Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Episode 33: "Building a Better Gamer"

update: as of 9/13/11 this video can now be found at THIS LINK

This one is all about US, guys... but not entirely in a good way.


oblongdruid said...

all hail the king!!!!! ur the fucking man Bob.

oblongdruid said...

excuse my choice in descriptive words, it just fitted too well :D

NTRAFF said...

I was really looking forward to this one Bob, and you didn't disappoint. All of it needed to be said for obvious reasons.

As I'm quite self-aware of how many gamer stereotypes I fit in, I wasn't the slightest pissed off by anything mentioned, but I really appreciate the reminder to cross off things from my ever idling list of life goals.

My only possible problem with this is that it might be twisted by the less savory critics of our culture. At any rate, we need these kicks to the butt more often, and I don't mind if they come from the Overthinker.

Rock on.

PS. I loved the Bayonetta analysis by the way.

NTRAFF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Heh, I managed to get 9 out of the 10 people that you showed pictures of.

And when I looked up the only one I didn't get (#2), I felt like kicking myself for being such a fucking moron and not getting that one. ;)

Richard said...

just a question? wouldn't those being addressed in this video, be absent from said words (true as they may be) considering, I know someone like that and he can't pull his ass away from said keyboard to save his life. aside that, good video, very true, and BTW I only went once but god i miss arcades, or in the least going over to a friends to game. (baulders gate you know) So yeah aside a point or two, right on bob keep em coming.

drew said...

i kinda hate to admit it ,but ive never been one to disregard doing the right thing. you and the screw attack guy are right I have wasted alot of my life behind the computer and tv moniters and while i am intrested in other things like art(i also like to read,shop,music, and watch movies a but granted i havnt really seen any of the movies you listed but i have read some books and stories and poems from some of the authors). im not as connected with other people as i want to be or i should be and i am quite a bit on the big side

and i will admit i wish there were more arcades out there then there is i only know of one around me and its in a mall about 45 minutes away from my house by car

but i think i will try some of your tips on making myself better

oblongdruid said...

respect to u drew xx

Rawle said...

Long time watcher, first time poster.

What you and the ScrewAttack guy had to say didn't really anger me that much -- though it did give me some encouragement to try and meet my own personal goals (especially regarding that culture/current events thing.)

Good going as always, MovieBob.

beyrob said...

Yeah I agree, I stopped playing online games because I don't like dealing with snarky little kids. I perfer only playing with freinds. Also...even though I have aphysically taxing job I still need to do more when i have time off. I think i'll start today... take a break every hour or so to jog or do something. Can't afford a gym anyway so that'll have to do.

Caio said...

So far I found very few people who hated the video as much as you though there would be, Bob. And rightfully so: it's one of your best (this coming from someone who didn't like number 32).

Next time you feel like making a video with that level of critique, I suggest you cut back on the "I hate to say, you hate to hear" thing. It's completely unecessary. In fact, it harms an otherwise impecable string of arguments and points.

And if by any chance your videos achieve that level of controversy (a level wich I haven't seen yet), you own up to it.It's pretty clear to me that you love doing these videos and saying these things, your passion about it is what makes them good.

So don't compromise.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

I gotta say that I don't think knowing more supporting cast members of a video game than members of Congress is a problem. Thousands of ordinary working class people know more B list celebrities than they do Congress.

Knowing the names of the creators/designers of a game on the other hand, that is a problem.

Mr. I said...

Just to make a brief joke that will most likely end up frustrating you more than giving you a good chuckle, but I'm the kind of anti-socialite with a vendetta against any sort of being, even one I personally respect, that I feel the need to just annoy for the sake of being an annoying leech and representing the problem that they illustrated so deeply, to the point where I'm more likely to end up on an "ignore" list than make a good point with this run-on sentence: playing Bioshock means I don't have to read "Atlas Shrugged" if I listened to the subtext to know why a character is named "Atlas", right?

In any case, I find it really hard to reply to this video. I mean I can just say "yeah great video Bob, thanks for telling the trolls who's boss", and then go on to ignore the rest of the vid and spend the day on Team Fortress 2 saying every funny line I can remember from the No More Heroes 2 binge I had last weekend. Granted at least that's topical humor, and one with actual wit and more centered around a reference than an insult, but the concept is still similar in how self-indulgent it is, and how as gamers, we've fallen into this sort of rising sea of our own waste products, and instead of swimming out of it, we continue to add to it.

So I just have to leave this video wondering how much of your words strike true. Don't get me wrong, what you stated wasn't really an argument so much as it was "this is courtesy, the thing we had when people smiled and Wally Cleaver was always bailing Beav out of trouble", but still. I'm sure I'm going to take out my jar of peanut butter and find some celery to dip in it while I'm playing through Heavy Rain or Yakuza 3 or Final Fantasy XIII and that other stuff that came out recently, but by the time Mario Galaxy 2 comes out, I don't know. It's good intentions, and I really think that's the best you can offer without coming to us personally with a paddle and a brick that'll beat the works of Orwell into our minds, but it's just something that I have to think: how long can it last?

Though I personally disagree with watching the news. I've seen and heard a lot of murder stories that, while I'm not shocked by them, they just end up depressing me, and as far as I've looked, the most balanced or unbiased coverage comes from The Colbert Report more than anywhere else. And, you know, that's... really cool and all, but shouldn't be happening.

Oh and thanks for this. After the rather interesting video about Bayonetta, I was a little confused by which direction you were going to go - that one just seemed a little jarring and awkwardly executed to me, I dunno, something sat wrong. Liked this one a lot more.

bobisacow said...

You know, some people were guessing what you'd talk about in this episode, and I have to say, I'm damn happy you talked about something like this than anything anyone else probably guessed.

Tom said...

I personally doubt you're really making a controversial point. The group of gamers that is living very unhealthy because of their hobby, that is completely oblivious of the outside world and acts like an asshole is actually a pretty small minority. Of course it's a minorty that is well-represented (or at least very noticable) on message boards and XBox Live, but in my opinion you are still talking about a relatively uncommon stereotype.

Being a Computer Science student, I know a lot of people who regularly (or in some cases fanatically) play video games, but I don't really recognize any of them in the image you portray (except for the lifestyle bit, which really does apply to one of them). Of course, this is only based on my personal experience, and therefore I'm curious wheter you base this on people you personally know or on the impression you get of the 'gaming community' by looking at internet forums and such.

Anyway, even though I don't agree with it this is once again a nice video that will probably provoke some thought and discussion. I'm already looking forward towards your next one.

Dave said...


I would first like to repeat what Rawle said, because I think it it something that you could stand to hear again, and what I was thinking, too.

"What you and the ScrewAttack guy had to say didn't really anger me that much -- though it did give me some encouragement to try and meet my own personal goals"

Seriously, I think this is one of the most noble things that you have ever produced. EVER!

I've got so many thoughts on this that I think I'm going to split my responses up into sections:

Lifestyle -

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've had this internal monologue going on in my head for a long time now, wondering if the whole gaming thing that I've been doing most of my life has been in any way good for me. It is good to hear these words of encouraging lifestyle improvement from a true Gamer rather than some other authority figure.

Thank you! Honestly, thanks so much for saying these things! Most people who say them, they're not Gamers, so it is much more difficult to take them seriously no matter how right they may be. I can cast them as aggressive outsiders who want to destroy my way of life. But when a Gamer says it - a member of this community that you so uphold - it really feels like friendly advice.

But there is just one thing that I am wondering: didn't physically unhealthy, socially awkward people exist before the 'digital revolution'? I.E. if video games, etc. did not exist, would we be in such bad shape? Or are we unfit people just attracted to gaming? Of course, this is the same as the violence argument, but it could be explored more.

Culture -

I cannot say that this fully applies to me. I'm no cretin, (for which I most profoundly thank my parents ;)) I know most of the people you described, and if I have not directly experienced their work, I've usually at least had some passing familiarity with it.

But again, I have a question: how valuable would a person be if, say, they know only of the works of George Orwell, or Fritz Lang (The only film of his I've seen is M, but it's one of the best I've ever seen!)? Maybe s/he could get a job as a professor, historian or -say- museum attendant, but that value would be purely intellectual. Not that that is a bad thing, but food for thought.

Which of course brings me to the value of gaming as a higher culture. Every artistic medium--even the most high-brow intellectual--has evolved in some form. The novel took centuries to evolve as an art form. A hundred years ago, film was mostly thought of as a form of attraction. Heck, I've heard that ballet began as a purely sexual thing (surprised?). The point is, Gaming can surely become a respected art form.

And I think that you are very much a part of this, Bob. That is why I, and I'm sure a whole lot of other people, eagerly await your videos every month. Please do not stop making videos, particularly hard-hitting ones like this. It is such an absolute JOY to hear an honest-to-goodness game-culture critic. You are helping the community grow and develop; you could definitely have a future at a gaming mag and I'm sure the Community would most appreciate it.

Behavior - Yeah, those people who do that nasty stuff on XBOX Livw. I only did it once, and then I found this goddamn racist guy. IMHO, what needs to be done is have some sort of standardized phrase of shame, like, 'You, sir, are bringing down the medium and I refuse to play with you,' or something along those lines. That will scare those bastards straight!

Whew, that was long, but it was worth it. Bob, you say what needs to be said, and I'm sure that there are thousand, if not millions, on this vast world of ours we call the Internet who would really value hearing it.

