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back to article The LSD trick cyclist, the 1980s pop-star and video games to REPROGRAM YOUR BRAIN

The computer games industry has thrown up some pretty surreal situations, from mushroom-gobbling plumbers to inexplicably grumpy avians launching kamikaze attacks against smirking pigs. So you would be forgiven for thinking video games developed by the once “most dangerous man in America”, psychedelics advocate Timothy Leary, …

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Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Hardly important.

Some of us actually grow up after we are teenagers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

And some of us continue going "naah na, na naaah, na, my knob is bigger and better than yours", eh jake?

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Some of us didn't grow up. Some of us refused.

...and then went on to develop the mouse, the Internet, the social network, and computing today as we know it.

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

jake, and you neither listen to musicians who took drugs, read literature written by alcoholics?

You might have missed it but computer games actually developed into an art of its own, part of our culture.

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Once again, your mindless knee-jerk reaction leads me to ask the obvious question, to which I would like a genuine and thought-through answer from you:

OK, then - tell us what you view as important? What do you do that is more important than what Leary did? Or do you just like jeering from the sidelines, with nothing constructive to add?

GJC

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@Geoff Campbell (was: Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

"tell us what you view as important?"

One word: Reality.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

I very much doubt that Jake's reality encompasses anything other than Jake.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

OK, and what is your reality?

GJC

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

My reality is my day-to-day life. And I'm pretty happy with it.

YMMV. Think about it.

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Happy

Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

and some of us (like this 63yr old) have always believed in the following:-

Growing old is mandatory

Growing up is optional

Several decades ago, I opted not to.

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

When I grow up I want to be immature! SPSPSPSPPPRRRRRT!

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

"My reality is my day-to-day life. And I'm pretty happy with it.

YMMV. Think about it."

Judging by the negative overtones that surface in most of your comments, that it quite difficult to believe.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

jake, so your day-to-day life is more real than taking drugs or playing computer games. Fine. But how real exactly is it to spend considerable time in the comments sections on El Reg? Nothing wrong with that either, just wondering.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

Empty platitudes. Looks like you are the one who needs to think about it, Jake.

GJC

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

I thought drugs were mandatory in the IT world.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

"My reality is my day-to-day life"

Of which entertainment has a 0% share and therefore you are superior to any of the plebs who would be involved.

"YMMV. Think about it."

Physician heal thyself.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

Reality is for people who cant handle LSD.

Any fule kno that.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

Troll food, get your fresh troll food here folks. Troll food $2 a bag.

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

― C.S. Lewis

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Meh

Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

>...doubt that Jake's reality encompasses anything other than Jake.

Unfortunately it also includes at least a keyboard and an internet connection.

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Joke

Re: @Geoff Campbell (was: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?)

Reality: noun, re-al-i-ty : An illusion caused by a lack of alcohol.

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

I remember spending many hours with Unreal tournament and a bag of weed. Good times.

GJC

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

That caused me a bit of a double-take :-)

GJC

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Yeah, but most of use are burdened with the fact that staying alive, keeping a roof over your head and obtaining food costs money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

Define reality.

Prove your reality exists.

In fact, provide evidence of your own existence that can't be readily denied.

Prove to yourself that your reality is not in fact a life long drug induced hallucination.

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Anonymous Coward

Leary computers and drugs ..

"What do you do that is more important than what Leary did?"

Leary was one of dumbest smart persons on the planet. Anyone who seriously thinks anything constructive came out of the drug culture obviously didn't do enough of them. Drugs and computer software don't go together as you can't do both at the same time.

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Pirate

Re: Leary computers and drugs ..

Well now...

You will notice that I did not claim that anything Leary did had any intrinsic worth or value. I asked what Jake was doing that had more worth or value, which is an entirely different question.

As to whether or not Leary did anything of value, who knows? He asked a lot of questions, and made a lot of other people think, which is good enough for me.

