Videos games and why they don’t necessarily create psychopaths

Today I was listening to the podcast by “The More You Nerd”, entitled, Spahoyler edition: Game of Thrones Season 2.” I haven’t finished it yet, but as with all podcasts, the first half hour at least, wasn’t about the topic, but about: video games. 

At some point within the last couple of years, you may have heard the hype surrounding “the evil of video games”. People have been linking the instances of general violence with time spent playing video games. 

In the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the man who was responsible for the 2011 Norway attacks, the prosecution stated that Breivik was an avid player of the popular online game, World of Warcraft, and that this game was the reason behind why he killed all those innocent people. Two things that you need to keep in mind here: 1. Breivik (the man ON TRIAL) himself said that the video games were not what caused him to act the way he did, and 2. the prosecution themselves stated they did not know much about video games. 

If you don’t know anything about them, and the guy says it isn’t what caused his depraved mind to flip out, then how can you say that statistics back it up? You can’t just pull statements out of your ass without backing it up. 

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It annoys me, to no end, when people say that no good can come from playing video games. They improve memory, hand/eye co-ordination, reflexes and your general decision-making capabilities. Have you ever tried to take a dragon down in Skyrim with a bow and arrow or fire and ice spells? If yes, then you know that you have to act fast and aim properly, or that dragon will take you down. The first time I took down my first dragon, I had to get my younger brother to come in and finish him off for me. Now it takes me less than two minutes to slay a dragon, just with spells.

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Sure, I understand that games like GTA, CoD, Halo, and plenty more have tons of violence in them. And sure, it’s POSSIBLE that there may be some case where video games do cause violence in the real world. But that doesn’t make it into a correlation. I know a guy who once said that he couldn’t get lung cancer because he didn’t smoke and no one in his family had ever had it. It took all the patience I had, not to punch him (he’s a med student) because smoking is a RISK FACTOR of lung cancer, not the root cause. It adds to the chance that you may get it. You can have no family history and live an extremely healthy lifestyle and still get lung cancer. C’est la vie. C’est la very shitty and unfair vie, but c’est la vie, regardless.

But, I digress. My point is, there are many, many things in this modern world that add to the possibility that some day, somewhere, some individual’s mind will slip and cause them to become irrational and hurt themselves and/or others. Video games might contribute to it, perhaps. But there are so many more things. The violence shown in movies, on the news, books, newspapers, even in your homes and neighbourhoods – these all contribute towards the next school shooting, or the next school playground fight. YOU DON’T KNOW. You can’t even do much to stop it. All you can do, is raise your kids with love and affection, teach them what is right and wrong, and hopefully one day, they’ll make it on their own, and won’t be psychopaths. 

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“I’m not a psychopath. I’m a highly functioning sociopath. Do your research.”

***SPOILER ALERT. DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEE ALL THREE SEASONS OF SHERLOCK***

The finale of season 3 frustrated me for several reasons. This entire season focused more on character developments than the previous seasons did. I really liked this personally, because I tend to get attached to characters, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to do just that. As the season goes on, you get to really know Sherlock, and understand him.

Which is why, it annoyed me to no end, when he shot Magnussen at point blank range. Throughout all of the series, we know that Sherlock is one to use his mind to manipulate and control situations. He could tell a man was cheating on his wife by glancing at him for a few seconds: “Weight loss, hair dye, Botox; affair – laywer!” [The Empty Hearse].

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So in a situation where both he and John are in danger of being shot and/or arrested for high treason, Sherlock decides to be a hero, and save John’s life by shooting Magnussen. Maybe I missed something, but I felt like this was really out-of-character for him. He’s already proved countless times that he can get himself out of dangerous situations by using his mind, so why didn’t he do it this time? Perhaps there was no other foreseeable alternative? Maybe. But at the end of season 2, on the rooftop with Moriarty, it looked like there wasn’t going to be another way for Sherlock to save his friends after Moriarty had shot himself, and that proved to be wrong. 

