Gamers = Child-Men?

Saw this on MeFi today.

From the Kay S. Hymowitz article:

Not so long ago, the average mid-twentysomething had achieved most of adulthood’s milestones—high school degree, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days, he lingers—happily—in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. Decades in unfolding, this limbo may not seem like news to many, but in fact it is to the early twenty-first century what adolescence was to the early twentieth: a momentous sociological development of profound economic and cultural import. Some call this new period “emerging adulthood,” others “extended adolescence”; David Brooks recently took a stab with the “Odyssey Years,” a “decade of wandering.”

From a Gaming Today response:

Do young men spend 2-3 hours an evening playing video games? Statistically yes, the rise in game play has said as much. Are they doing this in addition to the other “traditional” activities like watching sports or network television? The numbers say they are not. So instead of being the great catalyst of the man-slacker as she infers, I think we’re seeing a transition in the leisure activities and their content.

She seems to indicate that … to be a full member of the community you must marry and have children because men do not engage in or become useful to society otherwise… which seems a narrow view to me and one I see broken in my friends and acquaintances all the time.


What’s to discuss? She thinks adulthood means working a shitty job supporting a wife and two kids while living with your parents, and that men can’t handle adult activities like shopping, vacationing, and dining out. She’s an idiot.

Yes. I am married etc… but my ‘extra’ dough does go to toys/games/movies/music/alcohol. It always will. That doesnt mean I dont responsibly take care of my house, bills, dogs, wife and art supplies. Or that I neglect my job. So I dont see the issue other than I dont want to breed, which is my own business.

The preferred term is “Manchild-Canadian”, thank you very much.

Ha! Aw, I guess I don’t qualify after all…

I wonder who those Maxim degenerates are hooking up with? The article is practically an unintentional endorsement of the Maxim-style marketing with her infantile girls club act. How the fuck did feminism die so savagely?

Granted, most of my female friends are more goal-oriented and high-achieving than most of my male friends, but that’s just because most of the guys that I know are gamer-type computer scientists, and most of the girls that I know are bio/pharma/pre-med. But clearly, she’s hanging out with the wrong crowd. I know plenty that refute those stereotypes- I just don’t do things with them very much.

Ironically, Playboy’s been hitting the same sad little violin for a while now, bemoaning the rise and sustainability of Maxim man children. It’s just another variation on the same old alarmist bullshit that keeps sociologists employed when they have nothing to contribute.

She gets bonus points for representing her think tank so well, as it is a modern variation on classic American progressivism spun through a conservative filter. In short, tits on a boar.

So, I suppose during our leisure hours, we men should get together to shop for suits, travel over golf courses and go drinking with friends. I mean, how am I suppose to get leisure hours when I have to work my ass off supporting my wife and children who are overachieving, yet still find time to shop, travel and dine with their friends.

Quite a few of my friends are overachieving single yuppies who’d much rather spend time drinking and playing Halo 3, then dealing with the demands of these “so-called” modern women. Of course, the stigma that gamers are lazy bums who do nothing but stare at a screen all day is still rather prevalent. I guess we just don’t have that many dresses we need to shop for in our free time.

Oh I get her now, she not a feminist at all, just a kept woman of the 1950’s ideals.

Sounds a like a variant on dark satanic millian liberalism.

The thing that makes capitalism good, apparently, is not that it generates wealth more efficiently than other known economic engines. No, the thing that makes capitalism good is that, by forcing people to live precarious lives, it causes them to live in fear of losing everything and therefore to adopt – as fearful people will – a cowed and subservient posture: in a word, they behave ‘conservatively’. Of course, crouching to protect themselves and their loved ones from the eternal lash of risk precisely won’t preserve these workers from risk. But the point isn’t to induce a society-wide conformist crouch by way of making the workers safe and happy. The point is to induce a society-wide conformist crouch. Period. A solid foundaton is hereby laid for a desirable social order.

Let’s call this position (what would be an evocative name?) ‘dark satanic millian liberalism’: the ethico-political theory that says laissez faire capitalism is good if and only if under capitalism the masses are forced to work in environments that break their will to want to ‘jump across the big top’, i.e. behave in a self-assertive, celebratorily individualist manner. Ergo, a dark satanic millian liberal will tend to oppose capitalism to the degree that, say, Virginia Postrel turns out to be right about capitalism ushering in a bright new age of individual liberty, in which people try new things for the sheer joy of realizing themselves, etc., etc.

I have no doubt that her success is self sustained. She doesn’t strike me as stupid, useless, or primitive. The problem lies in trying to convert advice that could conceivably be useful at the personal level into policy incentives and mandates, made exponentially worse by a heavy dose of thinly veiled religiosity and the many tentacled minority who seek to profit from convincing the poor and middle class into providing their own guilt-driven safety valve.

It’s that last that’s the real problem with American conservatism and libertarianism. If you’re not a rich bastard trying to get people to oppress themselves in the name of the American way, you’re one of their pawns. There is precious little middle ground left for those that sincerely believe in certain ideals and would like to advocate for them without being coopted by people who talk it up without actually embodying it.

