Binging on Some Food for Thought

I know I should do a reblog, but a question has been bugging me lately, and yesterday it became even more of an aggravation. And that’s because I read yet another article in the local newspaper about the best binge-worthy TV shows. These articles are pretty commonplace these days, and it seems that binge-watching is here to stay. If fact, it’s practically something to brag about – how one’s weekend was spent on the couch, engrossed in whatever show of whatever genre, out of the sunlight, away from socialness, stopped only for takeout, texts, and bathroom breaks…maybe. This is alright. This is cool. This is acceptable. And though the newspaper didn’t have a comment section, I’m certain that the corresponding article in the paper’s digital version probably got lots of supportive comments and thumbs up.

Now, take that exact same article, and replace “TV shows” with “video games,” and suddenly, OH SNAP! Something cool and acceptable has turned into something childish and lazy. What uncouth fiends spending a weekend alone (or not) playing those worthless video games! What a terrible, awful way to spend a weekend! You should go outside, talk to people, BE A REAL GODDAMN PERSON! Damn those games and damn the very souls who turn to them for respite!!!

Okay, that’s a little exaggerated…but, honestly not by much. I have been in conversations where people have been met with cheers and excitement in saying “I spent all weekend binging Game of Thrones!” and other people within the same circle have been meet by jeers and confusion in saying “I spent all weekend playing Persona 5!” Is the matter here simply that TV is relatable to the masses while video games aren’t? We’re near the culmination of four generations of people being around/aware of video games…isn’t it about time for the “video game stigma” to end?

Yeesh. That was a really long intro to my question, which is:

Will it ever be culturally acceptable to binge-play video games (which we know gamers do anyway), in the same manner that it is okay from the masses to binge-watch TV?

Bonus: Do we as players really want gaming to become as truly accepted as TV? There is something to be said for remaining on the societal outskirts.

Bonus bonus: Remember when TV was a thing that would “rot your brain?” And now, apparently, video games are a thing that will “rot one’s very soul?” (No citation, just the sense that I get from my own social circles, which are apparently full of terrible people, haha.) How did we even get here? Binging entertaining is still binging entertainment, whether it happens via a remote control or a game controller.


Well, that’s more food for thought than I thought I had to offer. But there you have it. My brain, for one, feels much better.

7 thoughts on “Binging on Some Food for Thought”

  1. This is something I’ve brought up ad nauseum. The double standards are infuriating. It’s perfectly acceptable to binge watch, but binge playing is “nerdy, uncool, lazy,” etc. It’s also okay to go to a sporting event, dressed in your team’s jersey with they colors painted on you, but cosplay is the height of dorky (that’s starting to change thankfully). I had a whole rant post, too about his fan art when well done is lauded, but fanfiction of similar caliber is almost always derided as if it doesn’t take talent to produce either. It’s frustrating to constantly have to defend what you enjoy and love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, and part of that’s the reason I rarely bring up gaming in discussions (unless those discussions are with gamers). It can get rather exhausting trying to support and exhort “hobby tolerance!” But, when we (as humans) still have such a long way to go with becoming generally tolerant in the first place, the acceptance of what others choose to do with their free time seems miles away. But WE know the truth! 🙂 And despite how horrible the internet and the world can be, at least we have spaces here where we can celebrate what we love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve found the phrase “All narratives are worthy of discourse” to be invaluable. I wish I could remember who I heard it from though! Agreed on the tolerance point. We can’t even accept numerous but minor variations of human. We have a long way to go.

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  2. I think it’s just the ubiquitous nature of binge-ing, now. It used to be just as socially unacceptable to sit around watching TV all day, but now so many people do it that it’s tolerated as “normal” if not normal sans quotes. Part of me wants games to be a little more mainstream, but I’d rather people just be a little more accepting of folks “in the minority” and realize that everyone who has a hobby does it for long periods of time if they have the chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. Tolerance is where it’s at in all things. I have friends who’ll easily devote entire weekends to various hobbies — knitting, car repair, woodworking, scrapbooking — none of which require them to be “social” or go outside (in some cases) or speak to another person for several days, except for the one who delivers food. 🙂 Granted that gaming doesn’t have a foothold among more prevalent hobbies like these, but that doesn’t make it any less of a valid pursuit. Maybe it doesn’t really matter if gaming ever reached the stature of TV, what matters is changing people’s attitudes towards it. TV’s got a good leg up on games in that regard, but games are catching up, so maybe it’s only a matter of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s really no different to the old stereotype of video games are for nerds living in a basement. I don’t think about it too much. People tell me about watching Game of Thrones, I say I tried watching but couldn’t get into it and played FFXV instead. Both are story heavy with lots of characters and a good dollop of regicide thrown in, but one is acceptable to binge on whilst the other isn’t.

    It’s an annoying attitude but one that many gamers have grown up experiencing. I prefer to pity those that want to watch a full series of a TV show in a day but aren’t interested in a playthrough of Until Dawn. They’re the ones missing out by not even trying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good way to look at it. And with so many of today’s games being accessible to even the least likely gamer, it’s almost a shame when people don’t at least want to try out a game. Or even just take time to understand why they are more important than TV to some people. (The prevalence of sheer ignorance there is astounding.) And this isn’t to say that there’s no value in binge-watching TV – I like to sit back and be entertained without effort sometimes, too – but when folks are too willing to cast aside gaming as an equal pursuit…well, that’s just too bad for them.

      (I also tried my hand at watching GoT. Not for me.)

      Liked by 1 person

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