"Adults Only" - The Fear of Being Childish

simplyTravis

Lamer Gamers Podcast Co-Host
#1
As I was partaking in some delicious Sumatra coffee this afternoon as I stumbled upon this quote by C.S. Lewis -

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

I found this quite invigorating to read after seeing Splatoon being lauded as a child's game and that many people feel Amiibo are for only man-children with disposable income. The idea of being "manly" or "adult" seems to perpetuate our culture even though we see far less people take control of their lives and embark on their own to become "grown ups" than ever before according to various studies. It seems the idea and scope of "adult" has essentially turned away from being someone who is mostly self-reliant and into something that is far more drunken, violent, and titilated at all times of the day.

I myself deal with this idea of not being "grown up" occasionally but don't let it stand in my way of who I am. As a teacher to a range of children from 5 to 18 I get to see the perceptions of how being an adult changes. The younger children tend to see going to work, doing chores, getting married, having children, and other various things as what a grown up does. You see that being obvious as they play house on a playground.

The older students around the age of 11 or so tend to see being grown up as cussing more, disobeying parents/authority to create a sense of independence, being more destructive, drinking, cigarettes, risk taking, and gathering various forms of wealth (electronics, clothes, etc..) as being grown up. I would partially blame this on what is sold to kids as something grown-ups do. This accumulation of wealth and luxury over work ethic probably seems to keep some people from leaving home also to some extent. Some of it is natural in some people, but not on a grand scale without some form of conditioning from culture or advertising. This digression, however, is not the focus of this post.

At the same time, I would consider some things such as Sponge Bob games and other shovelware products aimed for a younger demographic as purely childish not because of the content, but because of the lack of challenge or skill required. However, if you are a grown man and enjoy that kind of thing, you do your thing. Nobody is stopping you. Heck, I use silly squirrel voices occasionally and pretend to be Gollum (or various other characters) with my high school students because they see me being "childish" with the younger kids and asked me why I don't do that in their class. I told them that I figured they wouldn't enjoy it since it was childish. Now, they love that kind of thing and see it as refreshing that an adult can go from silly voices to discussing college level high-order thinking in seconds. In fact this last week I taught how to properly soak paper mache glue into paper by yelling "squeeeeeeeeeegeeeeeeeeeee" like an oversized chipmunk.

Now, the purpose of me basically regurgitating my thoughts on this to TNE is that I want to know, what do you do that would be considered childish? Are there certain video games you still play that you normally wouldn't tell anybody? Do you enjoy playing paintball still? Lets make this a safe haven to keep from being afraid of having an "adult" discussion about childish things!
 

simplyTravis

Lamer Gamers Podcast Co-Host
#4
I guessed I'd find porn here.
I feel like that helps my point!

If Splatoon is for kids because it's full of colours, then South Park is for kids too.
I definitely watched South Park as a kid more than I do now. Now I'm conflicted, haha. I think South Park has always been a satire of a childrens cartoon anyway. Kind of like Joe Camel. A character used to get addicted to adult cancer sticks *cough cough* I mean cigarettes.
 

simplyTravis

Lamer Gamers Podcast Co-Host
#5
So, I'm really surprised that this has been viewed over 200 times and nobody feels the need to comment. Maybe people got tired and didn't read the end or completely agreed?

So, what do you guys do nowadays that others would consider childish now that you are an adult?
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#8
Look at Tetris. It's rated E but is it kiddy? Is it mature? It's really neither because its so abstract.

Almost all games are like this. Gameplay is an abstract concept, and since it's the main appeal to games, I don't believe games like Splatoon or Mario are kiddy.

Both those games could easily earn an M rating without changing any of the gameplay. It's just a matter of what aesthetic elements are wrapped around the gameplay.

We shouldn't discount the wrapper though. It's important. Look at Hyrule Warriors' sales if you don't believe me.

If we just examine Mario and Splatoon's wrappers, then yes, they are absolutely kiddy.
 