It was probably a way to show that even the great Sherlock Holmes had succumbed to violence, showing the brutality of human nature. Or maybe I’m looking into this way too much and in reality, Moffat just wanted Sherlock to kill someone for ratings. If so, fuck you, Moffat. 

Whilst I’m on the subject of Magnussen, I do have one more point. Like it or not, he was a brilliant man. Sherlock had deduced that the vaults were below Magnussen’s house. But as we find out, they never existed. They were only ever in Magnussen’s “mind palace.” He knew that he could trick Sherlock and Mary Watson and countless others into believing he had actual documents. As a villain, he could have done plenty of damage because there was no evidence to show that he had ever blackmailed anyone. Sherlock and Watson would have been arrested, and once again, Sherlock Holmes’ reputation would have been tarnished and dragged through the mud. But instead, he was killed off suddenly. All because Moriarty needed to come back into the picture. 

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Moriarty is a sick fuck. I can’t think of a single thing about him that I admire. With Magnussen, one could argue that he was rather calm and collected and had thought out everything well. Not to mention his incredible mind. But Moriarty is on a whole other level. In the first episode he appears in, by the swimming pool (the pool of the University of Bristol, if anyone cares) we see how mentally unstable he is. He goes from cool and calm to screeching cold bloody murder. His eyes. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. In the case of Jim Moriarty, that couldn’t have been any more true. Andrew Scott did a fantastic job playing him. I don’t know the highest award there is for a TV actor, but Andrew should definitely get it for playing the sadistic psychopath that is Jim Moriarty. 

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Of course some of the plot twists were very good. I won’t go into detail because I’ll just be repeating what happened. Moffat and Gatiss do some great things when they want to, but I don’t want to praise them too much, because we’ve all seen what Moffat does with Doctor Who on a bad day.

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[Not going to lie, this scene had me laughing plenty]

 

All in all, I liked season 3. But I hope season 4 brings back a little more of the sassy, cocky, pain-in-the-ass Sherlock we’ve all formed that love/hate relationship with. Plus, I personally prefer his straight-faced and dry humour as opposed to him getting completely hammered and staggering around as he does with John. It’s all fine and dandy but personally speaking, I really want to see him have a go at Anderson again – for old time’s sake.

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To be continued; the game is on.  

Rinse and repeat

When I was first applying to universities, everyone had warned me how time-consuming medicine was going to be. When I was confirming my university choices, everyone had warned me how time-consuming medicine was going to be. Now that I’m in the middle of my second year of medicine, it just hit me. I’m going to be doing the exact same thing for the rest of my life. 

Firstly, I applied for a summer camp job earlier this year. The position was going to pay me $1400. The only problem is that it’s a 9 week long post and they would need me in America for all of those 9 weeks. I can’t go because I don’t have even THAT much time off. And even if I did, how much studying can I get done as a camp counsellor? 

Secondly, the festival. I have been DYING to get Summer in the City festival tickets for London this summer. I got them anyway, but because the two-day festival is in the start of August, during my prep-leave for exams, I’m not 100% sure I can go. 

My best friend got me concert tickets for Ed Sheeran in London in October, but oh guess what, I have exams. 

Tomorrow I’m buying Justin Timberlake tickets (i don’t even like him all that much but this is probably my only chance at going to a concert for the next ten years) but I’m going to be missing classes to see it, because I don’t have time off in summer like everyone else.

 

So essentially, all my plans have gone tits up. I know that medicine is a tough field and I knew what I was getting into when I applied. But I think what makes it worse is that I’m not studying where I wanted to. It’s a long story as to how I ended up here. But everything happens for a reason, or so they tell me, so I’m here now and I’m trying to make the best of it. But it’s so hard to focus on why I’m here when the grass seems so much greener on the other side. It’s also hard to transition to a life in a country where I feel like I don’t belong, despite being born here. I speak the local language perfectly, so I’m not an outsider in that sense. But in every other sense. In the way I think and conduct myself on a day to day basis. What I like to eat, what I like to watch, where I like to spend my free time. I am an outsider and always have been and always will be. 

