PS3 News: "The Demise Of Guys" Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With Gaming - PS3 News

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"The Demise Of Guys" Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With Gaming

Ah, yes. Another mainstream news story that manages to provide readers with a vast array of implications and insinuations, which veteran gamers have been reading for years.  In fact, decades.

Unfortunately, given the state of the world, anti-game activists have no shortage of ammunition. Furthermore, given the rising popularity of interactive entertainment - in that it's just about as common as movie-watching for the 18-35 demographic - it's easy to tie just about any tragedy to video games. The guy who killed his whole family or raped a nun probably watched a movie at some point in his life, and probably played a video game. He probably ate a carrot, too. But we won't be blaming carrots, here. That'd be illogical and downright silly.

For the record, I am a firm believer in the headline itself: "The Demise of Guys." I have addressed this before, citing The Atlantic's "The End of Men" piece, and it's plain as day that these days, women are kicking butt in this society and men...well, they seem content to lag behind. Obviously, significant contributing elements must exist for such a drastic shift to occur. And although I'm not a doctor, I do hold a Psychology degree and I do have eyes; therefore, I know you can't blame online porn and video games for the fact that boys refuse to grow up.

In addition, I think it's important to recognize something interesting about video games, something most all researchers and doctors miss because they're not gamers themselves. There's an empowering element in gaming that is not about "instant gratification." Also, there is an underlying conservative theme in a country dominated by the liberal side, which actually runs counter to the "it's okay if you don't want to be a stereotypical male" theory that's running rampant. In fact, would it not be safe to assume that stereotypical men are actually looked down upon in this country now, potentially as type-A neanderthals or some such nonsense?

While there are many great characters in games, and that includes fantastic female roles during this generation, the "damsel in distress" theme hasn't entirely disappeared, nor has the belief that men are supposed to be strong, confident, powerful, and respectful - even deferential - towards women. The idea that all strong, confident men are just ignorant womanizers is a rash assumption and one that is contributing to the decline of men. Men are softer - both mentally and physically - and women are harder, if only to prove that we're all more similar than we may believe. ...and that, of course, is also crap.

The point is, after playing games for 28 years, I have found them to be relaxing; a stress reliever of sorts. I have also found that some of the "old-fashioned" values, which have all but disappeared in society, continue to survive in gaming (at least to some extent). Then there's the empowering aspect, which is actually not that much different than the feeling I get after lifting weights or rowing. It doesn't make me aggressive; it makes me feel energetic. It doesn't make me want to dominate females; it makes me want to smack a guy who abuses females in any way. I have not learned that women are supposed to look like the chicks in Dead or Alive; I have learned that women should be both respected and adored.

The article in question, concerning Dr. Phillip Zimbardo's book, is misleading. I don't know if the book is misleading, too; I suspect it isn't. I suspect CNN was fishing for a headline and when it comes to video games, we always know in which direction that headline will turn. They can say what they want. Until someone starts to recognize the two points illustrated here - the empowering element and the conservative, old-fashioned values/themes - that are still available in gaming, I will not be inclined to lend an ear to the mainstream press' tunnel vision.

Tags: video games, gaming industry, gaming culture, gamers

5/24/2012 10:28:40 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

BikerSaint
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:05:01 AM
Reply

F**k em!

And until they've walked in my shoes for the last 59 years, nothing they will ever spout out means a nickel of spit to me!!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 5/24/2012 11:05:42 AM

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ShamRock
Friday, May 25, 2012 @ 2:09:42 AM

I like that, " nickle of spit".

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CH1N00K
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:09:13 AM
Reply

Seeing how CNN's ratings are dropping as less and less people are watching it, an attention grabber doesn't seem far fetched. The problem is that the people that are left still watching it, are probably going to take what they say as gospel.

But this is nothing new, Movies used to be to violent, alcohol used to be illegal, Rock and/or Roll was the music of the Devil, and Dancing was just foreplay to orgies....oh and marijuana makes you go on a rampage and kill people....

When everyone gets tired of blaming video games for everything that's wrong with the world, something new will come along..like social networking perhaps, which has ruined an entire generation by allowing people of different cultures to communicate their thoughts to one another...the horror!!





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PSN French
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 2:56:56 PM

The allowance by facebook to post personal information of others has been more destructive to lives than video gaming... at least from my experience. You're first paragraph hit the nail on the head though, as the MSM makes more outrageous claims such as this, it might grab ratings for a day, but ultimately causes people with brains to no longer trust it's validity. Sadly there are countless "drones" that follow lies and propaganda of the MSM like the sheeple of which President Washington had warned us. But I digress as I tend to go on tangents with government and MSM.