I don’t really get what McCullough’s citation adds to that sort of discussion apart from half assed marxist analysis and a pun or two, but the blog post itself is the very definition of tl;dr so I’ll take his word for it that it’s relevant somehow.

Are Guitar Hero and Rock Band players more or less like hybrid child-men (man-children?) than other gamers?

I do feel like a man-child, actually. Not because I’m not married, but because I’m fucking broke all the time. In a society in which $50k per year is minimum to acquire any real financial independence/stability and have even the whisper of a dream of ever owning substantial property (at least in urban type areas), it doesn’t cut it to be limping along from paycheck to paycheck.

Gaming may in fact have distracted me from career issues, particularly WoW which basically made me oblivious to a lot of things for a couple of years. On the other hand, the majority of gamers I know are successful professionals, and many of them have families; and even I am someone who has paid his own way in the world for a solid decade. As for people living in mom’s basement, I am sure they are out there but I don’t know them. I might become one myself, actually, if I go to law school in New York. Except it won’t be a basement because they don’t have a lot of basements in Manhattan apartments.

Child-men? Whatever, I’m close to her stereotype here. I’m outside of the age bracket but I’m successful, single, and a gamer.

I don’t for a second feel that I’m any different or somehow less adult than my friends who are married, with children, who may or may not also be gamers. But gaming aside I agree with the MeFi poster, I think it’s her value system that needs evaluating, not ours.

Also, I would so pwn this bitch with a head shot in Halo.

I just so happen to be a man-child who found a woman willing to procreate with me. I wish I could have been more of one though.

The main problem is that the economy is so fucking brutal at the moment. I’ve been living off my own paycheque since I was nineteen and I’m really jealous of my friends who managed to mooch off their folks until their late twenties because, as a general rule they are better off than I am at the moment because they have managed to save more, invest more and amass more stuff than I have.

Being a man-child is a better life strategy these days than being a manly man.

Jesus Christ. So, so much wrong with that article that I don’t even know where to start.

The main problem with her outlook, aside from the ridiculous caricature that she seemingly believes is an accurate representation of the average modern man, is the idea that she gets to determine what milestones are important for men (or anyone). Who made her the arbiter of how everyone should live their lives? And how come when women spend their leisure hours hanging out with friends and doing fun but trivial stuff (shopping, dining out, traveling), it’s a fast track to adulthood, but if men spend their leisure time hanging out with friends and doing fun but trivial stuff, they are somehow underachievers?

Her whole rant boils down to “Men like dumb things.” Which ironically, leaves her sounding like the childish one. Because clearly, if we filled out leisure time with important activities like shopping, everything in our lives would just fall into place.

Wow, this woman is a little too obsessed with her perceived decline of the male sub-culture. Bitter much? I bet she’s a fun date.

Seriously though, while she touches on some excellent points about marketing, stereotypes and the perceived notion that women in their mid-20’s to mid-30’s are all career gals seeking supportive husbands and prospective fathers for their children, she totally misses the flip side of the culture she’s so eager to reincarnate. Those happy-time '60’s and '70’s she’s so fond of, where high school sweethearts married in college and cranked out 2.5 kids by the time they were thirty, then golly gee everyone was just swell as they ate around the Norman Rockwell dinner table and grew into fine young professionals…bullshit.

The divorce rate over the past 20 years has increased exponentially. Yet her own statistics say men are waiting far longer these days to get married. So if all the young guys are holding out on marriage, who are all these people getting divorced? Oh, right, those same folks that got married way too early, right out of high school, and were miserable for years but held it together for the kids, only now the kids are grown up and guess what? Many didn’t even wait that long, in turn leading to an entire generation of kids who grew up intimately familiar with divorce. Those kids went on to become adults who viewed divorce as just another aspect of adulthood. So this is the culture she would have us emulate. Get married young, while you’re still too immature to know what you really want or need, because you can always get divorced and maybe have better luck next time.

Are there guys who are single into their 30’s because they are lazy shiftless bastards that just want to live a warm and cozy college-like existance forever? Sure. Does that describe the SYM culture in general? Of course not. So the fuck what if a guy wants to wait until he’s 30+ before he really looks hard at settling down and starting a family. In that decade between 20 and 30 he will ultimately learn a lot about himself and the world around him, and those lessons will most likely better prepare him for a stable relationship moreso than he would have been getting married right out of high school or college.

Take it from me, a guy who actually DID get married right out of college (at 24) and now, 13 years later, is still married with 3 kids, a house and all the trimmings of this woman’s concept of the perfect male social progression. I wish to fuck I’d waited, grown a little more, experienced a little more, and learned a lot more about myself. I love my wife and my kids dearly, but I’ve lived a lifetime of responsibility in the last 15 years, and I often wonder if I would have been better equipped to give them and myself a better life had I had a few more years to “incubate” as a SYM.

Awww, but think how cute little bald Moores would be.

Dad-da! Me want zombie doll!

As I played STALKER for 5 hour straight last night, finally grokking the game, I wondered to myself “will I be able to do this if I am married with children?”