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comment by veen
veen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Young Men Are Playing Video Games Instead of Getting Jobs. That's OK. (For Now.)

I disagree - out of the games mentioned so far, they're not as harmful or disheartening in my eye as, say, MMOs. They're games you play to wind down, to explore or - in my case, I sometimes play Euro Truck Simulator - listen to podcasts. It's not addictive, it's the opposite of stress / anger-inducing so what's the problem really?




OftenBen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    so what's the problem really?

The problem is that video games were at one point an escape from mundane reality. And now mundane reality is so bereft of opportunity that people are pretending to have mundane, banal jobs for fun.

The guys who regularly sink hours into Truck Simulator could be actually driving a truck, for example.

Edit to add, when robo-trucks take over that sector, what are all those former truck drivers going to do? Play Euro-truck simulator 2020?

rezzeJ  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The problem is that video games were at one point an escape from mundane reality. And now mundane reality is so bereft of opportunity that people are pretending to have mundane, banal jobs for fun.

Whilst the concept of escapism is innate to all forms of entertainment, it isn't necessarily negative. I play a good amount of video games. I also have a job, multiple hobbies, and a life i'm generally content with. When I play video games it's not to escape my mundane reality, it's because I enjoy mastering them and getting better. Or i'm absorbed in the story and can't wait to see what happens next. It's a hobby to me, as much playing guitar, reading, or learning to code are.

Also, there's more people than ever playing games in contemporary society. In turn, the experiences that video games are exploring have grown exponentially. Not everyone wants to play an FPS or RPG. I've watched videos of people playing those simulation games and it's generally quite complex and methodical. There are lots of steps you have to remember and then follow in a specific order to even start up a Combine Harvester. Only when you get it exactly right does it work.

My dad did some consulting work for a company that made and sold those fruit machines that you find in bars and pubs:

The boss said that the people who are really addicted to those machines aren't in it for the money. They're in it to figure out the complex but specific sequence that's behind the game. Once they crack it, they move on to another game. They don't even both to rinse the machine. I'd say that somewhat analogous to the complex and specific sequence of having to start up a Combine Harvester in a farming sim game.

Neither of those experiences may sound appealing to you (or me, for that matter). However, I can appreciate how someone else might take enjoyment from the process involved. I don't think it's always like: "well, my life is so shit that even harvesting some fucking wheat sounds amazing right now!" Some people just enjoy the game of working it all out and getting it down perfectly.

OftenBen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    When I play video games it's not to escape my mundane reality, it's because I enjoy mastering them and getting better. Or i'm absorbed in the story and can't wait to see what happens next. It's a hobby to me, as much playing guitar, reading, or learning to code are.

Right. I game too, and I'm pretty decent at the games I choose to play, and I take much of the same enjoyment. My problem, and the problem described by this and similar articles is not 'Man what a shitty use of leisure time.' The problem is 'Leisure time has now replaced productive time because there is no productive venture to be had.'

veen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Edit to add, when robo-trucks take over that sector, what are all those former truck drivers going to do? Play Euro-truck simulator 2020?

Obviously not, nobody likes a game-version of their job. I feel like there are a bunch of different ideas and assumptions being thrown around here. We started with

    1. job-like games are banal / bad / disheartening

which I mostly disagree with. All games have the disheartening issue KB describes, which is that they provide a sense of achievement to those who don't achieve much in real life. Still, I don't think simulator games are played solely because of that, nor are they the worst at that. They're relaxing games, explorative games, niche games. An MMO that has found the formula to keep you addicted for as long as possible by tricking the achievement part of your brain is a much more disheartening and harmful piece of software than a banal, mildly entertaining drive through the digital countryside.

    2. people playing games could be working instead

Isn't that the entire premise of the terrible article? Is that really how it works? I doubt it. It's quite obvious that working life isn't what it's used to be for adolescent U.S. men, which is a structural economic problem, not a problem with the mild entertainment that games provide.

    3. how dare people have fun with banal things

Okay, that's phrased a bit flippantly, but it's not like people have been escaping to banal tasks in their free time before. The amount of dumb television my parents have been watching over the years (and the amount of Netflix they watch now) is, to me, just as much if not more disheartening to see. But that doesn't mean they aren't allowed to do that, or that it's inherently a bad thing.

OftenBen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    which I mostly disagree with.

I mostly disagree with that statement too, on principle. If you've got a solid career that you find somewhat fulfilling and allows you to provide for yourself and save a little bit, and you REALLY want to spend your free time driving a digital big-rig across Rural wherever, that's fine and dandy. That's not what's going on though. To copy/paste from my reply to rezzeJ

    the problem described by this and similar articles is not 'Man what a shitty use of leisure time.' The problem is 'Leisure time has now replaced productive time because there is no productive venture to be had.'
_refugee_  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

farmville, anyone? its a lot more fun to pretend to own a farm and take care of it than to actually do so

rd95  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Edit to add, when robo-trucks take over that sector, what are all those former truck drivers going to do? Play Euro-truck simulator 2020?

People keep on bringing up Guaranteed Basic Income or whatever it's called as a solution to this problem. I'm convinced I'll never see it in my lifetime, at least not here in The States. We can't even get our fucking health care to work.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    We can't even get our fucking health care to work.

US is very much not the best example when it comes to health care, but it's been done before.

    I'm convinced I'll never see it in my lifetime, at least not here in The States.

You may be right if you're young enough.

OftenBen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    We can't even get our fucking health care to work.

We don't have healthcare at the moment. Let's get it, then try and get it to work.