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:09:26 AM
Reply

I love how the article uses N64 controllers... Makes you wonder how much they even know about the industry.

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:13:06 AM

What you mean you don't play ps3 with N64 controllers? No wonder I keep dying. :p

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PHOENIXZERO
Sunday, May 27, 2012 @ 8:00:17 PM

CNN is the company that was still using footage of DOOM and the first Mortal Kombat well over a decade after their release. Last I saw they finally made it to GTAIII. CNN and CNN "Headline News" are both complete garbage as shown many times over the last decade.

Then again all 24/7 "news" networks are terrible, the reason they go so hard after the videogame industry is because it steals ratings from them and of course there's the crazy, paranoid housewife and old lady component. Both of the latter are responsible for the pure evil that is Nancy Grace and her ilk for having jobs.

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GamingLegend7
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:12:58 AM
Reply

Well said Ben. If you remember the Arizona shooting we had a couple years back where this one guy shot and almost killed a senator and killed 7 others.
He was blamed because he played GTA and its not the games fault. Some people just choose to do bad things. Press always seems to put violent video games in a bad view.

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CH1N00K
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:21:25 AM

I think we should write our own article, stating something along the lines that if John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald had played video games, they wouldn't have assassinated a couple of US presidents....Or if Hitler had of spent more times with a PSP instead of painting, he wouldn't have tried to take over the world and eradicate an entire population...

Last edited by CH1N00K on 5/24/2012 11:21:49 AM

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:16:03 AM
Reply

Can't say I watch porn but I do quite a bit besides game. I just started school again and haven't been getting on at all. I'll admit I miss it a bit but getting back in the groove of school is rather interesting. Relearning math and such. Plus finally getting into an art university is awesome. I used to watch CNN instead of fox but I see they are both on equal ends for sensationalism now :\. Oh well.

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ProfPlayStation
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:17:55 AM
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I've heard that there's this dangerous thing which millions of men are addicted to and seemingly can't break away from it: Professional Sports!

My co-workers seem to do nothing but fantasize about going home and getting their next *fix* of pro sports. Then, the next day, it's all they can talk about! I've heard that some guys even blow off dates with their wives or girlfriends just so they can keep watching sports!! It even branches off into seedy and illegal areas of gambling and violent riots of crazed sports fans!! We must do something about this dire threat to our very way of life, before it's too late!

Last edited by ProfPlayStation on 5/24/2012 11:18:57 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:47:36 AM

I know, right? Where's the "Ex-Wives of Fantasy Football Addicts" club?

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coverton341
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:32:51 AM
Reply

I think the reason why "men" are on the decline is because the way "men" are portrayed, and I think that's the underlying theme to this article (this one here on PSX). In our society now, we portray men as stereotypical jackasses who have to have the biggest truck, biggest muscles, dumbest woman, and least amount of intelligence and empathy.

When that is the way that "men" are looked at in a society is there any question that people want to get away from that image, or make men out to be the bad guys? Granted, there are those stereotypical "men", just look at reality television, but that isn't what a true classical man is, in my humble opinion.

Until we acknowledge that it isn't a bad thing to be a man, and that being a woman also isn't a bad thing, we are going to continue to see the decline, regardless of whether or not we have video games in this world.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:48:02 AM

Exactly 100% correct.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:53:27 AM

boom! Nailed it. I completely disagree with this whole "fall of guys" nonsense. People are more individualistic and career oriented now than say back in the 1950's when people married at a very young age. This however, is portrayed in the media that guys in their mid or late 20s that are single are some how rude drunk a-holes that go out and womanize at night, and nurse a hang over playing videogames the next day. You see crap like the Jersey Shore where the bros of the house go out and just treat women like crap. That's not really how it works (not to mentioned most reality shows are staged).

It seems to me that the only men that these "journalists" think are "real men" are the ones who marry young or are in a serious relationship. I know plenty of single guys that have their sh*t together in graduate school or law school with full time jobs. Do they watch porn? Yup. Do they play videogames? Yup. But I see absolutely nothing dangerous or wrong with where their life is headed. These headlines are just attention grabbers for site traffic and to rile up the baby boomer generation because things aren't they way they used to be.

What about the women who obsess over keeping up with the kardashians, or the ones that are completely addicted to shopping for clothes? You know, the ones that are completely consumed by materialism that treat nice guys like trash because they don't act like d*ckheads that flaunt how much money they have? Where are these articles about the demise of the "kardashian generation" of women?

Last edited by jimmyhandsome on 5/24/2012 12:01:59 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:59:58 AM

jimmy: The "fall of men" is mostly seen in numbers, as more men than women attend (and graduate) college these days, and more men are living at home at a later age. In short, the evidence shows that too many men aren't growing up, while women are.