The people that surround me are also outsiders to this place. We’re all going through the same thing and it’s a little comforting to know that many more are in my position. But a part of me is still a little immature and although I never voice this opinion aloud, I just hate how the place I’m in is purely career orientated. There isn’t much regard for extra-curricular activities, almost as if taking your mind off of academia for even a millisecond is a big no-no. That makes it especially difficult for me. I play the guitar and piano, I ski, rock-climb, play tennis, football (not American, ew) rugby, netball and basketball. But since being here, how many of those things have I done? Zilch. 

So when I complain about how my plans for this summer have been foiled, yeah you might think I sound like a pampered little trust fund kid. But when you’re thrown into the deep end of the pool with no life jacket and all you do, day in and day out, is study…you’d be pretty messed up mentally too. Study, eat, sleep. Rinse and repeat. 

The 10 Biggest Secrets I Keep From My Kids

Perfection

jerry-mahoney.com

Hey guys, it’s me, Daddy, and I’m only writing this post because you can’t read, you don’t know what a blog is and because you’re still in that developmental sweet spot where you take everything I tell you at face value.

Suckers.

Your old man is full of secrets, things that could destroy my authority if you ever found out.  Here are 10 highly classified facts that I will take to my grave… or at least wait to tell you until you have kids of your own.

1.  TV is a reward for me, not you.

There’s a reason I never promise you TV for being good.  When you’re behaving, I don’t need to turn on the TV.  Overall, you guys are terrific company… but when you’re not, that’s when TV comes to my rescue.  Those 22 blissful minutes of Yo Gabba Gabba are my reward for getting through the…

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My Two Daddies… The Awesome, Cool, Hilarious Daddy, and the Other One

Genuinely put a smile on my face. Definitely worth the read.

jerry-mahoney.com

There was nothing I wanted to inherit from my father more than the name “Dad.” I loved my dad, and in my mind, he was indelibly tied to that particular sobriquet. “Dad” was a term of love and respect for me, a part of all my memories of childhood and a crucial element of how I defined my family. The problem, when I actually became a dad, was that my partner Drew wanted to be called “Dad,” too — or, in the early years, “Daddy.”

“You can’t both be Dad,” a million people warned us. “That’ll be so confusing for your kids.”

They suggested we go by “Daddy” and “Papa,” which seem to be the go-to designations for gay dads these days. No matter how much we considered it, though, “Papa” felt like the consolation prize, and neither of us would agree to settle for it. We both grew up…

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Around the world in 20 years

When I tell people that I have never lived in a place for more than three years, they’re usually shocked. I tell them the same thing every time when they ask me what it was like. 

“It was annoying have to start over each time, but it made for great memories and greater friends.”

And it’s true. But I don’t think I’ve ever had that one friend who I’ve known forever and had these amazing childhood memories with, because I never stuck around long enough. Sure I have best friends from all over the world, but none that I can say I’ve known since day one. 

That being said, I’ve met people from all over the world. America, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sicily, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Kuwait…and so many more that I can’t even think of. That list gives you a rough idea of the places I’ve been to or lived in. 

I got to experience all the cultures, lifestyles and languages and more importantly, I got to meet these amazing people with their amazing stories. One thing my roommate (from Chicago) says she likes about Europe is that it’s so small. You can take the Eurostar from Waterloo in London to Gare du Nord in Paris in roughly two hours. You can drive across the French border and be in Germany. 

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This where the border of Belgium meets the Netherlands. DO YOU SEE HOW CRAZY THIS IS? 

Once, my Dutch friend and I were getting ready to leave a university exhibition centre, when we ran into two Canadian college reps. Bryan was from Brock, and I can’t remember the woman’s name anymore. We got talking and we ended up having dinner with two strangers who we had met merely an hour before. It was exhilarating! 

So really, it’s not a big deal that I don’t have a childhood best friend. I’m still in touch with friends from the third grade onwards, and that’s more than I could ask for. Technology today has allowed us to rekindle old friendships and maintain the ones worth maintaining. 

