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Games Contributing To "Child-Man" Status

You know what happens when you use a stereotype as the foundation for an entire argument? An archaic stereotype that ceased to apply long ago? You get one giant, comical mess of an argument that only succeeds in proving what adult gamers have known for years: those who claim to know something about the industry are painful to hear from.

In the latest editorial rant bound to catch the attention of the anti-game activists, one writer attempted to link video games to this new phenomenon of young men between the ages of 20 and 40 refusing to mature into a state of stable adulthood. Not surprisingly, NPR picked up the editorial, written by Kay Hymowitz and recently published in the The Dallas Morning News. In it, she says we all need to "put down the Xbox controller and grow up." She says that today's mid-20-something male "lingers happily in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance." Now, not only does she not include females in this theory - as if the guys haven't encountered their fair share of the 37-year-old bar chick who still thinks she can be a "party girl" - but she also blames games for this problem.

Social scientists have recognized this new phenomenon of younger people struggling to grow up, and we don't doubt its existence. What we're relatively certain of, however, is that video games are hardly a catalyst. They're no more a catalyst than movies, music, or any other form of entertainment. But while Hymowitz mentions television and pop culture in general, she says the "gaming industry in particular" has contributed to the rise of the "child-man." Well, we're all entitled to an opinion. But without getting into a very long rant (this is only a news article, after all), let's just say we disagree. Like we said, basing an argument on an archaic stereotype results in a nigh-on comical debate.

1/29/2008 Ben Dutka

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