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Editorial Games Technology

Are Porn and Video Games Ruining a Generation? 1034

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-manchildren dept.
silentbrad writes "An editorial published at CNN is titled 'The Demise of Guys: How Videogames and Porn are Ruining a Generation.' It makes the sensationalized case that not only do game addiction and porn addiction share similar characteristics, but they're also both damaging to young men, destroying their ability to connect with women, and therefore threatening the future of our entire species. A response by IGN dissects the idea that pornography and videogames are pretty much the same thing. 'The article, by psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan argues that young men are "hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz."' Zimbardo, has danced this jig before. At the Long Beach TED conference last year he told a delighted audience that "guys are wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women." He added that young men have been so zombiefied by games and porn that they are unable to function in basic human interactions. "It's a social awkwardness like a stranger in a foreign land", he said. "They don't know what to say. They don't know what to do."'"
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Are Porn and Video Games Ruining a Generation?

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:50PM (#40112539)

    Why is it that every psychologist I've ever met was much crazier than their patients?

    • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:55PM (#40112609)
      That's why the became psychologists in the first place. They hope to fix the world because they identify so closely with the defects they see in everyone else.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:56PM (#40112625)

      A friend of mine took some psychology classes "to understand what's wrong with me."
      The ones who get their answers quickly finish their degree in some other field, only the ones who have a lot of issues go for the psych degree.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:56PM (#40112633) Homepage Journal

      I took an undergrad psychology class in the '70s (it was either that or sociology), and the instructor once said something similar to what you just wrote (he also said there wasn't a psychologist alive that there wasn't another psychologist calling him a gold-studded liar).

      Like we haven't had porn and games since Ugg and his brother scrawled dirty pictures on the cave wall and played "hit the target with this rock."

      This is as bad as the patent office. "But this is different! It's on a COMPUTER!!!"

      • by Qzukk (229616) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:18PM (#40113019) Journal

        I was pretty much the odd one out in a small town when I was a kid, and that was even before we got a C64 and I taught my father to use it to type papers. My parents expected me to spend time outside so I'd go up the street (literally about a quarter mile uphill) to see if the neighbor's kids felt like playing with me or throwing rocks at me to chase me back down. I ended up spending a lot of time just wandering around in the woods around the house.

        Now that I'm an adult, what I find wrong with society is that "adulthood" itself is screwed up. When I was a kid, I thought growing up was about taking on responsibilities and getting work done. So wrong! It doesn't matter if you're the President or you're a drunk, what makes you an adult is how you entertain yourself. If you do anything with your leisure time more fun than reading War and Peace or putting together ships in a bottle or something, you're still a "kid".

        • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:38PM (#40114205) Journal

          In my eyes, until you have a child of your own, you're still a kid. It knocks you out of the center of your universe. If you have one, you likely know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, you'll likely act all outraged. Trying to explain it is like trying to explain sex to a virgin.

          But then, a lot of you probably don't understand that one either...

          • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:44PM (#40114283)

            I know a lot of people with children who still treat their children's needs as second, while the parent remains the center. Having a child does not automatically "cure you". (And vice-versa being old does not mean you're a self-centered ass either. Lots of childless people do worthwhile things for others, rather than themselves.)

            BACK TO TOPIC:

            I find myself playing far fewer games than I used to. I buy them, put them on the shelf, and they collect dust.

            I just don't find modern 40-hour-long games as much fun as the old arcade-style games I grew-up with. I'd sooner fast-forward through a TV show, movie, or audiobook than play a game. The long timespan makes them boring.

             

            • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:14PM (#40115373)
              The children's needs should be second. That way they learn patience, discipline, and that the whole universe does not exist to please them. Parents who are run by their children and do otherwise usually end up with spoiled brats.
              • Clearly you haven't the foggiest idea about parenting. A childs brain is developing at an incredible rate and human contact is one of the key determining factors to that child's functional development. In places where Mother and Child remain in physical contact well into toddling, children are healthier, more fully developed, and significantly more mentally advanced. Now I do agree the current trend of bubble wrapping children in western societies until late puberty is in of itself a form of brain damage and leads to young adults who are poorly prepared for the challenges of life, naive, barely house broken and oddly self obsessed.

                • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:03PM (#40116925)

                  Actually I believe you're both wrong.

                  Also you're both mostly right.

                  A childs /NEEDS/ should be paramount. The problem is the bubble wrapping and the catering to the childs /WANTS/.

                  You know something I noticed not too long ago? A lot of children these days simply have no concept of "need". If they don't "want" to do something they won't, and see no reason they should. For instance if they don't "want" to do their school work, many of them won't. Its really quite simple, and while anecdotal to some extent, my experience with children recently has shown me that simply understanding that things that "need" to happen simply must, are the ones that are thought well of and have good work ethic.

                  For instance, the trash needs to be taken out. They want to have ice cream. Also a constant rewarding of needed doings with wanted items creates a similar problem.

                  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:16PM (#40121329) Homepage Journal

                    You know something I noticed not too long ago? A lot of children these days simply have no concept of "need". If they don't "want" to do something they won't, and see no reason they should.

                    That isn't anything new. That's just immaturity, which (surprise) is characteristic of children. The problem in this world isn't childish children. It's childish adults.

                    For instance if they don't "want" to do their school work, many of them won't.

                    Well, speaking as a parent with actual direct experience with my kids and their friends, they have *way* more work than I did when I was their age in the 1970s.The day is so stuffed with curriculum schools have cut the lunch period to under fifteen minutes, and "study hall" is something kids have never heard of, replaced with special content boosting classes to help them through statewide testing. The time pressure has spilled over into homework. Even as elementary students they seldom had less than an hour of homework per night, and often had two.

                    And, if I recall what kids were like in the 70s (as opposed to how I'd like to believe we were), these kids have a work ethic far beyond anything I ever saw back then. If anything I think we've gone to far toward instilling work ethic in these kids, who don't have the self-directed time we did. Compared to my kids' highly scripted and controlled childhood, my own feels like something out of Tom Sawyer.

                    Where videogames fit into this picture isn't stimulation. My kids look at videogame time (strictly limited in our house) as precious decompression time. If kids reach young adulthood less socially mature (which I'm skeptical of) it's probably not gaming per se. It's more likely that so much is expected of them and so little spare time given to them they don't have enough experience directing their own activities with their friends.

                    my experience with children recently has shown me that simply understanding that things that "need" to happen simply must,

                    So far as I can see, this attitude is much more characteristic of *adult* Americans these days than it is of our kids -- at least the ones who are old enough that they should know this. We adult Americans don't want to plan for the future or to face anything unpleasant. When that neglect comes home to roost we want a quick fix and we want it yesterday. And if we can't get a quick fix we demand a scapegoat. If it is true kids are ignorant and lazy, does it make sense to believe the *kids* are responsible for their faulty education? It's not like the infants we got in this generation are somehow inferior.

