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Videogames, porn, and seclusion: The downfall of men?

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Do you know how to talk to women?

Phillip Zimbardo, a leading psychologist at Stanford University, has warned that men are facing a "crisis of masculinity" because of porn and videogame addiction. A study of 20,000 young men's gaming and porn habits was conducted by Zimbardo with a focus on those who "play videogames to excess, and do it in social isolation." 

"Excess," Zimbardo elaborates, "is not the number of hours, it's a psychological change in mindset." Essentially what he is saying is the instant gratification of videogames and porn and the isolation aspect of their use is causing men to fail at speaking to women, and even being sexually aroused.

Zimbardo outlined the situation a bit previously in the above TED talk back in 2011. He calls this an arousal addiction, meaning we want something different all the time. This is obviously true, as we get tired of games not evolving or becoming too repetitive in their sequels. 

I have to say I agree with Zimbardo. Maybe not with the use of the term masculinity, but men in general are changing and for the worse. Just reading some comments on my recent article about sexism experienced at Press Start LAN shows that many men don't talk to or know about women. Comments like "sexism isn't something to be too worried about."

The study can shed light on the treatment of women in gaming in general. Guys are either overly nice to them to try to get in their pants, or tell them to shut up and stop complaining when it isn't something they want to hear. Many guys don't view women as people, but as sex objects, as they have no experience with females outside of porn and the few female characters in games.

But really, how do you fix this, or can it even be fixed? The porn and game industries are bigger than ever, there is a screen in everyone's hands at all times, and we rarely communicate other than through text these days. Maybe we will all have robot girlfriends and boyfriends in the future, since we can't be bothered to step away from our screens and be social.

Porn and video game addiction leading to 'masculinity crisis', says Stanford psychologist [The Independent]

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Jed Whitaker
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Filed under... #General - Opinion/Editorial #Opinion Editorial #Science #Sex #Social Games

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