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.

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Comments on “Buddhist Leader Says Playing Video Games Lets Out Aggression; Better Method Than Meditation”

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iNtrigued (profile) says:

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.”

TheStupidOne says:

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

Anonymous Gamer says:


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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