Sight – A Disturbing Vision And A Disconnect With Reality #edcmooc

All life is a game. SIGHT is a disturbing representation of a mind distorted by gaming. A mind so addicted to gaming that it treats life itself as a game.  A sort of “gamification” of life, if I may use the term that is being floated by many of the EDCMOOCers over the last one week.

SIGHT portrays an individual who is so addicted to gaming that he views everything that he does as part of a game. It is almost as if he is in the game itself as a character, and living his gaming avatar. Everything for him as about scoring points, be it an imagined sky-diving freefall or chopping of cucumbers. Here is an individual with a mind that imagines everything that he does as occurring in a game, and all his actions are “moves” designed to add more points. It’s all about winning trophies and badges.

Watching this video reminded me of an article by Dr. Kimberly Young , an internet addiction expert. I had come across this article a couple of years ago, and went looking for it again today. In this article titled “Poor Social Relationships Linked to Video/Online Gaming Addiction”, she says “A large part of gaming is about making social relationships. Gamers often make friends with other gamers and it is these friends who may even first introduce the gamer to the game. Ultimately, online gaming is a social activity. Most online games include copious amounts of chats, allowing players to interact with each other in the guise of the characters they represent. The social aspect is a primary factor in many game addictions. Many people are lonely, have never felt like they belonged. People get a sense of belonging in the game. In some cases, it provides the only friends they interact with. Gamers can become hooked on this social fantasy world.”

She further goes on to say that “Gaming provides individuals with an outlet for their imaginations. They are drawn into the virtual fantasy world of the game and they internalize the game as a real place and others characters are seen as real people and not fictional characters.”

SIGHT, therefore is a disturbing portrayal of life affected by gaming addiction – an individual so badly affected that he seeks perfection even in his imagination. An example of this is his “perfectly Visualized” landing in the sky-diving scene, and thereafter, in “restarting sequence” of chopping the cucumber because one cut was not perfect. This is followed by the picking up of “points” while frying an egg !

And then there is this scene of “visualizing” the appropriate dress to be worn for a dinner date, which is almost like picking the character that one wishes to play as in the game. The icing on the cake is the dinner date scenario itself, where the “date” is being assessed by “mental apps” that define her difficulty levels, matching her as an individual to her “profile”. The entire conversation is about the “game” which apparently both of them are playing. It is hardly a social interaction between two real people – it is more like a move against counter-move between two game characters.

And then the finale where the girl realizes that the whole evening has been “rigged” – a manipulation using a dating app, and is walking out, when our man switches to another “strategy”, where the film ends.

Bizarre ? You bet.

We humans may have perfected the art of electronic communication over the years, but when it comes to our inter-personal communication, we don’t seem to have progressed much over the centuries, and technology may have, perhaps, made it worse for us. Gaming and internet addiction is for real. It is a phenomena that is affecting a lot of people globally. People tend to get hooked to whatever it is they enjoy – be it internet, be it chatting, be it gaming or anything similar. “Net Junkie” is a reality. People get so addicted to technology they forget that there is a real world waiting for them on the outside.  They tend to withdraw more and more into their virtual worlds, and connect well with people, or characters, in their virtual worlds. But when it comes to human relationships, they are a disaster. Such people, when deprived of their gadgets or computers, actually develop what psychologists refer to as “withdrawal symptoms”, similar to those being treated for drug de-addiction.  I know what I am talking about- Been there – done that. Scary !

A fellow EDCMOOCer and member of our PLN, Monica also voiced similar thoughts in her blog-post titled “Are we inside or outside ? That’s a good question !”, where she says “It’s really dangerous to lose our real identity in the real world. We have many aspects to enrich our lives and if we are involved only in one space, we will lose other chances to experience different lifestyles. This dystopia video does give me an alert that we can’t live inside our own world. Technology makes it easier to create amazing digital space and we should accept it because of the convenience. Only the issue we should clearly recognize is how we arrange our position, inside or outside?”

