Grow up: Gamers over 20 are labelled ‘Child-men’

According to Kay Hymowitz, a contributing editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, videogames are a core factor in the underachievement of modern men in their 20s and 30s who are happily stewing in life when compared to the accomplishments of same-aged men from 40 years ago.

In an article published by the Dallas News, Hymowitz suggests a 26-year-old white man in the 1960s might be holding down a solid job, striving to be a good husband and father, and laying property plans for the future of the family.

By way of comparison, she offers that today’s 26-year-old white man is more likely working in a non-descript office cubicle, sharing an apartment with a few other single guys, playing basketball, partying, enjoying numerous sexual conquests, downloading from iTunes, and playing videogames.

Hymowitz claims that while the average twentysomething of yesteryear would have already amassed adult milestones such as educational qualification, financial independence, marriage and children, today’s equivalent is only too happy to linger “in a new hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.”

Trumpeting the advances of active, achievement-loving women in their 20s and 30s who are joining “an international New Girl Order,” Hymowitz accuses single young males of preferring to ignore the call of adulthood in order to languish in “a playground of drinking, hooking up [and] playing Halo 3.”

Citing the negative effects of ‘lad mags’ such as Maxim, which offer the tantalising lure of pouting models, semi-naked celebrities, and cool gadgets, today’s men in their 20s and 30s are subsequently labelled as “child-men,” often seeking little more from life than “sophomoric fun and macho action.”

While she hopes that child-men will eventually recognise the difference between entertainment and real life, shaking off the “motley crew of Maxim, Comedy Central and Halo 3,” in order to obey (mother) nature’s rules and grow up, Hymowitz’s opinion has prompted a passionate response from videogame fans.

Specifically, many answering male gamers in the age group the article targets criticise Hymowitz for what they see as extreme generalisations across a massive demographic. Outlining an acceptance of life’s responsibilities as their main priority where holding a job, paying the mortgage, and being a good husband and father are concerned, gaming is firmly bracketed as a hobby – nothing more.

“My family, my job, and my responsibilities come first, but when I have time for fun I game,” comments 34-year-old husband and father Toddm on gaming news site N4G. “Sure, often I have to give up sleep to make time for it. You’ll most likely find me getting up early to game between 4 and 7 AM. But I’m sure someone who was really into, say, needlepoint could be found stitching in the wee hours of the morning.”

Similarly, JsonHenry, a 26-year old husband, father, and sole provider says: “I am the only one that works in my home. I OWN my home, I OWN my car, and I have accomplished this all the while playing video games… I think after accomplishing these things I am “adult” enough to choose my own hobby as I see fit.”

“I’m 29 and have a large mortgage, very good job and long term girlfriend, I don’t think any of these things define me nor do I think enjoying gaming makes it possible for some idiot to generalise a massive demographic and label me,” exclaims Spunkmeyer43 in his comment on the piece. “It’s like me saying the author of this article is a 40 something short haired lesbian who wears tweed and is an advocate of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.”

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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