Drugs and computers went together just fine in the 1980s, I can tell you from personal experience. "Drugs" is a very broad church, and covers a whole bunch of substances that each have different and diverse effects on the mind and body. I found a combination of alcohol, coffee, and amphetamines just right for business programming as it was done back then. Probably wouldn't work in today's much more structured and big-corporate world, I grant you.

GJC

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Re: Computer games & drugs? Seriously?

It is my strong opinion that "growing up" is carried entirely on the X-chromosome. There is an extremely weakened tendency to anyone with only one X-chromosome, but pressure from two-X people can make one-X people act as if they have some characteristics of having grown up. That is why most techie people are men - they perpetually inhabit a world of not-grown-up, and so can see further.

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A computer game reprogrammed my brain

Unfortunately it reprogrammed it to kill Stroggs which so far hasn't proved to be a terribly useful life skill.

Non flippant version: "reprogramming the brain" is otherwise called learning - if you claim it means something else you're talking nonsense. (Susan Greenfield, I'm looking at you.)

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Meh

Intriguing ideas. Probably a bit bonkers but intriguing.

Of course I cannot possibly imagine any computer game being developed while any

of it's team were under the influence mind altering substance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intriguing ideas. Probably a bit bonkers but intriguing.

I will post AC for obvious reasons. Having a lot of first hand knowledge of the aforementioned drug, I can assure you that no-one designs computer games whilst tripping. The Ideas and Images that enter your mind are so powerfull that you are literally elevated to another plane. Once you are in the plane it becomes the only source of existance.

Most people have no idea what it means to actually hallicunate, it is far beyond anything that a normal mind can imagine. It's a bit like dreaming whilst your are awake, where everything is tangible but constantly evolving into other forms and lifes. None of what you see though has any relation to the world you currently know, you delve into a world of fantasy and emotion that, for me at least, cannot be achieved without taking the drug.

It literally does open your mind. The drug itself merely opens up a small gate within your brain and allows the imagination to flow unrestricted. It has it's good side but it also has its bad side, but that's another story, anyone that suffers from Flashbacks knows what I mean..

The closest images that I have ever seen to someone hallicinating are in the film fear and loathing in las vegas . Within the short extract there are scenes where your see the carpet and the womans face morphing. Try to imagine those same scenes but not as smalll isolated unique events but more as 100% of what you are currently experience. Where the whole room, building, forest or skies are constantly in an evoluative state.

With LSD you can smell sound, feel colour, touch a smell, your senses are heightened and interchanged. Time no longer has any value, life and death themselves role into one. The energy that vibrates throughout the universe becomes your very soul.......

Coming back to down to earth.......

I would neither advocate nor oppose it's usage.

On the other hand though, when you come down you are still capable of remembering some of what you experienced. This I believe is the only thing that could be used in order to create a game, the memories that remain.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intriguing ideas. Probably a bit bonkers but intriguing.

Nice, AC - nice.

I was always curious about LSD back when I used to do That Sort Of Thing, but problems with anxiety ruled it out.

I'm a bit calmer now, but alas, also a bit older and wiser and less interested in That Sort Of Thing. Probably still to much risk of having a panic attack mid trip, so I'll leave it be methinks.

Sounds interesting though.

Anon, for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intriguing ideas. Probably a bit bonkers but intriguing.

"...you are literally elevated to another plane."

I had that happen once when I missed a connection, but unfortunately I didn't get a business upgrade out of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Intriguing ideas. Probably a bit bonkers but intriguing.

I actually asked myself when I was writing if it should have been plane or plain and for some dumb reason I stuck with the wrong one.

Imagine a Facepalm icon over there ------------->

AC's can't choose

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Re: Plane or plain

Nope, you got the right one (plane, that is).

It just happens to also be a good excuse for a godawful pun.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plane or plain

Back when I tripped I couldn't actually use a PC crt monitor as it seemed you could see the screen refreshing/whatever it did back then.

