Forget violence. The real sin of videogaming is sloth.

According to an article on The Economist’s online magazine...

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

too tired and also lazy to respond. one of these days i’ll

LOL. Gaming can definitely be a time sink. You’ve got to be careful. I try to make sure that I do other stuff in my free time (like reading books and studying other languages) because I know that if I let it, gaming would just suck up all of that time.

Hey you guys!


Sloth? You think it’s easy getting a bunch of alts leveled up and then geared up in WoW? That takes some work. That hamster wheel doesn’t spin itself!

Women are still exempt , you can hide behind their success a bit longer

I love that “older gamers” in this article are 29.

Guys, I am too busy playing Call of Duty to post this, but I read that article as well. Cringe-worthy is a good way of describing it.

I’m not sure if you think you’re agreeing with me, but I didn’t say the article is cringe-worthy! On the contrary, I think it’s pretty spot-on. And even if you disagree with it for whatever reason, it’s definitely worth reading.


I’m waiting on the corresponding article about rock and roll and hula hoops. Addictive people get addicted to things!

I work a lot of hours and my dream is to sit around and play games all day.

Definitely not agreeing with you, I think that this article makes an insane leap between the unemployment of young non-college degreed men and video games as a cause of that. Video games aren’t the cause, I am sorry, it is the absolute piss poor state of the middle to lower class job market right now that is the cause of that employment drop. Basically, without a college degree, you are in trouble.

And now, rather than sitting around watching TV all day, of course these people are playing the new media of choice, video games. What this shows is that unemployed people play a lot of video games. I think it is an immense leap of logic to go from young people that are unemployed play a lot of video games, to young people are unemployed because they play a lot of video games.

I mean, the article literally starts off with one set of data, and then goes of into wild theorizing. This is somehow wresting the blame of our current economic system, which is painfully unfair to those without college degrees, onto their “laziness”, or love of their hobbies.

This feels just a few steps shy of people complaining about welfare queens and impoverished inner city kids subsisting on food stamps. Well jeeze, why don’t you just pick yourself up by your bootstraps young fella!? Oh, the only jobs you can get are food service gigs that won’t pay your bills? Why didn’t you go to college? Oh you couldn’t afford it? Damn, you play a lot of video games though, that is clearly the cause of your issues.

If videogames really had such a huge impact then TV should have in the 1950s-1960s. That was the first technology that enabled you to sit on your ass all day and be entertained without even having to do much thinking.


These young men who are jobless are also wearing a suspicious amount of pants. Clearly they should stop wearing pants, and they’d get good jobs.

While I definitely don’t disagree with the article’s primary thesis that all gamers are indolent sloths who should be rounded up and put in work camps, I don’t think Ryan Avent (if that is his real name) does himself any favo(u)rs by using data on non-college-educated males to support his article on people with graduate degrees who play games. I mean, seriously - every single one of those people in his article went to college! Several have graduate degrees. WTF RYAN AVENT. The data has/have nothing to do with the article! Does The Economist have editors? Is that even a real magazine??

Look, this is another article that has a lot of emotional truth to it without being really true. What gamer can’t empathize with using games as an escape from unpleasant reality from time to time? But what person can’t say the same about, I dunno, TV or drinking? When I was in jr high school, we had people who were “lazy” and didn’t want to “work” and they smoked cigarettes which as kids we understood to be a crime as bad as wanting to go to art school. But they didn’t play video games, and if any of us who DID play video games told them what we were up to after school, we would have gotten beaten up and all gotten giant wedgies, because that was for NERDS, BOY! But that didn’t prevent those kids from driving old Camaros and getting into marijuana and heroin.

I suspect Avent wanted to write this article but didn’t have any contacts among the 2017 version of unemployed juvenile delinquents so he went for the next best thing: bored and dissatisfied people who subscribe to the Utne Reader. He probably solicited people to tell their stories, got a sample that was biased towards college-educated people who read frequent the types of media he does and saw his solicitations, and went with what he had. So the article is some nice speculation that ultimately makes no sense.

I think Avent has an interesting observation (which I have seen elsewhere as well) that as our standard of living gets higher, the need to work long hours diminishes because basic needs are easier to meet, and leisure-time activity gets you more bang for the buck. If you can have all these leisure activities that satisfy your desires, then why try so hard? The only caveat to this is that everyone in that article seems to live with his or her parents. What about the people who have no family support? Are they opting out of the job market to play Zilda or whatever on their Sega Dreamcasts? I doubt it. They are probably trying to pay for rent and food.

Sorry to rant. I hate gamer self-loathing. I wrote about it a few years ago here in another context.

I still stand by the whole thing.

Incidentally, my iPad autocorrected “games” earlier to “GameStop.” I think that’s about a 1000% worse problem for the future of Our Great America than the existence of video games.

I found that as a problem as well. Sell one set of data, use anecdotes from another population.

I don’t really get self-loathing from this article, and I don’t really see much that’s all that objectionable. Mostly I see people that have come to a crossroads in life and feel a bit out of sorts, and found an outlet in video games. Some folks push that a little too far, but some folks actually seem to have derived some value out of it. I agree the cause and effect are a little sketchy here but seems to me like now, as much as any other time, we really could use a break from reality now and then.

Hey everybody, sing along with me!

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

To be fair, Hula Hoops are really moreish.