Personal Experience and a World of Judgement (Part II)

Link Eyes

In Part I, I spoke about some judgements in gamer decisions and reflected on how I have changed in this regard. Now I would like to talk more on the real world applications.

People wanting a different experience and having different views towards these experiences is a big can of worms to open up when it comes to life out of the gaming realm… a can that I don’t have much desire to really unload in its entirety so I will keep this relatively concise. Overall I think there is far too much judgement in the world. There is a science to balancing these judgements – it’s a fine line between observing and imparting feedback versus subjectively imposing a negative light on behaviors that seem foreign or weird… a line that is easily and often crossed.

Why Judge for the Sake of Judging?:
In a way, I can see that to judge is human nature and I don’t mean to judge people for judging (hypocrite alert?!), but I feel like people waste efforts forming twisted impressions of other people over things that make little difference in life.

For example, I don’t know how many times I have been criticized for how fast I eat. For me, eating fast is the best way to truly understand the flavors that lie in wait within the food. Now it’s one thing for someone to observe that (which many have) and another for someone to tell me it’s objectively wrong; that I would be able to relish the flavor more if I just ate slower. How can my preferred way of interacting with my body’s sensations be wrong?

Another example can be seen in the the disapproving eyes that gamers often get from non-gamers. This is especially frustrating with the stigma that still persists around me whipping out my 3DS, while people have settled into acceptance of gaming on a smartphone or tablet. It’s beyond weird to me that someone could be playing say, Bejeweled on their iPhone, and that’s alright with society, but if I start up my DS for some Puzzle Kingdom I get the look of instant disgust.

I know for a long time I personally was in a weird place regarding the money my parents spent on wine. Growing up I saw buying an expensive bottle of wine as a waste and along with this notion was some judgement of their choice to do so. Years later, I eventually talked to my dad about it, and he explored the underpinnings of his choices.

He talked about how he values fleeting, life experience, style expenses far more than more tangible, lasting objects like a piece of furniture; the culture behind the wine was one he relishes in. This is far different from the way in which my mind is geared towards the $60 per 80 hours of gameplay “value”… but now different does not imply foreign. His eloquent explanation of the way he derives value helped me understand something I had naively judged.

What Can I Do About It:
All of these experiences have made me someone who tries to choose my words very carefully (key word there is tries). Communication of different beliefs, values and expectations of life are an important way to learn about the world. But trying to speak of these things in a way that emphasizes the personal nature of these beliefs and the acceptance of how others wish to interact with life has been helpful in keeping derogatory judgement out of my life. I know my brother concurs with me to some extent, hence the ‘learning from’ perspective instead of a ‘tearing down’ perspective he enlists for his column.

This becomes more difficult when personal beliefs clash in a way that acceptance becomes hard, or impossible. For example, I enjoy playing sports quite a bit, so I try to organize what I can. All I am really looking for is some fun, good play, at a casual level. But this balance is extremely hard to find as the “casual level” tends to be a grey zone of heavy competitive discrepancy.

Some people find enjoyment in simply showing up and doing what they can, others wish to be a competitive force in the rankings. My main enjoyment comes from making sure the team as a whole is enjoying the experience (though I can get caught up in the competitive spirit from time to time as well). Thus understanding and managing expectations becomes a key factor in success as different people often enter the situation with clashing expectations.

On a grander scale we have issues like bipartisan governments. Variant beliefs in how a government should be run and what laws should govern a land lead to some serious clashes. The current gun regulation debate has led to more flaming on the internet than I thought possible. But this is not the place for these discussions, as it is the exact can of worms I hoped to leave confined. Too BLECH for a feel good style blog.

The End:
On that note, I’m done. Let me know how you feel about any and all of the above in the comments below. Do you feel like you are often judged on things that have little impact on others? Or are you perhaps on the other side of the equation? I suppose I could entertain arguments for a reasonable dose of day-to-day judgement being healthy in a regime of constantly learning. But I think the real question here is does my title weirdly remind you of “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”? Because I thought it once and now I can’t get it out of my head!

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, game on and learn on!

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