Don't let his robes fool you - you may have more in common with Trinley Dorje than you think. He's only 24, listens to hip-hop on his iPod, and enjoys a good round violent video games.
Yes, you read that right - this Buddhist leader enjoys good old-fashioned pwnage as much as the next guy. In fact, despite his disposition, Dorje believes that this type of games can even be therapeutic.
See? He's a pretty cool guy. He's not much different from you and me, except that he's the Karmapa Lama, the only senior Buddhist leader recognized by the governments of Tibet, India, and China. He may even succeed the Dalai Lama one day.
As a Buddhist leader and a human being, Dorje doesn't believe that playing violent games goes against his beliefs. "Well, 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," he said.
He goes on:
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 skillful because when I do that I don't have to go and hit anyone over the head.
When asked if meditation should be taking care of the negative feelings, Dorje simply replies, "No, video games are just a skillful method." The interview with The Times of India didn't yield which games the Karmapa Lama prefers playing and what system he plays them on, but it can be fun guessing. I'd sure like to try his monk mad skills on Tekken!
This guy is really something, he ought to have a little chat with Jack Thompson. It's a refreshing change to all the anti-violent game sentiments we usually get. What do you guys think?