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© © 2016, John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All Rights Reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder

'Gaming: The Addiction that Imperils Old and Young Alike' [With the 19,000th Portfolio...


Artist: © 2016 John Crosley/Crosley Trust Copyright: © 2016 John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder;Softward CC 2017 (Windows);


© © 2016, John Crosley/Crosley Trust, All Rights Reserved, No reproduction or other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder

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This young boy raced through his 'Happy Meal' pressed his head to the table and

thereafter was engrossed in his 'game', a hand-held device in his lap which held him

rapt for tens of minutes while others sought his attention to no avail -- he was 100%

absorbed in his 'game' which for him seemed to have replaced the real world. Your

ratings, critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly,

very critically, or wish to make a remark, please submit a helpful and constructive

comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography.

Thanks! Enjoy! john

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this shot has so many interpretative "layers" ... This is a condensed view of our present and future times. It's for sure one of those works of yours that will keep recurring in my visual memory. My compliments dear friend. Ciao, G.

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I accept your compliments.  I took a total of 60 photos just to 'get it right', all in digital color, of course before desaturating. 


Look for the color photos to appear here or elsewhere too, as they have wonderful color coordination.  More later when others have had a chance to weigh in.  This child's concentration was remarkable!  


Thanks again.




John (Crosley)

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Inadvertently omitted initially from rating, this photo is emblematic of the power that gaming has over both young, teens, younger and even older adults, surpassing in the MMORPG sales (not shown here) sales of movie tickets and a very 'hot thing' far from any downward curve.


Here the boy is shown in full concentration as he was for the better part of a half hour until dragged away by his elders who sponsored his 'Happy Meal' which he consumed hastily in order to get to his personal game.


Your ratings, critiques and observations are invited and most welcome. If you rate harshly, very critically or wish to make a remark, feel free to submit a helpful and constructive comment; please share your photographic knowledge to help improve my photography.






John (Crosley)

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A scene that plays out every day across the world.

I have a male Cardinal that comes and visits me just about every day, I call him "Buddy". When Buddy arrives I provide him a few nuts and at time he will even feed his partner, cool stuff I know.


My great niece and nephew come to visit, only because their grandmother who lives next door does not have the internet and they like to use my Wi-Fi. One day sitting on the porch, the kids playing their games, Buddy came and I alerted them to his presents. Buddy came directly to their feet and was chirping for a peanut. Both just looked at him briefly and went back to their games. 

I have many, many memories as a child, great memories, I wonder, what kind of memories are the kids making with their phones and games....? 


I like the shot, the posture of the boy, the iconic logo - well done 

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That's a great story with a great moral -- a didactic story to reflect on.


Imagine the eye/hand coordination he's developing, however.


One day the robots will overtake us all, and we'll be appendages to them and maybe their playthings and distractions, like the cardinal you write of, and what will those robotic minds think of boys like this who want to push their buttons?


Food for thought.  


Well thought and presented comment.  Thanks so much.




John (Crosley)

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The side view is perfect as it seems to capture the whole story!

The remnants of the discarded meal, the abandoned jacket and the intense concentration of the boy!

I find it a bit frightening that children need to be "entertained" with gadgets to such an extent. I look at this image and ask myself impossible questions like, How will these kids ever develop imaginations?  And what will happen to them if and when these electronic gadgets cease to exist or they are deprived of them.

Your images nearly always provide great "food for thought" and none more so than this one as it is so topical.  I think every parent would have an opinion, or something to say, or at the very least think something in relation to their own children, and this image!

Sincere Compliments!