                    But I don't think that kids today are no good. I look at the kids *I* know, and I see a generation that is brighter, more knowledgeable, and harder working than my generation was. If that's not what *you* see, then don't blame the kids. Blame the adults who raised them and the politicians you elected to set education policies..

          • by ffflala (793437) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:46PM (#40115759)
            Your attitude is not outrageous, it's just annoying and condescending. Often parents think they've suddenly become enlightened with selflessness because they suddenly have little to no free time. However, what they're really experiencing is a type vicarious selfishness; they're being selfish for their children. Sure you might have knocked yourself knocked out of the center of the universe, but you've replaced that center with something that will insure your genetic survival. You'll do anything for your kids, right? Many will go so far as to actively harm others to gain advantages for their kids.

            At the extreme would be parents who actually kill the perceived rivals of their children (see murderer cheerleader mom, or the mom who faked a MySpace boyfriend to the point that her daughter's "competition" committed suicide.) At the mundane are the obnoxious parents who lobby their teachers to give their precious genetic survival some exception to the rules. Are those kinds of behaviors "adult"? Nope, those behaviors are the same kinds of rivalries you see played out in young children.

            If you ever want to actually learn what selflessness actually means, spend your days being of service to those whose survival will not propagate your own genes. Until you're willing to treat every person you encounter with the same levels of deference, empathy, and concern that you treat your children, do not continue to think that your willingness to take a bullet for your kid means you've found wisdom or perspective.
        • by chartreuse (16508) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:50PM (#40114357) Homepage

          When I was a kid, I thought growing up was about taking on responsibilities and getting work done. So wrong! It doesn't matter if you're the President or you're a drunk, what makes you an adult is how you entertain yourself. If you do anything with your leisure time more fun than reading War and Peace or putting together ships in a bottle or something, you're still a "kid".

          I would generally agree with you but would take issue with the word entertain. I think it's more how you spend your time, which is a finite resource.

          The focus on entertainment in this culture (speaking primarily for my US experience but possibly throughout the industrialized world) is mostly marketing of passive entertainment to passive consumers for profit, like any other consumer item. The manufacturers of passive media may want your feedback, but that's so they can better sell you the next one down the line. (Joss Whedon may be much loved, and I'm sure he appreciates it personally, but if his products weren't likely to make a profit most of us wouldn't even know his name.)

          I'm not sure that playing video games or watching porn result in a whole lot more than greater skill in playing video games and watching porn (with, I suppose, a substantial improvement in one's eye-hand-dick coordination). It's not that building a ship in a bottle (or any other creative activity, like writing an app or developing an Arduino project or nearly any hobby) is absolutely a superior use of any person's leisure time, or indeed makes that person superior to Zimbardo et al's hypothetical tribe of hairy-palmed joystick obsessives, but I know which activities are more likely not to bore me (or hurt someplace) after an hour or so.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:50PM (#40113527)

        > Like we haven't had porn and games since Ugg

        Matter of degree.

        Acceptable amount of porn when I was in college was 2-3 penthouse/playboy mags and maybe a VHS stuffed into your sock drawer. Anything more was "creepy". Now one can jerk it 24/7 to whatever bizarre fetish and never look at the same porn twice.

        Video games used to murder you in a couple minutes for 25 cents. Now they're ridiculously easy and are designed by psychologists to create false senses of accomplishment & hand out worthless trophies/awards/etc. 'Social' games in particular are closer to slot machines than Pac Man.

        Does this make any difference? Studies show that modern teens are having less sex and starting later, which is seen as "good thing" despite the fact its probably due to social retardation. I dunno, there could be an intelligent discussion on this topic, but obviously not here at slashdot. Most of the posts are completely reactionary.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:39PM (#40114217)

          I should cut your head off and rape your neckhole!

          You're lucky I'm too busy convincing 200 of my FB friends to play this dancing lawn gnome game so I can get the ruby-studded gnome hat.

        • ... I dunno, there could be an intelligent discussion on this topic, but obviously not here at slashdot. Most of the posts are completely reactionary.

          No they're not!

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:40PM (#40114955)

          "I dunno, there could be an intelligent discussion on this topic, but obviously not here at slashdot. Most of the posts are completely reactionary."

          Not when you take that attitude there won't be. It is an annoying, and rather juvenile, way to try and say "I'm right, you are all wrong, and anybody who argues with me is an idiot!" You dismiss responses as "reactionary" without there being any posts to dismiss, and present a thesis with almost nothing in the way of evidence.

          So though I imagine you don't want any sort of real response, I'm going to write one anyhow:

          We need to have a changing system or sex and relationships because society has changed. We've undergone some major changes that will necessitate that we deal with things differently as a species if we are to continue to thrive.

          A big one is length of life and infant mortality rate. Time was you'd better get to fuckin' not long after your body was physically ready because you weren't going to live that long. You needed to start producing offspring early and often. Many of them wouldn't make it and you likely didn't have many years within which to procreate. Not the case now, not in first world nations. IMR is quite low and people live to their late 70s early 80s on average.

          Along those lines there's population growth and carrying capacity. When humans numbered in the tens of millions, we could grow as we wished. There was more land and resources than we could reasonably use. Not the case now that we are approaching 10 billion. Science and technology allow us to increase the carrying capacity of Earth and I don't think we are going to hit it any time soon, but there are limits, particularly if we want people to have good lives and not just subsistence ones. We need to level off growth, we need to try and sustain numbers, not exponentially increase them. That can be done without draconian measures, but only if it becomes ok for people to choose not to have kids, or have them later.

          Then there's the changing nature of relationship and gender rights. For most of human history women were essentially (and sometimes explicitly) property. As children they belonged to their father to be sold (for a dowry) to another man. They then became that man's wife, his property, so long as he would keep her. Women relied on men to provide economic support for them and their children. Not the case any more. Women are fully independent in fact as well as law in developed first world countries. They can choose their own life, on their own terms.

          However with equality comes responsibility to act that way. Our courting rituals very much come from our history. Women were completely passive, men pursued them. Again, when they were property one could see why. My house took no initiative to get me to buy it, it was all on me to find the property I wanted and could afford. However now that is not the case, yet there is the societal assumption still that men should go after women. It puts all the emotional risk on men. The women now have the option of accepting or rejecting advances, the men have to take the emotional risk to make their desires known.

          So I'm going to say things have changed and need to change with relationships because things have changed (and will continue to change) with society.

          If you want to get in to video games, we can do that too, but it is a different lengthy discussion and relates to America's favouirite passtime (still): Television.

          • by datavirtue (1104259) on Friday May 25, 2012 @10:05PM (#40116947)

            the men have to take the emotional risk to make their desires known.

            The problem here is raising men who are afraid to be rejected by women or girls. When you are confident and cavalier about rejection you have a lot better time with the ladies.

          • by metlin (258108) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:24AM (#40117953) Journal

            You were right on track, but you stopped your narration about half way through.