Good luck to you,

justin said...

Though I don't see much wrong with it, I really dislike the extreme popularity of online gaming. Sure it genuinely connects ppl that would otherwise never meet, but for every one of those occurrences there are 10x more ppl having their good times tainted by lil trolls spewing hate. I've gotten this from both black tho mostly white gamers (and I myself am an African American gamer).

I really miss the times when not all my friends including myself had a 360. We all used to come to my house grab some beer and play oldschool games on VC, PS2, DC.. And your right Bob, you gotta have courtesy when at someone else home. Now when they're not playin Halo the only time we game in person is co-op missions on RE5 and various shooters... sigh.. it sucks cuz i grew up a gamer, I'm all about talkin trash in person, not just virtually humping somebody..

...but FFXIII came out today son! So I'm happy.

Peter said...

Well, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I can separate myself from a lot of the stuff you mentioned, but I'm guilty of some of them as well. I can't quite keep complete track of my life anymore, which is especially important now that I'm in college. Granted, some of that may have to do with the fact that I have ADD and Asperger's Syndrome, but its kind of a pain still and I haven't quite pulled myself out of some really bad habits. Admittedly, nothing you brought up is anything I haven't been told before, but I appreciate the reminder every once in a while.

And thanks for not giving too much crap to the guy who made that "The Only Thing I Know" video. I don't agree with everything he says, heck, I think the execution of the video as a whole could have been a lot better, but I can't really say he's a complete tool, as opposed to a lot of feedback I've seen given him.

joe said...

Xbox live, Welp I got sick of it after only a few times online, I will stick to my personal computer games where people like that are not so rampant and if they appear they usually are banned.

Andrew said...

Wow, that's uncanny timing Bob, i'm in university on an IT course, life long gamer and I've found myself living on a forum and gaining weight.

i've started doing sit ups whenever i have the time and was recently put on probation on the forum so i'm taking a break from that, but your video is the kick up the backside i needed to make sure i actually make this count.

long time fan of your videos and this is one of my favourite ones so far, don't be afraid to say what needs saying, gamers can get hollow praise anywhere!

ThatFellowWithTheHat said...

I agree with this video on the most part, especially the section about online gaming. Being 17, I was lucky enough to be born into the non-online generation of gaming kids, and I have quite fond memories of going around to friends' houses and trading Pokémon, playing Super Mario Land, all that good stuff. It's quite sad to think that the kids these days can't enjoy such simple experiences anymore.

One thing I wasn't quite sure about though was the whole political thing. I do watch the news but politics... It just isn't my bag. That's presumably because I can't legally vote yet, and thus there's no real immediate need for me to develop a political understand as of yet. Give me 2-5 years and I should hopefully be able to recognise those people (or their future equivalents, anyway). As for the literature and art, I'm doing okay with those, I think.

And I might pick me up some almonds and carrot sticks, heh.

Acquired said...

Great video! I actually think most of HUMANITY could use your video on courtesy. I'm naturally a social person, I like talking to people but I have to say in the last years I met so many jackass and twats that I'm becoming more and more antisocial.

Over all a really well rounded video :D I do have to say I disagree about the news. Most news show i've seen so far are pure sensationalist shit and I agree with one of the other commenter, I've had better, more balanced news from Colbert Report and The Daily Show with John Stewart.

Also, I'm not a big fan of online gaming. I really miss being able to play games with friends that are present in the same room. My little brother and I would often play Donkey Kong games on the N64 when we were younger. Now, unless a game is on the wii, you can be sure that multi player is almost always only online. I think online is great for those days where you're friends are busy or if your friends are not fan of the game you like... Everything as it place really :P Also, I always find the excuse of anonymity to be so ridiculous. What's the fun of being a jackass? I'm not saying pulling a prank once in a while but otherwise :/

I had a friend who was a big fan of WoW and he told me how him and his friends kept using "that's gay" to refer to something that sucked only to learn that one of their best players was, in fact, gay. The guy did take it well because he knew they were really not meaning it in a bad way, but they did feel like douches for it afterward. Besides the universe is full of so many, much better and colorful world to say that something suck, why use one that already have it's on meaning. (Although now all the people that can't say "gay" for happy anymore are probably calling hypocrisy here.)

This was really interesting, and if it makes even one troll stop and think for one second (I doubt it but let's be naive here) then it was totally worth it ;) Looking forward to the next :D Sorry for the epic rambling ;)

thefew said...

i would like to start out by saying that this video was great, and that you really said things that needed to be said. I only comment on things on very rare occassions as im socialy akward (mostly because im shy and talk in a more "intelligent" way than others which is met with strange conversations) except with my friends (which are moslty gamers) although i have seen your other viseos and i wanted to comment but was to shy to so and now this, this is just so true and amazing that i have to comment.

So the reason why i'm commenting on this video is because well, you are absolutely right, although i do not fit almost most of this as i'm actualy a really nice guy (i'm really nice for a canadian which must be saying somthing ) and i do physical activity (hockey 3+ times a week and walk for 30 minutes from school to house) regularly and do in fact know alot of the authors/ movies you showed like edgar allen poe (i liked his short story "the cask of amontillado" and "the thing" (the book the movie and the later sequel/remake of it).
(i talk alot don't i? but i did warn you with the socially awkward and intelligent part)

Anyway i must say that i own a copy of cod modern warfare 2 (but a own it for computer where people seem to be generally nicer and quiet and i only play it occasionally) but i must say that i find some peoples behaviour and immaturity disturbingly awful and inacceptable, which angers me and i don't consider these people to be gamers for it is an insult for such rude and hateful people. I would not call them gamers but rather more “gramers” at most. The ones i know from that qualification tend to think of themselves as better than everyone else and tend to be rude.

Thanks for speaking your mind, and stop putting yourself down, you are doing the right thing, speaking the truth and have nothing to be ashamed of or to expect everyone to hate you because, well we don’t.

Keep doing your thing Bob.

Sorry for making this comment so long but i have a lot to say and i never seem to make it short here you go.

And on an unrelated note though i find that it is a very over hyped and overrated game, and i got it to see for myself and pushed myself to finish it to give it my own opinion about it while having actually played through it

Neal said...

I thought you might enjoy an encouraging story, Bob.

Less than a year ago, I and several of my video game-enjoying friends were playing a hockey game, and come to conclusion that, rather than playing video games, we'd have a much better time actually playing the sport for real. We had all played in our younger years, and started piecing together old equipment to take to the ice again.

I'm proud to say that we all now play well over three times a week, have made many new friends, and are easily much healthier now than we once were. Those of us who can't play as often have started going to the gym regularly just to continue playing on the same level as our friends.

All because a bunch of gaming friends played a long night of NHL 09.

Like I said, encouraging, right?

Twinmill said...

Well, I couldn't find more to contradict and I give a thumbs up for the Sgt. Gunny pic, but here's what I have on the issue of trolling specifically. For better or for worse (I've been to 4chan and know people from 4chan in real life, and it did hurt being called a newfag for not knowing what a weaboo is,) they're usually sarcastic. It seems that "what's up [word]fag" and phrases like it have become the new "hi" as an attempt to, if my psychology is right, filter out people they don't like right from the start. Insecurity factors in too but, and in no means is this right... it's no better than the "shizzle my nizzle" crap that went around in the early 2000s, and hopefully lasts no longer. And the in-real-life "/b/tard" (Fuck man, I can't believe I was about to say that casually) I know... smart guy, but also the same kind to play games while he's supposed to be writing in class with the most respectable teacher in my entire school. I don't know where one can get off saying "nothing wrong with that," I'm sure there's a way though. If you have the insight, please, don't hesitate because that one stumps me always.

Admittedly when the list of authors scrolled by only about half of them rung a bell... but on the flip side, I love Kurt Vonnegut's works. I like Richard Knaack's (even the seemingly schizophrenic jumping around) works as well.

For some reason, I get the feeling I depicted myself as some godly being. I'm not. If Bob's checklist was a test, I'd have only aced the trolling part, but I'd fail the rest in more surprising, sometiems worse ways. Sleeping? I'm lucky if I get a week of consecutive 6.5 hour+ sleeps. Eating? I don't... well I skip lunch. Social? I'm anti social and hate almost everyone at my school (see: trolling) but I don't give them much a chance either and sometimes fail to consider they might be very bright at something even if they can't write. Knowledge? You've seen my knowledge of authors, as a writer. Imagine how many pre-1975 films I remember, if saw? Now on the flip side I do know about politics and yes, refuse to watch the biased news because, in my opinion, it's leftist. Music? Unless it's by one of the few bands I've learned to like, I hate it. I'm by no means the little angel gamer. I'm just as bad as anyone else... Also, I apparently self-loathe more than anyone else, am more (emotionally) dependent than Bella, and both of those things piss people off. Let me try to undo the self loathing thing a bit.

On the flip side, I know a bit of C++, even if all of it's of libraries I'll never use. I can do 50 pushups on end and sadly that's alot. I know my way around 3DS MAX, Photoshop, Illustrator, coded in Java script while my class learned basic CSS, and am learning UE3, know how to code a CNC Machine, and how to use major engineering tools like Autocad, Mastercam, and Inventer/Solidworks and refuse to use a calculator in Algebra. Then again, who doesn't these days?

