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Opinion Editorials

Study says video games are to blame for unemployment. Err, no.

(EDITORIAL) A new study suggests that video games are responsible for unemployment. Buckle up—this one’s gonna be rough.

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video games

Same argument, different day

In the latest argument against correlation equating to causation, an early study suggests that video games are responsible for unemployment among men.

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While the study itself has already been questioned, the destructive stigma against video games —and the accompanying diffusion of responsibility—remains.

Here We Go

Let’s formally address the elephant in the room: Are video games keeping you unemployed?

No.

Extreme cases of hedonism aside, it seems downright dismissive to assume that the correlation between unemployment and entertainment consumption on any level implies causation.

The opposite makes sense—people who have more time in the day may play video games more than working counterparts—but this typically holds true for even the most diligent of job hunters.

The news that unemployment is the latest entry in the long list of things for which video games are obviously responsible—a list that includes shootings, global warming, your kid’s flat feet, and the extinction of unicorns—doesn’t surprise me.

Blaming video games for unemployment is like me blaming my bed for making me late to work.

We’ve proven thus far that logic has no place in an argument where the subject of video games is present.

Credit and Accountability Where They’re Due

If you blame video games or television for unemployment, you’re simultaneously perpetuating a culture of ignorance (see also: people who get mad at poor people for having nice things) and facilitating immunity to responsibility.

You’re either assuming the unemployed people in question can find employment (maybe they can’t), or you’re implying that they’re too immature to motivate themselves.

Both are incredibly harmful notions to have.

When you assume the worst of someone who’s doing their best, you demoralize them, and when you blame someone’s perfectly rectifiable behavior on a strawman fallacy, you invalidate their ability to change.

This isn’t just about video games—it’s about an incredibly toxic attitude toward both hard work and apathy alike.

Video Games and Productivity Can Coincide

Also floating around is this idea that having a productive work life and maintaining an active presence in the virtual world are diametrically opposed practices. I don’t mean to brag (I do), but I’ve managed to accomplish a solid chunk of the more than 1000 hours I have in Dark Souls over the past few months.

Coincidentally, it has also been a time during which I’ve consistently worked a minimum of 50 hours per week and still found time to be a tad more than a poor excuse for a human being.

Video games comprise a perfectly valid means of blowing off steam after any day, whether you’re employed or profoundly not.

Easing the waiting game

We’ve talked about rejecting hustle glorification and how important it is to take a breather once in awhile. For many, that breather comes in the form of a video game. One might even argue that (believe it or not) those who are unemployed have more time in the day to play, simply because you can only apply to so many job postings before you have to play the waiting game.

That waiting game is a lot easier to tolerate when it’s interspersed with loading screens.

#VideoGames4Ever

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove’s Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

Opinion Editorials

If Reddit goes IPO, will it have to shed its soul?

(EDITORIAL) Reddit is known as a firebrand, a bastion of free speech, but if they go public, will they be able to remain as they are now?

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Reddit, the eighth-most popular website on the Internet, is reportedly considering an IPO. As a site valued at over 1.8 billion dollars, this is great news for the company itself – but how much of Reddit will remain if the IPO goes through?

Reddit’s history is steeped in controversy, from minor incidents such as invasion of privacy and a few creepily quirky community members to allegations of child pornography and egregious hate speech. While Reddit’s policy has allowed it to tighten posting restrictions regarding the latter two, the fact remains that Reddit – for all its usefulness – is viewed by many as a ticking time bomb.

An IPO would certainly lend back to Reddit a degree of credibility not seen since its inception, but the problem is that Reddit itself (the haven of free speech and original content that made it so popular in the first place) might not survive the offering. Given the platform’s controversial past, many believe it likely that stakeholders would move to tighten further the restrictions on the platform, ultimately ending a significant era in Reddit’s history.

Admittedly, Reddit has come a long way since its early days of supporting user-created content regardless of persuasion: this past year saw entire subreddits shut down for violating the terms of use regarding hate speech, and the platform certainly has cracked down on illegal and abusive content. Unfortunately, the history might be too much to shake off going forward, which is why we think that Reddit’s branding won’t be a part of the final IPO.