            The other half of the story is that while relationships have changed, the criteria that are used to judge the worthiness of a mate haven't, both male and female. Sure, even ugly people find a mate, but for the most part, women still prefer men who are (a) well off and (b) physically attractive. Other elements of compatibility are often secondary at best. And men have their preferences slightly reversed because they primarily prefer women who are (a) physically attractive and (b) reasonably compatible.

            If you're a geek, you can certainly get a girl if your geekiness can land you a good job and an income that women appreciate (e.g. silicon valley entrepreneurs). Of course, you can also get geek chicks who perhaps like you for your quirks and intelligence, but those are often in the minority.

            However, if you are a gamer who is either not gainfully employed or is otherwise boring/unable to provide sufficient attention (because you're addicted to a video games), your ability to attract a potential mate drops significantly. And what more, often the result is that you're also not taking sufficient care of yourself to be considered physically attractive to a potential mate, and that too reduces your likelihood of finding a partner (either men or women). I personally have friends who were gainfully employed and who have pretty much screwed up their lives and relationships because of video games (usually WoW). But this is not limited to video games: one can be just as addicted to television and have much the same problem, but the only difference is that you're more likely to find a partner who is willing to sit and watch TV with you than someone who just wants to sit at a computer and collect virtual treasures and trophies.

            Now, coming to porn, a lot of men often have a distorted perception of what women should look like and do because let's face it, most women (at least in the US) look nothing like the teen porn stars and are more often than not unwilling to perform the activities that are the typically seen in a porno. What more, most of the men also waste their testosterone on watching porn than, say, engaging in real world sex or working out (which often leads to real world sex). And let's face it, porn is an easy way out: it is much easier to watch porn than to go out there and find a real woman to have sex with. And it's certainly easier to watch porn than fix your relationship (hint: do a google search on women complaining about how their husbands are not interested in them but only watch porn).

            So, what's the end result? Gamers can't get partners, or get partners that are relatively low on the totem pole. And people addicted to porn have a flawed worldview of women and sex, and don't pursue women actively - that often results in unhappiness in (or sometimes, a complete lack of) real world relationships.

            Contrast this with the population that's not actively engaged in either, or at least to a limited extent. Their lives are certainly likely to be more interesting, and their odds of landing a partner increases. For instance, one could be "addicted" to say, working out, traveling, or reading, and any of those things would offer you advantages that would beat playing WoW until late at night. Not being addicted to porn would motivate you to go seek real women, and use your testosterone in getting a partner.

            I work out quite regularly, and the one thing that I do is "raise" my testosterone by limiting my sexual activities for a week or two at a time. It makes me slightly aggressive, but it also greatly improves my sex life and my workout regimen. And using my free time to do productive activities like entrepreneurship and investment, interesting and fun activities like rock climbing or surfing, and even (relatively) mundane activities like reading, building lego contraptions, or fixing up my house makes my life infinitely interesting than someone who is hooked to a video game. That is not to say I don't pl

        • Video games used to murder you in a couple minutes for 25 cents. Now they're ridiculously easy and are designed by psychologists to create false senses of accomplishment & hand out worthless trophies/awards/etc.

          Tried Fable 3 yet? Hilarious. In order to develop as a character you need these thingies to open chests that contain abilities, basically. And besides completing storyline quests, and killing stuff, one of the ways to get quite a lot of them is to walk around and interact with people.

          What makes this funny is that "nice" interactions which increase the friendship gauge and move you towards getting more points take the form of dancing with people, tickling them, and flexing your muscles, which you do with people regardless of gender or sexual preference (which is something you can tell by interacting with them and pressing a button. I guess Heroes in Fable have perfect gaydar in addition to their other traits. And what brings that funniness to hilarity is that the controller vibrates when you do it properly.

          In short, Fable 3 is a ham-handed attempt to train aspies to want to interact with people on a social level. Unfortunately, the internets are full of those same aspies complaining about how not having everyone die is hard and when the people come back to the world they all hate them just because everyone died even though they kept all their promises!

    • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:57PM (#40112653)
      It's a form of confirmation bias. It's the sensationalist dolts that make it to the news, so that's why it seems we have to put up with such a high concentration of them. It's not just in psychology.
      • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:26PM (#40113147) Homepage

        This is just a retread of 70s feminism that wasn't interested in actual liberation but instead wanted to impose their own notion of orthodoxy on everyone. It manifests in many forms. This is only one of them.

        Or it could just be 70s evangelical xianity. They love to suppress the human libido and burn D&D manuals.

        Sadly enough, it's hard to tell the two groups apart sometimes.

      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:05PM (#40113779) Journal

        As someone who has divorced a spouse over these 2 things I have to say it is a serious problem and it is not male related. It was harmful to herself and to our marriage and her kids.

        Something is not considered a disorder until it majorily impacts their life in a negative way. We are all sad and hurt at times in life. Someone whose life is a mess because of it and is long term is now officially depressed as an example.

        When I tried to play world of warcraft with her (I had a real life)the first thing I noticed is that many of the players were 22, 28, 30, and even 45 living at home with their parents. When they get money they would not invest it in a new suit for a job interview. They would be a wall mount plasma for their wow habbits until their elderly parents threatened to kick their ass to the curb if they did not unplug the ethernet and go get a fucking job!

        This was not all of them but a sizable chunk. I have seen divorces of other players, people fired from work because they come in with very few hours of sleep. An my ex used it to escape her hectic financial and work stress. I made her not stay up late raiding so she could catch employers quicker etc.

        Masturbation and sex is common in my situation, because she spent more time with her new male friends on wow than me and therefore, was more attracted to them while she blamed me for her life sucking. So out she went.

        Millions play and it is easier to attack the messenger because it is anti male biased but I am telling you it is not. I have a friend who is a woman who plays to escape as well and I told her that her life is going to suck more unless she stops playing. We do not talk as much as a result :-)

        • by icebraining (1313345) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:33PM (#40114891) Homepage

          Nobody reasonable disagrees that this is a real problem for some people. But the claim is that they're "ruining a generation", which is very big claim.

          Personally, I find it very hard to believe. I certainly know some WoW nerds, but they're a very small part of all the people I know, and I'm right in that age section.

          • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:48PM (#40115039)

            Alcohol addiction is actually far more serious, since it is a physical addiction, in addition to a mental one (you can die from physical withdrawal symptoms). Yet for some reason people aren't crying that we need to ban all alcohol to save society. People can accept that only some people are addicts and those people need to stay away from alcohol, but it is fine for others. It won't destroy society, it hasn't, and has been around forever.

            Yet somehow videogames and porn are a problem... Ya sorry, calling bullshit.

            If people have an addiction to anything they need to get help and stop. An addiction isn't healthy, hence the reason for having labeling for it and help for it. However for people who aren't addicted then there is no problem.