MentalAnalysis said...

Here is a funny story that never gets old. During my final two years of highschool, me and my friends would usually send a good hour or two playing LAN games together in the local internet cafe. then one day, one of my friends pointed out that he already has the games are were on the cafe computers. why were we wasting £3 an hour, where we can simply get the full games and play together on-line?

It was clear that my friend didn't see the point and the sad part was that he was meant to be the most intelligent one of us all.

Brandon said...

Hi Bob, great video.

Personally, when I do go online I do swear quite a bit, usually when I die. I don't insult people typically.
I have a question, if someone is a ...ist asshole is it okay to insult them back? I don't mean slurs but for example,

Fuck you you racist motherfucker, grow the fuck up, get a life, and stop being a shithead online.

Brandon said...

I got an I dea for a new video.

Noir in videogames, specifically why it's so rare and why it shouldn't be. Max Payne is a fantastic series, yet it is one of the only noir video games in existence. the noir style and tone is great for a variety of different video games and is used almost never.

You could do this as part of a examination of other genres that are rare in games, like westerns.

sam___25 said...

Bah, culture. What I don't get is if we consider literature, art, music and film to be culture(all of which are created for the purpose of entertaining), it doesn't make sense for us to throw massive sarcastic quotation marks around the word when we use it with regards to gaming just because it's a newer medium serving the same purpose. I can say that I've only seen a few of your listed films/read a few of your listed author's books.

That's not to say I don't read books, listen to music and watch films; I do, it's just annoying to have people throw their culture at me under a list of "classics" that I absolutely have to read/watch/listen to. Culture should be discovered for yourself, not forced down your throat.

And the anonymity of the intertubes isn't the problem here with regards to common decency. A lot of my generation and those even younger than me (I'm 19) genuinely talk like that, whether over XBL or just to a stranger in the street they don't like the look of. It's a little more blatant and widespread on XBL sure, but what you see on CoD is just a symptom of a bigger problem with youth today IMO (and that turn of phrase makes me sound really old, I feel like I should be shaking a walking stick while I'm typing).

Oh, and something only tangentially related, the all I know is video used some silly comparisons for the level 80 WoW character thing. I know it was mainly as a time comparison thing but why would I want to drive from NYC to LA 3 times? And what would I do with 48 turkeys? I'd rather have my druid.

Beyond that, eat more fruit, plant more trees, do more exercise, the whole shebang definitely applies to me.

Keep up the videos :).

Skotavus said...

An excellent video, and one made all the more powerful by your actual appearance in front of the camera. I think that if you had delivered this in your usual style, it wouldn't have had nearly as much impact as it seems to have had on people.

Your points are all valid and well-delivered, and although I believe that no one person could possibly have every character flaw that you listed as potentially gamer-related, (if there is such a person, I think they would in fact be serving the community much better by actually staying indoors for the rest of their days, even though you were warning against this), there is certainly a broad spectrum of behaivours in there that I know I could stand to alter, and I'm sure many other gamers could also.

I'd just like to interject here that some gamers I know could use one of those breaks you advised to do something useful, like SHOWERING and making a sandwich instead of breaking out another pack of coconut and jam-topped biscuits... excuse me for a second.

Okay, I'm back. The most powerful part of the video for me was where it invoked a reaction in me that I've had for some time (which I'm not especially proud of, btw) and that was reminding me of the epic douchebaggery of my state's Attorney-General Mr. Atkinson... yeah.

I know that the whole third part of your video was intended to shock gamers with that particular XBLA exchange of words (which I'd never heard before then, and it was both hilarious and horribly depressing at the same time to hear the depths some people will sink to when they are assured of their anonymity). I'd like to think that those sorts of "expletive-as-every-second-word-in-their-default-speech-patterns" people are as rare as they are in everyday life, but perhaps it's a growing epidemic, and if it is I hope that people will take your words on behaivoural issues to heart. Even if the people who need to hear them the most are the people least likely to watch a show called "The Game Overthinker".

I'm thoroughly impressed with your work on this, and I hope to see more of your videos soon.

michael said...

Golden Boy reference: Saftey is cool!

Alberto said...

hey bob!
you forgot mention Douglas Adams, C.S. Lewis, Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo, Julio Verne, Mario Puzo, Richard Matheson... Which are must-reads for everyone, let alone gamers

other than that, great vid

Mark said...

The only thing that really angered me when watching this video was that it reminded me how many movies and books I've been meaning to get to.

And I'm also a little curious as to how your rant against Xbox trolls is going to work. I assume most of your viewers are above that sort of douchbaggery, so I'm wondering how that message is going to spread.

Jill said...

I really enjoyed this video and hope that people listen to it. It sucks that gamers get such a bad rap in todays society, even if it is partially deserved. I hope it can be fixed!
Excellent list of movies and authors! Although there are quite a few more that I would add or change from both lists, but I tend to be opinionated about books and movies as they are two of my favorite topics of discussion! Keep up the excellent videos!

miquel_fire said...

When you showed the list of movies (BTW, for both lists, you ran them a bit too fast), Clockwork Orange stood out to me, mainly because I read the book. I have never seen the movie. I understand they did things like replace a statue of Beethoven to a statue of a penis or something like that. Fucked up book. Maybe not as fucked up as A Handmaid's Tale.

Oscar said...

Bob, I'm a long time commenter, first time writer (at least on this blog). I usually enjoy your overthinker videos BECAUSE I desagree (or, to be fair, I don't completely agree) with them. Something about an eloquent man (or woman) making good arguments about their point of view, is something I always enjoy. When they don't reflect my opinion, I find them specially enriching, as they help my own point of view grow.

With this video, I totally agreed with most of what you said, but I still didn't enjoy it as much as the others. I think the matter, as with most things, was delivery. I felt it was over-antagonizing and over-patronizing in order to state things that just seem like common sense.

There's one thing I have to disagree with, and it's the fact that you said that games were just "toys". Maybe you didn't mean it like that, but well, I just had to address it. I think that games relatively young media capable of entertainment as well as more "artistic" endeavors. I don't believe, I know the potential for this media to grow is giant and, I may be mixing characters here, but I think you said something about those lines yourself.

What bugged me is that you had to call them toys, depricate that potential, to make your point when even the most finest of arts are stale if they're the only things you do. And, yeah, reading books as an equal hazard can seem an improvable scenario, but what about movies, series, anime, comic books? What about living for your significant other and have no life of your own? They are all unhealthy and they all get enriched by variety. Like with most addictions, it has less to do with the "substance" itself than with psychological and enviormental factors.

Again, I don't wish to troll, nor engage in a flame war. Just speaking my mind and making my point. Hoping to reach you as you reach us.

Oscar said...

Sorry, I meant "long time watcher, first time commenter". I fucked that up.

Voyevoda said...

The people you're addressing are a big part of the reason I left gaming in late 06/early 07. People like you are the reason I came back, great job.

Mr.G said...

Incidentally, I came in 3rd place at my local Proust Summarizing Competition. I was doing well until I got to Sodom and Gomorrah. I always get stuck with that one.

Kyosai7 said...

Hey Bob, another long time watcher, first time commentor. I loved this video, and it said a lot of things that need to be said. I try to eat somewhat-healthy, but money does make it an issue. When you're poor, junk food is cheaper than healthy stuff, but I don't turn down some good carrots and celery with peanut butter when it's available!

Also, couldn't name one person in any of them, but I'm just not a fan of politics, although I do watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report just to keep somewhat- up to date and for a good laugh. Hadn't seen any of the movies save The Seven Samurai, which I found boring. Great story, poor execution in my eyes. Same with the books, but I do read what interests me. I recently finished reading the Dhammapada.

About behavior and common courtesy... I agree whole-heartedly that the way some people behave is atrocious... The way these people are online, from the videos and such (I tend to avoid FPS, where this seems to be the most common, simply because I don't care for the gameplay) is, as you said, unacceptable. I do fully intend to follow what you said though and full on avoid them, leaving immediately. Sometimes simply filing a negative report isn't good enough, you need to flat out say " Dude, you're making me embarrassed to be a gamer, and I'm not playing with you anymore, ever."

Anyways.... Bob, great video, and it all needed to be said. No flames from me, all praises.

Jacob Martin said...

Okay, so this is a long comment, but here goes.

I was moved by your mention of the injustice Michael Atkinson is doing to gaming, since it means you are expanding beyond the American sphere and not only that, you care about your Australian fans.

I wasn't offended by your video at all. Those stereotypes don't match me as a gamer. But I'm unfit for different reasons - I sit working on my novels/photography for hours at my desk and don't get a lot of exercise.

I don't find it too ironic that an overweight gamer nerd is telling others to eat better nutrition and exercise. If anything it reflects honesty and hints that you yourself want to change your eating/exercise regime for the better. I need to start exercising more because it helps me sleep better.

I really liked your Read or Die joke with the idea that somebody reading books to the extent that hardcore gamers devote themselves. Mainly because I like Read or Die and am kind of looking for the sort of woman who would be like Yomiko Readman in her reading frenzy. Used to have a crush on her, but hell, I had to accept such women aren't real, and even if she was, she'd probably tear the universe apart crossing from her Alternate History timeline of the British Empire to get where I am. (I call this the Roger Rabbit principle - if toons don't already exist in our world, them crossing to our world would have serious ramifications of anti-matter).