The platform’s developers’ dedication to free speech and truth-seeking is what makes Reddit so fantastic, and that’s not liable to change – it’s the most marketable aspect of the site, after all – but perhaps the rationale behind going public lies in a sense of duty rather than routine. 2017 has seen some of the most reprehensible instances of false reporting and deliberate misguidance in recent history; maybe Reddit’s team feels that they can provide a stable news platform at the cost of some personality.

At any rate, the IPO itself isn’t set in stone, and is unlikely to take place for quite some time. As the situation develops, it will be interesting to see if Reddit embraces its past, or sheds it altogether.

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Opinion Editorials

‘Follow your passion and the money will follow’ is bulls**t advice

(EDITORIAL) Following your passion can create success, though it may not be financial. So should you really just “do what you love” and hope for the best?

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follow your passion

If you asked anyone who knows me, they would tell you that I’m a strong advocate for people following their passion. However, when I encourage people to pursue their dreams, this comes with a big asterisk.

I recently heard someone use a phrase along the lines of, “if you do what you love, the money will follow.” Um… no.

While it’s great that you’ve found something you’re passionate about, that’s only a trillionth of the battle. You need to be willing to work your ass off and be willing to sacrifice everything in order to make that enthusiasm into a success.

Most people that have started their own business will tell you that it took a while into the process to begin paying themselves. Again, if it truly is your passion, this is all worth it in the end. But if you like food and shelter, it might not be.

Say, for example, your passion is acting and your goal in life is to become a famous movie star. Now, you can’t pull a Tobias Funke and simply say, “I’m an actor” and then expect everything to miraculously fall into place.

Like any other passion, you need to invest in yourself. You’ll need to get headshots, take acting classes, and find a flexible day job that allows you to go on auditions. Cutting corners on any of this in order to expedite the process or save a few bucks will end up hurting you in the long run.

For the sake of this article, let’s define “passion” as loving something so much you couldn’t imagine doing anything else… you would even do it for free. And, as there is no correlation between having passion for something and money, you just might.

While doing what you love is admirable, be aware that it may take an incredibly long time to see results in the form of numbers. Because of this, it’s wise to always have a back up plan to support yourself financially and pursue passion with a strong business plan in tact.

It is never wrong to want to follow your passion. I personally think that everyone should give it at least something of a shot during the course of their career so that you never ask “what if?” But following passion because you read a cliche statement can lead to major financial and emotional losses, so put on your business hat before blindly chasing dreams.

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Opinion Editorials

Tech CEO tweet ruins years of a young designer’s hard work

(EDITORIAL) With a tweet here and there, thoughtless questions have potentially bullied a young Asian woman in tech out of her career.

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naomi wu tweet

It’s hard enough for women, particularly women of color, to make it in the world of tech, without rude jerks questioning if you literally exist.

Sadly, that’s what happened to Naomi Wu, also known as “SexyCyborg,” a 23-year old cyberpunk superstar from Shenzhen, China who has amassed a huge following for her 3D printing experiments and other techie pursuits. Wu has 140,000 followers and millions of views for her YouTube channel, where she shows off her experiments and provides educational tutorials.

Unfortunately, some rude dudes from America can’t seem to imagine that a young Asian woman is capable of the feats that Wu has accomplished.

Dale Dougherty, CEO of the DIY magazine Maker (and an official schmuck), has cyberbullied Wu so badly that it is said to have damaged her career. He tweeted, “I am questioning who she really is. Naomi is a persona, not a real person. She is several or many people.”

This despite the fact that Wu says that she has actually spoken to Dougherty, and that he knows she is real. “For Westerners who don’t understand the important of reputation in China it seems like a very minor thing,” says Wu, “it is everything here and there’s no repairing this.”

Wu has even lost a sponsorship deal from a 3D printer company over the accusations that she isn’t who she says she is.

Dougherty eventually apologized, but Wu says that “the damage had been done” at that point, and that Dougherty knew the accusations would be “devastating” to her “reputation and professional prospects.”

Wu says that the attack is motivated by white male entitlement to tech spaces.

She says that she can’t imagine Dougherty attacking “a white lady from San Francisco.” Wu has been an advocate for diversity in tech and maker spaces. “I kept pushing for more inclusion – not just me, other underrepresented people,” she says. “They didn’t like being pushed. This is payback.”

We stand behind Wu as she continues to push the edge in tech spaces, and say shame on you to bullies who won’t make space for women and racial minorities. Sorry you’re not as cool as SexyCyborg, but that’s on you and you need to get over it.

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