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I like the story behind this work. The comments are relevant to the youth who will inherit this world we've built for them. I agree with Tony when he says it's a common scene in the world today. Watch the scene above that I picked up during a political demonstration in Brazil. This picture shows the disinterest of youth of today by political ideologies. Sure, this guy had a childhood like Crosley’s boy. Watch the watchful eye of the guy to his electronic device. He's totally oblivious of the reality of the world that surrounds it. Sure, he does not have the notion of representing the sickle & hammer for his future as a citizen. He is OUT! The world of the future is heading towards this direction. I have warned the parents of my grandchildren about this phenomenon, but I'm not sure if my advice is heeded. Every time I meet my grandkids with their electronic devices. My granddaughter, who even started walking and still not speak, knows already spend her finger in her mother's cell phone screen. It’s impressive! I believe that childhood memories are a great legacy for adult life. We have to tell the stories and memories of our childhood and our youth to our descendants to maintain the cohesion of the family unit. Very well done. Congratulations for the opportunity to capture that moment so significant in our daily life. Roldao.

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Thanks for the compliment.


I initially was drawn to this as a color photo, as it shows spectacularly in color with reddishness all around and with the Happy Meal box and wall decorations blending harmoniously, but of course not missing the point of the boy with his head literally pinned to the table as he played his game device for a very long time.  


This is an instance of 'working your subject' and boy did I.


The hardest part and the reason I took about 60 photos from a great distance was the issue of showing WHAT he was staring at fully, instead of implying it, as I could see he was playing a game by his finger motion and the reflection on his face, but he barely showed the device clearly enough for IT to be photographed.  This is just one of several, well framed, where all came into vision correctly.


There's also something about the composition that bears some further discussion later, perhaps.    We'll see if anyone comments.


Thanks, and best wishes.




John (Crosley)


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May I be the contrarian, in part just to play Devil's advocate and provide food for thought, though I do understand some of the comments here.

he was 100% absorbed in his 'game' which for him seemed to have replaced the real world

I'd suggest a slight rewrite: "he was 100% absorbed in his 'game' which for ME (John C.) seemed to have replaced the real world."


It might just be that for him it is simply an integral part of a very real world that is his, possibly not yours.


One might see someone out for a night of heavy drinking, at the bar, a little sloppy, having tossed back several. One could be devastatingly mistaken by assuming, without knowing more, that this person is an alcoholic. And yet this is what you've done. The kid is rapt in his game for 10 or 15 minutes while sitting at a fast food counter, possibly having not much else he cares to do at the time. And right away he's an addict. Now, how about the man sitting a few tables away absorbed in his newspaper for the same amount of time. Is he similarly addicted to news? Or because he's of your own generation doing something that's been done fairly regularly out in public for decades, absorbing people's attentions and taking them away from this supposed real world but in a way that's more familiar to you, he's NOT automatically a news addict? People have been doing things in public forever that takes them inward, that makes them somewhat unsocial for periods of time, that shuts out the external world. It's OK.


I know too many kids who get wrapped up in their video games not unlike how I used to get wrapped up in the pinball machines on my college campus. And yet they are thriving young people, diverse in their interests, smart, creative, likable, and not addicts. We do a disservice to the seriousness of addiction by so cavalierly using it like this. And we do a disservice to our youth by calling the world they live in unreal. Video games are as real as cars, as real as tvs, as real as telephones, and as real as the camera you likely spend hours and hours behind, not to mention the time you spend choosing from all the shots you've taken, post-processing, posting, and then writing about. Someone could very well feel sorry for what you do with your time, something they might see as unreal. They'd be off base.


There certainly are kids who've got a problem with too much video games, just like there were kids who watched too much tv and kids who spent way too much time on the telephone. Most grew out of it. But it didn't used to be that the minute we spotted a kid watching tv or on the phone, we assumed they were an addict, no matter how absorbed they might have been at the moment. Why start now? I'll tell you why. It's a temptation of age to judge the young . . . often unfairly.

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I should add that it's a nice picture and he looks like a sweet kid. The lighting, casual gesture, and calm expression of the moment helping to convey that. It's too bad the commentary intrudes on such a sweet and innocent moment, turning it into something it likely is not. If the photo were left to speak for itself, it certainly doesn't say addict and doesn't say unreal world. It's a very authentic moment captured. All the rest is projected baggage.

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Television was a little late coming to my medium-sized Oregon town compared to 'giant' Portland which had TV from the start, almost, and, although at 120 miles away when we got our first local TV station and could watch Portland stations with lots and lots of 'SNOW' (no cable then), TV then was not the great baby sitter.