That much I believe. The rest is just clouded by what we're being fed.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:04:32 PM

Yea can't argue the stats. Guys growing up at a later age based on moving out of the house and going to college can be made into an argument.

I was more or less refering to this most recent article CNN posted that seems to think men who play video games and watch porn are going no where in life.

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:31:17 PM

mm hmm, true Coverton. That reminds me of the young dads group I've been running at our youth centre. Basically, the most commonly used message is "Real strong men know how to be gentle". I wish I had a link to a picture of what I have hanging up on my office wall... it's really funny... it's of a guy like you would see on that movie 300... he's got long hair, a big beard, huge muscles, a cool tattoo on his thigh and upper arm, and is wearing just black boxers. What is unique, is that he's gently holding on both hands a laughing baby with his left hand in the front. You can see a wedding ring, not that being married is necessary, but it's the easiest way to portray being committed and responsible to relationship (any relationship, really). The words on the picture say, "Real men know how to be Gentle".

It's an epic photo. lol. I like it because it shows it doesn't matter how stereotypical a man is, what makes the photo awesome is the contrast of the baby laughing and the man having fun with his son. What makes him real isn't his muscles, it's the apparent relationship with the boy and committment to keeping him safe (holding with both hands, for example) at least that's what we talk about in the workshop. Even if some of it is a stretch. lol

My point is, I agree with you. lol. What makes a man a man are the things people don't always get to see.

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tes37
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:46:42 AM
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All my gaming friends tend to smile a lot. It's not the games that make them smile either. It's something called happiness and it can only be found within you. Anything and everything that's right or wrong with people, comes from inside them. You choose how you want to be and only you are to blame for the result.

Some people need help and all the outside help they receive is useless, unless they choose to change. A real man admits his shortcomings and strives to be a better person without the need to point fingers elsewhere.

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Clamedeus
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 4:44:19 PM

Very true, and well said.

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Highlander
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:03:28 PM
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The demise of men has been a long time coming. It's partly a product of a society that started out with entrenched societal roles for men and women, and then systematically destroyed and remade the role for women. But, what did it do for the role of Man?

Equal rights for women is a great thing and is very rightly a great achievement. However, those equal rights for women, are not entirely equal in reality. While women have gained many more opportunities and options, men have had their options and opportunities curtailed in favor of women. Not a problem in and of itself, but what did guys gain in return for the equality Women now have?

It's sexist and non-PC to be a gentleman and hold a door open. Personally I thought that was the civil thing to do, but apparently it makes me sexist if I hold a door for a lady. That's one of about a million little things that have changed for men where they have been constantly told that they are wrong. It's wrong to be a gentleman, it's wrong to be a lad, it's wrong to like naked pictures of women - that's exploitative after all. Never mind that it's genetically programmed into the male brain to enjoy such things - oh and women apparently like pictures of men... It's wrong to be competitive, assertive, aggressive, masculine. It's wrong to like games, it's wrong to like anime, it's wrong to like....you name it it's wrong to like it. The momentum of the women's movement has carried over into somehow trying to morph men into the image of a more caring, more feminine male.

I could go on to talk about the restricted opportunities for young men in society now, especially unskilled men. There are so many aspects to the fall of man that could be discussed. But at the end of the day I think that it really comes down to a combination of changes in the economy (services and information instead of manufacturing, engineering and manual labor), changes in society, and especially the changing role of women. Changes which have not been mirrored by any change in role for men - instead the role of women has expanded into traditionally male territory, squeezing men out.

<steps off soap box>

The problem isn't games. the problem is that society took care of one glaring problem, and didn't really consider the full consequences of that.

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tes37
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:12:50 PM

I hold doors open for men and women, because I believe you can be a gentleman to both sexes. Avoid eye contact and go about your business when you do it, but keep doing it anyway.

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Clamedeus
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 1:31:24 PM

What bugs me though is when I hold doors for people, I get no "Thank You", out of all the time I've done so I only got one Thank You out of it.

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Nerull
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 3:34:48 PM

People hold doors a lot here. I do it too, but I don't really care about thank yous, it's not really a significant enough feat to require one.

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Clamedeus
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 3:46:30 PM

That's not the point though, if someone holds the door at least you can do is be polite and say thank you, that's mostly gone now a days.

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tes37
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 4:08:40 PM

Don't let that get in your way of being a polite person. As you said, it's mostly gone now, so hang in and help us.

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Clamedeus
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 4:11:17 PM

Oh, I'm going to keep doing it. Because that's how much of a gentlemen I am, I respect everyone until someone tramples on that respect.