Ex-Actarus

Well-Known Member
#9
First of all, congratulations @simplyTravis for such amazing thread.

That's funny it reminds me a bit of a discussion I had with @Tommy Scott about the Nintendo Force Magazine in this thread : http://nintendoenthusiast.com/forums/threads/nintendo-force-magazine.3037/

It's such a complicated matter because you have many things to take in consideration : your Childhood ( yes I think it plays a role ), the Timing and Perception ( of other people ).

Childhood
Of course our Childhood defines a lot who we are as adults. For example. my parents did have much money, so we pretty much never went in vacation ( just twice ). So during holiday period, I was mainly at home with my brothers and we played ALL THE TIME : especially videogames and with figurines. If I had the opportunity to do other activities as play piano, theater or something else, maybe I would not still be fond of videogames and figurines to this day...

Timing
I think Timing is important as well. I mean I love videogames and discussing videogames. But it's not something I would do with my colleagues at work. First of all because 90% of them don't care. Secondly, I would not feel comfortable for the simple reason videogames are still perceived at for kids really ( I know the perception is a bit different in north America ) and it would affect my credibility. So I discuss or play games with people that are also into gaming.

Perception
That's where I disagree with C.S Lewis. He seems to say the way you feel matters. If someone think it's childish or it's not for adult, you should not care. It's true, but sometimes you need to follow the Perception out there. There is NOTHING wrong imo with watching Spongebob Squarpants episodes. But what would you think of someone coming at work with a Spongebob tee-shirt, bag and pens ? That would be weird indeed. That's ok for a 5 years old kid going to school, it's not ok for a 40 years old mean going at his office job. How would it be perceived ? As a weirdo ? And rightly so... Now if we're talking about a Spongebob event , that's different, and this bring us back to the Timing...
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#11
So, I'm really surprised that this has been viewed over 200 times and nobody feels the need to comment. Maybe people got tired and didn't read the end or completely agreed?

So, what do you guys do nowadays that others would consider childish now that you are an adult?
I read the entire thing, but did not know how to properly respond since you described a lot of what I was going to say. Sorry, Travis.

That being said, what I can say is we spend our childhood learning to grow up and be adults. By the time we reach adulthood, we want to still maintain that youthful nature and in some cases that innocence we used to have. I think with video games, especially the ones which we all played as children, remind us of that. I mean, if I could buy a used NES, or SNES, and play some old games on a CRT TV, and sitting in front of the TV like I did back in the day, those nostalgic feelings would be worth it.

I think in general, people think video games are childish, but I am not afraid to admit I am a gamer. Some people like to hunt and fish (a big industry in Wisconsin), I like to play video games.

In person, while I can be very patient, quiet, and attentive, I can also be quite the person to act childish from the standpoint of saying things, or just be physically abnormal at times that would almost question people if I am on drugs or something. Basically, I can be just that out there at times. But I am also someone that when it all comes down to it, I know where the important things stand, but I don't allow myself to be taken too seriously either. Perhaps, that is where the "childish" portion comes from?
 

MANGANian

Megalomaniacal Robo-Zombie
#13
First of all, congratulations @simplyTravis
Perception
That's where I disagree with C.S Lewis. He seems to say the way you feel matters. If someone think it's childish or it's not for adult, you should not care. It's true, but sometimes you need to follow the Perception out there. There is NOTHING wrong imo with watching Spongebob Squarpants episodes. But what would you think of someone coming at work with a Spongebob tee-shirt, bag and pens ? That would be weird indeed. That's ok for a 5 years old kid going to school, it's not ok for a 40 years old mean going at his office job. How would it be perceived ? As a weirdo ? And rightly so... Now if we're talking about a Spongebob event , that's different, and this bring us back to the Timing...
LONG POST INCOMING
I'd like to challenge this point. It's called social conditioning. You'd notice that certain cultures determines whatever society perceives as childish or grownup. Japanese vs Western culture is major example of this. And before I go any further, my view on perception is it's a selfish thing. I personally believe everyone has no choice but to actively seek the interests of oneself. As House would say "everyone is selfish".

