Some Young Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Real Life...No, I'm Serious

Some Young Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Real Life...No, I'm Serious

Real life has lost its fulfillment factor.
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Have you ever seen one of those movies, set far in the future where there seems to be some subset of the population that has left society in favor of an online community? That future may be closer than we think. In 2016, four economists made an interesting discovery about 20 something men. Without a college degree, many of them were turning away from the workforce, instead, they were staying at home playing video games.

So what is causing this? A few options are presented by the Economist article, such as college degree holders crowding out those without degrees from jobs, and the fact that the recession was harder on younger people. Now I would like to expand upon that idea a little through a new lens; addiction, and what we have learned about addiction.

So what about addiction can show us what is happening here? Well, as talked about in this Ted-Talk, what causes addiction may have less to do with the drug, and more with a person's environment. They talk about two different studies, one giving rats drug-laced water and regular water while they are in metal cages, and the rats drank the drug-laced water till they died. In the second study instead of having the rats in metal cages, they gave them a rat-paradise to live in, and they choose to drink the regular water. I would say that for many 20 something men, without college degrees, we are forcing them to live in "metal cages".

To really show how this has affected young men, as is talked about in this Slate article, a study has shown that men in this age group have shown increased levels of happiness. The article goes on to compare the slow progression of "leveling up" in real life, to the fast and fun promotions given to gamers as they play games, and are given more amazing abilities and gadgets.

Now don't mistake what I am saying for trying to diagnose these men with video game addiction, I am not trying to say that at all. What I am saying is that our current economic condition has left many men looking at their options, and they feel trapped, and so they choose not to be apart of our society and instead choose other, more fulfilling activities - video games.

This will have repercussions, having people leave the workforce is not good for the economy, and if many are living with their parents now, as the Economist article above said they were, then what will happen when their parents retire, and can't support them? There is also something to say about the more immeasurable loss here, loss to culture, to innovation.

We are forcing these young men out of the economy, and out of our society by making real-life unfulfilling, video games are more rewarding by default. In short, we have made video games more rewarding than real life, and that should give us some serious pause.

Cover Image Credit: barrysgame

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If You Own 6 Of These 10 Brands, You Are 100 Percent Basic

How basic are you?

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akumari
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For every brand you own, give yourself a point.

5. The North Face Bookbag

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6. Patagonia

Patagaonia Jacket

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7. Hunter Rainboots

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9. Nike Shorts (NORTS)

What was your score? Are you truly basic or not? If you are BASIC embrace that, who cares what anyone thinks! If you aren't basic, well then you are clearly embracing your style and thriving! Meanwhile, the rest of us are BASIC as can be and we love it!

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Minimalism Addresses Our Culture Of Consumption

Decluttering your life and consuming less allows you to live in the moment.

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, have become trapped by our culture of consumption. It's a disgusting display of wealth and social status that social divides us. This social divide does a great job at inhibiting our potential at building objective, meaningful relationships. Material possessions become our identity and we begin to lose a true sense of who we really are. It's entirely possible for us to exist as content, beautiful human beings without participating in the culture of consumption we have been duped into believing in.

The problem with our culture of consumption is that it has become a key aspect of every activity. We give too much value to "things," focusing less on their contribution to our overall wellbeing, passions, or happiness. We may experience temporary contentment or pleasure, but it seldom lasts forever. Minimalism eliminates the "things" from our routine, allowing us to find contentment from the simple things in life.

Minimalism is not an expensive hobby one takes up on the quest for self-discovering and happiness. There is this huge misconception that being a minimalist requires a fat wallet and that your life is now restricted by rules and limitations. This simply is not true. This misconception comes from the elitist culture which has emerged through social media outlets. This distorted perception has blurred the individualistic nature of minimalism. A lifestyle often associated as a fad is actually a lifestyle that de-clutters your physical and mental state.

Minimalists are people who…

  • Make intentional decisions; that add value to their lives.
  • Focus on personal growth and the quality of their relationships.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Discover personal potential by eliminating obstacles standing in our way.
  • Consume less and intentionally.
  • Gift experiences rather than material possessions.

There isn't anything necessarily wrong with owning material possessions. If you find importance in an object that genuinely makes you happy then, great! Minimalism doesn't have to look like white walls behind aesthetically placed black furniture. This concept focuses on the internal value system we all forget we control. Start small; declutter your thoughts. We easily get stuck in our routines that we forget to look slow down and just breathe. Living in the moment is by far the most valuable aspect of minimalism because it allows us to feel and experience every minute of our existence.

If you're someone who enjoys nature, there's more value to be found in the adventures we seek out and create than those created for us. Discover birds you've never seen before, wander down trials in your neighborhood, or uncover beaches no one else knows about. You'll find more value in the creation of your own adventure because those experiences are completely your own.

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