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Dead Elvis
Friday, June 5, 1998:

It should come as no surprise to folks that E.J. Gold is using video games as tools in spiritual teaching.

The first time I noticed in a way that was clear and unmistakable the power of video games to effect behavior was with the game Zelda.

One of the very first characters that one must learn to contend with in Zelda are rock throwers -- little guys that shoot rocks from their snouts hitting and killing you, the player. One method to deal with these guys is to hit back. You will die. They have more powerful rocks and shoot from a distance. Hence the better method of dealing with these guys is to keep a bush between them and your little cyberspace body. Circle around the bush in a direction opposite from the rock shooting villains. In this way the bush absorbs the hit from the rock and you are free to progress in the game without being killed and reborn back at the start.

This is all well and good. Nice story. But it is just a story. And even if I somehow "groked" the moral of the story and chuckled with the cosmic allegory it is still a story. However that is not what happened. I thought I was just playing a video game. I figured since my spiritual guide suggested it that there must be some spiritual benefit. So I played on faith that some good would come from the game. But in the heat of battle and in the moment of passion playing the darn game, I was just playing a video game.

Then much to my surprise when I set aside the controller to venture into the world for a cappuccino I found my body automatically circling around a car as if it were a bush to keep myself and someone that I took to be a threat on opposite sides of the parked vehicle.

Somehow in the short time of playing the game a small habit was imprinted in my body of habits. Or perhaps a habit that was already there long ago imprinted was activated into my conscious awareness. Whatever the means and process the fact is the video game had struck deep.

This was the moment of my first realizing the power of video games and the direct effect they can have on higher bodies and deep patterns.

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