Monday, March 21, 2011

PJTV: Ask Dr. Helen: Men and the Media

I have another PJTV show up on men's issues, this time it's the portrayal of men in the media:
Goof ball. Video game addict. Man-child. Men are under attack not only in academia, but also in the media. Dr. Helen asks Andrew Klavan and Joe Hicks about the state of modern manhood. Are video games really that bad? Are men portrayed fairly in film and television? Find out.

You can watch the show here.

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Blogger Zorro said...

I would have hoped I could have avoided the use of this term (for I despise getting on the wagon with contemporary slang), but Joe Hicks is a total mangina.

I've seen professional hockey players make less effort in skating around the uncomfortable admission that feminism has made college campuses untenable for men.

3:58 PM, March 21, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I have been thinking about video games lately. One of the reasons men like to play them is that they give us an opportunity to practice being heroic. They exercise our Warrior in a culture where that is not often needed (thankfully!) and is too often frowned upon (shamefully.)

But in video games, we can save the day or the girl or the world. I think that certain kinds of escapist fiction and movies serve the same purpose, but in video games, we make the choices and come closer to actually doing it than the other media in which we watch it.

Just my thoughts, what are yours?


4:09 PM, March 21, 2011  
Blogger Zorro said...


I'm middle aged. To me, Battle Ship is a video game. World of Warcraft is a sign of a disturbed mind.

Still, your point is well made. I recall one day back in the late 80s I was riding on NJ Transit (trains) into work in Manhattan. I looked behind me on the train and saw at least--no fooling--over a dozen male pin-stripped suit-wearing cubicle marmots reading the latest Tom Clancy.

If I had to spend a day buying and selling September Fifties, I'd prefer to think I was a gov't operative, too.

Heroism, action and challenge is how we guys know we exist. Without those, we're just "chicks with dicks" as Randal put it.

8:40 PM, March 21, 2011  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

i think alot of women don't like men playing video games because that means she isn't the center of attention.

9:12 AM, March 22, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Video games? No. I do play solitaire when thinking about things. It's kind of a dither effect for me - in between the average half dozen killer ideas we all come up with in a year's time, often without realizing we had a brain storm.

10:54 AM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger knightblaster said...

Video games are popular pretty much for the reasons Trey cites -- they provide one of the few outlets for males to be males (or act out on that desire) left in ordinary life.

I play video games myself, but very much in moderation as I don't have a surfeit of time. And that's a good thing, as I do think some guys get a bit too wrapped up in them and can kind of fall down a rabbit hole if they aren't careful. But in moderation video games are far more entertaining and fulfilling than watching television, which seems to be more common than playing video games, even today -- less passive, more interactive, basically.

I think the ragging on video games is largely because the interest in playing them is generally very sex-slated. Yes, there are women who are "gamers", too, but they're rather substantially outnumbered by men, so most "non-gamer" women don't really relate to video games. And from the female perspective, it's time and energy he is devoting to something that is not only of no interest to her, but which can actually seem emasculating when compared to something traditionally masculine like hunting or fishing. That's understandable, in a way, but this is 2011 and there isn't that much time for hunting and fishing in most married men's lives today, anyway. As for single men, I think it's just a question of achieving the right balance, and making sure that the games don't take over your life.

11:59 AM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Nova, I am blessed in that my wife will look at me several times a year and say "I sure would like some fresh fish."

That means I get to take off and procure some panfish and cook them up. It is more fun, though more pressure than just fishing. Some days I have to work it hard, and once I was skunked, but it is always a lovely way to spend a Saturday and the family love the fruit of my, dare I call it labor?


12:21 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

One overlook aspect of video games in how they can affect you mentally. Not the junk science about how they turn you into a serial killer, but how they can serve as preparation for action.

I had knee surgery and was off the golf course for a couple of months and really missed it. So I got a copy of Tiger Woods golf and played it a lot. In the game, you can kill your drives and hit 50 foot putts. Completely unrealistic as far as my golf game works in RL.

But when I got back on the course, I found myself having the most amazing thoughts while putting. "Oh, I can nail this, it is just a 10 foot putt" was a common thought. Now this had nothing to do with my actual game and everything to do with the playstation.

But my putting was so improved that my golf buddies noticed and asked me how I got better. It was the playstation golf that changed my attitude about a 10 foot putt completely. I putted with confidence. False confidence to be sure, but confidence. And I dropped about 4 stroke.

I wonder how this applies to other types of games.


12:26 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Overlooked. Sheesh!