            To me the videogame stuff seems the same bullshit as we've had with anything else younger generations liked that older generations didn't understand: "This is new and confusing to me so it is clearly evil! Young people suck!"

            The porn thing? Barely one step up from all the anti-masturbation hysteria there used to be. "Oh don't let kids touch themselves it is unnatural and will fuck them up! Sex should only be something done in a manner and time approved by the church!"

    • by Jeng (926980) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:01PM (#40112719)

      Why is it that every psychologist I've ever met was much crazier than their patients?

      Well, whats wrong with a crazy psych? At least they are experienced.

      It's those real sane ones that suck, they don't know how to relate to their patients.

    • by oneiros27 (46144) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:14PM (#40112945) Homepage

      My former boss's wife was working on her psych major -- she explained everyone in her class was basically trying to figure out what was wrong with them.

      And that's not to say that Heather didn't have quirks, either -- she had an obsession for buying stuff at auctions ... especially jewlery and shiny things ... but she never wore jewelry ... and then she found eBay, and it was all downhill from there. (this was the late 1990s)

    • by Eil (82413) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:15PM (#40112965) Homepage Journal

      Psychologists don't have patients.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:20PM (#40113047) Journal
      You don't even need to generalize. One of the two authors is the guy who brought us the famous Stanford Prison Experiment...
    • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:41PM (#40113397)
      I have a psychology degree. The one constant in the program was that everyone interested in psychology was interested in it to find out why they were so fuck in the head, and none had an interest in finding out why others were or helping them. Of course, I was the only exception. It was a recommended partner for computer engineering, for both UI and AI applications.
    • They're right (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday May 25, 2012 @08:21PM (#40116069)
      after a fashion. Video games give you a feeling of reward without hard work. Porn gives your an outlet for your urges. What's that all mean? It means people have an alternative to spewing out 10 kids. If you're part of the ruling class, this scares you. Google 'Japanese Birth Rate' and see what I mean. The 1% rely on two things

      1. An oversupply of labor.

      2. Balkanization (aka race baiting, homophobia, or anti-unionism, it's all the same, pit one group against another so that you're the only one on top).

      A massive decline in population does away with # 1 and leaves so many resources # 2 stops working. We saw this at the end of WWI/WWII when 50 million some odd young men of working age marched off to die in trenches and freed up a lot of space in our civilization. Declining birth rates are doing it now.

      Oh, and love your sig.
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:53PM (#40112583) Journal

    This is totally untrue. I can easily falsify by point out that it it WERE true that Slashdot would be filled with socially awkward men who don't know how to talk to women and live in their parents' basement.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:54PM (#40112587) Homepage

    The Porn Video Games. we have not had any good ones for over a decade! And Duke Nukem Forever was not porn unless you are a right wing extremist.

    Us zombies demand good porn video games! And PLEASE have it voiced by Ron Jeremey!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:54PM (#40112591)
    It's just like that horrid rock and roll music, it's ruining the entire generation
    • by avandesande (143899) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:25PM (#40113139) Journal

      The rock and roll generation are running the country now.

    • by kheldan (1460303) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:06PM (#40113803) Journal
      Most people don't sit alone and listen to rock music, ignoring everything and everyone else around them. They go to concerts, they discuss it with their friends. Porn? How many guys do you know that sit around in groups fapping to porn? None? That's the answer I expect. Video games? Unless you host lan-parties all the time, you're sitting at home alone all night long playing online, and you may as well be playing against an AI for all the human interaction it gives you. In-game chat, even voice, is no substitute for interaction in person with living human beings. While we're demonizing video games and porn for ruining people's ability to be sociable, I'd like to add "social networking" to the list, because all it does is give people and excuse to NOT be social with other people, instead staying at home and staring at a screen for hours on end. We need to unplug, go outside, and actually meet and interact with people, not sit in front of a screen all the time and lie to ourselves that we're "connecting", because we are NOT.
  • Dilemma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:54PM (#40112605)

    Stay at home and play video games and then beat off to porn, or go out in public and get my wallet drained by a woman who has only contempt for me. Tough choice.

    • Re:Dilemma (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sperbels (1008585) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:27PM (#40113169)
      Men are adapting to the digital age just fine. Maybe it's women who need to change, not us.
    • Re:Dilemma (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dripdry (1062282) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:30PM (#40113213) Journal

      I'll bite.

      On one hand (har) yeah, staying home does make a lot of sense. Many women these days do seem sort of man-hating and entitled. My girlfriend and I have had almost all female roommates over the last 5 years and I will say that most of them have been incredibly socially awkward, or massive liars, psycho-emo-bitches, or pretentious hipster douches. We had a couple who were pretty cool, both hard-working and fairly sociable, but sane women seem to be in short supply (maybe renters are just inherently crazy?). Other female acquaintances have acted quite similar, though. I also ran into this while dating in the past. Many, many women seem to have some pretty wild expectations when it comes to guys, or maybe don't know how to express themselves effectively. Who knows. YES, it sucks.

      **OTOH** Having a girlfriend who I click with is pretty awesome. My opinion is that it was worth the 10 years of dating/craziness before I met her. Part of me says that porn and games ARE ruining some people (I know at least 3 of them and it's very sad as we hit our early 30s and they still act like they did 10 years ago). It's an excuse to continue acting as before, feeling "safe", and basically not moving forward much as a person. It's an excuse not to go out and socialize, so the socially awkward people who in the past would all probably have a lot in common and have their OWN social group at a party are just staying home to play games, look at porn, and post on forums (eek). It gets the mind off other things, but isn't all that productive usually. The (semi) awkward geeks I know (including myself) used internet dating to great effect, though.

      So, basically, yes. There are probably a LOT of women out there that are not Wife material (if that's what you're looking for), because let's be honest that the internet may be degrading social skills of EVERYONE. However, with some persistent courage, some exercise, and a bit of wit it's possible to have a LOT of fun with other women. Trust me, despite how they might act they are definitely looking to have a good time too (so why are they so stand-offish, nutso, mean? Treat yourself like chocolate cake. Not everyone wants chocolate cake RIGHT NOW, but they do in general and if you catch them at the right time they will, um, devour you. Metaphorically of course. In a good way. I hope.). So... many of them might be "crazy" but sex and good times can definitely be worth the trouble if it's all kept in perspective, and if you're creative it shouldn't cost very much money either. Then, once you meet someone really special, the ballgame changes again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:55PM (#40112615)

    What makes a good relationship is a fucked up question.

    You can answer what made the relationship between person x and person y work, but only the past tense. You won't know until it happens.

    Some say that sex ruins relationships. When my wife and I met we were only concerned with one thing, sex. We have been together for 15 years with only one short separation and sex is still a cornerstone of our relationship.

