My friend Davey sent me a message this morning saying my post on gamers got him thinking. He’s given me permission to post his take on it. As a girl I KNOW I don’t understand the world of gaming and porn. I was thankful to have a male shed some insightful, intelligent, and helpful light on the subject.
I’m sitting on a train to London right now, two weeks into a three month European “walkabout” of sorts. They say these types of journeys end up being about self-discovery. You travel somewhere far away from home, far away from normal or comfortable, to the exotic and fascinating, the mysterious and wild. And at the end of it all, as much as you learn about others, you learn far more about yourself.
I’m a man of intensity and passion. I struggle greatly when that which is at hand is of little cosmic importance. If my eyes aren’t fixed on the horizon, it’s difficult to know where to step. I operate very well within a long term plan of action. Without it, I wander, searching for a sense of meaning in each new step. And I don’t think I’m alone. A good friend of mine wrote a piece on the effects of pornography and video gaming in the lives of men from a single woman’s perspective. (which you should definitely read here) And sure we could demonize the video game industry for playing its part in eternal adolescence and its easy (and absolutely necessary) to condemn pornography for the erosion of healthy human sexuality, but there’s a deeper reason why men gravitate towards these kind of digital shenanigans.
Men have lost their sense of purpose. And yes, I’m beating the same drum as many others right now, but I feel as if it really is the reason for most problems we have lately. This isn’t new revelation forged in the brilliant depths of Davey-brain, but I have the unique opportunity to be a man in the thick of it.
In the olden days, even only 100 years ago, a man’s duties were many. To be the legitimate protector of his family, to provide shelter against harsh environments, people and wildlife, to hunt for food, to gather firewood for warmth, etc. Life was hard, so man was to be harder. Men didn’t have much time for non-essential actions. Too much was at stake, too many lives depended on what he did with his.
And not every man lived up to this ideal, that hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the infrastructure. Rows of perfectly constructed houses with perfectly manicured lawns in master-built communities planned to bring our every need within arms distance. The idea of provision has changed for most men, each individual problem can be solved, for a small fee, by someone else. Men don’t need to be experts in anything anymore really. They just need to know how to make enough money to pay people who are.
Life in our modern age isn’t about survival… that is all but guaranteed. Life, for too many men, is but a vehicle for enjoyment. In order to continue, and even thrive, it would seem that life doesn’t need most men. But, that’s only because women seem keen to run things in a man’s absence.
How many married men do you know actually manage their money? How many are truly active in the lives of their children? I would venture to guess that its less than we’d hope. But how many men go off to work for sometimes 10 or more hours a day? Many men are so disconnected with their loved ones because of our ever-shifting definition of “provision”. Of course money is what makes the world go ‘round, but men are made by fathers, not finances. Families need emotional provision as much as (and many times more than) financial provision.
Without a purpose worth living for and when men work day-in/day-out without it, life becomes a mess of unfulfilling movement. Then, after a day of seemingly meaningless action, with what time is left, a man still longs to conquer or achieve.
Video games are a great substitute for a fulfilling life. They are scientifically designed to give men bite-sized goals to achieve, new enemies to conquer and an opponent to rise above. A pseudo sense of purpose. A few hours a night and we can be transported to a world that needs us. A world where there are immediate dangers to protect against and immediate rewards. The only problem is that none of it means anything once you are done! You don’t know your wife or girlfriend any better, your homework or housework isn’t any closer to done and you’ve practiced something for hours that gave you no noticeable advantage in the real world.
Now pornography is a great way to have an instant connection with someone far more attractive than you could ever have in real life. It’s quick and easy and never wants to cuddle or make you watch House Hunters International. The only drawback is that, ya know, it completely ruins your ability to love any woman the way that she needs.
The true love and devotion of a beautiful woman that loves you like crazy is traded in for a quick moment with a girl you will never meet and will never love you back. Women are reduced to a series of interconnecting parts created to bring pleasure to men. But once again, without a long-term purpose, the short-term fix is quicker and easier.
But do men feel like they have the power to change any of this? Maybe they feel as if they can change the little things, rebuild the fence out back, buy that new car, get a raise at work, but do men sense that their actions can change the whole? That their yes or no can collectively move their culture?
I believe we need men who believe in ideals. Men who believe that they can be achieved through hard work and a devotion to what really matters. Men desire to conquer and achieve, but we need to understand that there’s a world out there that needs the intentionality and effort we put into Call of Duty. We need to understand that there are a whole world full of beautiful, smart, amazing and fully-capable women who desire to be loved mind, body and soul. They are wishing, hoping and praying for men to save their hearts, minds and eyes for them.
I believe whole-heartedly that most problems woman have are because a man either did something he shouldn’t have or didn’t do something he should have. Men and women are forever tied to each other and are meant to live in harmony, using each others gifts to work in tandem.
So men, we’ve got work to do. I don’t mean to point the finger at video games or pornography, they are the effects of a hole in the heart of a man that needs to be filled with something for more long-lasting and fulfilling. We need to believe that everything we do effects those around us and that we can have immense purpose solely by choosing to look for it.
Great, right? You can read more from Davey here. As always, I’ d love to hear your thoughts. Any men or women want to comment on their take?