Don’t Forget, It’s Just a Video Game
EVE Online

If I was forced to point out one unsavory character flaw I have related to video games, it would be my hatred for repetition. There are some times that I just hate having to repeat a certain level over and over again. This is the biggest reason why the Souls series has just never appealed to me. The whole point of the game is that you're going to die, and you'll need to recover and try again. That's all well and good for some people, but it drives me crazy when I have to fight the same boss over and over again with no indication as to whether or not I'll succeed this time. Even in games like the Tomb Raider reboot, where I sometimes misstep and end up having to play an action sequence over again, I can feel the rage bubbling. It's moments like these that I have to remind myself that it's just a video game.

It's just a video game and, while I'll have to go back at some point and replay a sequence I've already attempted, it's okay. In the grand scheme of life, repeating one or two boss battles is not going to break me. After repeating these mantras a few times and taking a couple deep breaths, I'm able to continue whatever game it was that I'm playing. Not everyone has this issue, but a large enough population within the gaming community does that I figured it would be worth addressing.


There are also some specific cases out there that I simply can't ignore. Recently, a massive mutiny happened between two major Eve Online groups. After this mutiny, one of the group's leaders (gigX) threatened the player (The Judge) who committed the heinous betrayal. In the leaders words exactly, “The Judge feel free to use your hands by typing here while you still can.” This phrase could have many meanings. It could be a simple outburst of anger after losing who knows how many months (potentially years) of time, effort, and real cash spent on the game. It could have also been a threat that gigX would seek revenge in-game to the point that The Judge would no longer be able to play Eve Online. Some of the internet seems to believe that gigX was personally threatening The Judge's real life hands. Seems a little archaic, not to mention unrealistic, to me. Nevertheless, the threat was taken seriously by Eve Online's developers, CCP. They permanently banned gigX from Eve Online for the threat.

Discussing the wrongs and rights of gigX's permanent ban from Eve Online could fill a completely different article. For now, I'm focusing on the concept of games being just that - games. A mutiny of such a scale will undoubtedly affect the players within the game. It's at that moment that clarity needs to be sought. There's nothing to be done about the betrayal and the loss of in-game assets, not to mention the time and money sunk into it. It's because of this that players need to try to remind themselves that it's just a game. It can be frighteningly easy to become so invested in a video game that it affects our real lives. That's why it's up to us to assure ourselves that the two spheres of our lives are separate.

EVE Online

You shouldn't let your video game life interfere with that of reality, and vice versa. The emotional and mental investment into our gaming selves is impossible to resist or deny, but when we let it bleed into our reality is when we've made a mistake. If you suffered from a digital betrayal on the scale of that in Eve Online, but then took it out on your friends and family, they would be rightfully upset. It's not their fault that something happened to you in-game. Similarly, it's not right to take something out on someone in reality for something that happened virtually. GigX has no right to physically harm The Judge over his virtual mutiny. Anyone involved in the event would understandably be upset, but taking that anger outside of the game is wrong.

Gamers all essentially live double lives, we have our virtual selves (in a variety of different games usual), and we have our real selves. Those two are separate for a reason, and always should be. Don't let your in-game frustration bleed over into the real world. After all, it really is just a game.

April Marie
April Marie

Contributing Writer
Date: 09/22/2017

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