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:56PM (#40112637)
    You could just as easily argue that women who look at cute catpics and stupid youtube cats/dogs/makeup videos are also becoming "socially inept". Why is it always the "guy side" that is "doing it wrong"? --------------
    • by Piata (927858) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:09PM (#40112869)
      Men have been in the wrong since the women's lib movement. We are going to continue being in the wrong until our entire sex is demoralized and demonized to the point that we will never attempt to do anything beyond watch porn and play video games.
      • by couchslug (175151) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:47PM (#40113487)

        There's a cure for that. It's called an arrogant, nasty, "fuck you, I'll do what I want to" attitude towards everyone who tries to push that shit.

        Courtesy is for those who deserve it, and not a tool to coerce others into submission.

        Rational people merit rational debate. Irrational people merit ferocious hostility. Anyone trying to teach you to yield and submit has a motive. Unless they can kick your ass or you need to sell them something, piss on them.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:20PM (#40113981)

        That their real implication seems to be that if you aren't interested in getting married as soon as you have a stable job and fathering children, you are a reject. As though the primary purpose for men should be to provide money and genetic material for children. Nothing else matters. If a woman wishes to be a career woman and not do kids until later, or at all, that's great. If a man wants to do that he's defective.

        I mean I'll take myself as an example: 31, unmarried, no kids. I own a house, have a salaried job above the median income, with a pension, and in general I'm pleased with my life. I'm certainly no "burden on society" or anything. However, since I spend my time playing video games instead of watching TV (average male watches 4.1 hours a day averaged over a week, average female 4.8 hours, I watch about 0.3 hours per day) and I am not a father, people like this journalist see me as a problem. I'm not busy propagating the species so clearly I'm a loser.

        No, sorry, I don't see it that way. In fact the way I see it, we have too many people. Population growth needs to level off if we are to have a sustainable future. I don't want to see that through draconian population control measures, I'd rather see it through people self regulating. Well, I dislike kids, have ever since I was a kid, I always got along with adults better. So I don't wish to have any. However others wish to have more than two kids for a family. Works out.

        I will acknowledge a problem if they can show that males are dropping out of society as a whole, as in not getting jobs, living at home, doing nothing with their lives, more with video games and/or porn as opposed to more traditional problems around that (like drugs) but that's it. If they can't show me that, and I suspect they can't, then I fail to see the problem. Video games being used in place of TV as entertainment isn't a problem, and not wanting to have a family isn't a problem (I'd argue it is a good thing for some people to feel that way).

        If I'm going to be labeled as "defective" or "dysfunctional" for wanting a good life, but without kids, then fine, I'll own that label because I'm happy with who I am. If it means I never get married, I'm ok with that too. I'd love to find a woman who wants to be with someone like me, but I'm not interested or ok with trying to force a woman who wants children in to a childless relationship.

    • by sa666_666 (924613) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:13PM (#40112917)

      Because the male is always wrong in current society; didn't you get the memo? Of course this pervasive attitude couldn't possibly be related to why many men consider women (and relationships) not worth the effort, could it??

    • by jaamkie (2555134) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:39PM (#40113367)
      Agree - as a non-gamer woman, I can see the parallels between a guy's solitary somewhat compulsive gaming and me clicking through page after page of cute shoes on Amazon when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I don't think the problem is the activities so much as the mental stress of too much information and too many choices in everyday life.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:51PM (#40113549)

      Men's problems are compounded by a labour market that is shifting traditional mens jobs overseas, and we're not catching up. Sure engineering and 'science' are generally dominated by men, even still, but they are, on the whole, a relatively small fraction of the overall labour market.

      That shifting labour market is catching up to women now too though. I know a lot of women who became teachers 10 years ago that are now at best only part time employed in teaching. Actually that's all of the women that tried to become teachers that I know unless they moved overseas to teach. I know a lot of women who got degrees in psychology, drama and english who now can't find work in anything related to those (if they ever could) because guess what, those fields are massively oversupplied and people wasted their money on those degrees.

      As a game developer I would say some companies have gotten really really really good at getting and keeping attention. They're better at it than teachers are, and because 70 or 80% of games can fail at keeping attention for long it's a self selecting problem. But think about something like Diablo 3 that has been out for what, a week. How many kids, primarily young men, have spent 70, or 80 hours on that already, or will by the end of this weekend (long weekend). A 4th year computer science course around here is 12 weeks, 3 hours a week of instruction. If we're lucky kids will spend 100 hours on a course total including that in class instruction, in 4 months (x5 courses/term = 1000 hours of 'work' in 8 months). We are, in all seriousness, looking at a lot of kids who will have spent 2 or 3x as much time playing diablo this semester as they have on one of their courses. That cannot be good for them in terms of preparing for the future. Socially is another matter, in that games are social experiences and rather than going to a bar after work or plopping in front of the TV people are going home and plopping in front of the computer. I doubt the relative effect is any different, but it is a different effect.

      In short, I think the point about the social balance changing that you're making is correct. TV, computers, video games, on demand TV, bars, prohibition etc. will all change how people socialize, and at each transition there's a learning curve.

      The second point, about the changing face of attention, and the fact that men are spending it on video games and not education is probably accurate and problematic. And I say that as someone who tries to sell games to people. But I suppose it's a bit like a movie director. I'm happy you watched my movie. I'm thrilled if you saw it twice in theatres and bought the DVD. I can find the people camping out on opening night a quirky kind of charming. I'm more than a little concerned for your health if you watched it every day for its entire release though. Video games have a habit of reinforcing the latter behaviour a bit too well, not that I have any solutions that would fit sensibly in a /. post.

  • Social exclusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ironchew (1069966) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:56PM (#40112643)

    Social exclusion is widely employed by American culture and is meant to be a punishment, but video games and porn, among other things, route around that. Authoritarians are now angry that the punishment no longer works.

    • by bjdevil66 (583941) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:11PM (#40113867)

      Authoritarians are now angry that the punishment no longer works.

      Come on... That's just a BS copout.

      It doesn't take anything more than a little common sense (and a willingness to be honest with yourself) to see that human relationship skills take practice and effort, just like anything else of value in life.

      Locking oneself away and jacking off to porn every day - and subsequently becoming increasingly numb to the same sexual stimulus that a real sex in a real relationship, especially those who feel guilty about it because they've been told it's wrong - is not good for healthy relationships as adults.

      Also, instead of practicing talking to people ("cool" people or not), people take the easier route and spend hours and play video games. As a result, many people can't as easily communicate in person as those who spend more time in social situations.

      All of that isn't about social exclusion by others or some kind of punishment by the whole to "keep control". If anything, that is social exclusion caused (or willingly done) by the individual themselves. They ostracize themselves because they doesn't know how to deal with real-life relationships.

      • Re:Social exclusion (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ironchew (1069966) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:35PM (#40114161)

        Come on... That's just a BS copout.

