The primary purpose of television and video games

Television is largely about protecting oneself from reality. It’s the intentional interaction with unreal events – artificial creations, people pretending to be other people (acting), people and events which have no relationship to one except through the poverty of the television screen.

Two cultural creations were invented at about the same time – television remote controls and video games. The similarities are striking – both increase a “user’s” control over this technological environment. Video games take the next step in domination – enabling the “player” to possess a digital agent, controlling his every move. It is this power and control over the digital environment that is the primary source of pleasure found in playing video games.

A substantial aspect of culture over the past few thousand years has been the struggle to free oneself from slavery of various forms – the current form of slavery is capitalist slavery, otherwise known as wage slavery. One of the most insidious methods the elite currently use to ward off attempts at freedom is to corrupt the slaves by making them masters of their own little worlds. So people click away with their remote controls, enjoying their power and control over what appears on the television screen, or progress through a game – they are masters of those domains.

In this way the elite are training the slaves – teaching them to become masters, teaching them the thrill of mastery, of control, of domination, but always in an environment controlled by the elite themselves.

7 Responses to “The primary purpose of television and video games”

  1. arhageman Says:

    Interesting note.

    I have recently wondered if a similar thing occurs with the public school system. Humans are certainly capable of becoming highly skilled at a variety of activities at a very young age, yet, the public school system only guarentees the teaching of knowledge which someone else has determined to be essential. Often the public school system purposefully avoids teaching certain subjects due to political or religious ideas. The standardization seems quite hazardous in the long run.

    With that said, I must say that some video games can be used to get young people excited about learning more about a sport, game, musical instrument, etc. There are some gains to be made. And who doesn’t enjoy a great movie? We all like to check in to fantasy land on occasion. Unfortunately many people enjoy fantasy life more than real life. This leads to addiction.

    Thanks for the post.
    Peace.

  2. briankoontz Says:

    Even hell has it’s attractions, like the Lake of Fire. I mean, what a sight to behold! Nevermind those slaves in the corner maintaining it.

    It’s not purposeful avoidance that’s the real problem – it’s subconscious behavior. I doubt most teachers are aware that they are serving the ruling class through the material they present, and more importantly the material they *don’t* present.

    For example, I never even heard the word “empire” or “imperialism” in my entire school existence except with respect to the Roman, Ottoman, and British empires. America, I was repeatedly told, is a democracy, has always been a democracy (since Revolution), and will always be a democracy.

    Were the teachers even aware of their utter disregard for reality? When Thomas Friedman writes in his latest book about American democracy without a trace of irony, is he insane, ignorant, or does he seek to delude his audience? I believe the answer to be a combination of the latter two.

    Thomas Friedman serves the interests of global empire. Those interests are well served by the concept of “America as a democracy”. Friedman is not *aware* of this servitude, he’s self-doctrinated himself over the years, as well as being doctrinated by the elite and middle class people around him.

    The best seduction is that which contains an element of real attraction. Sure, one can point to movies and video games and say there is something, a bit, a kernel, of real value therein. But at what cost? As the Lake of Fire burbles and bubbles, and spectators ooh and aah, who looks behind the curtain to see the bodies thrown in to fuel it?

    Many raw materials for computer parts come from the exploitation of Africa, for example. Far from being “invented in America”, the Internet could never have existed without African resources.

    For Westerners, addiction is a method of maintaining domination. It’s a method of ignoring reality in favor of the artificial reality enabled by imperialism. It has much less to do with attraction toward the subject of addiction than with the desire to maintain one’s material status. So when someone “breaks an addiction” to something they are likely to simply begin an addiction to something else.

    When the charade is over, we will all look back and wonder at the crazy life we once led. “What were we thinking?”, we’ll think. The reality of modern Western life will be quickly forgotten, a kind of hyperreal past that seems too unlikely to have ever really happened.

  3. arhageman Says:

    Well put.

    What do you think about this new thing called a Credit Score?

  4. briankoontz Says:

    A credit score itself is just a credit rating, as far as I can tell. The reason it’s so ubiquitous on the internet is that the internet is dominated by a focus on Western consumers, and Western consumers are extremely debt-ridden, largely because American culture is created by high capitalists, whose only care for American slaves (consumers) is that they consume. Hence these capitalists have put tremendous resources toward advertising and marketing which drives Americans to consume beyond their means. And when those “means” do not become greater, as wages have stagnated since the 1970s (while productivity has increased 70%, with profits going straight to capitalists) the result is rising consumption and rising debt.

    This rising debt in turn leads to rising insecurity, which leads Americans to become further enslaved as they fall into fear and remorse. And in a deeply impoverished society like America, the only way Americans can get a “quick fix” of happiness to counter this fear and remorse is to buy. Shopping is by far the most harmful addiction in America, and it’s the one least talked about, precisely because these high capitalists who control virtually all American media have built and plan to continue to build their material well-being on this type of slave behavior.

    Control is about exclusion. It’s about focus. A slave master builds a compliant slave by limiting his possibilities for action, and then channeling those actions into ways profitable to himself. To ensure the slaves don’t turn on the utterly self-serving masters, these masters build a mythology of “upward mobility”, as well as encourage the slaves to be “masters of their own domain”. This small-scale, trivial mastery can be seen in innumerable ways, from the remote control by which a “master” can control his TV robot, to the possession and domination by a player of a digital character in a video game, to the various household appliances at the utter beck-and-call of the “owner”. In fact, owning has become a mark of pride among the slaves of the West – they’ve lost the ability or don’t care to have the ability to recognize that the concept of ownership in the first place is a *slave master* concept.