Which brings me to my next point. I was cheered up that you used Read or Die to illustrate a book metaphor, but shocked that you didn't use another, more sinister metaphor from a book/anime called Welcome to the NHK about how some gamers you describe are borderline hikikomori.

This is a hikikomori: in the 2000s an epidemic psychological condition hit Japan called hikikomori, which translates as "cave dweller" so I heard. They essentially never go outside and detach themselves from reality, identifying with the anime and manga mediums to an unhealthy extent comparable with the gamer stereotypes you described. You could learn about them from a book called Welcome to the NHK by Tatsuhiko Takimoto, but the English translation's been out of print for a while, and I had to buy a very rare copy of it from an Australian bookshop while I had the chance.

As for experiencing other mediums than gaming, I don't have a problem with that because while I enjoyed the idea of gaming as a child, as I've mentioned before in comments, it's an entire entertainment medium that locks me out because of the fact that you have to push buttons at a faster rate than my motor skills can handle to succeed in a game.

And because of this the only two games I ever completed, were Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ocarina of Time was a game I bought when I was eight years old. Took me ten years to beat it, ending with the Ganon boss fight last year. I'll cherish that game above all games forever not just because it was one of the only two games I ever completed, but for the interpretation of Link as an outsider, a "boy without a fairy" - teased by the other kids who thought he'd never amount to anything.

SatansBestBuddy said...

Really liked this episode, highlighted some of my own bad habits that I'd like to change soon.

It's just too bad that the audience around your work is of the kind that is at least aware of these problems in their own lives already, and that those people this episode is mainly directed towards either have no idea it exists, or if exposed to it, would instantly dismiss your opinions because it would mean acting responsible in some way, shape or form.

I recall way back when, I joined a Halo 3 tournament because a friend invited me to play, (I wouldn't have signed up otherwise) and there was a group of teenagers who really stood out, one because this was a college tournament, and two because they were all very loud and obnoxious, swearing a lot and acting very rudely to the people working on the tournament and other players; one of them actually shouted "Teabag him!" to every player whenever they scored a kill, and whenever he played he was outright screaming "TEABAGTEABAGTEABAG!!!" whenever he did it himself, over and over again, too, like it was the only word he knew.

They left when all of them were eliminated, and after that the tournament became rather enjoyable, but I still remember them because they so perfectly fit the behaviour of basically everyone who wasn't on my friends list that I met online.

Right now, I'm thinking, "What would happen if I showed those guys this video?" and I can't honestly say it would have much effect on them; they'd probably either ignore it or insult it, depending on how much they actually paid attention, but recognizing that they're the people this video is talking about, and taking steps to fix that, would be the last thing I can imagine any of them doing.

Maybe some Xbox Live jerk out there is watching this right now, and realizing that his whole way of life is being torn apart by Bob here, and that changing how they live should happen right now, but I also imagine that the people that would react this way are in the very, very small minority, while thousands more who could benefit from the advice here are just gonna flame and forget.

Hopefully I'm just being pessimistic...

Mark said...


the pathetic part of all of this is that this needs to be said in the first place. how did it get so bad?

great work. agreed, on all points, especially the last one. i'll leave it at that.

soldierhawk said...

Fantastic, Bob, just fantastic. My only fear is that the ones who need to hear this the most, will listen the least. :(

Amen though, especially on the XBox Live/treating people decently thing. God I can't stand people like that.

lathrop89 said...

i honestly didnt find offense and nor found it being connected to myselkf or anyone i know other then a few xbox/ps3 fanboys.

Fringe said...

Not a bad video, just seemed a little hollow to me. Most of them stuff you said was clear common sense, the problem is that some people simply don't get common sense, so I think that the vast majority of gamers you're describing are going to just scoff at this.

Also, the blanket statement of frustration towards all gamers was just kind of upsetting to me. I'm a gamer, but I spend the entire video bored out of my mind because everything you said was something me and most of my friends (gamers too) already practice. Not all gamers are what you said, and I know you know that, so I just found it insulting to be patronized by a fellow gamer. It would've been nice if you showed examples of what successful, functioning gamers are able to do in society, as proof of what a successful balance in life can provide (like Penny Arcade's or LoadingReadyRun's charities).

Anyway, look forward to your next video, but I just didn't care for this one. Still, least you have excellent taste in authors/films.

Sam said...

Great job.

The piece about X Box Live strikes a chord. I've been a pretty consistent user since Halo 2. There have always been people acting like asses on there, the problem is that it's become the norm. I love playing Modern Warfare online, but I find myself spending half of the time trying to find a game that isn't full of d-bags.

I'm not sure I completely agree with your analysis, not that your incorrect (it certainly applies to many users). I think the over-riding issue is the anonymity of it all and the lack of accountability that comes with. The fact is, any given thirteen year-old may spend his entire day at school getting picked on by bigger, stronger kids, but when he's playing Modern Warfare, he can suddenly be the big man because it doesn't matter what he says or who he's saying it to, it's not like he's going to get punched for it.

Just another easy example; when was the last time anyone had a reasonable, adult debate on IMDB?

I hate to analyze it this much, and I hate that I find myself asking THIS question, but where are the parents? The way I see it is the only way a kid is getting away with saying the things people say on Live is if his parents simply don't care (and yes, if you are a parent who buys Modern Warfare 2 for your child and signs him up for X box Live, you don't care).
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure the issue is simply "you don't have the necessary social skills", I know people like this and they aren't pulling this crap in public. The issue is no one is held accountable.
Lastly, I'm 21 and I think most gamers my age are aware that Live and Life are two different worlds, and you can't get away with the same stuff in both. It's becoming increasingly clear though that there is a generation of kids being raised on Live and (I never thought I'd be saying this) it's extremely disturbing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll call myself a reformed X Box Live "ass". I had a period where I was one of "those guys", and admittedly, when your sitting around a TV with your friends, its kind of fun to screw with people, but it gets old.

apologies for rambling.

Tony said...

Hey bob, Can I get those lists you put up under your 'culture' section in an easily digestible format? I'm really interested in that seeing as my gamer crew just made a list of all the things I neeeed to see, but havn't.


Adam37 said...

Thank you very much for this video. Speaking as a professional playwright, I'm even more grateful that you gave my smaller, and, sadly, diminishing art form a shout-out. We could really use them from time to time.

And, above all, thank you for your bravery. Do keep it up.

Andrew said...

Well, I do 50 sit-ups and push ups everyday. Very nearly have a six-pack (and I'm only 16). Further helped by the fact I have a fast metabolism. I spend most of my time sitting, yet every time I go to the doctor, I'm apparently in no danger. Even the amount of salty snacks consumed (okay, really only Ritz crackers) don't increase my blood cholesterol. But excellent job, bob!

James said...

Bravo, Bob! This is why you rule!

Bob is the truth-sayer of gaming culture, he knows what needs to be said and he has the guts to put it in plain terms, even if it makes the video a bit less objectively entertaining than his other ones. He's right about pretty much everything and I think it's pretty ironic that just as gaming is emerging from being unfairly treated as a socially contemptable hobby, gamers themselves are changing to make it ACTUALLY socially contemptable. I have no sympathy or empathy for trolls- if you troll online it's because you, as a person in real life, are a fucking douchebag.

On a purely technical, filmmaking angle though, I have to say the nutrition section dragged a bit. I was really hanging out from the start for the "Behavior" section and it felt like a bit of a long wait. Otherwise excellent.

Despraholic said...

Haha this is realy interesting indeed, I just had a speech about this a local gaming conventinon and even though I did get a lot of the remarks you mentioned I acctually recived most positive comments so Maybe...maybe there is hope?:)


Ben said...

Wow, spot on once again man.
I found myself with a great big grin on my face when the conclusion came, simply because nearly every word of that video is right.

That's why I enjoy your videos: You know what you're talking about, and there's no withholding any points.

Well, once again, great job. I'm off to watch the first movie you recommended

Laserkid said...

You haven't lost my viewership Bob, you're dead on target.

I'm uh... guilty on the food and exercise issue, and I'll leave it at that.

I am a lot more culturally aware then most based off those lists (I've seen/read/got/ect. as applicable most of what you listed), but I'm kind of amazed to think that I actually didn't know about that XBL kid... woooow... that's scary.

Leading in well to the last part though, it's... scary to see people took that dumb kid's side. I also find it funny that people seem to take the side of the guy who put up a bootleg of NSMB Wii who got sued by Nintendo. You wouldn't just let someone go if someone stole millions from you either. >.>

Anyway ultimately, good video and excellent points all around!

Furore said...

Short version: I don't agree with every single last detail or nuance, but the essence of what you're saying here is important and, for my money, true. Do you think you could give us a new video every six hours? That would be great.

iNs1d3tRiP said...


Seriously, after the last video I was really looking forward to this. I thought you had something really ground breaking to say.

Really, the problems that you address don't arise because there are problems with "gamers" the problems arise because most gamers are young, dare I say immature. The things you have issues with are basic abilities people learn as they grow up. This video is obvious at best.

With that said, I don't disagree with you. I just find this video to be incredibly boring. I'm used to disagreeing with your insightfulness (if there is such a word). However, this video was so mundane and "uninsightful" that there was nothing to disagree with. Unless you have never set foot outside your sheltered middle class "lifestyle".

yukimurasanada said...