:D

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Highlander
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 4:43:40 PM

lol! I know, for me it's just the way I was brought up, you hold the door open for the people behind you instead of letting it swing and smack them on the nose. It seems common sense civility to me, and simply being polite. but on more than one occasion, I have been accosted by the person I held the door for and accused of being a sexist moron. Of course I reply with "I was just being polite.". It's kind of sad though that some people do not see it as polite, but rather a comment on their gender. Whatever.

BTW, I found this interesting article that looks at the economics of the 'decline of men' in America;

America's jobless men: Decline of the working man
http://www.economist.com/node/18618613

This is the most alarming part of the article to me;

"even when "full employment" returns later this decade, on recent trends around 15% of all men, 20% of men who have not been to college, 35% of those who did not finish high school and more than 60% of black male high-school dropouts will probably not be working."

So, when 'full employment' does return, what exactly will these millions of men, many young and unskilled, going to do? They make up a huge 'underclass' of people without real means to live, and certainly no means to support a family. What will they do? what will they become? How will that impact society? How will it impact 'men' in general?

::blinks::

Yeah, believe me, these are awkward questions, they got asked in the UK in the mid-80s. We didn't have any better answers then either.

Please note: I am not making a political statement with this comment, nor am I siding with one or other political party. This is an issue that is about our society (and it extends well beyond the US into all developed nations BTW). The questions are there, and they *need* answers.


Last edited by Highlander on 5/24/2012 4:46:31 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 4:50:05 PM

lol, another interesting take on the decline of the guy/man/dude/lad/whatever...

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/04/wolcott200804

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 6:26:31 PM

To Clamedeus

Don't let it bother you at all. I was taught by my parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents that you should never expect anything in return. You know you are doing a good deed, and that is reward enough. And when I realized I was Buddhist I also came to a very similar conclusion that the good deeds you do will come back to you one day. The only difference is it may take a couple lifetimes(this only applies if your Buddhist however or believe in karma).

Just know that in any situation like that you are being a good human being, and nothing is more important.

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Clamedeus
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 6:44:52 PM

It only bugs me a little bit but not much, and I do believe in karma as well.

I agree.

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Shams
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:06:39 PM
Reply

Mainstream media is corporate owned, and come election time, Conservative, or Liberal, Democrat or Republican, left, right, extreme, or middle, it doesn't matter. Because at that time, mostly all of them seek the favor of the lobbyists, who represent the corporate owners who ultimately control the media. In 3rd world countries, bribery is down to break laws, and lie about it. In 1st world country, lobbying is done to rewrite the laws, and to hide it (though lying certainly is a last resort along with breaking the law).

That being said, bad press about games has to do with the generation gap. Ours is just starting to have kids of our own, and we're not yet owning the radio waves, and running the broadcasts.

Anyhow, the negative coverage of games, movies, and whatnot, are just a red herring in the media to kill air time, and distract you from the real issues at hand...and that's what they kinda count on.


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Douchebaguette
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:07:27 PM
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Reminds me alot of how sources blamed Doom, Marilyn Manson and KMDFM for the Columbine massare; we all know there was loads more to their reasoning.

___

"Demise of Gals: How materialistic voices such as the HGTV, the shopping network, soap operas, women's soft-porn novels have turned a select group of American woman into consumers, shoppers and lovers of wealth and money. Their psyche developed from this form of self awareness which allows them to believe that in order to be happy, you need opulence with materialism. Clothing, jewerly, fashion — this is the modern American woman. I consume, I buy things therefore I exist. But of course, sociologists seem to only see males as the problem."


^ Quote from Thomas D M Thompson in the comments section.

Although I personally think any habitual "issues" that lie among people depend on an individual's overall circumstance (which requires alot of in depth analysis, reflection and ascertainment for each person as opposed to merely generalizing based on unfortunate incidents and targeting obscure recreations, as the CNN article did), Thomas makes a great point on how easy it is to generalize things and spread the word with confidence, do we not understand what we criticize.

________________

One more funny thing to mention is how willingly people wish to delete a problem without thinking ahead. I mean, what other kind of medium would people have to resort to condemning if the subjects Zimbardo and Duncan argued against were to be abolished? Another form of entertainment that the media is willing to oppose does it not keep us glued for their benefit? How about we scrutinize the media for brainwashing nations? That article is more news that somewhat proves to me yet again that it's the modern day form of propaganda.

I'm off on a rant here which is causing me to make less sense. My bad.