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Unhappy

AC @ 07:48

"I will post AC for obvious reasons. Having a lot of first hand knowledge of the aforementioned drug, I can assure you that no-one designs computer games whilst tripping. The Ideas and Images that enter your mind are so powerfull that you are literally elevated to another plane. Once you are in the plane it becomes the only source of existance."

Whatever made you think I was talking solely about LSD?

"Most people have no idea what it means to actually hallicunate, it is far beyond anything that a normal mind can imagine. "

I've only seen the aftermath of a bad trip a friend took.

The bodies still walking around but I mourned their death a long time ago.

"Most people have no idea what it means to actually hallicunate, it is far beyond anything that a normal mind can imagine. "

I've heard A Scanner Darkly conjures up some of the behaviour of some drugs quite well.

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re. persian rugs

I'd like to see a link for this. Was one intended?

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Re: re. persian rugs

check the persian rugs salespersons organisations website.

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Re: re. persian rugs

Persian rugs .. you get them from your local spud peeler, innit?

@Jake: Sorry for your loss.

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Boffin

Susan Blackmore

For any non-participants curiously standing on the sidelines and wondering what all this is about, puzzling to see what might be so good about LSD, Dr Susan Blackmore writes eloquently from a conventional standpoint.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/22/lsd-acid-trip-self-knowledge

http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/journalism/telegraphdrugs.htm

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Re: Susan Blackmore

I figure a lot of these people never came back from their 'trip' ..

"The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electric_Kool-Aid_Acid_Test

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This is your brain, this is your brain gaming, this is your brain gaming on drugs...

I'll see your Timothy Leary and raise you a Jeff Minter!

To this day I still get Llamatron flashbacks...

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Personality Assessment

Who knew Leary could also see into the future. By designing a game that could be translated to Facebook use, he has cunningly designed a one-step personality assessment tool. If you've taken the test, you have logged into Facebook - Personality type: Narcissistic Knob End.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Personality Assessment

I know it's popular to trash on Facebook, but sometimes I wonder if it's occurred to people that there are those who use FB specifically to keep loosely in touch with relatives / friends and to maintain business contacts informally, rather than for ego massage.

OK, I get it, it's a joke - but still, I get the feeling that people are mixing up their set theory: The vast majority of Narcissistic Knob Ends may well be on Facebook - and are presumably the loudest - but that doesn't necessarily mean that *all people who are on Facebook are Narcissistic Knob Ends*. Or even most of them. The ones who aren't are, by definition, unobtrusive, and therefore don't end up with idiotic posts spread around via imgur. I get the feeling that the hatred for Facebook has a bit of shoot-the-messenger about it - since every asshole out there uses fb, and since all of their assholish posts are screenshots of their fb posts, the assumption is that everyone on fb is an asshole. But it's hardly Facebook's fault that it's the communication medium of choice for assholes; it's ubiquitous, so blaming it is a bit like blaming the telephone company when the people you talk to on the phone are morons!

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Happy

Re: Personality Assessment

It really was a joke. I don't use Facebook, but my wife uses it for exactly what you describe. Her family is entirely located in Southern South America and Facebook is their primary way of communicating & sharing.

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Happy

Favourite Season?

Mines Autumn.

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Black Helicopters

No limits to what the CIA will do

It was bad enough when, back in the day, as part of Project MKUltra they gave people LSD without their knowledge and then followed them around to see what its effects its effects would be. Now they feed them games on Facebook and track them through the NSA.

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What no one seems to have commented on, in relation to Jake (with his extra leg) 's comment, is that one of Leary's (and his buddy Robert Anton Wilson's ) main dictum's (dicta?) was :

You create your own reality

No need for drugs to distort what you perceive

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"No need for drugs to distort what you perceive" (@ myhandlethat commentsareattributedto)

If distorting reality was bad, FOX News* would have vanished in a cloud of sulphurous smoke decades ago. :^)

* Note: And most news organizations, newspapers, governments, marketing departments, religions and ElReg journos and commentards. ^_^

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