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Posted by Jefflarz

Flat out calling smoking "dumb" and "purposeless" has always bugged me a good bit. By no means is smoking great, but making blanket generalizations like that isn't cool especially when you start taking the science into account. 
 
The main reason people turn to smoking is for stress relief. Nicotine binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the brain, which causes an increase in dopamine release. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that essentially causes you to feel good or relaxed. At this point nicotine sounds like a pretty dandy little chemical and people like that. The problem is the level of addiction it causes, which most people underestimate. Nicotine causes brief but very high dopamine spikes, so the effect doesn't actually last very long. Once the dopamine levels dip down into the low level your brain start begging for more causing that terrible addiction. Unless you are a smoker, it is impossible to really comprehend how powerful this addiction is and giving smokers shit for not being able to break that addiction is just low.
 
So I suppose the point to smoking is to get those dopamine spikes, which then causes addiction. Of course there are other benefits to cigarettes such as weight loss, which plenty of people enjoy quite a bit. It's really that nasty addiction, coupled with the awful stuff tobacco companies stick in those things, that make cigarettes bad. Thankfully plenty of drug companies out there have been concocting drugs that help curb the addiction by messing with those dopamine spikes and they work pretty damn well, but I think I'm just derailing a bit a this point.

Posted by Azteck

I do it from time to time, not often though, mostly as a social thing or when I need to wind down, but mostly the social aspect. There's something about having a smoke with someone that you can't really explain, but it's a really cool sensation. And sometimes taking a walk for no purpose juts doesn't cut it for me.

Posted by Aklost

Its incredibly complicated as to why people smoke but heres a two points. 
 
-Social interaction, Almost like a worldwide smokers club..If your at a bus stop and you ask someone for a light, your instantly best mates.  
-The relaxation, Whether its the lack of oxygen or the nicotine, smoking does make you relax.

Posted by BBQBram
@blackbird415: 
Yeah I couldn't imagine being under such legislation and having an actual reason for being paranoid while smoking. In fact the city I live in has a nice classy coffeeshop right across from the central train station where you can eat lunch or dinner and get high. They sell the weed in containers with actual barcodes on 'em, and if you bring back the plastic containers you get a discount. It's crazy!
Posted by DrPockets000

You say that now, but just wait till you're breaking into a museum or trying to snipe a fool.  

Posted by Vinny_Says

ummm smoking makes you cool, and being cool makes you popular, and being popular gets you laid.

Edited by blackbird415
@BBQBram: netherlands i presume :P remember seeing videos on the debate of the ban of mushrooms. The reasoning for the ban was crap. As if it matters where I live in the US where if your caught with a joint in some states means prison... Glad im in Colorado at least. Still if im caught with a joint there goes my financial aid...  
 
Its interesting when a murderer or rapist still can apply for federal financial aid, but a stoner caught with a joint cant. 
 
They were also trying to ban weed from tourists there in the Netherlands, but luckily thats been overturned at least for now.
Posted by RichardLOlson

I smoke, but am trying to quite.  I don't see a problem in it, cause people are gonna do what comes natural to them.  People smoke cause they can, just like people take shits in public restrooms cause they can.  Its life, the waters wet, the skys blue, and people smoke.

Posted by supermike6
@CL60 said:
" Most smokers try to justify smoking by saying it relives stress. But they ignore the fact that the stress they are reliving is caused by the cigarettes themselves. "  
You don't read threads before you respond, do you?
Posted by BjornTheUnicorn

Smoking in real life is dumb, and I have many friends/relatives who have struggled or are struggling trying to quit. 
In fictional media however, it's cinematic and kind of badass.

Posted by iam3green

this was pointless. i was expecting something in it. there are things like what characters smoke. 
 
smoking is pretty relaxing thing to do. i smoked a cigar the other day. i had to smoke it outside. i think it would have been better if i smoked it inside. my finger were freezing because it was cold. it is pretty relaxing i found from smoking the cigar. you just sit there and watch the world go by. i don't smoke everyday. i just one day grabbed a cigar from my father and started smoking it. he doesn't smoke a lot either.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

i smoke the hookah once a day because im a bored lifeless creature needing something to fill the void inside 
 
so its not to feel cool, or an addiction, but just cuz.. theres nothing worth doing

Posted by DonutFever
@FlyingRat said:
" @Three0neFive said:
" then you get addicted, get aids from sharing a used marjiuana needle and die a slow, painful death "
Marijuana needle? I think you've been taking your weed wrong, sir. "
Actually, he's taking it right.
Edited by Simplexity

For the longest time I've been thinking about starting to smoke, but I dunno if I could pull the look of.

