Video Games as Drugs, Movie Fallacies, and Unknown Companies

Dear Brian,
Can video games be considered as drugs?

I see so many people who are too into video games and waste so much time on them. Therefore, I’m wondering if video games are sort of like drugs.

Where is this dividing line that defines “too into video games” vs “into video games just enough” that you see? And who are you to say something is a waste of time? What is it you’re doing with your life that’s so damn important?

As a matter of fact, who made you the judge of someone else’s life?

I could argue that if you watch sports, you’re too addicted and wasting your time. The same for working out, driving, cooking, or anything you do. You’re wasting time bothering people with dumbass questions when you should be enjoying yourself. If you have time to ponder such ridiculous things, you’re probably wasting way too much time by my standards. 

What do you spend your money on? Whatever it is, I promise somebody thinks it’s a waste.

Perhaps you should jump off your fucking high horse and learn to understand that not everyone shares the same interests. Hobbies are important, and the entertainment industry exists because it keeps people occupied and gives them an opportunity to enjoy themselves.

Video games aren’t a waste of anyone’s time. Your negative attitude is what wastes people’s time. You need to ease up on the haterade.

With that being said, yeah it can be addicting like a drug and I’m sure there’s a study out there by some neuroscientist or another that shows the stimulation in your brain while playing video games is similar to what happens when you do drugs.

Skydiving is a drug. Sex is a drug. Oxygen is a drug. Life is a drug, so try to get high instead of being such a downer to everybody else. People like you are what’s wrong with this world. I wouldn’t waste my time with someone like you.

Dear Brian,
What are some things films have led us to believe, that are actually not true?

Randal Graves Clerks

One of my favorite movie tropes is that everyone needs a bumbling sidekick. There are so many movies where the main character’s best friend is some idiot slacker who’s constantly draining them of everything. In real life, these people get dumped pretty quickly. It’s not to say people won’t help each other out when the going gets tough, but that usually only lasts for a matter of a few weeks, maybe months if you’re lucky. If you’re not pulling your weight, you’ll quickly be dropped by your friends for being a mooch.

jack-klugman-the-odd-couple-tony-randall

There’s also the odd couple pairing that seems so popular in movies. People tend to stick with those who have similar tastes and interests. If we don’t have similar interests and don’t get along, there’s really no reason we’re going to become friends. 

Godfather

I’ve always loved the idea that criminal organizations are able to track down whoever stole from them. It’s true that in jail people will likely figure out who stole from them (it’s an enclosed space, and you don’t have much else better to do), but in the real world, a criminal organization is unlikely to identify you, much less be able to track you down. Hell, the police can barely do it.

Terminator Police

Speaking of which, the way police officers are portrayed in films is comical. They’re always going on shooting rampages down the streets and blowing things up just to catch their criminal. The reality is most cops you see in movies would be instantly fired if they pulled those kind of stunts in real life. Shooting a tire out? Blowing up anything? Never gonna happen.

Days of Summer Love

Movies would have you believe in love and first sight and that everyone has a perfect mate. It’s nice to dream of such things, but neither is real. You may lust after someone, but if they don’t feel the same about you, you’re wasting your time. I’ve seen people hold on to crushes from teenage years well into adulthood, and, while some work out, most don’t.

Gollum Sinking in Lava

I read an article a while back about on Wired about sinking in lava that was interesting. It turns out that human bodies are much too dense to actually sink in lava. However, years of cinema would have you believe that if you fell into lava you’d either sink or melt.

Hulk Hogan Ripping Shirt in Ring

Also it’s always shown in movies that if you believe in yourself, you can become invincible. In fact if you’re the good guy in a fight, you can take a tremendous beating with very little injury. Even if they are injured, the injuries amount to a few cuts and bruises.

Dear Brian,
What are some companies making tons of money but are unknown to most people?

What are their business model and strategy like? Why are they still unknown despite being so rich? Deliberately?

The best example I have of this is any company that offers force-placed insurance (in fact, any B2B business is unlikely to be familiar to the average person unless they have a government contract). When you think of insurance, you typically think all the companies with jingles and funny commercials – Geico, Farmers, State Farm, AllState, etc.

You’ve likely never heard of Assurant, Balboa, QBE First, Praetorian, or National General.

That’s because these companies don’t need to advertise to you – as the name implies, they simply force their services on you. Their business model involves paying mortgage companies a kickback for allowing them to track their mortgage loan portfolios and place an overpriced, proprietary form of insurance on your property that only covers their interests.

When you attempt to file a claim on these force-placed insurance policies, the reps are trained to find the consumer insurance you actually had and file the claim on that. This shady practice kept their loss ratios (the amount paid out for losses vs the amount collected in premiums) steady during disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew and Superstorm Sandy.

Looking at any other property insurance company during those disasters, there was a spike in which they had to pay out a lot of claims vs the money they collected, but you couldn’t even tell the disasters happened from looking at the force-placed insurers.

Because of this, the companies continue to rake in huge profits while regulators lag behind in stopping them. I did everything I could to stop them as a whistleblower, but was ultimately shut down, silenced, and jailed for my work so now I write this blog and let you people figure it out for yourselves.

Brian Penny whistleblower versability shadowBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Street, and Hardcore Droid.

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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