You know what, I don't normally agree with bob on everything, but in this case, Im damn close to being 100 percent behind him on this one.

Minor factors in my life aside, bob hit the nail on the head here, and is spot on in his recomendations.

While all other items were thinks I already knew and have been trying, the last part was particularly direct to me cause he hit on the head the reason I left the online gaming world a few years back.

All those little pissant douchebags on Xbox live.

So bob, I salute you for your excellent work on this video.

BAOFU said...

Sadly due to online games, no longer we have the chance to play with a friend either split screen or in the same screen, GOD me and 2 of friends have played Dungeons and dragons: shadow over mystara a couple times, and we never grow tired.

Bob, can you do a video on the benefits of same screen games, or how did it get to a point where we didn't have any current generation games with same screen multiplayer?(sic)(besides RE 5)

Josh said...

It took a lot of balls, and you hit a lot of people where they live, which is probably the nudge they needed to change. Good work.

Juan said...

I like to mention that most people can not name more then 10 congressmen or senator, not just gamers in general. Also, are you saying you gave to read one book from all of those authors or just a few of them? I've read several of their works, but not that entire list...

The "Only thing I know" video has a major problem. He was an addict. He was a substance abuser. "Of WoW perhaps." but he more or less blamed all of his problems on the substance, rather then the user. It took him hitting rock bottom for him to stop. I'm not going to defend mmo's though, I've seen first hand their effect on people. The term evercracked fit him and the people I know to the T. "Lucky I'm immune to this some how."

Also probably means less to me since I do not enjoy WoW or MMO's in general.

As you said though, a lot of this is just common sense, and could be applied to anything. I also do agree with your video's message. Many gamers are anti social, xbox live, and the internet as a whole is a cesspool of anti-social behavior.

At my apartment, I meet with other people who are going to a non credited schools for game design. Putting aside the fact that they are setting themselves up for disappointment. It's hard to feel sorry for many of them, since many of them are those anti-social douches, that are quite annoying to be around, and will talk about taboo subjects because they think it's funny. Anyway, my wall of text is complete.

Good video, advice seemed a bit generic and maybe be off target.

Greg said...

My only problem with this video is that you told people to read Jane Austen. ;)

Ian said...

Thank you.

Dusty said...

almonds aren’t nuts

DirtyKhakiTraitor said...

Good vid, and for those of you that don't have a problem currently, take this as a reminder not to let these problems come and bite you later in life, when your metabolism isn't so fast, your teachers aren't exposing you to culture, or life has kicked you in the sprouts and you just want to run across rooftops in renaissance Italy and put a guard's brain on a spring loaded skewer on your wrist to get your aggression out (gods, that was cathartic).

As for trying to make it as a badass in the realworld by joining the Army... let's get real here, that's a slow start. Join the Marines; you know, the ones that were actually in those pictures. Seriously, PT in green shirt and super-short green shorts = Marine. R. Lee Ermey = Marine. Rifle PT in an 8-point cover (the hat that guy was wearing) = Marine (or possibly a SEAL at BUD/S, but he was neither grimy enough nor did he have his cover on a lanyard)

amacias20_12 said...

I have to admit I was once the lifestyle gaming thing going on until I started watching the Game Overthinker the whole games=toys got in to me. And this one is even better I really need to reed more books and some exercise but I think I needed someone that i felt was one of the most epic real gamers out there to tell me so. So thank you Bob I will really try to change some stuff in my life.

amacias20_12 said...

sorry fot the typo =P greetings from Mexico btw (Im a mexican)

Cadfan said...

I was totally with you until I saw the name "John Updike" in your list of authors we must read. Why do you hate us, Game Overthinker? Why?

iNs1d3tRiP said...

I know I posted last night but I do have one HUGE beef with your video.

Your list of authors/poets failed to include:

W.B. Yeats
Erza Pound
T.S. Elliot
William Wordsworth
Sameuel Taylor Coleridge
William Blake
Alexander Pope
John Milton

I was, however, quite satisfied to see the greatest of all on your list: William Shakespeare. I guess that does redeem it somewhat. =)

Karl Kablisk said...

Keep it up man, I think you do great work and your voice is being heard.

Chris M H said...

Hmm, I hadn't really thought about it until now, but does Bob's "games are toys" stance preclude the idea that "games are art"?

If so, I wonder how he'd justify that opinion?

(Also, I resent J. D. Salinger being on any recommended author list. I haven't read his other works, but Catcher in the Rye is the worst fucking novel ever written.)

Nightfall said...

*Applauds* Excelent points well made.
Seems I have some reading to do.

James said...

Bob, if I may paraphrase another internet critic, Lewis Lovhaug;

AlgaeNymph said...

For viewer edification, I've made a list of the authors and movies GO/MB recommended:


F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Ayn Rand, Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger, David Mamet, Stephen King, William Shakespeare, Charles Bukowski, Oscar Wilde, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, H.P. Lovecraft, Ernst Hemingway, Salman Rushdie, Richard Matheson, Jane Austin, Edgar Allen Poe, Anton Chekov, Robert Heinlien, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Willaims, Emily Dickenson, Raymond Chandler, Kurt Vonnegot, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy, John Updike, Philip K. Dick, Sylvia Plath, Hunter S. Thompson


Sunrise, 2001: Space Odyssey, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Ben Hur, The Apartment, Casablanca, Logan's Run, Lawrence of Arabia, Sunset Boulevard, The Man Who Laughs, The Searchers, High Noon, The Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, White Heat, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Metropolis, The Sound of Music, M, Singin' in the Rain, North by Northwest, Touch of Evil, Rosemary's Baby, The Maltese Falcon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Doctor Zhivago, Rear Window, A Night at the Opera, Easy Rider, The Manchurian Candidate, The French Connection, Double Indemnity, Patton, Kiss Me Deadly, Jason and the Argonauts, A Clockwork Orange, Treasure of Sierra Madre, Tarzan: the Ape Man, Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Thin Man, Dr. Strangelove

Now if somebody would post a list of the politicians I should know then I'd be most appreciative. (I got Ahmadinejad, Jong Il, and Pelosi, but the others went by too fast or were unfamiliar faces.)

blahhatal said...

Fantastic. Seriously, fantastic.

I actually was like this at one point, and sadly, I have an 8 year old cousin who's particularly bad with number 2 and 3 (thought he hasn't said the f word yet). Thank goodness for parents. They were the ones who reminded me that gaming should be a hobby not a job.

I now play clarinet and oboe in band, I'm planning on pursuing a degree in Biology next year, and for me, I still love gaming, but it is something for fun.

I hope I may in the future show this to my cousin. I pray he does not end up like the kid you showed.

~Sakura Irving

Tosh said...

Bravo, Bob!

I'm glad you were able to transcend your usual video game subject matter and reach into something universal to our culture. Yes, these are problems affecting many in the gaming community, but these are also problems that affect Americans in general. Yes, gamers often have weight issues, but Jesus, we're like the fattest country in the world. Yes, 12 year olds on Xbox live are dipshits, but most 12 year olds are loud, obnoxious dipshits. And yes, many gamers do ignore classical literature, politics, or other subjects that make you an interesting person to talk to, but so do all Americans. Clearly, this stereotype attached to gamers should be attached to Americans, if not the whole world. I kind of wish you had mentioned that, so instead of being a "hey, gamers, shape up or ship up" thing, it'd be more like, "the world is shit, because we're all fat, stupid fuckheads!"

Aaron Murray said...

I have an exercise bike in front of the TV. Sure, I game sometimes without getting on the bike but I try not to let myself do it too much.

Xenic said...

I applaud you.

It happens too many times in this day in age, people are rude, uneducated MORONS. Unfortunately said morons often interact with people and then whine when they don't get their way.

And do you know who I blame? Not the teachers. Not even the parents (though they don't always help the cause). I blame the individual. They have gone out of their way to be as rude and disruptive as they can be.

I am a gamer, but I would never use such language as has been showcased. Okay, I don't know half the authors, half the films or half the people from the photos, but that's because my interests aren't in those areas. That's life.

Adam Saleh said...

I don't fit into any of the stereotypes that you mentioned despite the fact that I love videogames. The reason I do not is because growing up, a lot of my friends fell into this pitfall and my goal was to be the exact opposite :-).

Adam Saleh said...

I don't fit into any of the stereotypes that you mentioned despite the fact that I love videogames. The reason I do not is because growing up, a lot of my friends fell into this pitfall and my goal was to be the exact opposite :-).

Meister_Li said...

I fit in a lot of the stereotypes and things in the first categorys (espcially not moving much, even tho I walk to work - yaaay. :P). But I wasn't pissed off at thouse. I KNOW that's a problem and not 'just me being me' - Still, I have to agree in a lot of points, especially the last one. I avoid competative online gaming all together because of stuff like that. As a rule of the thumb, I don't play against someone I can't friendly slap up the head when he snipered me away for the third time in a row, i.e. at LAN-Parties. It's much more fun, anyway. ;)
Also... Yaay! I know many of my congressmen (german congress, that is) AND I red books of most of the mentioned authors. I'm a 'good' gamer. :P

Chev said...

Another long time watcher, first time poster here.

Unfortunately, I'd have to admit I fit a number of the stereotypes you mentioned.

