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Old 05-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why should I care if video games and porn are ruining a generation of guys?

CNN.com published an article about a recently released book entitled The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It

'The Demise of Guys': How video games and porn are ruining a generation - CNN.com

The premise of the book is that a generation of boys addicted to video games and online porn is leading to the decline of the male half of the population. The CNN article cites a lot of anecdotal info without much actual scientific citations.

There is a lot of stuff to talk about here and it is worthy of a discussion.

The book seems to focus on video game and porn addiction in boys, and blames the usual suspects: parents. Then it apparently tries to discuss the problems this is causing to society, and DAMMIT WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING!

Lets be realistic here. Yes, virtually all boys, young men, and even older men are playing video games these days, they are also watching porn. A slightly lesser percentage of girls, young women and even older women are also playing video games and watching porn. This is no doubt having an affect on society, but lets put that to the side for now.

Now what percentage of the people playing video games and/or watching porn are actually addicted to it? I'm sure there is research out there, but I'm guessing that the percentage is actually pretty small, like below 3% and probably below 1%. This is of course varies depending on what you would call an addict, but I'd say the usual definition involves engage in an activity to such an extent that it threatens our health. I'd say that is a very small percentage. Because it is a small percentage, the affect of video game/porn addiction is likely negligible, and therefore it cannot be ruining a generation of guys.

So lets stop beating around the bush and get to the heart of the issue:

Is the prevalence of video games affecting our society, our culture, our relationships, and changing the psychology of young growing minds? Absolutely!

Is the easy availability of porn affecting our society, our culture, our relationships, and changing the psychology of young growing minds?
Absolutely!

And now for the REAL debate question: Is this a bad thing?

Considering that every society where video games have become popular has seen a reduction in violent crime; Considering that every society in which internet porn is widespread has seen a reduction in sex crimes; Considering that video games have been designed to make players happy, and that positive psychologists have shown that artificially generated happiness is just as good as genuine happiness. I'd say, the answer is no.

But, but, but, video game playing has been demonstrated to reduce the ability to learn in traditional school settings. Then maybe it is about time to dump the traditional school definition of learning. Learning by playing games, works extremely well.

But, widespread porn is changing young people's ability to have "healthy" relationships that lead to marriage and family and more children. Time to dump the old fashioned definitions of "healthy" relationships then. Kids today are smarter about sex and relationships than any previous generation. A lot more of them are choosing not to get married, and not have kids, and the ones that are are doing it later in life, and choosing smaller families. Young people are going to have relationships, because that is what young people do, but they have a lot more freedom today. There is no bad here.

Video games and the internet is changing society, that is a given. Some change will be good, and inevitably some change will be bad. But the only real threats are to those that do not want society to change. To hell with them!

There rant over
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There's a difference between not wanting change at all and not wanting change for the worse. Those that are the latter unfairly get lumped in with the former. I started a thread some time back about something like this based off an article that was rather bitter about the negative aspects of gaming and easy access to porn for guys.

The Sorry Lives and Confusing Times of Today’s Young Men | Philadelphia Magazine Articles

Not gonna lie: it was video games and not therapy that helped me correct my once-atrocious hand-eye coordination as a child. The right kind of games are great learning tools, from hand-eye coordination to fine motor reflexes, multitasking, strategic planning and management, etc. The list goes on.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I recommend for anyone who is interested by this subject to watch this movie, this is a kind of different approach....but still very interesting.

PLAY AGAIN | Home
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wish I had an excuse like that. We didn't have video games or online porn when I was a kid, and I'm still screwed up.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It would seem that any solitary activity that absorbs large amounts of time in the formative years runs the risk of diminishing social learning. So, are gaming and online porn more compelling than TV, the last few generation's time waster? Maybe they are, and maybe they will become even more so as technology advances and gets cheaper. Or maybe games will become more social and the trend will reverse.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There rant over
Meh. When I was a kid, heavy metal and satanists were ruining the entire generation. Then video games were a bit later. There was the ever present color television and cable. I think we're ok....

Some good points you made- Why is a changing family structure bad? Unless you are a Christian Conservative, people recognize that we have a bit of an over-population issue happening on this planet. If people take care of their urges with unlimited free online pron instead of having gobs of kids, I see that as a good thing! Changing educational standards and techniques? Good. Most jobs these days are tech jobs. I think games are a good learning tool and will familiarize kids with some of the tools they will need later on.

I suppose there is some danger in over-stimulated, under-socialized children. We should probably look out for that one.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More jobs for us technical wimmen-folks. I mean, this is horrid.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I cant help but wonder if this hysteria is not caused by the same old tired concept:

"people used to controlling the way society works sense that power is diminishing, and are losing their fool minds."

In this case though it's not a matter of race, or religion or political affiliation. It's a matter of social preference, in that the standard paradigm of "extroverts first, last and always! Get more face time! Be more social!" push in US culture is faltering as the internet leveled the playing field for introverts to assert their influence, as they were no longer required to adapt and conform to the standard ways of an extroverted social contract.

In short- it's not really video games and porn at all, but the changes the internet has brought in a more broad and general sense that are changing things.

