Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless Boys

July 6, 2010 -

As one Guardian author wondered what happened to the ambition of boys, citing videogames as at least a contributing factor, another Guardian columnist fired back, defending games as part of the solution.

Will Hutton’s Sunday column examined the possible reasons why society is churning out “so many disaffected, troubled and disengaged young men.” Hutton argued that “the great male demotivator is the risk of loss of face.” He continued:

One of the reasons that boys do not try harder is that the penalties for disengagement are so low – indeed, there are even rewards, at least in the sense that if you don't try, you can't fail. Much better to smoke dope, hang out and obsessively play computer games all day.

Columnist Keith Stuart took umbrage with this suggestion, penning a follow-up article in which he lamented that “there's little attempt to recognise that games are not the solitary teen male pursuits that they were a decade ago.”

Stuart argues that more families play games together now than ever before, which combined with the growing number of guilds and clans means that games can often provide “a rich source of friendship to young men finding it difficult to cope with the rigours of school society.” The author goes on to discuss the positive aspects of games and mentions a handful of educational games.

Stuart does not totally dismiss Hutton’s points entirely however, adding:

Perhaps part of the reason young men are failing in modern classrooms is that their needs and interests aren't being met by the syllabus, and aren't being understood by an older generation incapable of engaging with, or at least understanding, game culture.


Comments

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

Or could it be how we treat them like crap and never let them run there own lives? Eveytime a kid or teen trys to go there own way we stop them and tell them there to young. That kills ambition more then anything.

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

 Of course there is a simplier answer.... the number of ambitionless boys is not all that differnt from the past and the author is just using selective memory.

Or perhaps greater access to information has taken some of the facade off the 'american dream' idea and kids are getting disillusioned much earlier then they were in past decades.   Ever since the 90s, the future has felt VERY bleak, which tends to discourge ambition.   

It also does not help that we have had a significant rise in organizations targeting youth segments to preemtivly turn them into uniform voting blocks (the evangelical movement is esp guilty of this)... these movements do a great job of focusing power at a top few, but also tend to have the effect of discouraging the 'cogs' from reaching for more in life.

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

Imagine my frustration when, after taking numerous advanced classes and being one of the highest scoring students ever to go to my school... I ended up working the same jobs for the same pay as students who smoked weed all day and didn't even go to class. So I went to college... and you think college is any better? NO! They don't want to hear your ideas, they don't want intelligent discourse.

As you said Neeneko, "It also does not help that we have had a significant rise in organizations targeting youth segments to preemtivly turn them into uniform voting blocks". Even in colleges and universities, the so-called homes of free thought, you must conform. Whether it be to teachers or certain writing styles, if you do not conform, it doesn't matter how interesting or even correct your opinion is.

I failed economics my first run through (first class I ever failed aside from French), largely because I disagreed with the teacher constantly. He told me that Keynesian economics was great. I told him that we are going to hit a major recession within 5 years, and we will continue to hit major recessions every few years as long as we rely on debt and Keynesian economics, because a debt-based, keynesian economy relies on growth to function, and our society has little room for growth at the moment. He told me I was an idiot. That was about 3 years ago.

I bet he's eating his words now. At the very least, I'm sure he hates me. But what I learned from that experience is "if you want to get good marks and get a good job, you must conform". Thanks for the lesson oh great gods of college, I never would have made it in the real world without first having my dreams crushed.

Oh, btw, I play video games. I guess I should post that as a disclaimer because apparently, gaming is the cause of a loss of motivation. Oh yes, games are the cause of all my problems and the source of my lack of motivation, not the fact that I am getting paid slightly above minimum wage despite a college degree I had to pay for.

Here's a fun thought: perhaps games are the only source of motivation I have? The only time I ever feel like I am accomplishing something? Because otherwise I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall of idiots with business degrees who don't know anything about business (short or long-term), marketing, or even customer service.

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

Ummm.... loook a the shcool system that basily turns you into a number to be pushed through and poo'd out.....and if they can't slot you in thier limited defined holes you are tossed to the side..........

 

A ineffective and ineffectual school system leads to apathy and and anything is good enough.....


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

I want a part number... My Father jokes about his all the time. He works for a large corporation and they use the same software to deal with their employees as they do parts. Schools even do this now.

I am thinking employers look at people the same way that you described schools here. If you don't exactly fit their defined hole, you get pushed aside, even if you can do that job.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

WL

Well thats how soemtiems a job works but the school system itself can not function right by doing it that way we need general EDU(real reading,real math,basic science and history,ect) up till the 5th grade then we start focusing on thier skills then by 7th-9th they are on a path to higher learning or vocab training.

 


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Columnists Battle Over Impact of Games on Ambitionless ...

Both articles were a very good read and bring up some questions that must be answered. Personally I deal with trying to define my "self worth" and trying to motivate myself everyday. Society changed, you can no longer show up to work everyday, work hard, and expect things to go well. There is a lot more to it then that, now if I could define it...

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~
 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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