An adult is just an older child. Nothing sets these things apart besides age. Now familiar things like culture, religion and tradition are often seen as truths. These usually determines what's perceived as the social norm. The term "childish" is simply an adjective. It's main use is to give a general definition of something, Now perception is different. Videogames are a lot more accepted in Japan than in the West. It's only thanks to Nintendo, Apple and a few others that the cultural barrier which used to plague the gaming society have broken down, if only a little.

The terms "childish" and "for adults" are always thrown around, not as simple descriptions, but more of a confirmation of one's beliefs and social status as well as a derogatory and promoted term respectively. Trinidad has a saying "Monkey knows what tree to climb"; it's vaguely relevant to the reasons behind this.
Now society do not work for everyone. It's okay for a 5yrs old kid to be going to school with everything Spongebob, but it should also be okay for an adult to do so. I mean, why can't you? Will wearing clothes like that send the world into a 1000 year war? (don't answer this). It's trivial and stupid. As people get older they tend to care less of what people think of them, as evident by the boring clothes or lack of clothes you tend to wear as you age. Also, children don't wage wars, adults do.

"A nail that sticks out will be hammered" As with most systematic functions, unless you don't make a fatal or exponential disruption, you run the risk of being put back in the place society dictates for you. This is the singular reason why I feel adults fear being childish. It's so much easier to wear the mask than fighting your way through. Do I think it's wrong to do so? No, it's nothing but simply another way of living. But don't try to hammer me down just because your choices feels threatened by my actions.
 
Last edited:

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#14
So, I'm really surprised that this has been viewed over 200 times and nobody feels the need to comment. Maybe people got tired and didn't read the end or completely agreed?

So, what do you guys do nowadays that others would consider childish now that you are an adult?
Well, I'm certainly familiar with the Lewis quote, as many others probably are (we're a fairly erudite bunch here, with our hive-mind), so I'm not surprised the thread - though well written and worthy of discussion - didn't catch on like wildfire. Most of us here play Mario, after all, so we're obviously not terribly worried about our "adult" reputations and you may be preaching to the choir, so to speak.

Now, I kinda was worried when I was younger. I definitely became a PS2 gamer and a GTA addict because I wanted to play games that were of my age. The older I've gotten, the less I've cared about those sorts of false distinctions; as Lewis said, it would be arrested development if I was. So I play Mario and love the cat suit. There are pictures of Midna and Samus* on my wall. I follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe like a dork. I've watched more anime in the past few years than I ever did before.

Best part of being "mature" is that you can appreciate how useless it is to be a snobbish adult.

[*Thanks, @Shoulder .]
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#15
LONG POST INCOMING
I'd like to challenge this point. It's called social conditioning. You'd notice that certain cultures determines whatever society perceives as childish or grownup. Japanese vs Western culture is major example of this. And before I go any further, my view on perception is it's a selfish thing. I personally believe everyone has no choice but to actively seek the interests of oneself. As House would say "everyone is selfish".

An adult is just an older child. Nothing sets these things apart besides age. Now familiar things like culture, religion and tradition are often seen as truths. These usually determines what's perceived as the social norm. The term "childish" is simply an adjective. It's main use is to give a general definition of something, Now perception is different. Videogames are a lot more accepted in Japan than in the West. It's only thanks to Nintendo, Apple and a few others that the cultural barrier which used to plague the gaming society have broken down, if only a little.