I don't get much exercise, my diet is pretty unhealthy, I probably forsake too many responsibilities in favor of gaming and doing other things I like, I don't get out much nor do I really have any close friends, nor do I really make much of an effort to keep up with current world news (most of my news comes from my classmates/teachers and posts made on online forums I frequent, so I'm not completely uninformed, but still), and I'm ridiculously dependent on my family for shit I should probably have learned to do by myself ages ago.

Fortunately though,I love reading books (fiction, philosophy, history, I love it all, although I should probably read more often) and listening to music (even though, ashamedly, a lot of the songs in my playlist are from videogames), I'm essentially trilingual (english isn't my native language, I'm from Brazil and my father's family is peruvian), and I've had a keen interest in history for some time now. So I'm not a *complete* and total waste.

I don't really see why any reasonable person would be terribly upset by this in the manner you're implying, because this is all very much common sense and most people know all of this even if they wouldn't like to admit it.

While, if I'm honest, I've "trolled" message boards in the past and know and associate with people who have done this also (some of which are close friends of fine and decent people overall), and swear and make use of some of the words you mentioned (if I ever discover I offended anyone though, I make attempts to apologize and let them know I didn't mean any harm by it, it's just habit by this point), I agree that being an anonymous douchebag on a consistent basis to people you don't know on on online venues is a disservice both to the person doing and the person on a receiving end.

There's a difference between using the words "f*g(got)" or the n-word in a joking manner in your group of friends, all of which you know will not to take offense to it, and being a, to borrow your expression, "petulant little fuckhead" and using slurs in between every three words to a person you don't know quite well, who could possibly be quite offended. I think being generally polite to people you're playing with online is something that everyone should obviously do.

Overall I'd say this is something that merits saying, even if a lot of it is kinda "well duh".

Will be keeping an eye out for your future videos Bob, don't be afraid to say what you feel need be said. I don't always agree with everything you say but you're perfectly capable of making good points.

A suggestion for a future topic: piracy.

Super Smash Bros. Fan said...

Game Overthinker, you just made the most outright amazing video you've ever made on your Game Overthinker series. I need to follow you right now.

Being a Youtube subscriber, you have not disappointed.

Thomas said...

I do take issue with a good slice of this video. First of all, the What-I-Know guy was and is a petulant idiot who somehow thinks that gaming is less a cultural experience than seeing a movie or reading a book. Your point on it is much, much better: playing games is good, and reading isn't somehow better, but it's equally important. If all someone does is take a classic with them when nature calls is sufficient; you don't need a college course to appreciate a good book. The one fellow was basically saying "Instead of doing that worthless fantasy of gaming, do X instead." I think your point is different and much better made. I am a well-rounded person, and I would not disagree that it is a good thing to be well-rounded and that gaming is not an impediment to this. In essence, I wish you hadn't spoken of him, and certainly not spoken well of him. He's a fool who cannot balance his life and so he projects that onto everyone else, which humorously shows that he hasn't even learned the basic life lesson that he should have from his experience!

You point on nutrition is the part I take most issue with, mainly because it was boring. Did you just read your 10th grade health class notes? Dull, dull, dull.

Your last point amused me. First of all, you can say naughty words on the internet. Your mom isn't going to come downstairs (I hope!). That said, I do find myself agreeing that the level of discourse on XBox Live is only slightly better than that found in a maximum security prison. Sadly, trying to act like a dad to a bunch of idiot kids is like trying to teach a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig. Anonymity is a double-edged sword, but its good parts do outweigh the bad overall.

Little ol' Me said...

It's about time someone had the guts to come out and tell it like it is. As a female "gamer" I am frequently disgusted by the way random people (often times it's men, sorry) think they can say the most insulting, revolting and rude things.

I especially object to the way people freely toss around the word "rape", "we raped that boss" "that guy just raped me in that battleground" Have any one of them stopped to think what that term really means? How horrific and violent that act is against another human being? As a woman, for my own personal reasons this is disgusting and I hate it.

I gave up WoW and all other online games 8 months ago. I haven't missed it. I've missed some of the friends I made, but I have the option of doing this cool thing called USING A TELEPHONE and calling them to catch up.

Love this post...most excellent Sir. Most excellent indeed.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

Little Ol Me, I vehemently agree. I remember hearing the word "rape" tossed around like that back in high school. That shit pissed me off then and it pisses me off now. If I could beat the shit out of every person I've heard use it in that way, I would.

"OMG but pejoratives are supposed to get more brutal as time goes on, otherwise we wouldn't say 'we killed' that guy" the opposition may say.

Allow me to quote one of Bob's earlier videos....YOU'RE FUCKING WRONG!

Avrose said...

Bob your putting to much of your personal feelings into your blogs. (God I hate that word blog)
Your supposed to be objective and state facts then alert us when your going to give your feelings on the matter as opposed to treating it like gospel.

Sarah said...

Decent video.

Also, toward the end of the third section you used the word "epitaph" where I think you meant to say "epithet".

Mitch said...

Bob I love following your stuff, mainly because you, unlike so many other internet gaming celebrities, have a message to the gaming world. I think every single gamer on the planet should be forced to watch this. This is by far the most meaningful and powerful statement you have ever done. Keep up the good fight man, real gamers are on your side.

Chev said...

I know I'm going to get a lot of "YOU'RE FUCKING WRONG" for this (don't really care though), but I don't really agree that anyone who uses "gay" and "rape" or other words of that sort outside of their textbook definitions is a bad and terrible person who should feel bad and terrible and should not be respected.

Insults like that are context sensitive. Much of what you say in any given context can seem offensive to someone in an entirely different context. Obviously, there's a line to be drawn somewhere, certain things you just shouldn't say to certain people; I'd never joke about rape in front of a rape victim, ever. Nor would I use the word "gay" to mean "bad" in front a homosexual who was not able to shrug it off.

And I also would not be in favor of just being an asshole to any and everyone I played with online, I just want to make it clear that I'm in no way promoting that kind of behavior. I just think that if you get all uppity about stuff like this you end up aggravating the problem.

That's just me though.

John said...

So basically, your primary points are this:

1. Instead of filling your head with pointless videogame-related trivia, you should fill it with pointless X-related trivia as well so that you might fool other people into thinking you care about the same things they do.

2. Exercise and eat right.

3. Don't be a douchebag.

None of those are gaming-specific. They are not facets of "gamer stereotypes", they are facets of the stereotype of pretty much anyone who does anything that mainstream society has declared "nerdy".

Nobody has solid stereotypes of that guy in the office who obsesses over sports and who is for all intents and purposes a walking sports almanac. This is because his particular obsession has been deemed socially-acceptable. He is no different, morally, from the person who obsesses over video games.

What separates two people carrying on about game-related stuff in the office from two people carrying on about the latest episode of American Idol? Primarily, the fact that the gamers are considered nerds and the Idol fans are socially-accepted.

These lines are arbitrary, drawn up by a society that has built itself around ostracizing people it does not fully understand, and there is no point in bowing to them. Doing so does not make you an inherently better person. It makes you a more socially-accepted person. Being able to name the staff that made a video game is in absolutely no way different from being able to name actors, directors, and screenwriters of movies. It does not make you an inherently worse person. It makes you a less socially-accepted person.

Whether you think being accepted by such an arbitrarily discriminatory society is important is a personal judgement, not an absolute right or wrong.

There are also arguments to be made as to whether being politically involved in America, a place where democracy is bought and sold by corporations (even moreso now thanks to recent Supreme court rulings), bears any inherent merit.

But the points about being generally healthy and not being an asshole to other people? Yeah, I'll give you those. But, again, those are not gaming-specific, not by a long shot.

Jason Farr said...

I just wanted to say that my buddy and I have watched your videos for quite some time and this is by far the most needed.

You'd be shocked at how many times I've had to tell people off and actually stand up to these jerks who use racial slurs and the term "faggot."

Being an openly gay guy who is a military vet, I don't put up with peoples bullshit whether it's on Xbox live or godforbid WoW....

Trade chat in Dalaran? Yeah have fun with that one.....

At any rate, I wasn't in anyway offended. Yeah I gotta lose a couple pounds just like anyone and I'm gonna stop guzzling down Soda like an SUV does on gas.

Just wanted to say your the man Bob. And for all you other gamers who have been the victim on homophobia, racial slurs, or have felt your overall experience cheated by these dickwads stand up!

Nothing is more satisfying than telling a 12 year old peon yeah I suck cock, like it, and can still headshot your ass. Goodgame.....

But seriously everyone this is gaming. It's supposed to be fun. Not overinduced testosterone slinging slugfest...

If you feel the urge to do so go to a bar and vent. I'm sure some badass biker would be more than happy to knock you down a peg or two...

Henri said...

I agree on all points and also on "The Only Thing I Know" it was probaly hard to say and hard to hear but somebody had to say it

Kaarel said...

It was quite a good episode, but I have to admit, it could have used less patting yourself on the back over how controversial you were being...

Blake said...

Most important part of this video for people to grasp is the behavior part. If you want to be unhealthy, you aren't hurting anyone but yourself. If you want to be ignorant, you aren't hurting anyone but yourself.

By treating other people poorly, you DIRECTLY hurt, or aim to hurt other people. XBox Live users, I'm looking at you.

John said...