To which I can only say "about fucking time.", and hope it continues at a pace not unlike a runaway freight train.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Meh. When I was a kid, heavy metal and satanists were ruining the entire generation. Then video games were a bit later. There was the ever present color television and cable. I think we're ok....

Some good points you made- Why is a changing family structure bad? Unless you are a Christian Conservative, people recognize that we have a bit of an over-population issue happening on this planet. If people take care of their urges with unlimited free online pron instead of having gobs of kids, I see that as a good thing! Changing educational standards and techniques? Good. Most jobs these days are tech jobs. I think games are a good learning tool and will familiarize kids with some of the tools they will need later on.

I suppose there is some danger in over-stimulated, under-socialized children. We should probably look out for that one.

No, we don't. we have poor distribution of resources problem on this planet.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No, we don't. we have poor distribution of resources problem on this planet.
I disagree, every time I turn around I see another god damn person and it's starting to get irritating!

PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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No, we don't. we have poor distribution of resources problem on this planet.
If the only resources we were using were renewable that might be true, but we are running out of (or to be more accurate we are unable to increase production of) many vital irreplaceable and/or unrecyclable resources.

If the long term effect of video games and the internet is a reduced population, and because they do not rely on non-renewables or involve killing people, then they are a positive force.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I cant help but wonder if this hysteria is not caused by the same old tired concept:

"people used to controlling the way society works sense that power is diminishing, and are losing their fool minds."
That's how I always take these kinds of stories, as typical generational "the world is going to hell in a handbasket" grousing. Too much of anything can be bad, and certainly overexposure to porn can lead to unrealistic expectations and feelings of inadequacy, but I think this stuff tends to be less about solid research and more about finger wagging at things the authors disapprove of. Something is always destroying our youth, from rock and roll to calculators. Oddly, civilization seems to go on, none the worse for wear.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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No, we don't. we have poor distribution of resources problem on this planet.
I disagree. The human population has gone up in spades, biological diversity dropped to dangerous levels, record numbers of starving people, small countries like Japan are expanding INTO the ocean for more space. The planet can only support so much, no matter how resources are distributed.

Poor distribution of people, maybe.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It would seem that any solitary activity that absorbs large amounts of time in the formative years runs the risk of diminishing social learning. So, are gaming and online porn more compelling than TV, the last few generation's time waster?
Mine was Science Fiction. It's all my uncle's fault. He gave me a huge collection containing Lucky Starr and Skylark and John Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus when I was a wee nipper.

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Old 05-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As cliched and corny and stereotyped as they are, one thing we see in a lot of games is strong warrior women. That can't be a bad thing, IMO.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mine was Science Fiction. It's all my uncle's fault. He gave me a huge collection containing Lucky Starr and Skylark and John Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus when I was a wee nipper.
I think the problem, if you think it's a problem, is that video games and porn are more compelling to more people than Lucky Starr and Skylark and John Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus, and so they snare more people.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think the problem, if you think it's a problem, is that video games and porn are more compelling to more people than Lucky Starr and Skylark and John Carter of Mars and Carson of Venus, and so they snare more people.
you say that like it's a bad thing...
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I disagree. The human population has gone up in spades, biological diversity dropped to dangerous levels, record numbers of starving people, small countries like Japan are expanding INTO the ocean for more space. The planet can only support so much, no matter how resources are distributed.

Poor distribution of people, maybe.
Overpopulation is a dam myth spread by toffs whose "fixes" never seem to affect people in their social circles.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I wish I had an excuse like that. We didn't have video games or online porn when I was a kid, and I'm still screwed up.
Fucking stamp collecting ruined my life.

(I really did collect stamps, and still have the album, but I grew out of it.)

Then fucking reading sci fi ruined my life.

(Not really, it led to an aerospace career)
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Anyway, as I pointed out in an above post-some tried to blame juvenile delinquency on comic books back in the 50s. People will always try and find something to blame for behavior that they are bothered by.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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It's like in the 1970's film Taxi Driver when the anti-hero finds a nice cultured girl that actually finds him charming and he decides to take her to a porn film on 42nd Street for their date.

He honestly didn't mean any harm. But, because of influences in his life, he saw it as mainstream and something everyone did.

This is why I would never get my nephew the copy of Grand Theft Auto he wanted. Sitting in a room for hours getting extra points for raping prostitutes and running down nuns is not something I am willing to say I think is harmless fun.

The question is "what is sociably acceptable in today's society?" And everyone has their own version of The Answer.

I was in a waiting room today and a guy was trying out his pick-up lines on me. Then he reached in his backpack and offered me a DVD of hardcore porn. Of course it was inappropriate. But I can't educate a full grown man about displaying porn to women he just met in waiting rooms. I faked a phone call and escaped. He thought he made a friendly gesture. Just like the character did 30 years ago in Taxi Driver
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:20 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I was in a waiting room today and a guy was trying out his pick-up lines on me. Then he reached in his backpack and offered me a DVD of hardcore porn. Of course it was inappropriate. But I can't educate a full grown man about displaying porn to women he just met in waiting rooms. I faked a phone call and escaped. He thought he made a friendly gesture. Just like the character did 30 years ago in Taxi Driver
So here's a fun thought experiment: Was he out of line or were you behind the times?

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