        It's more pervasive than you would think. The foundation of discrimination and anti-intellectualism is social exclusion, and our culture encourages social exclusion as a punishment for nonconformity. Kids don't necessarily want to lock themselves away, otherwise lonely people wouldn't suffer from depression. Their peers deem them unfit to belong in the group, and they find a temporary fix with video games, porn, etc. It's a societal problem, and all of us have to do a bit of introspection to figure out how to change it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:56PM (#40112647)
    I come from an older generation and I've been socially awkward since long before I had easy access to games and porn.
    • by slew (2918) on Friday May 25, 2012 @06:02PM (#40114517)

      Even if being socially awkward has been a fairly constant percentation of the population over time, I'll toss out a theory that being socially awkward mattered less in the past. In the past, people led more geographically structured lives and had few choices. Today, people have less structure and as a result more choices. To navigate in the new world requires being able to navigate a less geographically structured existance (more changes in circles of friends due to migration, more in-home entertainment options resulting in fewer opportunities for meeting folks through repeat public casual acquaintance, etc).

      It seem to me that in a more geographically structured life, when you got to be about the age where you wanted to pair off, there was generally a sizable set of people that weren't total strangers (e.g., friend of a friend, or someone that you went to school with, but never talked to, etc) that even someone who was socially awkward could reasonably expect to accidentally interact with. Today, that set of people is smaller and smaller and more social skills are required to build that set to a reasonable size to find someone compatible.

      Another factor working against everyone (not just the socially awkward), is that it appears that people have many more choices today than they had in the past (e.g., partners, lifestyles, careers, geography). In this environment, some people aren't good at deciding to do anything (I think they call that analysis paralysis) and thus choose to do nothing. This can't be good especially if you are both indecisive and socially awkward... Maybe this is just new evolutionary pressure on these phenotypes.

      If this theory is true, perhaps games and porn are just taking the place of the book of the neo-classic socially awkward book-worm personality. The issue isn't the games and porn per-se, but that new home entertainment options are just eroding into the geographically structured existance that helped encourage boys and girls socialize in the past creating a bigger problem for more socially awkward folks...

      I remember reading an old theory about adolescent gender segregation (boys playing with boys and girls playing with girls) before puberty assists in the grooming of behaviors to support romantic attachments (e.g., dating) in later adolescence and that this transition was really the time that required the most socialization skills and tended to set behavioral patterns for the next part of your life until you had children yourself. If games and porn are interfering with this transitional development, then maybe they are somewhat to blame (but no more than books for a book-worm stereotype of an earlier era).

  • by Surazal (729) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:57PM (#40112655) Homepage Journal

    Clearly we need to be feeding the youth of America more Corn Flakes, since they have been scientifically proven to subdue the carnal desires of young men and reduce their masturbational tendencies!

    • Re:More Corn Flakes! (Score:5, Informative)

      by idontgno (624372) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:05PM (#40112801) Journal

      If you want your old-timey exhortation to have the true flavor, you'd use "Onanistic" instead of "masturbational". The latter word wasn't spoken by polite society, while the former is both Biblical and very popular in the actual anti-masturbation propaganda of the time you're hearkening back to.

      Very good parody other than that, though. I hope.

  • Philip Zimbardo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:58PM (#40112683)

    This is the same Philip Zimbardo who is infamous for the Stamford Experiment in which he placed university students into a jailhouse environment and allowed it to descend into chaos. Whilst it could be argued he's at the top of his field it could equally be argued that he's an idiot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zimbardo)

    • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:17PM (#40112999)

      This is the same Philip Zimbardo who is infamous for the Stamford Experiment in which he placed university students into a jailhouse environment and allowed it to descend into chaos. Whilst it could be argued he's at the top of his field it could equally be argued that he's an idiot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Zimbardo)

      The only way you could argue he's at the top of his field is to define the entire field as a clusterfuck of pseudo-science performed by mentally unstable morons who believe their own bullshit.

      Oh wait.

  • by avandesande (143899) on Friday May 25, 2012 @03:59PM (#40112699) Journal

    Has the dismantling of our patriarchal society has something to do with it? Maybe young men are 'checking out', be it games, porn, drugs whatever.....

  • by Ionized (170001) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:02PM (#40112735) Journal

    while we are at no risk of extinction (from social awkwardness anyway), and while there are plenty of well-adjusted guys playing porn and watching video games (or maybe its the other way around), there is a lot more truth to the story than many here would like to admit.

    playing video games and watching porn IS a much easier and more fulfilling way to spend your time than getting shot down by girls from school. boys ARE socializing less and withdrawing more.

    when i have kids, i can guarantee you that the amount of time they spend playing video games or surfing the web will be very closely watched. and they damn well won't have either of those things in their bedroom.

    i don't think that porn or video games are inherently unhealthy, but i do think that they are potentially addictive in the same way that many other things are - things I would want to keep tabs on my child's access to and use of.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:39PM (#40113369) Journal

      playing video games and watching porn IS a much easier and more fulfilling way to spend your time than getting shot down by girls from school. boys ARE socializing less and withdrawing more.

      Even if this is the case, what exactly is wrong with this? If the males in question are satisfied with the choices they've made, who cares?

      I see two possible consequences if this alleged trend plays out. First, these men will reproduce less, and these tendencies will be bred out of the population. Or alternatively, females will become more accomodating to these tendencies, and being a smooth talker won't matter so much anymore. In either case, what's the problem?

    • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:41PM (#40113401)

      Agreed. It's not the end of the world by any means, but as is often the case there's some truth in the middle, particularly for porn.

      Futurama's Don't Date Robots [vimeo.com] gag wasn't entirely wrong. At the risk of reducing my gender to an object here, the impetus for men to enter into stable monogamist relationships with women is the companionship of and sex with a woman. Over time stronger long term emotional bonds develop, but in the short term the hook is what we can do to satisfy the seemingly bottomless well of male lust.

      Porn changes that. I would like to think sex with a good woman is still better than doing it as a solo activity, but at the same time I know I can't compete with porn from a variety perspective (I can't be blonde, brunette, 18, a MILF, and asian all at the same time). And to be clear I do like a good (or dirty?) porno now and then myself - it's something I enjoy sharing with my fiancee - but it's something we can do together that strengthens our bond. I know he's also wanking it on the side (what man doesn't?) but at no point do I feel like he's avoiding the opportunity to have sex with me, in spite of the ups and downs of a relationship. But can a guy still have some kind sexual gratification without actually interacting with a woman? With the incredible amount of porn available these days (and increasingly complex toys), absolutely. And that's the issue.

      At least from my perspective it's something that has already changed relationship dynamics. I've been fortune to meet a wonderful man that is my fiancee, but for many of my friends they have not been so lucky. We are all at an age where we should be settling down and forming those long term commitments, and while my friends are ready, the men they should be forming those commitments with are not. It's not that the men aren't there financially or even emotionally, but from the perspective of someone entering into one of those relationship, so many of the men simply don't see the need for a woman. They go do things together as guys while rarely interacting with the girls, and apparently that's all they ever need. And I absolutely think porn plays a part in that because their sexual needs are being met elsewhere.

