the average asking price of most drugs through the second hand market (“the street” not “gamestop”) is low enough at one glance to seem disposable enough to get into. over a long term investment when you include the fact that getting drugs is illegal basically everywhere and the government would much rather ruin your life or have you drink and fuck – it seems ludicrous that anyone would choose drugs as their primary form of relaxation.
if you would and you did, it’s easy to enjoy chasing a new high. nobody who’s done drugs believes in the idea that doing one will make you crave more, but anyone who’s been on one high long enough only to suddenly have the market crash and it’s not available has known the thought of “well, i could just try this stronger thing that’s basically the same..” then you’re buying your original high and whatever new high you like at the same time as soon as both are available. this is not at all that different than the way i keep buying videogames over and over again.
drugs are are a hard habit to kick. when you’ve got the money to dispose of and a roof over your head, they can be a fun distraction from the day and something you can manage. when you don’t have either of those things and a substantial portion of your income goes towards getting high, life is a lot different and you’re looked down on. every part of your life when you’re poor will reinforce you not being able to enjoy drugs even recreationally like the people above you can.
other than the paranoia that can stem from watching a friend get popped when judge dredd boots open their door and you’re on the couch – they’re great for helping you forget the outside world better than a hot shower or sitting on a cliff somewhere and looking at the sky. i know a lot of single parents that i judged extra harshly for doing drugs but would later empathize with them when i started doing them and after i recovered.
more often than not most of the people i know (and knew) who did drugs got into them for reasons other than just trying it. maybe they tried it once and a few years down the road there was that lingering emptiness in their life and they remembered something that could make it go away for a little while. for myself it was chasing things I couldn’t really describe and then feeling them deeper and in new ways.
few people have it worse than addicts – and I don’t mean the suburbanites and glamorous dealers that magazines will an expose on while they’re busy manufacturing new ways to get high they can push to people that can’t really afford it. no matter how altruistic a person who manufactures narcotics is, the only altruism they really feel is for the person with the most cash in hand.
the average asking price for a videogame these days is certainly a lot higher than a handful of hits of whatever for one person can be. 9.99 can be pretty easy to spend on playstation network when your dealer is out of town and you’re already too whacked to go drive anywhere. second hand prices for videogames reflect the larger attitude players have towards the perceived quality of a game but these days even that price comes around slower. most games never drop in price beyond seasonally from online retailers.
doing drugs and playing videogames are certainly two activities that can be enjoyed together. while it’d be difficult to maintain the face-half-sloping-off high of heroin and most videogames (just don’t do heroin really) most addicts I still know from doing drugs play tons of videogames. you can stay in that state where the outside world no longer exists a lot longer with a single game than you can ever stay stoned.
there’s not much difference between doing drugs and playing videogames as a solo activity. videogames are a more accepted activity for relaxation but i wonder aloud here if that isn’t because of the way videogames are tied to arts and class.
what is a videogame console these days accept an injector or a bottle of pills? the thing that delivers a high directly to you. the ways a console penetrates your life outnumber basically any other form of entertainment now, a game console isn’t a single purchase: for some people it signifies a way of life or a brand adherence. a class system of gamerdom.
drugs aren’t really different: less brand awareness and more about the fact that meth heads are usually poor and undereducated and will steal the copper out of your game console because they can rarely hold down a job. there’s probably not a videogame to a meth head that feels as good as meth. that’s something you can run with if you want a thinkpiece to write about.
drugs are no laughing matter, except they are if you’re a drug addict or someone who spends too much time at an EDM festival. it’s in bad taste to compare videogames to substances that frequently ruin lives, but really where’s the difference between the people that can’t pull away from a game of League of Legends to the kind of person who’s useless on the couch for two hours and a comedown after hitting the dab rig a few too many times.
again though: after kicking addiction i started playing videogames more. it was really for the same reason: distraction and at the same time engagement with something else. unlike swallowing a handful of Adderall or doing a bump, it’s too difficult to play videogames and do something else at the same time. they’re both the addiction and the activity you do while addicted.
that’s the trade off thought, right? 400$ once for six years and enough 100 hour highs to keep you distracted from work or life. it’s probably a good reason a huge number of gamernerds want games that aren’t politicized and don’t make you think. the second you think about one game or what you’re putting in your body you have to start thinking about all of it.
it’s a more convenient alternative, but the high gets a lot less invigorating the more of them you play.