Are gamers really that bad where you are that they need nutritional information. Please don't get me wrong I really admire all your work (especially your Bayonetta review/critique, which my girlfriend is now using in a sociology/sexology essay), I just think that your pandering/instructing a demographic that doesn't exist in Europe (or EWWWroupe depending on your politics). Like I saw I really admire the way that you elevate video entertainment into academic discussion, i just feel that this was one video that I, and everyone I know who plays games (and is addicted as I am to them) can't relate to. I may be speaking with rose colored specks on but, as a gamer that grew up in the era where electronic entertainment was increasingly crowding real life, I feel it's more a personal flaw if you let a toy (as you so rightly pointed out consoles are), dominate your life.

Gordon said...

Well, this was certainly a punishment and a half to sit through. At least for me.

As you can probably guess from that opening statement, I fit quite a bit of those stereotypes. Particularly the first two. Third one not so much, although I do cuss a fair bit, especially when aggravated (which is often).

I'd like to say that I'd take these suggestions to heart and make an honest effort to better myself, but I probably won't. I am equal parts stubborn, lazy, and hypersensitive, you see. So I'm not really sure I can promise any sort of commitment.

Nevertheless, I was moved by what you had to say, and it definitely forced me to face unpleasant truths about myself. I probably won't do everything you suggest (certainly not reading authors that I don't give two shits about or watching movies that really don't interest me), but I get the general idea. Take better care of your body, branch out and try new things, and be a little more civil. That's basically what you were trying to say, right?

So yeah. Thanks for trying to reach me, though. I can definitely tell that this bothers you, and rightfully so. And your intentions are noble, even if the execution didn't exactly sit well with me. Just keep doing what you're doing.

Until we meet again.

Furore said...

I love your work, Mr Thinker - agree, disagree, or somewhere in the middle, you always have something interesting to say. Don't go silent running on us!

Renk said...

Hey, have you seen this TED talk about gamers: www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

Aurabolt said...

-Part 1 of 4-

Seriously, I don't want to defend gamer culture against you, Bob. I realize you are a gamer, and therefore, do care about gamer culture and are in defense of us, but I can't stand back and say that we all are this bad. This may very well be because I see things differently, but I can't just stand by without at least a informed, analytical rebuttal.

For those who find my arguments implausible or stupid, know this: While I make no argument of this as a crutch, I have AS, a mild form of Autism. I see and think things differently and in more roundabout logic than others. Also, that I would not be typing this now if-even though I love Bob's work and how he's so very understanding about the gaming world- if I did not feel some justification or strength behind the words I'm conveying here. I'm 23 years old, and I also came from the "olden days" of arcades and going to people's houses-which I still do- and how we all love things to get better. I am no exception.

Now, understand; I'm not mad at you, the man who created The Only Thing I Know, or anyone; I just know that a couple of the things you've said make sense, but I know a couple factors which don't. Let's go down the list.

Aurabolt said...

-Part 2 of 4.-

Lifestyle: Okay, I'm gonna place some Hard Truth on this one; gaming isn't as bad as the guy in that video said. Not to say that he is wrong, or that games didn't effect him that badly, but there are a good deal of things that gaming does do that is slightly productive:

- Increases Reading, Critical and Logic-Based Reasoning Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination (not a lot, but some), narrative progression and character development, comprehension, etc.
- Provides a relatively stress-free activity with little physical tension that relieves tension after a long day, and tension tends to have longer, more readily-visible negative effects on the emotional and physical effects on the body (ex: increased bouts of anger, sleep deprivation and apnea, high blood pressure, weaker immune systerms.)

Those are the two biggest advantages I know off-hand. Honorable mentions inculde:

-A relatively powerful social activity with friends (I've palyed enough games with friends for them all to enjoy it.)
- Something which speaks creative interest and, by nature, serve a greater whole as discussion on simple and profound areas of gaming culture, the games themselves, and the developers and their creative context (As I'm sure you're well aware of, GO.)
- As a whole, games provide and extol a medium for a culture with little place to go, but as The Things I Know said, creates a community. I would like to emphasize that part even moreso.

I don't really play WoW or a MMO, but I realize that doesn't matter to the context of this situation. That being said, games require a balance...For gamers, does that balance sometimes shift a little farther to the gaming side? Absolutely. I hate to be cliche here, but it seems like I would heavily place emphasis on "IN MODERATION" than ever before. It almost came across-from my perspective and possibly those who are more obsessed-that gaming shouldn't be taken so seriously or that we should place less emphasis on something that-despite it being a one-sided relationship-we do love.

Aurabolt said...

-Part 3 of 4-

Health: ...*SIGH.*...

Okay, I'll get what comes to me with this one right away, because this is a central issue to me when it comes to my mother and some other people in my family.

Yes, I realize that gaming is sedentary. Yes, I realize that we have to exercise more. Yes, I realize that we should eat better foods.

What comes to mind from that line of thinking-and what you said-makes me feel three things.

(DISCLAIMER: I realize that these may sound stupid to some people, but due to experiences, they feel like rational concerns. I apologize for sounding like an idiot, if this is what this makes me look like.)

a) You want us to play games less or enjoy them less so we turn them off: In terms of doing work or getting social things done, I totally agree. For "being less sedentary", what else is interesting out there, pray tell? I love anime, videogames and other games, comics, TV, Movies, some music, and Cartoons. We all like a walk sometimes, and I enjoy swimming in the right season, but what else would you want us to do that's enjoyable, and yet not sedentary?

2) That we can't enjoy the food we like: I don't eat burgers or french fries nearly as much as I used to. Blame that on Fast Food Nation, but it's still my favorite food. I love chips and cookies and snacks; groups I have been part of always used to snack on those during gaming or watching people play games. Awareness is one thing, but complete denial is another, which is what I thought you were trying to get across. Also that some of the "healthy foods" like don't taste good, and I assume either not very good snacks or meals, by nature. Also: How exactly would these better gaming snacks keep us alert? I'm not really following you there.

3) A personal experience: When I was in High School, I knew someone named Kalvin. He was a good guy, loved video-games, D&D and Magic: The Gathering and really got into them pretty well. Then he joined the Weight Room back at school and really worked out. I sometimes went in there for a little workout and saw him there from time to time (I don't really have a workout room anymore except at the college I can go to rarely) and he changed. Football and sports and working out, nothing about gaming and what we used to do. I felt pretty jaded about that, and the experience made me feel-and still a little to this day- that enough interest in making myself healthy would limit or decrease my love and interest into video-games. I don't want that, or want a medium which is still considered a minority compared to other forms to disappear from my life since it had a pretty significant impact.

Culture: I'm with you. Totally. While I can't exactly name all those people on the current events page, I have at least watched several of those movies and have read a number of those authors. I listen to NPR and watch what I can on Comedy Central or the news...Problem is, that most news-outside NPR-seem to play to some sort of party, some sort of sensational media story or gossip, or some sort of spinning crap about people dying or something along these lines:

"What [insert person/you/part of the social cricle here] can do to [improve/enhance/remove/involve/etc] [Body/Computer/TV/any appliance/any home project/any development of children that is untested/etc]"

That's what I see. I tend to find myself turned so badly against news nowadays-trying to be either enjoyable or eye-catching-that there doesn't seem to be very helpful.

Aurabolt said...

-Part 4 of 4.-

Behavior: Absolutely nothing to say on this one. I agree completely and totally. I refuse to play with this kind of crap, and I give the same back. That is what should be done.

All in all, my basic point was the other things you mentioned. To me, some of it is hard to understand or to fully grasp without saying something back. Also, to be a better gamer is always important, but it can't be that there weren't some good things about that as is. I hope you-and no one else who would read this- take no offense from what I have written and claimed here in this, because I mean no offense. I want the same things we, as gamers, do. I...just wish it was simpler or possible.

Thank you greatly for your time. I hope I have not completely made myself look like a fool, but I felt something should have been said. Thank you regardless.

Amund said...

You seemed angry. These are serious things there. But I fear you missed a few points their. Forcing others with a bunch of movie titles and writers' name, just to show them how awful the gamer culture is a cliché for the least.
I"d have appriciated making a connection with games and other medias, just to see how movie like the modern warfare or metal gear games are.
But yes, I understand that wasnt the point here.

GoofierBrute said...

Awesome video Bob. I was visiting a nutritionist for a little bit, though she told me not to visit her again until I start working out.

As for the cultural thing, I can't tell you how many times I had to shake my head at a friend who doesn't know anything that's going on (I had one friend think Jack Thompson was a senator). Anyway, excellent job and I look forward to your next video.

JBarrett110 said...

You know you're getting through to people when my MOM watched this. Bravo!

P.S. I have seen and read all those books and movies, and I'm only 13.

Alloflifedecays said...

Thank you so much for saying this. Shitty lifestyle, a total lack of culture, and a tendency to be an asshole is something which afflicts too many people in my generation.

That said, I'm very glad that only a few things here applied to me, but you do speak the truth.

Krezor said...

1. Thx for the episode, you`re totally right and you actually made a friend to rethink his lifestyle!

2. You`re Movieblog was the first thing to give me the idea that majoring in filmstudies could be a thing for me. So when you publish a list of must-see movies, I have to copy it AND IT F*CKING DOUBLED MY LIST. (Yeah, I know that speaks rather poorly of my list to begin with...)

Cam said...

