like this on Techdirt.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 3:56am

    Subject is NULL

    But if you enter too deep a state of meditation you loop right round and end up a rage quit.

     

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    pr, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 6:29am

    Does this mean that video games can now claim to be exercise of religion, which means that Congress can't mess with it?

    "First Church of GTA. Services nightly, 9-3. Mountain Dew midnight communion."

     

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  17.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Ninja Pirates

    Ah, but ninja's have no weaknesses. Any perceived weakness is purposely projected by the ninja to lull even the most worthy adversaries into false confidence. If pirates are the masters of the sea & ninjas are masters of land and air, then I be bested by no man.

     

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  18.  
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    Josh - To common a name. This is me. (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Ninja Pirates

    I think that a SEAL could take you. :)

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 1:43am

    KP

    "So, for me sometimes it can be a relief, a kind of decompression to just play some video games."

    A similar argument has been made for kiddy porn: that it's actually just a relief valve. It's still illegal.

     

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  20.  
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    chrisman01, Sep 24th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

    Totally referencing this

    wow... That is very interesting...

    I'm writing a college essay on this subject, so I am totally going to quote & reference this! Thanks!

     

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  21.  
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    Bill G Games, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 5:30am

    OMGosh

    ROFL hahahahaha NICE! Buddhist leader playing halo.... HAHA YOU FOOOL! BLAM! (HEAD SHOT) KILL FRENZY! haha i fell better now no need hit man on head! lol

     

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  22.  
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    iNtrigued (profile), Oct 1st, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Ninja Pirates

    Ah, but what if the pirate be a former SEAL?

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Right on man! That's the spirit! Download Games

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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