That happened later.


I have met people who compare a 90-year old second-hand dealer I photographed in Paris with 'Uncle Fester' whom I know only by reputation, as I missed that TV era entirely, as I did many others.  I watched probably every episode of Bonanza, and wondered why it was acceptable to call their cook Hop Sing and why he had no real speaking part, or why Tonto, the faithful Sidekick appeared to have no real character.


Those were what many Americans call 'The Good Old Days' -- the days of blacks in the back of the bus in the days of Jim Crow South, and in my state, hidden from unseeing me, the tale from a friend of my sister about blacks moving into coastal 'Gold Beach' -- 'They move in during the day [blacks] and we move 'em out before sunset'  When I learned that I was horrified.


Those were the 'good old days', but my house was different, next door to a major university, a mother who typed graduate dissertations without fear or favor for any race or ethnicity, and all faiths and colors walked into my home.  


My sister married an Arab Muslim; their children grew up Muslim, and grew up mostly in Iraq, fleeing before the Iran-Iraq war and one has been a US Air Force Pilot, the other a dentist because of huge recommendations from dentists she worked for as a US 'dental assistant after not doing well at her first go-around with school. sort of like her mom, she didn't do well at her first go-around, then after marriage got I think perfect A's.


I married a Russian, ate meals (Big Macs and milk shakes happily) in Moscow where I then lived with my eventual Russian wife's uncle, a retired submarine admiral -- her aunt being retired librarian (THE LIBRARIAN) of the Kremlin.


Unfortunately that wonderful women, my wife, developed brain cancer, blamed its growth on me, and that was the end of the marriage and any Russian relationships.  [i know it's impossible I caused the affliction, but she believed it to the core].


I have wonderful memories of Russia and life in Russia and rue the current troubles between Russia and Ukraine, but offer no opinions, as this is a non-political place and a place of no discrimination.  


I never heard a prejudiced word in my household my entire life on account of ethnicity, religion, race, sexual orientation, etc., as I grew up, and that was my upbringing.


And I did not have a TV as a babysitter, though I do recall some guy saying on TV to Senator McCarthy 'Sir, Have you no Shame'.   (I was a little kid, but understood that was a very important moment, during the Army-McCarthy hearings which I watched.


I went out in the morning, summers and weekends.  My parents trusted me.  'Where did you go?'  'Out' I replied.  'What did you do?'  'Nothing', I replied again, and that was mostly right except I did everything, and was all over the city with my bicycle and trusty weimerauner including the huge nearby campus library, museums and even steam tunnels which went on for miles from the central heating plant.  


Doors were unlocked.  My bicycle was stolen from the alley garage (open and unlocked) 20-30 times and always recovered by police a few blocks away.


World class track and football stars lived on my block in newly-built apartments.  Their marriages crossed racial lines and no one looked twice.


As an 11-year-old, I went to San Francisco Bay Area 500 miles away by train, stayed with an aunt and uncle, got bored, and they let me ride the trolley/train combo to San Francisco alone in the middle of the day with instructions 'if trouble, just ask a policeman or woman or businessman for help' and that was that.  


I returned home safely for dinner having learned then there were train tracks across the Bay Bridge (long since torn up) from 'far-away' Oakland.


I didn't need devices, but might have loved them.  I had a daughter who could ace Super Mario in a week or so and always get to the top level with ease; it was nothing to her. Different generation.  Parents started to worry about play dates and 'bad men' (they always existed but no one talked about them.)


My now deceased uncle watched a lynching in the public park in San Jose of two white men who kidnapped (unequivocally) the son of a department store owner.    A mob broke into the jail and lynched him from an old oak tree in a park in the heart of what now is Silicon Valley -- and race had nothing to do with it.


Times change.


So do attitudes (sometimes, we'll see what happens in the next four-eight years AT (After Trump)).


This boy may tire of his game; it'll be old hat.  Will he join some MMPORG group, defeat everybody, then discover a worm hole into another dimension?


