Lion of the Blogosphere

Unemployed men playing videogames, in the New York Times

In the Upshot column in the New York Times: Why Some Men Don’t Work: Video Games Have Gotten Really Good.

More than ten years ago, I first wrote about how games like World of Warcraft mimic work but provide a better experience because your efforts are always rewarded. I’m so ahead of everyone else, yet I have a crappy job with no career future.

People, especially men, want to feel like they are working to accomplish something, but labor-market work doesn’t give most people that feeling. Especially not those without college degrees and good career tracks.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 6, 2017 at 8:13 am

Posted in Labor Markets

32 Responses

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  1. Interesting, why is there never an article about men who start working and turn their lives around? There are plenty of those too, but, no, we have to be bombarded with info about bums and nogoodnicks that are somehow cool. The media is stupid. Avoid and stay sane.

    Lion, stop whining : ‘I have a miserable job, I’m a poor Lion, nobody loves me’. Go get yourself a job that you like already. Come on!


    July 6, 2017 at 9:29 am

    • I don’t take you seriously, seriously, you think people are losers, because they make less than a certain amount and they have to pay taxes. Now, you’re telling Lion to get a job that he would find enjoyable, when in fact your idea of working is survival, not fun!!!


      July 6, 2017 at 10:35 am

      • No one who reads this blog on a regular basis can be considered a “loser.” We are part of an intellectual elite, even if we don’t have any power. At least with what we learn here from each other we can improve our own lives. This is more than can be said for the majority of the college-educated population and even the majority of people who read political/cultural blogs (most of whom only read within their own ideological bubble and are seeking merely to have their opinions confirmed.)


        July 6, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      • You are a fossil, you be quiet and behave.


        July 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    • I agree it would be good if Lion got a self-actualizing job.

      Its a shame he has so much of his personal happiness tied up in his job, but thats the way it is. And after 10-15 years of following the blog I’d like to see him happy.

      Lion o' the Turambar

      July 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      • Correct, why does a single middle age man need more money?


        July 6, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      • “Why does a single middle age man need more money?” Because he will become a single old man who could outlive his resources. Medicare and Medicaid (the latter used even by the upper middle class once nursing home expenses drain their savings) are in the process of being destroyed, making the largest possible nest egg necessary.


        July 7, 2017 at 6:57 am

  2. OT: Ann Coulter does the work the NYTimes won’t do and actually looks into the background of the Brooklyn Hospital shooter from last week. Turns out the guy was no doctor at all, but a ‘pharmacy technician’. That makes much more sense now. Thanks Ann.

    Andrew E.

    July 6, 2017 at 9:34 am

    • I already said that the NYT showed sympathy for Dr. Bello, the same reason that the black underclass is the result of White oppression. This guy had a rap sheet of not being to keep his little brother under his pants.


      July 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

      • That’s Mr. Obotetukudo, not ‘Dr. Bello”. Very important.

        Andrew E.

        July 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      • Apparently he graduated from one of these Caribbean medical schools, so technically he was a doctor. But he couldn’t get into residency, so he took a job as a pharmacy technician while he continued to try to do so.


        July 6, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    • Ann gets it right again. Thanks for the link. But for the true story of a real doctor-immigrant who murdered an American physician, look here.

      Black Death

      July 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  3. Yakov says, “Avoid [the media] and stay sane.” I couldn’t have said it better.

    I loved computer games as a child/young teen, but now I prefer fishing (it’s almost like a game you play in nature, which is 100 times healthier).

    I received a throwback/vintage Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas from my brother but I could hardly stand to play it. I wasted hours on Metroid years ago. I don’t need to waste precious hours like that now (though Mike Tyson’s Punchout is still loads of fun).


    July 6, 2017 at 10:44 am

  4. Good post. LotB was very prescient on this.

    Why Some Men Don’t Work: Video Games Have Gotten Really Good

    Could video games somehow be turned into an addictive crime deterrent by giving low-skill degenerates something to fulfill their days and achieve a sense of accomplishment? I think LotB has well-blogged a bit about this.

    I have a crappy job with no career future.

    It might be boring and unfulfilling, but $90 per contract hr isn’t a crappy job. My job isn’t crappy by any means and I enjoy quite a bit of autonomy, respect from my coworkers, and excellent benefits, but due to a couple of layoffs and blown opportunities, the “Great Recession,” preference for risk aversion, and crushing competition, my salary today is exactly what it was in 1998 before I did my well-regarded MBA.