Posted by beej
@CL60 said:
" @DeeGee said:
" @CL60:  My friend started smoking when her father died. People get stressed for other reasons then smoking, ya know. "
Stress doesn`t cause smoking .. smoking causes stress.. "
The point was that smoking is a coping mechanism for stress, like over-eating for instance. He's not saying "stress = smoking" he's arguing that sometiems the stress comes before the smoking not afterwards. 
Posted by DonutFever

I don't think anyone would play those games and come out thinking that smoking is actually useful to them. 

Posted by MikkaQ

Because smoking in movies and games looks cool, so why not? 
 
Also people from Asia fucking love smoking. I once met a chinese producer who had a goddamn personal-use ashtray. That's how much he smoked. 
 
But you mention that the games don't illustrate the cons of smoking, while demonstrating possible uses, well obviously it won't show the cons of smoking, those don't surface unless you smoke plenty for years. Not even Snake in the MGS games was old enough to suffer the consequences of his habit.

Posted by oatz

I do it on and off, it's just something I enjoy. Doesn't cause me any stress. 

Edited by Azteck
@Three0neFive said:

" @JoyfullOFrockets said:

" They should make a tobacco simulator where you climb the ladder eventually doing weed and lastly taking over the world. Or, wait, I think they already did that... "
then you get addicted, get aids from sharing a used marjiuana needle and die a slow, painful death "
I think you're talking about heroin.. but if you're not then boy, you've been doing it wrong all along.
Posted by Jadeskye

i love how all 3 examples given are japanese games. In Japan smoking is much more common and accepted than in the west, rendering your examples completely pointless, if you even had a point to begin with. 
 
As someone who has lost both grandparents to lung cancer, i'm just gonna claim BS to everything in this topic. 

Posted by Khann

I smoke because I enjoy it. 
 
End of story, no further explanation needed.

Edited by jkz
@Three0neFive said:

" @JoyfullOFrockets said:

" They should make a tobacco simulator where you climb the ladder eventually doing weed and lastly taking over the world. Or, wait, I think they already did that... "
then you get addicted, get aids from sharing a used marjiuana needle and die a slow, painful death "
Wait, I....is my sarcasm meter just acting up or are you not being facetious. 
 
Because you're doing something wrong if you're shooting up on...marijuana.
Posted by ESREVER
@ZeForgotten said:
" @shakashuri said:
" @ZeForgotten: I'm less worried about fictional characters in a game, I'm more worried about how useful it makes it appear to players, but at least it's up front and not subliminal     "
I'm a smoker myself and I just decided to try it one day, not because I was pressured into it by video games, music, movies or people around me.  Been doing it ever since so I don't see how it could be bad that people smoke in games and seem to use it to their advantage. I light fireworks with a lit cigar too. Works wonders.  They make guns look useful too, and cats as silencers is apparantly worth looking into "
How do you feel about urinating on yourself as a means to put out fires? 
:P 
Posted by FlyingRat
@Three0neFive said:
" then you get addicted, get aids from sharing a used marjiuana needle and die a slow, painful death "
Marijuana needle? I think you've been taking your weed wrong, sir.
Posted by BBQBram

Existentially speaking, what is the purpose of anything? You could apply the same criticism to about every apathetic first world past-time. Then again I'm not from the US so the whole anti-smoking lobby isn't as strong here - not really a political topic, although they did ban smoking in bars, restaurants and hotels recently. Screw the constitution aye?
 
They also banned psychedelic mushrooms over here, based on research that was later dismissed. The national health guys were claiming there's LSD in them, showing their complete ignorance in regards to entheogenics. I'm suprised weed is still semi-legal!