The terms "childish" and "for adults" are always thrown around, not as simple descriptions, but more of a confirmation of one's beliefs and social status as well as a derogatory and promoted term respectively. Trinidad has a saying "Monkey knows what tree to climb"; it's vaguely relevant to the reasons behind this.
Now society do not work for everyone. It's okay for a 5yrs old kid to be going to school with everything Spongebob, but it should also be okay for an adult to do so. I mean, why can't you? Will wearing clothes like that send the world into a 1000 year war? (don't answer this). It's trivial and stupid. As people get older they tend to care less of what people think of them, as evident by the boring clothes or lack of clothes you tend to wear as you age. Also, children don't wage wars, adults do.

"A nail that sticks out will be hammered" As with most systematic functions, unless you don't make a fatal or exponential disruption, you run the risk of being put back in the place society dictates for you. This is the singular reason why I feel adults fear being childish. It's so much easier to wear the mask than fighting your way through. Do I think it's wrong to do so? No, it's nothing but simply another way of living. But don't try to hammer me down just because your choices feels threatened by my actions.
Reminds me of when George Carlin talked about the notion that every child is special:

 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#16
Meant to quote this earlier:
An adult is just an older child. Nothing sets these things apart besides age. Now familiar things like culture, religion and tradition are often seen as truths. These usually determines what's perceived as the social norm. The term "childish" is simply an adjective. It's main use is to give a general definition of something, Now perception is different. Videogames are a lot more accepted in Japan than in the West. It's only thanks to Nintendo, Apple and a few others that the cultural barrier which used to plague the gaming society have broken down, if only a little.
Calling @repomech (who visited Japan not too long ago). How true is this? I ask because I remember this article from a few years ago:

"Japanese culture has developed a reputation for being more accepting of traditionally geeky pursuits than the west. Because so many amazing games came from Japan in the past, many imagine Japan to be a place where being a 'gamer' is accepted and considered 'normal.' In reality it's anything but. The west is far more accepting of adults playing games. While people will often play games on their cell phones, and though the DS made major in-roads into the casual market, particularly with women, admitting to playing games still carries a stronger social stigma in Japan than in Europe or North America. As such, many adults willingly give up games, keeping the market much younger overall than elsewhere."

http://www.1up.com/features/japanese-games-breaking-west?pager.offset=1

I wonder how accurate this is, really? It seems odd to me. Japan is the land of cute. One would think the country that gave us so much anime and manga and videogames wouldn't be as hung up on being "adult." But old cultural habits die hard, I suppose.
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#17
I remember reading something from Miyamoto about Pikmin; apparently Japanese men are expected to have hobbies that they can spend their free time doing and talking about, but only certain hobbies are socially acceptable, such as golf and gardening (hence the idea for Pikmin), and playing videogames is very much not an acceptable thing for a grown man to admit to...
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#18
I remember reading something from Miyamoto about Pikmin; apparently Japanese men are expected to have hobbies that they can spend their free time doing and talking about, but only certain hobbies are socially acceptable, such as golf and gardening (hence the idea for Pikmin), and playing videogames is very much not an acceptable thing for a grown man to admit to...
That is very very interesting.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#19
Meant to quote this earlier:

Calling @repomech (who visited Japan not too long ago). How true is this? I ask because I remember this article from a few years ago:

"Japanese culture has developed a reputation for being more accepting of traditionally geeky pursuits than the west. Because so many amazing games came from Japan in the past, many imagine Japan to be a place where being a 'gamer' is accepted and considered 'normal.' In reality it's anything but. The west is far more accepting of adults playing games. While people will often play games on their cell phones, and though the DS made major in-roads into the casual market, particularly with women, admitting to playing games still carries a stronger social stigma in Japan than in Europe or North America. As such, many adults willingly give up games, keeping the market much younger overall than elsewhere."

http://www.1up.com/features/japanese-games-breaking-west?pager.offset=1

I wonder how accurate this is, really? It seems odd to me. Japan is the land of cute. One would think the country that gave us so much anime and manga and videogames wouldn't be as hung up on being "adult." But old cultural habits die hard, I suppose.
I don't know exactly about games, but all the "otaku culture" like anime, manga, cosplay and some sort of j-pop and j-rock are only for a selected bunch of people. When we see those stunning cosplayers from Japan, it seems like a ordinary thing there but in fact Japanese see them like a bunch of weirdos.