12:26 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

I have a question and maybe somebody from the polling industry could answer it. I would like to know about the demographics of the viewers who regularly watch, "Everyone Loves Raymond", "The King of Queens", "According to Jim" and "The Middle". Thank you.

2:16 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham, I have never seen those programs. But I am interested in the question!


3:29 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

trey, i don`t have time for video games.

if i need a little motivation i will watch a soccer clip or deadlift clip on youtube...and i find that they help with the ideation facet of what you talked about regarding playing your golf game.

i always watch a few video clips of good soccer players before a match and my heart is racing as i await the whistle.

i`m a hypnotist and know fully that the mind makes no ditinction between imagined action and real, the classic example being; imagine a juicy lemon.....

oh yeah, we were discussing heroism....i have these really cool exercize devices called macebells (google them...) and when you train with them you feel like a viking warrior, and they make you silly strong too, which is good.

4:11 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

and not everyone love raymond...what a douchebag....

4:12 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger knightblaster said...

I wonder how this applies to other types of games.

I'm honestly skeptical of the "video games help me in real life", although I accept that in can happen in some cases. I have read about some surgeons using console video games that require a lot of fingerwork as a way to keep their fine muscle motor toned. I've also heard of people using leadership abilities they have developed in online games in activities outside the gaming world. But I'd expect in general that games are just a form of entertainment for most, with so specific real world application.

4:16 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Nova, you speak sense. I can think of nothing aside from entertainment that a video game ever helped me with aside from my putting confidence.


4:28 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

why the hate for charlie sheen from hicks who professes to hate political correctness. hicks pretty much toes the pc line. men need to man up, not be like charlie sheen. Sheen is the most anti-pc, anti-oprah, anti-pycho babble guy out there. His life is not falling apart. he will earn $7 million in a month from his live shows and CBS wants him back. he also lives with 2 hot 24 year olds who adore him.

7:00 PM, March 22, 2011  
Blogger Dunkelzahn4prez said...

As a GenXer, video games are pretty much part of my DNA. I don't have the time to play them all that much anymore, though. Curse that need to earn a paycheck!

I agree with Trey that video games allow men to exercise their hero/warrior instincts in a way that's inaccessible to most, which is a big draw for games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare and such. Also, and I think this may have come up on another discussion thread, but it's a way to get near-immediate positive feedback and have a success response. Sure, it's just a video game, but when you break your previous high score, or make that (simulated) 800yard sniper shot to get the really really REALLY bad guy, it feels good.

8:48 AM, March 23, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was and am a total bookworm/couch potato. I am also not a guy, so I don't know if any of this is accurate.

I think boys start playing video games because they aren't permitted to play outside independently, making up their own games. Parents don't send their kids outside to play, because there are no other kids playing outside. And shooter games are a skill game, where they can be as loud and as dominant as they want, that appeal to the side of their brain that involves spatial mathematics - my father became hooked on tetris in the late 80s.

I think they keep playing games because they're fun - just as fun as bowling, or softball, or whatever else women think they should be doing instead.

10:13 AM, March 24, 2011  
Blogger Dunkelzahn4prez said...

Nora said...
Parents don't send their kids outside to play, because there are no other kids playing outside.

I think there is truth in this, and many reasons why there aren't other kids playing outside. I think the child abduction hysteria of the 1980s set the stage for parents not wanting to let their kids play outside, or if they did, to keep them in line of sight at all times. The rise of video games and internet also provides a lot more opportunity and variety in "activities" that take place indoors. Some parents are also overly-sheltering anyway, and the availability of activities to keep the kids occupied without them going anywhere facilitates that.

Also, I think the more mobile and transient nature of how we live figures into this. People don't live, work, socialize, worship, etc. in the same location as their neighbors anymore, so the local community dynamic, and having all your friends (and their children) in regular contact within a relatively small geographic area doesn't seem to exist as much anymore. Activities have to be planned and scheduled because your child's best friend doesn't live next door or down the street, he lives ten miles away.

I think they keep playing games because they're fun - just as fun as bowling, or softball, or whatever else women think they should be doing instead.

That too!

10:40 AM, March 24, 2011  
Blogger Davout said...

The very same people who preach to men will generally be the ones to shout down or prevent others from preaching to women.

11:36 AM, March 24, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

Why do we have to justify video games? Do we justify the latest book or movie? I can think of plenty of hobbies for which there is little justification. (My Uncle's horses cost a lot of money and for what?)

That said, when my son became a teenager, he became a very angry young man. The ONLY way we connected was through World of Warcraft.

4:24 PM, March 25, 2011  

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