Who knows?


He's got Google and Wikipedia at his disposal.


Who knows what I might have done if I had those available, though I loved wandering through the old books at my local huge university library stacks opening dusty volumes.


But in school, I was in the 99+ % physical fitness group and no longer am --- far from it.


Recess and PE should no longer be options or left out  It's training for the body and the real world.


I would not condemn a generation because they find magic in such devices -- just caution that they'll both learn and some will be diverted by them.


It's a new world, just as it was for me and my brethren as it was for my grandfather who watched the world go from buggy whips to men in space with two World Wars in between.


Who'd have thunk?


Our most wonderful country so far has been self-righting after doing things very badly --sometimes for generations, and things look dark ahead for a while, but again, our form of government is self-righting -- so far, and so far no world power has done it better or seems poised to do so ever again.




John (Crosley)  


© 2016 All rights reserved, No reproduction of other use without express prior written permission from copyright holder, reserving rights to Photo.net in the terms of service.




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While you were posting, I was busy writing, and may have more to say.


This boy did this nonstop, head to table for 45 minutes, talking or acknowledging no one.


However the thesis that this does not define the boy is correct, but then if you have understood me at all over these many years you already knew that.




If in doubt, keep on reading.


There's plenty more to discuss, as I've taken it from Buggy Whips to space, to the history of the modern world including the current and impending political climate and 'worm holes' he may some day develop through space/time.


I don't like simplicity.  But you knew I was more complex than to define a game or a boy with a simple word, didn't you really?


Best to you,  Fred.




John (Crosley)

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No matter what I wrote above, I was a child of my times.


If I were a child of this time, having great concentration as I do and as I watched this boy, fingers flying for 45 minutes or so, talking to no one, waiting for his elders to leave as they kibitzed, leaving him alone, I probably would have done almost the same thing.


A child of the times, just of a different time.


Nice kid. too.




John (Crosley)

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You write 'sad fact' and in fact extended for 45 minutes and repeated many, many times at the expense of all else, it might well be.


But this is a slice of time.


He may be the next Bill Gates or Sergei Brin?


Just getting warmed up.


Who knows?


Who can predict?


I admired his ability to stick to his task; so many children are diagnosed with 'attention deficit disorder', and I think in fact many of those can maintain sustained attention when given the proper stimulus . . . . but have no real facts to back me up.


No matter what, this is what I see in public and especially on metros where adults so often are absorbed in micro type books on their smart phones that I cannot even read no matter how hard I squint, let alone its being in Cyrillic.


And many also play games, mostly alone games, like him.


Better than looking (and pretending not to) at your fellow passengers (as opposed to me, looking for that great shot!)


I'm glad you like this one Mssr. Dumas.



John (Crosley)

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One thing about the photo you posted, almost assuredly that man however disinterested he is with his immediate surroundings at the moment is 'in touch' with something or somebody, possibly through 'social media'.


A guess, but probably correct.  


One doubts he's watching TV, unless it's a futbol match.  If that's the case, then all bets are off in Brazil or neighboring Argentina.


The boy pictured is self-absorbed with his game.  


Boys with solo games, like my children with their Super Mario Bros. games became more reclusive when playing, and that helped shape them.


For what it's worth.


Best to you, and thanks for your observation.



John (Crosley)

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I think its a fair analogy to say that the "young people are often judged unfairly" by an older generation.  This has occurred for many previous generations, but it doesn't make it right. Similarly we tend to judge "en masse" whole age groups, old or young, we tend to pigeon hole people.


But my concern for young people is that they seem to yearn instant amusement through electronic games, again this won't apply to each and every young person but is a genuine concern I have for young people in general.


You might say that because I read fictional books, that I am addicted to them, and quite possibly I am. But whilst I am reading books (albeit fiction) I still have to visualise characters, voices, scenes etc.  I think the difference being is I am not responding to an electronic prompt to push a button which in turn will generate another electronic prompt, and so on.


Maybe the same mind numbing experience could be said about TV and once was and possibly is still just as bad.