Even when you're not an otaku there, because otaku is when you're totally addicted and weird, any cosplayer or anime fan can be seen as an otaku and otaku is a highly offensive adjective. No parent would like to have an otaku son.

Those "visual kei" j-rock bands are quite popular here in the West, but in fact, only some sort of enthusiasts really support those bands in Japan. Most people are ashamed to assume that they listen to those bands.



The same applies for games I guess. I think game is still a sort of otaku stuff for the Japanese.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#20
I remember reading something from Miyamoto about Pikmin; apparently Japanese men are expected to have hobbies that they can spend their free time doing and talking about, but only certain hobbies are socially acceptable, such as golf and gardening (hence the idea for Pikmin), and playing videogames is very much not an acceptable thing for a grown man to admit to...
Feels remarkably similar to American men I think. I'm personally not afraid to admit I'm a gamer, and if someone has some issue with it, that's THEIR problem, and not mine.

I mentioned this once before, but my boss at work talked about his nephew once, and how the kids' step-dad at the time would spend a lot of time with him, but doing so by going to the movies or playing video games. In other words, quality time because you're spending it with someone who enjoys it. He was so baffled by this, and wondered what happened to the days where you threw a football in the back yard. He basically does not consider going to the movie or playing video games together is not quality time. I was even more baffled by that comment, and bit my tongue as a result. If he ever brings it up again, I'm call him out on it.

Quality time has more to do with the time you've spent together versus the thing you did.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#21
Meant to quote this earlier:

Calling @repomech (who visited Japan not too long ago). How true is this? I ask because I remember this article from a few years ago:

"Japanese culture has developed a reputation for being more accepting of traditionally geeky pursuits than the west. Because so many amazing games came from Japan in the past, many imagine Japan to be a place where being a 'gamer' is accepted and considered 'normal.' In reality it's anything but. The west is far more accepting of adults playing games. While people will often play games on their cell phones, and though the DS made major in-roads into the casual market, particularly with women, admitting to playing games still carries a stronger social stigma in Japan than in Europe or North America. As such, many adults willingly give up games, keeping the market much younger overall than elsewhere."

http://www.1up.com/features/japanese-games-breaking-west?pager.offset=1

I wonder how accurate this is, really? It seems odd to me. Japan is the land of cute. One would think the country that gave us so much anime and manga and videogames wouldn't be as hung up on being "adult." But old cultural habits die hard, I suppose.
To tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure. We weren't there too long, and didn't have a chance to really delve into the society beyond a lot of surface observation. Something I have picked up in conversation with Japanese friends and acquaintances here and that certainly jived with our experience was that regardless of if one plays, there is a certain (probably not universal) national pride in the Japanese games industry that floats around the cultural zeitgeist (it is not a pariah industry like porn in North America). Video games are also advertised and familiar characters used to appeal to people across ages (for example Mario and Luigi were featured in an ad playing constantly on transit trains that seemed to be about Earthquake notification systems or something to that effect - the intended audience appeared to be adults), in a way that isn't common here. That said, none of that is incompatible with what that article says, about the actual act of playing on gaming consoles, or identifying gaming as a hobby, carrying some stigma with adults (or at least the salaried segments of society). Whenever we saw someone playing a 3DS or a Vita on the transit, they tended to be teens (12-19, maybe 20/21, maybe). Seeing people play on dedicated handhelds in public though was less common than I expected. Most everyone on a device is on their phones where they're reading manga, playing games (including adults), and doing all sorts of other texting and app related activities.
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#22
@Shoulder It's the same here. I'm conscious of spending too much time playing vidya with my daughter because I know that most people will just think that makes me a bad parent. Which is ridiculous. I'm a bad parent because i beat her.
 