Too much of everything is bad, it is said. Same is true for the internet as well as technology. It is entirely up to us as humans to decide how dependent we let ourselves become on technology. But the question that then arises, considering that technology is all-pervasive today, is – How much is too much ?


12 thoughts on “Sight – A Disturbing Vision And A Disconnect With Reality #edcmooc

  1. Rajiv, you totally describe my sense about this video. I could only describe 20% of the content but in your interpretation, it is 100%. Yes, gamification is right now happening. It makes people can’t tell the virtual world or the real world. How much is too much? It should be a measurement inside our mind.


    • Thank you, Monica. I found this video quite disturbing, partly because of what I have already described above, and also partly because it reminded of the time when I too was addicted to the net.

      I got my first computer in 1998, and for the next couple of years, I was almost a “Net Junkie”, and it took a lot of conscious effort to pull out it. I still tend to slip once in a while, so you can imagine how addictive this can be.

      And I guess that there is no definitive answer to the question “How much is too much” – I guess each individual has to define that for himself / herself. Which is what makes it scary because each of are different, What’s enough for one may not be enough for another.


  2. I love the write up here, it’s truly honest about addictions and the nature of each individual’s use of the net. I seem to become more and more addicted to ‘earth changes’ on you tube and get upset if I miss checking the world for its strange weather, sinkholes, massive floods, droughts and not to mention space and its comets etc each day. I also feel denied if I have checked all the sites under my favourites and have no more to look at. I know i’m addicted to that, but I’ve never played games and am not suffering gamification like many others. The film above was definitely dystopian in my view. I wonder what younger people feel about this film.


    • Thank you, Diane. I can very well relate to the feelings that you have described. I have had my share of that in the past, but no, I was never a gamer. For me it was surfing and chatting.

      I was also reading somewhere that all “addicts” – of any kind – are usually in a denial mode – unwilling to concede the fact that they are addicted. They feel that they can pull out of it any time they like, and continue with the habit, till they get sucked in so deep that they need help.

      When I see the generation today, I can’t help wondering whether for them is it an addiction to technology, or is it something normal that they have adapted to. Smartphones and handhelds seem to have become natural extensions of their hands, and they are perpetually “connected”. I wonder sometimes if they ever realize that they may actually be so “disconnected” socially and on an interpersonal level.


  3. Hi Raj great synopsis of this clip. I often question also how the current generation’s experience with digital culture when I watch my kids gaming and spending increasing time online chatting rather than going out. Though I just as eagerly want to be checking my forums for this unit, and thus increasingly also spending more time…we only have one computer so it can be a battle, all us acting like addicts to have our turn. I was thinking of it as a generational issue at first but realize I need to include my own behavior.


    • Thank you Jeannine. 🙂

      Honestly speaking, I to have been spending a lot of time online, especially to “stay connected” with the course and losing a lot of sleep lately.

      You rightly mentioned about today’s younger generation spending increasing time online – which is a cause for serious concern. In our house it is worse because my kids are grown up – one is doing her MBA and the other one is in final year of college, and we have four computers in the house. Sometimes it gets so so bad that each of us are sitting in our respective rooms and working / networking online. So much for family bonding 😦

      I came across this funny quote on Facebook some time back which says – “Want to call a family meeting ? Switch off the router and wait in the room where it is located.”

      Sad but true 😦


  4. i also think in the same way..gaming is absolutely cynical..once upon a time i played war craft a that game i always tried to trap other player and built own forces…i was totally addicted with that game and at the same time i played counter strikes a lot and day and night i spent my time in different places of these games…i was addicted with that brilliant games and after playing these dozens of game i sometimes realized the life is like a game…so many experience games also gives us some creativity but at last it’s only becomes some enjoyment…


    • Thank you, Chandraman. That is the problem with gaming, social media and technology. What starts out as enjoyment can turn into addiction. There is a very thin dividing line and the problem is that most of us do not realize when we cross that line.


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