      Is porn bad? No, clearly not. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and I believe we've reached that point. As things stand we're going to end up with a lot of awkward middle-agers in a couple of decades, who will have never formed a long term relationship either because they shortchanged the original impetus to do so (men), or because there were no partners for them (women).

      TL;DR: Porn not all bad, but too much porn means men never settle down with women because they don't need sex.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:01PM (#40113725)

        If your assessment is that men should want to settle down with women to gain access to sex then I say "screw you" and I think pron is a wonderful equalizer. I am opposed to this idea that women should have this advantage that they get to use in relationships. "You do what I want or you don't get sex." That's manipulative and thus something I feel is wrong. So if porn equalizes that, takes away than, then great.

        In my opinion a relationship needs to be because you both want each other, for whatever reason(s). It needs to be a mutual thing that you connect on any number of levels. You settle down because of all that, not because women make it a requirement to have sex.

        Sorry, but that's the other half of the equality equation.

        • by sa666_666 (924613) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:15PM (#40113929)

          Absolutely agree, and I was about to post a similar response. For the past 30-40 years or so, men have been vilified and demonized by a large segment of the female population. And men have started to adjust to it (see 'Marriage Strike'). It's very telling that the GP sees sex as the most important tool in their arsenal, and when you remove the need for it, then men have no interest in women. I think that comes from the attitudes of many women today. They've done so much to turn men away from them, that the only remaining reason for association is sex. And when you take that away too, then yes, men simply don't see the need for a woman. Maybe this is only a symptom of a larger problem; the rampant misandry in our society.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:02PM (#40112745)

    Just because someone did something famous some decades ago doesn't mean all their pronouncements in an op-ed count as science. It's an interesting hypothesis, but note the distinct lack of peer-reviewed papers mentioned in the article on the subject (the article mentions some peer-reviewed papers in vaguely related areas, like the big debate over violence in videogames, but nothing on this new hypothesis). It could turn out to have some truth to it; could turn out not to. It will probably turn out to be more complex than this op-ed indicates, in any case.

    In short, wait for actual science. Until then it's just some speculation.

  • quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:03PM (#40112751)

    ...destroying their ability to connect with women, and therefore threatening the future of our entire species.

    For 20,000 years, men have been busy beating each other and other animals to a pulp, engaging in risky behaviors, being generally anti-social, and treating women like dirt. If they're playing video games and watching porn instead of those things, I think we're going to be just fine, thanks.

    And as for being unable to connect with women, they haven't been able to do that since we crawled down from the trees. Somehow, dick still manages to meet vagina. People will keep having sex no matter how bad it is, because bad sex is worse than no sex... and really, if you're going to be a straight woman, once you've weaned yourself off Disney propaganda, your standards drop dramatically. Look at how many of us married fat dudes who beach themselves on couches.

    The human species is in no danger of going extinct... despite yearly predictions of the end of the world. Which is disappointing really... it means I'll probably have to pay back my student loans. -_-

    • Re:quote (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday May 25, 2012 @05:53PM (#40114401)

      The issue is not about dick meeting vagina - that will continue to happen. Its just who's dick and pussy is getting it - gang banger lowlife meets crackwhore bitch and they have lots of kids.
      College boy's dick stays in his hand and college girl decides lesbianism, a room full of cats, or a overly-focussed career are a better option.

      What happens to the western world after a few generations of this?

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:04PM (#40112775)

    I ditched my G/F, bought a second flat panel, and can play Diablo III while watching pr0n at the same. What's the problem again?

  • As always... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:04PM (#40112777) Homepage

    Kids today and their video games! And their rock music! And their short leggings! And their science! And their disrespect for the Church of England! And their their caring for the slaves! And their rebellion against the Holy Roman Empire!

    It's a terrible shame that the modern kids of the 400's won't be able to attract women with their service to the Empire. If he hasn't conquered a few cities, what good is he as a man, anyway?

    ...

    More seriously, it's called a "generation gap". Today's young adults have different common standards for finding a mate, and every generation before has had other different standards. That's not even accounting for variance within the population, which in something as personal as mating preference is very widespread.

    This psychologist's notions seem to go beyond merely "sensationalized" and into the realm of "utterly insane".

  • by PPH (736903) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:06PM (#40112823)

    ... researchers say women are hooked on shopping and soap operas. This destroys their ability to connect with men, becoming addicted to instant gratification, the pursuit of unrealistic emotional drama and fantasy relationships.

  • by edraven (45764) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:07PM (#40112837)

    Right here in River City!
    With a capital "T", and that rhymes with "P", and that stands for...

  • by Y2K is bogus (7647) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:10PM (#40112875)

    I wonder if the neighbor's kids have ever gotten laid.

    Them kids just sit in their rooms and play games, smoke weed, and play some more. There is some sort of employment they are involved with, but it doesn't look real stable or regular, certainly not a 9-5 job.

    That said, I blame their mom. They are over privileged and simply have to pitch a fit to get what they want, whether it's a new computer part or a car to replace the last POS they bought.

    I don't think it was games that did it, I think their mother's lack of parenting and failure to instill drive in them is to blame. Dad is whipped, so he's not much of an influence.

    Teach kids right from wrong, learn them some work ethic, and give them opportunity to succeed, that's what I think is lacking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:10PM (#40112877)

    Let's see.

    Social interaction with a woman in the work place can end in a career ending sexual harrassment accusation when you have a falling out and she decides to exact retribution.

    Social interaction with a woman on a date leading to a sexual encounter the woman regrets after can end in a life ending rape charge.

    Social interaction with a women leading to marriage and children ends in a divorce which results in your ex wife taking the house and a slice of your possesions and wealth, and leaves you with an extended obligation to support her with alimony and child support while she lives with the next guy, conveniently avoiding remarriage to leave you on the hook for as long as possible. Though child support is a legitimate obligation if you willingly and knowingly fathered them.

    I seriously doubt social interaction between the sexes has ever been great. Most guys were/are just jumping through a lot of painful socially mandated hoops to satify their sexual needs.

    At least its less bad now than it used to be when the societal norm was you had to marry someone for LIFE, the sex stopped being good about a week after the honeymoon and there then followed 60 years of ball and chain misery.

    Of course, that model was traded for one where women have acquired a nearly completely dominant position legally, socially and in the work place, which has resulted in a situation where is probably better for men in the long run, especially financially, to avoid relationships with women all together, hence the preference for games and porn.

  • by pathological liar (659969) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:13PM (#40112913)

    Unemployment and wage stagnation are ruining a generation.

  • by log0n (18224) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:17PM (#40112991)

    The article starts with the faulty premise that connecting with women is a requirement.

    If a women isn't dependent on a man (thanks to increasingly equal (and in some cases exceeding) employment/opportunity/education, sperm banks, etc) for the things she desires in life, why isn't it fair game for a man to not need a women for what he desires?