If I was told that I could have those childhood friends and live in the same house all my life and make wonderful memories, I’d say no. Because I don’t think I would ever give up any of the experiences I had. The good and the bad, both. They made me who I am today and if giving up all those experiences mean that I remain naïve and ignorant to the world, then I wouldn’t give it up for anything. 

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This should give you a good idea. A map showing where most of my friends come from. 

It’s raining cats and dogs, hallelujah!

So last summer I lost my cat. And anyone who knows me knows that that cat was a huge part of my life and yeah I sound crazy but if you’ve had a pet, you know that you’d break into two if anything ever happened to them. So I came back from uni and my parents tell me that Joey is gone. So naturally I was very upset and I decided I can direct all that anger towards doing something actually worthwhile and I did.
I adopted two cats and a dog (though we had to give the dog away so I won’t post pictures of her because I still hate myself for it). Aside from that I helped out at the shelter and you know what I realised? I like animals more than people.

This is Zeus. He was rescued, along with other puppies, from extremely harsh climates. They were dumped on the side of the road in a cloth bag. People are assholes.

This is Zeus. He was rescued, along with other puppies, from extremely harsh climates. They were dumped on the side of the road in a cloth bag. People are assholes.

This is Joey. He's dead now probably.

This is Joey. He’s dead now probably.

Max (ginger) and Lucy (black). My dad likes to call Lucy "Lucifer" even though max is the one who is a total dick. Mum says they look like street cats WHICH THEY ARE BUT I RESCUED THEM SO WHATEVER

Max (ginger) and Lucy (black). My dad likes to call Lucy “Lucifer” even though max is the one who is a total dick. Mum says they look like street cats WHICH THEY ARE BUT I RESCUED THEM SO WHATEVER

I must sound completely mental, showing off my cat photos but I don’t care.
I like them more than my siblings.

Change

Right, you know how people say that change is usually for the better? 

I’ve moved around a lot in my life. As a kid, I have been to at least 13 (ish) schools (I lost count) and moved around 15 (ish) houses. My parents are both doctors; we’re not gypsies. So whenever they got a better job offer, they decided to move. 

It’s easier making friends as a small child. And I was a pretty friendly kid, so I never had trouble. The last time I changed schools was after the 11th grade. And even then it wasn’t an issue for me to make friends. Annoying, but not an issue. When I graduated, everyone told me that I would be the one that knew everyone at uni. Someone actually described me as a “social butterfly”, which is disgusting because I hate butterflies, but I get their point. 

 

But I came to uni and I don’t know what the hell changed. I’m in a purely medical university so we’re all doing the same course. The place I am living in doesn’t offer much in terms entertainment. There’s cinemas, food, bowling, shopping, a few water parks and whatnot (and you’re probably wondering what I’m complaining about). But how many times can we go out to eat, you know? 

In my friend group, only me and my roommate and one other guy are in dorms. The rest live off campus and we don’t really tend to go to their houses because of their families. Nothing wrong with them, but I guess it’s only been a year and I don’t really feel okay around their families yet. My point is, there isn’t really a place where we can just hang out. Our campus has a gym and a library but I’m not about to go to the library or gym for social interactions. 

So since we’re all in the same course, I have to see the same people in the same lecture every day and we’re always doing the same thing for entertainment. 

“Let’s go out to eat.”

“We went out yesterday.”

“Let’s go see a movie.”

“There’re no new ones out yet.”

“Let’s stare blankly into space whilst sitting in the sweltering heat outside the cafeteria.”

“Sure.”

I’m not even exaggerating. 

So when I say I want new friends, I’m not being a dick and hating on my current friends. I’m close to my roommate and one other guy and they’re my go-to friends. But sometimes you just need a change of pace and a change of scenery and unfortunately this place offers neither. Partially because of the lack of resources but also because a lot of people in our year group are just hard to be friends with. I’ll go into detail in later posts. 

So I’m just dealing now with not being as social as I used to. I miss meeting new people and actually doing things that made me happy. It’s not even like this is a PROBLEM, you know? But as my friend would say, just because your problems seem to be less than someone else’s, doesn’t mean they’re not problems.