Why are men retreating into video games more and more?
I came across this question recently and, while the presentation I saw on it was less than mind-blowing, some of the responses in the comment section offered some interesting insights. Men on average do more gaming than women. I know quite a few incredible female gamers and even one that is rather accomplished in the field. Women game too, but statistically men do more and, for the sake of this site, men are my target audience. I have been gaming for years and at one point had to step back because I was playing way too much. I still enjoy playing some, but only so often as I have a great many other priorities.
There is nothing wrong with gaming unless it is taking away from responsibilities you have or meaningful interaction with the real world. Like any other vice it should be a hobby, not something that controls you.
Check out these comments though.
Let me think about it:
- My attractiveness is average.
- My job and interests are quite average as well.
- My bank account is average.
- Above average women are not interested.
- Average women are not interested.
- Below average women are either uninterested or just uninteresting themselves.
- I already have enough friends both at work and from my student days. I don't see much of a reason to hang out if I’m not with friends and I’m already tired from work.
- Logical choice is going home watching movies and play video games till I’m too tired and go to bed.
- Go back into the office and repeat.
- Life in modern society is hell (albeit a very comfy one) if you're average, mostly in the money or looks department.
What drives me toward games are:
1. Adventures, my life is quite plain and I'm too introverted/broke to make it spicy as I would like.
2. Dreamful relationships outcome. I generally have the sympathy of all people I meet irl, but in games its different ... allies esteem and respect me as a champion, enemies fear me, and any possible romantic interest eventually fall for me. Sure, they have not the depth of real relationships but still the outcome is so idyllic to hypnotize.
3. A world without errors and with unlimited possibilities, there are no bad choices which will mess up the rest of your life. Any meaningful choice can be reverted, or reset eventually in the future to pursue the outcome you most desire.
4. You can be what you want. You want to be a sage ancient old mage? Fine. An amazon woman hunting ferocious beasts? Sure. A proud Templar knight? Here you go. And so on, you don't have to stick to 1 persona, you can change drastically what you are and how you behave and no one will ever come at your door saying? Why are you behaving in this way? What's up your mind?
5. Power/money. The power to do whatever you want, however you want, and the money to get whatever your heart could desire. There is nothing you can't do and nothing you can't get.
6. Accomplishment, any game of success is structured in a way to let you feel a sense of quick progression, of evolution in a very short window of time. That feeling is very great, especially for lazy people when confronted with long sessions of effort for laughable results.
And more in general: You are never out of place, you are not just someone in the world, it's the world which adapts to you and change according to your wishes in order to satisfy your needs.
Ok, I am back now and other than correcting some spelling, grammar that makes my atrocious writing look good (ask my editor), bad words and formatting (block paragraphs) nothing is changed from the Youtube comment section.
I see an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-discipline. We are Fallible Men, we grow and change for the better incrementally on a daily basis. That is what we strive for as Fallible Men. By reading this blog you are already somewhere on your journey to improving yourself in some way and likely in many ways.
Go down to the comments and tell me how many of these things could be changed or impacted greatly with a little drive to improve and change with a little self-discipline.
That is the mindset that makes you different from so many people around you. How many people do you know that are stuck in an utterly changeable situation if they only put in some effort with a little discipline? You see them all around you. I am an avid reader of the site “T-Nation”, it is a workout enthusiast site with articles on fitness, nutrition and self-care. Every now and again they hit one out of the park with a piece that rings true no matter what. The Chief Editor Chris Shugart posts the same piece every year and it is one of my favorite pieces of work; it is called Merry Christmas, Bob.
I encourage you to go read it (https://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/merry-christmas-bob). It is a story about an interaction during a Christmas party with an old friend and the after thoughts on it. It is the embodiment of my thinking when people ask me about things I do that I know they will never understand.
If you want to play video games, play video games as long as it does not detract from your real life. If you want to smoke cigars and drink bourbon, do so as long as it does not detract from your real life. If you want to have the chiseled body of a Greek god; bust your ass and do so, as long as it does not detract from your real life. If you want to be a couch potato then do so if it does not detract from your real life.
If you have to escape the real world because you feel inadequate, hopeless or like you are stuck where you are in your life: get off your butt, get help if you need it and do something about it! You are a Man! You may not be able to look like a model, but you can be more interesting, make more money, be in better shape and become more accomplished. You control these things!
Make the choice
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!
(Hint, retreating to games or something else will never make this happen)