    I love my wife, happily married with 2 kids and I'm not a mascu-nazi, but I look at my parents generation with their greater than 50% divorce rate (with largely 1-sided devastation of the husband) and constant bombardment of the whole 'demeaning men to empower women' approach [seriously, just about any commercial in the last 40 years - the man is the moron who couldn't function w/o the woman], why would anyone want that short of being conditioned to accepting it?

  • by redelm (54142) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:18PM (#40113017) Homepage

    Hoo boy, where to start? First some disclosure -- I have both a 20-something son and daughter. Both have suffered heartaches much as I did. Neither has an easy time of it.

    TFA makes the major assumption that things are worse now than earlier. I would like some proof. Yes, marriage and childbirth are being delayed, but I'm far from convinced this is a bad thing. Child rearing has been improved and battery reduced.

    Second, this is all been laid at the feet of the young men. Yes, our species does seem to both require activity from the males and passivity from the females. But society has become much more complex, with many more choices in activities. SSmall wonder young men don't get it right. I have to remind my daughter that her beaux cannot read her mind, and need appropriate signs of encouragement. N ot things she thinks are encouragement, but things _they_ will interpret as such.

    Finally, if it actually is that things are worse, why should it be that vidgames/pr0n are to blame? Handy whipping boi's? This gets into the vent or foment debate. But sidestepping it, consider something else: half of all young people grew up in split/divorced households. Might this not make them more than a bit leery ? The staggaring increase in divorce 1970-1990 is squarely on my generation's shoulders.

    I still think we have not the foggiest clue of what technological contraception does to a society long-term. It changes attitudes towards children and many other things. We are still discovering, and won't even approach normality for another 100+ years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:19PM (#40113033)

    Perhaps its the women who should be watching more porn and playing more video games. Just sayin.

  • by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@yaPERIODhoo.com minus punct> on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:37PM (#40113331)

    "It's a social awkwardness like a stranger in a foreign land", he said. "They don't know what to say. They don't know what to do."

    At least for me, this is the case, but video games and porn had NOTHING to do with it.

    At the age of four I was using DOS commands better than my dad who used them at work all the time. I performed my first paid computer repair at the age of eleven, having read "Windows 95 for Dummies" cover to cover the year before. Computers and computer concepts came naturally to me, though admittedly I can't code to save my life. I did have a similar experience when it came to video editing and DJing, both of which I do on the side and make a decent chunk of change in the process. These things came naturally to me to the point where I never really had to think about what I wanted to do for a living. I knew from an extremely young age my career would involve computers and music; I never had to take one of those "what do you want to be when you grow up" tests in high school. I'd known for years.

    Social graces were as foreign to me. When I explain this to people, many of them look at me sideways and can't fathom the concept that for some people, social interactions would be a learned skill, just like computers are to them. What's ironic is that when you ask them, "so what would you recommend I say to this girl, given $SITUATION", they have to stop and think about it, too. To many, it is instinct. To people like myself, it took very explicit 'study' and 'tutoring', the latter coming from several female friends over the years who have spent a lot of time and effort getting me to the point where I can mostly hold a conversation with a stranger, even the good looking ones, and not make things totally awkward.

    Without those people in my life, I may or may not have learned how to socially interact effectively. What if I had not? Every social engagement would conjure up all the excitement of a Calculus exam, because it'd be guaranteed that I'd stand in a corner and be incapable of talking to anyone, utterly terrified that I'd end up talking about computers or DJ gear or NLE plug-ins - topics I know about, but are useless to basically anyone else I'd be talking to. It'd be a vicious cycle that I'd be terrified of saying or doing something stupid or awkward, then find myself actually doing so, only to reinforce my belief that it would happen next time, and find out that I was right yet again.

    Compare that to video games. The rules are extremely well established; the viewer doesn't have to re-learn them each time they enter the game. They're set up so that if you fail, you can try again. You can lookup walkthroughs on Youtube or IGN. If the player fails, no one knows but themselves (unless they're playing multiplayer). They have conventions that are well understand. They can be played on the player's schedule and terms. The price is explicitly established up front (unless there is DLC, which again, is on the player's terms). The NPCs that aren't explicit enemies generally respect the player. Video games aren't played due to an expectation for life to emulate them. They are chosen because this inexhaustive list of attributes is in explicit contrast to real life.

    Compare it to porn. The porn is chosen based on what the viewer desires to do at that time. It doesn't require an initial, elaborate attempt to seduce the individual in the scene. The viewer isn't competing with other people for the porn star's attention or affection, and there is absolutely no fear of rejection. Again, porn isn't watched as an expectation for life to emulate it. It's watched because life *doesn't* emulate it.

    So, in summary, we are stating that individuals who frequently fail at particular tasks in real life choose environments where failure doesn't really happen. The study might correctly assume that guys who play video games and habitually watch porn are socially awkward, but the assumption that's inaccurately made is that such individuals preemptively chose it instead of attempting more conventional means of relationships, as opposed to video games and porn being the only outlet of acceptance due to a long history of failure and a dearth of alternative means to rectify social awkwardness.

  • It's the women. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheEmpyrean (788742) on Friday May 25, 2012 @04:48PM (#40113501)

    I love how it is always something wrong on the part of men, but that's the whole point when you get down to it.

    Men are tired of women's crap.
    Men are tired of American women in particular.
    Men are tired of being told to "Act like a man" by women who don't want to "Act like a woman"
    Men are tired of the atmosphere that has been created as of late.
    Men are much more jaded by 25 because of women they've dated than ever before.
    Men are tired of being treated as a pocketbook, resource, protector, etc.. and getting crapped on in return.
    Men are tired of being expected to take on the dangerous jobs, longer hours, and more responsibility, but are screamed at for making more money.

    Let's face it, most men don't want any part of it after a while.
    Give me something to enjoy my time with, some food and let me blow my load on occasion, and my needs are generally met.
    When the cost of dating a woman is more than a hooker, it's time to just get a hooker.
    Video games don't nag, pester, whine and demand attention every 10 minutes.
    Video games don't expect you to like all their friends, nor try to get to know all of your friends.
    I don't have to buy porn dinner or take it to a movie before it'll put out.
    Porn and video games don't have some irrational urge to talk about feelings and relationships every day.
    Porn and video games don't start dropping hints after 6 months about moving in and/or getting married.

    Simply put, again, many men are tired of women's crap, American women specifically.

    There's a number of decent foreign women who know how to interact with a man while still being able to be themselves, and more guys are becoming aware of this and going for them, vs a bunch of spoiled, loud mouth, bossy, overly entitled, classless American bitches with nothing but bad attitudes.

    Men may be the ones who are going for video games and porn, but women are the ones driving them to it.

    Much like how these articles always seem to be written by women, or a woman leading around yet another spineless, pussy-whipped man giving a broken spirited 'Yes dear" after everything she says.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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