Posted by Getz

TLDR, I read a little bit though and I should point out there's a reason why you don't see smoking in media. There is essentially a ban on advertisements for tobacco (in the US at least) that can be easily seen by children and adolescents. This includes but isn't limited to magazines, billboards, newspapers, comics, and television. This also means cigarette companies can't pay for product placement in movies or games, so the only time you'll see cigarettes in either of those things is if they were put there on purpose by the content creators, to serve some end. Francis York Morgan mirrors Dale Cooper hence the cigarettes and coffee, Snake is supposed to be a devil-may-care badass so it makes sense to have him be a smoker, you get the picture.

Posted by Three0neFive
@JoyfullOFrockets said:
" They should make a tobacco simulator where you climb the ladder eventually doing weed and lastly taking over the world. Or, wait, I think they already did that... "
then you get addicted, get aids from sharing a used marjiuana needle and die a slow, painful death
Posted by Bloodgraiv3

I think its just their habit. 
Edited by MonetaryDread

I am not entirely pro-cigarettes, but I am certainly pro-choice. If someone wants to smoke, they should be able to. I used to smoke, not because of stress, not because of addiction, but because I enjoyed the act of smoking. There was a certain pleasure I received from the slight burning sensation as the smoke travels down my trachea till my lungs fill up.

Posted by BaneFireLord

In movies it looks badass? And some people have fetishes?
 No idea. It's fucking stupid is what it is.

Posted by McGhee

I've never smoked a cigarette, but I do occasionally smoke cigars. You can meet a lot of interesting people just sitting and smoking at a cigar store. 
 
Some of the best conversations I've ever had were while smoking cigars, including some of the greatest memories I have of my father. Smoking cigars can actually be very positive. Just don't do it every day, and you don't really have to worry about the cancer that most cigarette smokers have to look forward to if they live long enough.

Edited by jkz

You do know that nicotine does actually have a calming effect, and can increase one's ability to focus, right? 
 
Obviously, smoking cigarettes is addictive, and stupid as shit (not that that stops me from doing it), but to claim that cigarettes can't calm someone down and improve their ability to focus is ridiculous.

Posted by ZeForgotten
@shakashuri: In some backwater countries it's just as easy to get a gun as it is to get a cigaret.  
And as far as I can see you've been successful at not making anybody angry, at least I don't see any angry people in this thread (yet). 
And really, you pick your friends because of the games they play? that is kinda sad. 
Unless you only made it sound like that by mistake 
Edited by shakashuri
@ZeForgotten:
Sir I'm not trying make anybody angry sorry if it did, however I was talking mainly about Japanese games, also how easy is it to get a gun compared to a cigarette not very I hope. Also interesting reference to Postal 2 a friend showed me that once, I don't hang out with him anymore
Posted by Brendan

To me smoking has always seemed, logically at least, more ridiculous than doing any sort of drug.  I don't think doing most drugs is anywhere near a good idea, but there is always an end-game to those activities in the form of getting high or a rush.  With smoking, there is no logical end-game.  There is just smoking to fuck your own lungs up.   

Posted by Noodlearms
@one_2nd said:
" @JoyfullOFrockets said:
" eventually doing weed "
i lol'd "
wow.
Posted by Slaker117

Meh. Smoking has been on the decline for a while now. Never understood it either, but I have to admit that there is something about it that just looks cool. Not worth the health issues or the smell, but tell me that this doesn't feel right.

Posted by ZeForgotten
@shakashuri said:
" @ZeForgotten: I'm less worried about fictional characters in a game, I'm more worried about how useful it makes it appear to players, but at least it's up front and not subliminal     "
I'm a smoker myself and I just decided to try it one day, not because I was pressured into it by video games, music, movies or people around me.  
Been doing it ever since so I don't see how it could be bad that people smoke in games and seem to use it to their advantage. 
I light fireworks with a lit cigar too. Works wonders. 
 
They make guns look useful too, and cats as silencers is apparantly worth looking into
Posted by CL60
@DeeGee said:
" @CL60:  My friend started smoking when her father died. People get stressed for other reasons then smoking, ya know. "
Stress doesn`t cause smoking .. smoking causes stress..
Posted by one_2nd
@JoyfullOFrockets said:
" eventually doing weed "
i lol'd
Posted by shakashuri
@ZeForgotten:
I'm less worried about fictional characters in a game, I'm more worried about how useful it makes it appear to players, but at least it's up front and not subliminal    
Posted by LiquidSwords

Posted by DeeGee
@CL60:  My friend started smoking when her father died. People get stressed for other reasons then smoking, ya know.
Posted by ZeForgotten

None of those characters smoke because they think it's cool or useful, though. 
They are all addicted! 

