Why is party living more socially acceptable than playing video games too much?

Consider the following statements. For clarity, “FPS games” means “first-person shoot-’em-up games,” such as the Quake series, the Doom series, the Duke Nuke’em series, and the bajillion other such games on the market.
1. The time I spent playing FPS games significantly impacts the amount of time I spend with my significant other, especially on the weekends.
2. When I play FPS games, I tend to ignore my significant other.
3. Playing FPS games with me is not an activity I am interested in inviting my significant other to participate in.
4. When I’m with my significant other, a frequent topic of conversation is playing FPS games.
5. Sometimes I have difficulty paying my bills, but I always find a way to work the ongoing costs of playing FPS games into my budget.
6. My significant other and I have talked about the effects playing FPS games has on our relationship, but I’m not willing to change.

Any person who fits those six statements is a first-class loser, right? Am I wrong in thinking this is pathetic? That one could even go so far as to say that this person has no idea how to have fun?

Tell me then, why can one take those six statements, replace the phrase “playing FPS games” with “going to bars and nightclubs,” and turn it into something completely socially acceptable? And furthermore, suddenly it’s the person doing those six things who knows how to have fun, and the one who needs to lighten up and learn how to have fun is the one doing the complaining?

Someone please explain the difference. Please. Any time I start feeling proud of my intelligence, all I have to do to change that is to consider this question.

And, just so you don’t get the wrong idea about me, I can’t stand first-person shooters and the only video game I’ve played regularly over the past year or so is Railroad Tycoon II. I play a game about once every six weeks.

5 thoughts on “Why is party living more socially acceptable than playing video games too much?

  • May 18, 2003 at 11:42 am
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    Haven’t the foggiest. Maybe it’s all about the socialization. In some cultures, socialization without the context of lots of alcohol or worship is looked upon with suspicion.

    Some of my recreation is taken up by gaming, some by reading books, some by being online, some by being with close friends. I have no desire to spend evenings drinking with people, and (at least in my culture) pub crawling to the point of alcoholism and drunk driving is considered acceptable.

    I think it sucks.

    Maybe the person with the complaint needs LARTing 🙂

  • May 18, 2003 at 10:03 pm
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    I used to play FPG’s. My game of choice was Quake II when I was living in England. I still have an urge every now and again to install the game again to play. No, I’ve not installed it but just yesterday I was thinking it would be nice to play against some of my old chat friends. The adrenaline rush is wow! In fact, it’s not something I can do alot of. I stay too keyed up, one major case of nervous tension! lol

  • May 18, 2003 at 10:45 pm
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    You’re going to laugh…

    When I was in the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program (way back when), we were required to go through Navy Alcohol and Drug Substance Abuse Program (NADSAP). Almost sounds instructional, doesn’t it?

    Anyway… we had to write an essay on addiction in our lives. So…

    I chose StreetFighter II. They laughed in the program, but I was dead serious.

    I also hold that aspirin is the most abused drug in the world, but that’s another story.

    Richard brought up socializing, and I think that is true. I also think J.R.R. Tolkienn’s explanation of why his books were popular in the 1950s (?) is true – that people wanted something to escape to.

    With FPS, with RPG, with MMORPG (Asheron’s Call, Everquest), etc – there’s a level of escapism.

    For myself… If it’s a game, I’m not playing to socialize. I am playing to win, and in concentrating on that I let everything else get out of my head. It’s a cleansing of sorts – without the hangover.

    Just thoughts from the peanut gallery, but I think escapism is key.

  • May 19, 2003 at 8:59 am
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    Hi Dave,

    Well, I know some social groups where your scenario is accurate. Also, if the person going to all the clubs is the one saying that, that does not surprise me as they are defending their unacceptable behavior.

    Fortuately for me and my wife, either scneario would not be considered acceptable.

    There are certain sets of people who gravitate to different “scenes” so to speak. It is not my experience that people not in the club scene would consider partying to the extent you describe as acceptable.

    More info?…

    – Bruce

  • May 19, 2003 at 1:09 pm
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    Taran:

    I completely and totally agree with you. The only difference we have is that I play to “have fun” rather than just to win… sometimes.

    For instance, my “escape” during weeknights is playing Skies of Arcadia Legends on my GameCube. Of course, I’m now playing it to get 100% of everything in the game including all of the titles, etc…

    But when I play Dungeons & Dragons, I just play for fun. There is no real winning in a game where one guy makes stuff up and everyone else rolls dice and makes stuff up, too.

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