    People, especially men, want to feel like they are working to accomplish something, but labor-market work doesn’t give most people that feeling. Especially not those without college degrees and good career tracks.

    True. Police, Fire, and Military might be options for select, non-degreed males to feel a sense of accomplishment, make a decent wage, and retire early.

    E. Rekshun

    July 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

    • Options for select few, lolz! Say you have a new house, right. So they put up a framing where there was nothing before, plumbing when there were non, electricity for all the gagets and meshugasen, HVAC for comfort, wallpaper, floors, kitchen etc… What’s not to feel accomplished about doing any of these these things? You need like 20 different trades for a house to come together. A lot of people can feel plenty accomplished.


      July 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      • Not the select select few but probably less than 20%.
        Take the trades and my numbers are probably off. But if building to last 20 years a team of 50 guys builds homes for 20 households a year. By the time they have to go back around and rehab or rebuild they have built 400 homes average household size of three or housing for 1200 people. If you limit trade jobs to one per household (good luck) you still only have 12.5% of households involved in construction. That leaves people to pave roads, design and build out infrastructure, work in upkeep,police,fire, etc without hitting the next 350 people just to have ONE person working in all the homes built by the first 50.


        July 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      • Absolutely agreed. I should have included skilled trades worker as an option. And my oversight is an example of the problem facing the trades. Young men and the schools all too often don’t see the very real value of seeking a career in the trades. “Everyone must go to college.”

        E. Rekshun

        July 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      • Fewer people embarking on trades can only signify a few things. Technology has brought us into a post scarcity world as a result from a very efficient production of goods and services, which leads to far fewer jobs that are meaningful. Most jobs today including trades can pay for someone’s basic needs of food and clothes, but housing affordability is always a pressing issue for an average person with a job. Construction work pays as much as an office career.


        July 6, 2017 at 9:11 pm

  5. The numbers they give show that people spend much more time watching TV. That’s not as concerning?

    Jason Liu

    July 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm

  6. Alcohol, drugs and video games.


    July 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    • Or, in the ’70s, “sex, drugs, and rock & roll!”

      E. Rekshun

      July 6, 2017 at 6:10 pm

  7. What about TV, Netflix, the internet in general, etc.? I think people spend more time on those than video games.


    July 6, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    • Video games annoy women more.


      July 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      • Finally, the NYT admits women are also becoming obsolescent like men. They are spending time on useless activities instead of giving birth to kids. With more technology, humans seem more deranged by the day.


        July 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

  8. Great call Lion. You did call this out. I remember. Too bad you can’t monetize this skill of yours.


    July 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

  9. I have a career future, and it involves working up to getting paid as much as Lion makes now.

    Greg Pandatshang

    July 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

  10. Shoud’ve invested in video games lion. Would’ve made more money than i-robot pick…


    July 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm

  11. Despite the headline’s reference to men who “don’t work,” the article is actually about underemployed men playing video game, not unemployed men. So, unlike many of the related articles previously posted, it doesn’t raise the question I always have, and which these articles never answer, which is how all these men who supposedly play video games instead of working are surviving, and, you know, funding their video-game-playing. A commenter on a previous post mentioned knowing a woman who financially supported her unemployed her 35-year-old son who lived in a trailer on her property playing video games. But are there really that many indulgent parents out there, for this to be a society-wide trend? If not, is this supposed legion of unemployed men out there all on SSI? How exactly are they all affording food, clothing, shelter, utility bills, a video game console or gaming PC, and internet connection?

    I ask partially because I envy people who don’t have to work, but when I graduated from college my parents weren’t willing or able to keep supporting me, so I had no choice but to get a full-time job.


    July 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm

  12. O/T — but relating to the NYT:

    Our liberals now think Canada is a better country with better immigrants, because of “HBD” processes:

    The nerve and the hypocrisy of them, maybe Rosenmops will tell us otherwise.

    As for the “commenter” who frequently complains here about America’s rigid caste system, lack of meritocracy — Read this article and your answer is there.

    Surely, Mohammed, the college educated, Moroccan business owner in French Speaking Canada is doing better than Mohammed the Pakistani cab driver in New York City — it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out.


    July 7, 2017 at 12:14 am

  13. I’m so ahead of everyone else, yet I have a crappy job with no career future.

    MEH 0910

    July 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    • It all makes sense now…

      Fact Checker

      July 8, 2017 at 1:58 am

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