    The final destruction of the slaves and their perpetual enslavement will occur when the master’s ideology becomes the slave’s ideology. When the minds of slaves are utterly dominated. When the slave, IN HIS OWN MIND, becomes the master.

  5. Ramsefall Says:

    Hello Brian,

    I enjoyed your “training the slaves” perspective, one I not only share, but a reality that I’ve also despised for what seems like forever.

    Every time I go back to the Midwest, I stay at my house where some friends of mine of many years live while I’m down here in S. America, which at this point is indefinite. It’s always great to go home, but each time their dependence on their new 36″ HD equipped with PS2, PS3 and Wii gets worse with the passing of time, and the tube is rarely turned off, even while they are passed out at night. I accept my friends for who they are, while at the same time I become more and more disgusted by their willingness to buy into all that empty shit of intellectual and spiritual distractions. Spending one’s last few dollars of savings to keep oneself entertained seems utterly irresponsible, especially in today’s economic climate. For their benefit, at least they’re not putting it on credit.

    I began boycotting TV and vids roughly a decade ago, am pleased to get whatever info I need from the Internet where propaganda is minimized in comparison. I suppose that in some aspect, however, searching for new information can also be a distraction, but at least we’re not sucked in to a virtual reality established to numb the mind. It’s amazing how many people are shocked to find out that I don’t own a TV.

    On another note, how about those teaching qualifications? While mentioning the Empire can be a sensitive topic for some students, nowadays it’s more acceptable to try and open the eyes of young learners who falsely think that the US actually represents what could be considered real democracy.

    Get back to me when you can, and thanks for the post.

    Best to you.

  6. briankoontz Says:

    The left for the most part doesn’t understand the deep poverty Americans live in – poverty in every way *except* material. Ordinary Americans cling to their material possessions not so much because they are “materialists”, happy consumers, or the like, but because they are literally nothing else. They see an endless chasm before them and the only other option (besides falling in) is shopping. And along with shopping, supporting the elite (who enable them to shop).

    I’ve examined Japanese culture to a reasonable extent over the past decade – it’s a lot like American culture, only more self-aware. Much of their media deals with various aspects of decay and apocalypse. Yet Japan, much like the US, seems only too eager to bring on this apocalypse their artists ostensibly oppose.

    Americans believe that there is no hope. They believe not only that they are powerless but that they will always be powerless. They are a beaten and bloody dog curled up in the street waiting to die.

    The call of the left is to “organize”. Dying dogs however cannot be organized. Humans who cringe away while their neighbor receives police brutality cannot be organized.

    Perhaps the first move for the left, rather than to organize, is to infuse those who are ostensibly human with actual humanity. To breath some life into them and get them back on their feet. To make them ready for organized resistance. Certain church groups seem to be doing this, which may make them the most effective leftists currently in America.

    I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s in a small town in the Midwest (Niles, MI). Almost the entire town lived in fear. It felt surreal since I had no idea what the hell everyone’s (or anyone’s) problem was. Occasionally there would be outbreaks of inexplicable violence, and every minor slight turned into a major drama, like media depictions of the Old West with shootouts all the time. There was a constant immense tension, as if the world could explode at any moment.

    That experience was what got me into philosophy. I had to know what the fuck was going on. That experience was also what made me an ascetic. I had to get away from the humanity books told me was noble and my own experience told me was the lowest form of life.

    I don’t understand why you chose Colombia of all places in South America, but I’m happy to hear about your experiences there if you would share them.

  7. Ramsefall Says:

    Hello Brian,

    Running through some old posts today and I came across your reply from way back in February….better late than never my reply, I suppose.

    Why Colombia? Well, for starters it has always been the taboo country according to my Political Science classes and their corresponding Professors. Of course the media also had its influence on my decision, as well. I was reluctant to believe that this L. American nation could be so dangerously hideous as portrayed everywhere. In short, I went there to confirm my suspicions that the real story behind Colombia wasn’t being shared, that it isn’t the demon nation portrayed by so many.

    What I discovered, confirmed more like it, is that there are indeed many untruths circulating in the world. By taking the risk against all recommendations, I am now able to see Colombia in its true light for the country that it really is. The friendliest people that I’ve encountered in L. America have been in Colombia, and I’ve been to half the region’s different countries. Biologically it is quite impressive with beautiful natural landscapes up and down the Andean Cordillera. Generally speaking, I have never felt threatened aside from one experience which I could have avoided by using better judgement. The food, music, traditions, flavors and people make the country what it is. Yes, there is a stupid, ongoing conflict between the govt, guerrilla and Para groups, but those areas are easily avoided since they’re restricted to particular zones — some of which I’ve visited a time or two. After four years of exposure, I’m certain beyond any doubt that other forces are hard at work demonizing the image of Colombia.

    I could go on, but for now I’ll just leave you with what I’ve written and see if you have any questions.

    FYI, I had to abandon the daily article submissions and discussions at the end of February since focusing on all the horse shit in the world was beginning to drive me a bit whacky. I understand that the world is continuing to undergo an onslaught of problems, but consistently discussing and/or arguing about them was getting me nowhere…had to disconnect and realign my focus.

    Best to you.

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