The image above depicts a young man playing an electronic game, seemingly totally absorbed. And whilst he could have been absorbed for 5 minutes or 5 hours, what the image does for me is to make me think about the consequences of this age of instant gratification.  Maybe my fears will prove unfounded and these children will grow up as resourceful, imaginative and creative adults.  But suffice to say I fear that this may not be the case.  Again I am using gross generalisations and referring to whole generations of people. I am certain there will be exceptions, as not every parent will allow excessive use of these games and maybe not all or even any children will suffer any detrimental effect of playing these games.


It might be unfair to label this child as being an addict, even based upon observation for a considerable time, on balance it is possible that the child might have a lot more other interests.  But I think it is fair to say that a lot of children are addicts, that they don't interact on a social level, they do not go out of their respective houses to "play" and very often they are content to sit in a their room with an "X Box" , "Play station" seemingly indefinitely.


Like excesses of anything, this just doesn't seem to be a healthy situation. I guess only time will tell.


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Yes. Time usually does tell. My grandparents were terribly upset with my mom's "addiction" to Frank Sinatra and to her being a bobby soxer. My parents were terribly worried about the future of my generation who seemed to be addicted to loud music and dirty clothes, seeming to be eternally attached to our Led Zeppelin emitting headphones. I think a balance has to be achieved between trying to guide younger generations and giving them the fruits of some of the lessons we've learned and the wisdom we may now have and allowing them the freedom to make and discover a world of their own. The master of Wisdom, Socrates, warned that the wise man must know what he doesn't know. Kids experience different worlds than we did and they experience it differently from the way we did. We often simply can't put ourselves in their places even though we've lived longer. Technology will be a part of their lives in ways that we older people can't possibly understand and we are wise if we don't pretend to understand it. While we might encourage kids to use their phones less, I think it's silly to frame technology as somehow not the real world. It is a very real part of the world now, as real as eating utensils. Technology has been responsible for much human advancement, from cave men to the present. Yes, it can also come with problems. But to somehow try to separate technology out as something unreal will simply add to the separation of generations and to kids thinking we don't know what we're talking about. Technology may have to be dealt with, but it ought to be dealt with in honest and non-dismissive ways. Kids are pretty resilient in the long run. It's amazing that I survived some of the things I did and habits I developed as a kid. But life is amazing and I survived and grew and so did most people I know. Sadly, some didn't make it for a variety of reasons. I suspect the same will be true of today's kids, even those who spend a lot of time on devices.

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Thank you for the compliment.


This photo has engendered one of the great discussions that once occurred regularly under photos I posted, and I'm proud of my ability to take photos that start such discussions -- and attract such elegant minds as Fred and Alf who so eloquently can at first seem to argue, then reach what seems like a mutual conclusion.


That is Photo.net at its best, and why competing services really cannot truly 'compete' in the true sense, because there is little informed discussion together with their often great photos.


Good to great photography together with those who appreciate it, AND its ramifications are what attracted me to this site and have kept me here these years.


An aside:  Did you enter the no fee Hamdan photo competition:  with the world's richest prize and many runner-up prizes that were very rich as well?


Thanks once again for dropping by and commenting.




John (Crosley)

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This photo had a solid 5.50 rating from the start indicating roughly 50% thought it a '5' and 50% a '6' though variations may have been wider with '4's and '6's.  


The last rating however brought the average to 5.27 which by simple calculation reveals the rater felt it was a '3' and so rated.


Interesting how people differ.


All ratings are 'valid' -- and one wonders how little the last rater saw in this photo that the others who rated higher (in a time of very low ratings) did not?


A rhetorical question.


In general ratings work out pretty well, and a 5.27 is nothing to sneeze at today, so this is NOT a complaint, just a musing.  




John (Crosley)

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I like to draw my photography very much from my view of 'ordinary life' capturing what others often glimpse at, but never really 'see' or realize the importance of, and in so doing memorialize it for future generations (with my more successful photos at least).


Thanks for the comment.




John (Crosley)

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