How do I get my kids to stop playing video games?!   This is a question asked by many parents seeking to find a balance between the “real world” and the “virtual world”…

Observation:  I have noticed that my attitude toward online gaming has changed since I got back to karate school.  Ironically, it was the skills of a “scrapper” toon in an online role-playing game that reminded me of the up-close tactics I learned years ago in karate.  The scoundrel I play online is not real, tho.   “For real” is an element missing from gaming.  It is virtual.  Not a bad thing, just not for really real.

A possibility to consider:  Karate class stimulates full-body neurological pathways similar to playing a video game, except involving more purposeful physicality.  With video gaming, the primary input is visual and tactile (hand controls), then auditory.  Could it be that the way to diminish video gaming desire is to participate in a full-body workout in a group setting?  ….May be similar to doing a flashpoint/mission/raid with team-mates in a video game.  (I know I never got the same sense of fulfillment when I was trying to go to a fitness center and work out by myself or even going for a walk by myself!)…and video gaming just simply makes you want to come back for more.   I need ONE more enhancement….ONE more level…..

It is possible that both video gaming and karate motivate along the lines of achievement.  To avoid bashing video gaming, it could be that the dedication to “leveling up” in a video game indicates that a person has gifts that can also be utilized in other areas of life:  not “giving up,” “teamwork,”  and “goal setting,” to name a few.  These positive traits are cherished in real life:  in families and in the work place.


  • In karate, there is a dedication to respect of rules and others.
  • Discipline is key.

In video gaming, bad attitudes abound, including my own, at times.   Instead of being encouraged, team mates in video games are often “voted out/kicked” from the quest due to their inability to perform the task at hand. A bit brutal at times, but reflective of competition in the work place.  Seeking a kinder, gentler “mode” in gaming and appreciating the group conscience of real-life karate school.

I would be wrong if I did not have an attitude of gratitude to those in the gaming world who tend to moderate “general chats”  that get out of hand.  Not trying to be overly critical of gaming, I have had a lot of good diversion while gaming….. met and made friends in online gaming.

Family values:  Since the dojo is led by the Kyoshi/Renshi/Sensei, it is possible (and real at my dojo) that a dojo/school emphasis can be on family involvement.  In karate, the whole family can participate.  In a sense, this is also possible with multiple controllers on a video game….but what about values and discipline?  ….And straight-up human interaction without our faces buried in technology?!  Some of this camaraderie is fostered in online guilds/clubs of people who play together online.  I can think of at least one gaming company which has worked toward “fully” implementing this concept of whole group/ whole body involvement.  I guess what I am getting at is this;  we appreciate real-life face-to-face interaction with our friends and family!

Some of the “family” has already been implemented in “virtual” communities!  ….And then election times hit!  Oh, the drama!  Think about the “great big, happy families” in social media!  Ha!

What do you think about the implementation of more group face-to-face physical activities as an alternative to gaming?  (Haven’t even mentioned board games.)  Seeking at least to find a balance between the ” real world” and the “virtual world”….

Blann’s Martial Arts

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October 18, 2017 Barnes Disclaimer