I'm just going to say the same thing I did last time about how only limiting yourself to American culture alienates potential members of the fan base because while I may know what the House of Representatives is (we talked about it for 2 classes in my International Politics class and mainly as a comparison between Canadian and American politics) what your senate is, et cetera I still don't know more than maybe 2 or 3 members of Congress mainly because I'm Canadian, so I need to know who my members of parliament are as well (and I need to know who my members of legislative assembly are as well since we have both provincial (read state) governments that have their own sets of people to run provincial matters and we have the federal government to look over the country as a whole).

Ok other than me whining about you only stating things that should be relevant to Americans I will say that I agree to certain extents with what you have to say.

I'll start by saying that while I may disagree with how far you think we should go to change the attitude, I also realise that you were using a polar extreme for both what we should strive for and what the worst amongst us are like, but that's just how you shock people into doing stuff, you HAVE to show the extremes, otherwise people won't realise what they could become both beneficially and detrimentally, so on that note, my opinions :P

Yes getting out in the sunshine is a good idea, mainly because you get Vitamin D from sunshine, but you gotta be careful how long you're out there for, too much exposure to them harmful UV A and UV B rays leads the unaware gamer fearing sunshine from that terrible burn they got.

Yes moving around is better than sitting down and twiddling your thumbs in front of tv screen for 3 hours a day and I'll leave it at that.

Yes knowing what's going on in the world is... kind of important. Now this is a tad controversial but if you can't pinpoint who the new leader of Zimbabwe is, that's not that big a problem if you don't live there, if you don't know who the leader of your country is, that's a problem. This is a sticky issue because people seem to think that it pays to be well informed, and it does in a sense, as far as I'm concerned you can shoot the shit at the water cooler if you listened to the morning news or read the paper but it's not like your coworkers are going to come up to you as you're pouring a coffee and go "pop quiz, asshole, who's the recently deposed tyrannical dictator of Uzbekistan?" and if they do then you could approach it multiple ways without actually answering the question with "oh it's x". In that situation you could segue into something else "well I'm not that up to date on my international politics, but nice Speed reference, you seen the latest Keanu Reeves movie? What'd you think?" or something of the like, just because you don't know what they're talking about doesn't mean you can't stir the conversation towards something you do know at least enough about for small talk, like sports, I know jack all in terms of who plays on what team, but I know enough to know how the game works and I probably know at least a little bit about standings.

Again, I realise it was an extreme but just throwing up 10 faces and saying we need to know those people isn't fair and this kind of leads into my thoughts on the behaviour aspect.

Cam said...

part 2, since this is long post

Seeing as the above working environment scenario was handled with a tactful "hey that was a movie reference" instead of a "fuck you too, shitface" this does still play in to the fact that if someone comes swearing their faces off at us, that doesn't mean we have to respond the same way, yes we do not have to degenerate to their level of juvenile name calling but I still feel like there is (again) a bit more to it than that.

It's not only gamers who are fast at the lip in terms of spewing juvenile insults at each other, but I think it's fair to say that that is popular by (big surprise) children and young gamers in general. If you recall when you were growing up it was quite common for two kids to be crossing swords with their mouthes simply because, well, we didn't know any better. We were still developing social skills so it was not uncommon for someone to call you a name and then for you to snap back with a bigger retort or failure to make a better one resulted in your humiliation to everyone witness. However, it was kind of expected that as the years went by you would kind of clue in that name calling in the real world wouldn't get you as far as actually trying to hate on someone without simply calling them a fuck head or something but as anyone knows not everyone grows up.

Well I think I've whined enough but what I said can be summed up as "yes, gamers need to improve their image, but so does humanity in general" with a little of "take this video with a grain of salt and try to apply all the "not your country" political stuff and apply it to your own" and in the end, it still was an interesting video to say the least :)

Paddywack said...

I hated this. I mean, I kept having to pause it to let it load before I could hear more of what the intelligent guy had to say. Other than that, it was very well said.

Squin said...

Sorry Bob, but I kind of get the feeling that gamers that are in need of hearing this (parts 2 and 3 mostly, part 1 is sound advice for anyone), aren't the kind of gamers that are among your regular viewership.

XxEPIcXlouiSxX said...

you are sooo right moviebob

IamSalvatore said...

I love this video, Bob. You make a lot of good points that apply to more than just gamers, too. But I'd be lying if I said that the problems you addressed aren't especially prolific among gamers.

d20 Sapphire said...

All I have to say is THANK YOU. Someone had to say it so it's at least out there, and you did.

travisuped said...

Geez, I can hardly wait to get my hands on that SMG2. My Yoshi fanboyism will probably kick in hard and make it the greatest thing I've ever played. Until I eventually go back and later replay Chrono Trigger.

But yeah, thanks for the video, sir. I have to admit that while I've spent a lot of time being a wannabe game developer who didn't know a thing beyond games, I've been socializing more as I spent more time at college. I'm one of those guys with the problems about lacking cultural enrichment and a lacking understanding of the functional foundations of the country I live in. I could definitely write and draw and compose music for more reasons than just the games I've been so infatuated with, and so I should. It'd certainly help me to go explore other possible hobbies as well.

I think I learned a bit from the video. Otherwise it wouldn't sting or stick. But until I get out and go experiment with more things, these words I'm leaving will just be well-intended garbage.

DanielShin said...

Holy crap, hearing what you had to say just made me realized 2 things:
That I'm a lot more socially strong from what I consider myself, and that in a lot of places you can replace the word "gamer" with "American" (or to be more precise the stereotypical american that's features in Americans are "not" stupid video on YouTube).
Anyway, great video, really loved it.
PS: if I offended anyone then I'll do my best to feel bad about it for a minute.

Hawkeye In the Sky said...

Hey man, just want to point out a few things to you. Number one, citing "One Thing I Know" doesn't help you. Number two, I take offense to your assertion that us gamers are culturally illiterate. I'm a gamer. I've read George Orwell, I've read Orson Scott Card (homophobia aside, he's a good writer), and I've read Stephen King. Also, by the by, you didn't mention J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of the fantasy classic Lord of the Rings, nor did you mention any of the many modern authors who are making huge splashes in the water (no, I'm not talking about Paolini or Rowling or Meiyer. I'm talking about people like Jay Asher, author of 13 Reasons Why.) Furthermore, naming political pundits or figures doesn't mean you know about politics. It just proves you did a google search. How about you and I have an intelligent discussion about freedom of speech vs freedom of religion, or the complexities of Middle-Eastern conflict and the problems with trying to centralize Afghanistan, or starvation and civil war in Africa. Wait, that would take you out of your left-wing/right-wing games-vs-fox-news good/bad comfort zone, wouldn't it? Not everything is as black and white, or as simple, as knowing who people are. Finally, your comments on artistic taste are completely unfounded. I am currently pursuing a career in game design, and your assertion that books, movies, painting, music and/or martial arts are more valid forms of artistic expression than video games is an outright falsehood. Video games are on par, if not higher, than these forms of artistic expression, and your belittling of my chosen profession is insulting. Good day to you sir.

Firestorm713 said...

Up to your usual quality, Moviebob, but I take issue at one point that you drive hard at. I know you won't stop driving at this one either, but Games are not always toys. At least, games are as much toys as books or movies. I cite two examples: Mass Effect 2 and Heavy Rain. Both have some really frigging hard to watch scenes, from a favorite character's father dying, or having to question whether or not forceful population control of a dangerous race is moral or not, to having to help your character cut off his own fucking finger in order to save his son. I would say to a small degree I was 'amused' and 'entertained' by both of these games, but it was much more introspective than, say, playing with an action figure or sitting down for a game of chess or risk with my friends, which is also amusing and entertaining. RPGs and otherwise are finally taking this step toward being interactive stories that have gameplay, rather than games that tell stories.
While this is not the rule in gaming right now, it is its future as a narrative and storytelling medium. If games are ever going to be more than just toys, then we as commentators and bloggers should probably stop calling them such.
While I'm on the topic, it's been a while, but I don't believe you really discuss this whole interactive storytelling, introspective, actually intellectually and morally challenging side of games? (whose head has surfaced among games made by Bioware, the game Heavy Rain, and some of the oldies like Deus Ex)

Brandon Wright said...

Hey Bob, you might really enjoy this video. This is from a psychologist who talks about gaming the impact it's having particularly on boys in terms of how they view time, social skills, etc.

General Jack D. Ripper said...

I only keep getting affirmed that Bob is THE man. Tell it how it is.

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Distilledfx said...

People assume gamers are in some sort of loser denial- while I don't doubt some or even a lot of them are, a lot of them (the average gamer age is thirty-something) have the maturity to take a step back and say "I need to improve myself: I am not the way I should/could be." Bravo Overthinker, you have done something the rest of the gaming community has been too timid to do. I doubt it's a wake up call, it's more of a confirmation- gamer does not equal socially inept moron, it means "someone who plays games." Actions speak louder than words and Bob has told gamers which actions to begin on. This video isn't just a suggestion, it's a direction, heading away from the ignorant, insulated community that gaming is staring down the barrel of becoming.

Minic said...

I don't know who those ten people are. Yes, I have a problem, and I will happily act upon it. Could you please provide me a list, or has someone provided this already?

Slothy said...

Bob telling people to shut the fuck up and that they look like a jackass aren't exactly great arguments.

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Donovan said...

That was a great video dude.
I'm gonna recommend this around...

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