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wackazoa
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:18:21 PM
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I blame rap music. A generation of "men" have grown up trying be like rappers and what we have now... boys walking around in various states of undress, disrespecting men and women alike because they feel it makes them something other than what they are, Justin Bieber, boys talking incorrect english because it's cool.

Actually it's not the musics fault more of the culture. When we stopped being able to tell young men that they look stupid and to pull up their damn pants, when we stopped being able to teach our youths the correct ways to talk to people and how to teach others, thats when the "decline of men" started.

Go back to your youth. Most male children dream of being like thier fathers. At a young age our fathers are the men who shape our lives. Most adults will look back and still say their fathers are the best men they ever knew. But when children no longer have fathers they look to something else.

T.V. has taken rap culture and made it mainstream. When you look at most celebrity awards shows you have young men no longer dressed in suits, they are wearing oversized t-shirts(or 1 size to small) and thier pants half off their ass.( and dont get me started with skinny jeans.)

It is my opinion that this is the culture that has brought the downfall of the classic man... hardworking, honorable, respectful and honest.
Just my opinion.

Last edited by wackazoa on 5/24/2012 12:20:14 PM

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mike rlz
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:42:35 PM
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My brother just moved to a house near where a kid made his ex girlfriend watch as he killed her mother and current boyfriend with an axe and he shot himself in the head - she was able to escape. Supposedly it's because he watched American Psycho and quoted the movie on his facebook leading up the killings.

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:46:11 PM

I'm sure you can probably guess there were far more issues in his life than a sitting in of a popular movie. :)

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Underdog15
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 12:44:43 PM
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It might be important to point out that the study Zimbardo is most famous for needed to be cancelled early because of emotional trauma suffered by those he studied. Seems he failed to insure the full and complete safety of his participants, and apparently, he even contributed to the study himself (and did not remain a bystander).

As a result, I'm not sure his research is likely to hold water in comparison to the greater psychologists out there. Even his own wife, a doctor of psychology, criticized his work. :p

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Ultimate_Balla
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 5:43:30 PM
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"He probably ate a carrot, too. But we won't be blaming carrots, here. That'd be illogical and downright silly." LOL!

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 6:56:36 PM
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Mind you I didn't read the article over at CNN as I am not contributing to hits for their website.

It would not suprise me if they, just like many other journalists equate success to a college degree. Just using 30 of my closest friends I can say only a few went to college and of that only two graduated. Now about 15 of them did not graduate high school yet almost all of them make 75,000 or more a year. The other 15 that did graduate high school(and a few went on to college)make over 100,000 a year.

The thing that bugs me is I have seen people try to put them down for not going to college. Several of them work as tradesmen and a few others are heavy machinery operators, and a few others are chefs, now in no way do those trades require college of any kind. Some will say if you want to start a business then it does and again WRONG. I have at least a dozen friends who own their own business's and only one went to college, and he didn't even go for that skill, he went to become a photographer and now owns and runs a successful pizza shop.

Of the two friends I have that did go to college one makes about 150,000 a year and the other makes less than 40,000. Of all these people I am talking about probably 95% of them are genuinely good people. They provide for their families, never get into trouble, are very respetful to other individuals, and are productive members of society. And yet some people think that they are falling behind, or aren't doing enough, or worse not successful. It just iritates me to no end to think somebody can call them unsuccessful when they have accomplished everything they have set out to and are happy.

Also please don't think that I am against a higher eduacation, it is just that certain people know what they want even before their out of high school and those decisions do not always require college.

This is just a rant of course and because I didn't read the article over at CNN it may be completely off topic and I apologize for that. And also this is in no way aimed at any one here, not Ben and not any of the people that have commented either. For me the bottom line is the media has a really skewed view of what defines success.

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ulsterscot
Thursday, May 24, 2012 @ 11:16:59 PM
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I think it all started to go wrong when they gave women the vote.

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m2tbo
Friday, May 25, 2012 @ 9:28:00 AM
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That CNN article is absolutely, hilarious. Calling it a "downfall of men" then pointing out a few unique cases, and generalizing it across hundreds of millions of gaming/porn watching men. If all these things made us completely anti-social and unable to build meaningful relationships, they should have called it the downfall of humanity. Good job video games, you just destroyed us all.

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Grathan
Sunday, May 27, 2012 @ 4:33:27 PM
Reply

I've no doubt that games are stimulating, but the comment ...

"The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment" ....

is probably more attributed to the lack of reward for the risk. What is the reward for hard risk-taking efforts these days? I gotta imagine that everyone knows it's not even close to what it was 20 years ago, and also probably not even close to what it will be 20 years from now.

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Yes, CoD is back on track!
Possibly; it was a positive step.
The jury's still out...
No, CoD is still doomed.

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