Online warrior monk gets his real-life HP restored.

Depending on which surveys or opinion pieces you read, computer games are simultaneously the root of all evil, normalising violence and brainwashing kids, and a force for good, boosting hand-eye coordination and problem-solving.

And now we can add another point in gaming’s favor with news of a Japanese monk’s recovery from illness linked to his new-found love of online gaming.

According to Japanese Twitter user @na74, a monk relative became seriously ill as a result of overworking, a problem so common in Japan that the Japanese word for death from work, karoshi, has made it into English. But then this particular monk started playing online games every day, helping to relieve his stress, and in turn started to recover. In his own words:

“By day, I’m a devout clergyman. By night, I’m a merciless sniper. As humans, we have within us both good and evil. They’re two sides of the same coin.”

@na74 goes on to quote the sage monk as explaining that:

“If you’re not entirely healthy in body and mind, you’ll be unable to resist evil influences. But if you only do good things, you’ll tire and your health will be worn away. To avoid that, sometimes you have to do bad things. Not so much as to drown in evil, but enough to discipline yourself to be able to swim in it.”

To paraphrase the good monk, all work and no play/virtual killing makes Jack a dull boy. Our gaming monk friend is saying that whatever you do, even if like him you’re charged with safeguarding the everlasting souls of others, you should also take time out to do something you enjoy.

Whether he’s right or wrong about necessary evils, as a cure for stress it is one we can wholeheartedly support. And for our miraculously cured friend, with his newly found hand-eye coordination, we can only hope that his next logical step is becoming a part of the live rock and roll monk street band.

Source: Twitter/@na74
Top image: Ashinari