MANGANian

Megalomaniacal Robo-Zombie
#25
Meant to quote this earlier:

Calling @repomech (who visited Japan not too long ago). How true is this? I ask because I remember this article from a few years ago:

"Japanese culture has developed a reputation for being more accepting of traditionally geeky pursuits than the west. Because so many amazing games came from Japan in the past, many imagine Japan to be a place where being a 'gamer' is accepted and considered 'normal.' In reality it's anything but. The west is far more accepting of adults playing games. While people will often play games on their cell phones, and though the DS made major in-roads into the casual market, particularly with women, admitting to playing games still carries a stronger social stigma in Japan than in Europe or North America. As such, many adults willingly give up games, keeping the market much younger overall than elsewhere."

http://www.1up.com/features/japanese-games-breaking-west?pager.offset=1

I wonder how accurate this is, really? It seems odd to me. Japan is the land of cute. One would think the country that gave us so much anime and manga and videogames wouldn't be as hung up on being "adult." But old cultural habits die hard, I suppose.
I can partially explain this. They tend to have respect for business oriented hobbies. Usually anything that's geared towards succeeding a family business is almost a forced requirement. Like every other place in the world, video-games and anime are still considered time-wasters. And despite the popularity and normality of manga, they're still not seen as a respectable art-form. But here's the thing, and it's a bit difficult to explain: it's considered normal, but at the same time it's shunned. You can see these voiced by popular japanese animators, who much rather their films be considered animated movies than "anime" (the irony). Another reason could be how technologically-dependant japan seems to be.

I won't go into detail but it's concerning Japan's "mask and true self" social analogy. It's also one of the reasons Japan has the highest rate of suicide in the world.

If you want a direct comparison on how this is, Nintendo commercials convey this. The japanese commercials are more informative and focuses on selling the product, not out of appeal, but the actual product. They simply do not need to try for appeal. The western Nintendo counterparts on the other hand, try to appeal to a certain crowd. Of course, there are also accepted forms of videogames in the West.

I really wanna keep this short because I beat around the bush so I'll stop there and hope I explained something at least. I'm hungry.
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#26
Well you know sometimes they need a little discipline.
I'm all for spanking when it's necessary. My parents had no issue whipping my ass if the offense was serious enough. Some people think it's too cruel, but I think it's more cruel to put someone like your daughter through those Toddler's and Tiara contests. They should be revoked of their right to have kids.
 

ASuch

The Salt Master
#27
i'd rather have the wire over the wiggles, but I can still enjoy stuff like Sailor Moon S if it's actually done well

protecting childish games under "blegh they're for children stop criticizing it" isn't really the right way to go

if I want to analogize this to a certain genre, then, for example, an RPG or a fantasy story if we were getting more general

I'd rather play or read or watch something like Chrono Trigger or Berserk or Dark Souls than child goes on a happy go lucky adventure to save the princess from evil dragon man

games with a childlike mood/tone are fine, but that doesn't mean nintendo should also forego adult mood/tone, and no that does not mean slap big tits on every female
 

GaemzDood

Well-Known Member
#28
I honestly like that hardcore stuff as long as it's not forced for the sake of being edgy, which just ends up causing a load of cringe. The worst forcing usually comes from sequels to games made for everyone that try to be grimdark. My stopping point for "da kiddy" is hard to describe, if it features anthropomorphic 2cool9you animals a la Sonic and corny rock music or if the system itself doesn't have much to offer in terms of "raw & uncut" content, then that's my stopping point I guess. Other than that, I don't really mind too much. Katamari Damacy is actually one of my favorite games.

And I actually agree that the average teen perception of "cool" (smoking, drinking, having enough sex to be crowned king of the manic depressives, and now being a retarded post modernist) is cringeworthy. I realize I may sound like I have a superiority complex (it's the opposite actually), but that stuff is degeneracy to me.
 
Top