Trinley Dorje (pictured) is a pretty hip guy. Like many 24-year-olds, he's into popular music and video games. He's also the Karmapa Lama — the only senior Buddhist leader recognised by the governments of China, India and Tibet.
Giving an interview to The Times of India, Dorje doesn't find his interest in violent video games to be inconsistent with his philosophy or his stature within Buddhism.
I view video games as something of an emotional therapy, a mundane level of emotional therapy for me. We all have emotions whether we're Buddhist practitioners or not, all of us have emotions, happy emotions, sad emotions, displeased emotions and we need to figure out a way to deal with them when they arise.
So, for me sometimes it can be a relief, a kind of decompression to just play some video games. If I'm having some negative thoughts or negative feelings, video games are one way in which I can release that energy in the context of the illusion of the game. I feel better afterwards.
The aggression that comes out in the video game satiates whatever desire I might have to express that feeling. For me, that's very skilful because when I do that I don't have to go and hit anyone over the head.
The interviewer asks if his mediation should be taking care of such urges and he politely brushes her off. "No, video games are just a skillful method," he says.
You know, I have felt oddly ... serene ... after playing Left 4 Dead.
"Video War Games Satiate My Feelings of Aggression" [The Times of India]