The ShortRead of 19 August
Death by Video Game
Author: Simon Parkin
What's the story: Three hours. Maybe four. We can't remember how long our Candy Crush marathon lasted, but it's the power of this sort of addictive gameplay that's up for discussion in Simon Parkin's exploration of the subject.
A journalist by trade, whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The New Statesman, Parkin delves into the light and dark of video game culture, offsetting stories of its negative influences with tales of how it's helped keep kids off the street in war-ravaged areas.
A read that won't help you beat that Bloodborne boss, but will only further your passion for video games.
A whole family brought to destitution in England, has had all its misfortunes clearly traced by the authorities to an ungovernable passion for novel reading entertained by the wife and mother. The husband was sober and industrious, but his wife was indolent and addicted to reading everything procurable in the way of romance. This led her to utterly neglect her husband, herself and her eight children. One daughter in despair, fled the parental home, and threw herself into the haunts of vice. Another was found by the police chained by the legs to prevent her from following her sister’s example. The house exhibited the most offensive appearance of filth and indigence. In the midst of this pollution, privation and poverty, the cause of it sat reading the last ‘sensation work’ of the season, and refused to allow herself to be disturbed in her entertainment.
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‘I have seen reports from all over the country of young people becoming so addicted to these machines that they resort to theft, blackmail and vice to obtain money to satisfy their addiction. I use the word “addiction” not in its increasingly common misuse, as being generally fond of something, but in its strictly correct sense of being so attracted to an activity that all normal activity is suspended to carry it out.’
For more excellent reads, check out our previous choices below - just click on the link:
(Images: Flickr/Kate Hiscock; Rex)