Posted by shakashuri
@DeeGee:
Welcome to the internet :)
Edited by JoyfullOFrockets

They should make a tobacco simulator where you climb the ladder eventually doing weed and lastly taking over the world. Or, wait, I think they already did that...

Edited by CL60

Most smokers try to justify smoking by saying it relives stress. But they ignore the fact that the stress they are reliving is caused by the cigarettes themselves.

Posted by DeeGee

I can't beleive I read that entire thing only to realize you had no point at all.

Posted by shakashuri

I won't claim to be some sort of expert; I'm sorry in advance it any Giantbomb users are smokers themselves and take offensive. However, smoking seems pointless, expensive and all round stupid. I realise it's addictive but you know that’s been well documented for some years now. Maybe I'm just bitter when I bought a second hand Dreamcast only to find the console tainted yellow from cigs and the pads greasy and no amount of cleaning every seemed to get rid of it, but enough with the babble to the point at hand.  
 
Smoking seemed cool, when I was 11, times have changed and I would like to believe that gaming and smoking have no connection. Yet it came to my attention that doesn't really see it that way. It is a very common thing to smoke in you can't go very far without finding a vending machine that sells them. I don't know the reasons behind it, I just know playing in the arcades was a rotten experience (I forgot to mention I had asthma) I love fighting games so when I got the chance to play them in their natural environment I put up with the pain for the sake of it. 
 
I recently noticed that very few types of media in this day in age promote or display smoking. Hell didn't avatar get some grief for Sigourney Weaver smoking so much? Yet in Japanese games cigarettes are not only a frequent tool to make a character look cool, but also are a usable and useful item. 
 
 

Damn Snake you been holding out on me

My first experience of smoking in videogames started with Metal Gear Solid. Snake could equip a pack of cigarettes that when I first used seem to serve no purpose other than to slowly drain your health. I think that would have been a good statement, it was only when either a friend or the game itself suggested that I use the smoke to see infrared beams, and then even steady your aim with scoped weapons. So doesn't this put a purpose to an otherwise (at least in real life) useless and potentially deadly item?   
 


 

 
  
I'll be honest though most of the examples I've got aren't meant for the younger gamers, most if not all have 15-18+ ratings so a more influenced generation won't be hypnotised into thinking cigarettes have any purpose beyond none. 
 

Time just flies by, right Zach?

Next up Deadly Premonition, a recent Japanese game but shares the use of cigarettes without hardly any negative. uses cigs to pass time and in a game where a great deal of side quests and storyline missions are based around being somewhere at the correct time these are a handy item. Again 18+ rating. 
 
Another example a game I played and enjoyed deeply but found the casual smoking kind of off putting. Vanquish our hero Sam sparks up a great deal during his conquest of the Russian spaceship/weapon of mass destruction. Hell in the future I guess cigarettes cost next to nothing since the act of smoking it put to the use of a single button, and Sam tosses the aside in order to distract his foes, again making smoking look useful. 
  
 

 

 

I can't stay mad at you :)

 Here is a classic for you, Final Fantasy 7, Cid smokes a cigarette. I don't believe it is every mentioned and your attention is never really drawn to it. I don't mind making no big deal of smoking, its a common site (especially for Japanese) however his limit break Dynamite he uses his lit cigarette to light a stick of Dynamite and throws it at the enemy. You have no control of this in reality but again making smoking look useful without any of the glaring cons to the habit. 
 
I'm sure there are plenty of other examples out there. Its not just , one of my favourite games Bioshock (and System Shock 2) has smoking as useable items but both of these examples give you a pro and a negative. Mana energy or Eve at the cost of health. While my Japanese examples don't really seem to offer a negative.  

So what's my point, to be fair I don't know if I have one. Most adults can make decisions on their own videogames aren't really going to change that. I just think it’s a shame that in a country and culture that I respect and admire very deeply that smoking is kind of just another thing. Drug abuse never seems to be an issue at least not any that I've heard (again I'm no expert) I just wish it they would ban smoking in arcades.