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I think I hate San Francisco.

sfo423

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Sounds familiar. Same neighborhood although my boys are only 8. They received a PS4 as a gift two years ago and then FortNight hit. They were consumed. Blessing in disguise: after seeing that nothing else mattered we cut all internet activity to half hour M-F and two hours on weekend.

Without internet/devices to use, it’s amazing to see what they do for stimulus. They build shit, they go outside, they read, they interact. Amazing transformation.



This is my life, with a 13-year-old.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-fortnite-triggered-an-unwinnable-war-between-parents-and-their-boys-11545397200?

Actually know a couple of the SF kids in the article from youth soccer.
 

Omega Male

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We're actually Scottish going back two generations and I'm considering taking their approach.

IMG_2582.JPG
 

Aquafortis

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Crunchy Marin starts in San Anselmo and by Fairfax you are all the way back in the 1970s. Anything closer to the water is Yuppie Marin.
Well, 20 years ago that may have been partly true. Even then, San Anselmo could hardly have been described as crunchy.

My family moved from SF to SA in 1975, mainly to escape the shite weather and poor schools. Back then Fairfax was legitimately still a hippie enclave. Now, however Fairfax can hardly be described as crunchy. Maybe compared to someplace like Westport, CT!

Nowadays Fairfax maintains its laid back vibe with a veneer of its former hippie past. But that's a veneer that does nothing to shroud the million-dollar median home prices, nor the fact of the VW busses that have been swapped out for (b)Land Rovers and Teslas. Then you have the weekend pelatons of bikers on $5-$10K bikes.

Still a bastion of progressive liberalism, and some new-agey pursuits, albeit more of the trusta-farian variety than the real counter-culture politics and anti-materialism that defined it 40 years ago.
I'm a new transplant so the hot, facile take is fine for me. ;)
I hear ya. Despite the gentrification, if one wears a nice sport coat or other CBD in Fairfax nowadays, people look at you like you're from a different planet.
 

Aquafortis

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emptym

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Our son turned three a couple months ago. We'll probably see each other on the soccer circuit soon.
I'm guessing virtual reality will have totally ruined our kids in 10 yrs. I'm worried what it will do to me too... As a kid/teen, I watched very little TV, etc. I'd tell myself and my friends that I would rather play sports than watch them, have an adventure than watch a movie, etc. But now I spend too much time on surfing the internet or on Netflix.
 

sugarbutch

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Our soon-to-be-14-y.o. played a bit of Fortnite, but hasn't succumbed to it. The 12 y.o., though, is like a crack addict. I have the PS4 set up to limit his playing hours and he also has a spending limit. Last night was a complete fucking meltdown because he'd already hit his spending limit and couldn't buy some bullshit skin that's only available this month. The artificial scarcity totally works on him.

I've also prohibited him from using the in-game chat function because there's no way (that I've found at least) to control who he talks to. He's gotten around this by using the landline to call his friends. I'm fine with that because we can hear what he and they are saying when he's playing.

I was dead-set against getting the PS4 and told them no for a year. My wife, however, is a softer touch, and I was eventually worn down. I should have held fast...
 

Joffrey

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I glanced through the article. I found it strange as you'd think this was the first video game kids were obsessed with.

Anyway, how do these kids have access to money (credit cards no less) to spend on the game?
 

Aquafortis

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Our son turned three a couple months ago. We'll probably see each other on the soccer circuit soon.
I'm guessing virtual reality will have totally ruined our kids in 10 yrs. I'm worried what it will do to me too... As a kid/teen, I watched very little TV, etc. I'd tell myself and my friends that I would rather play sports than watch them, have an adventure than watch a movie, etc. But now I spend too much time on surfing the internet or on Netflix.
I hear you. I watched what I would consider was a lot of TV in my youth, and haven't had cable in over six years now. But Netflix, Youtube, and HBO can suck you in for sure...TV has become almost superfluous. My high school friends and I also got pretty into video games at that time (early 80's), but also spent a lot of time exploring out in nature, playing tackle football, backgammon 'til the wee hours, and doing other recreational activities that would have made out parents anxious - had they known what we were doing.

Video games aside, there's also the pervasive, tablet-centered curricula that seem so mainstream in schools. That combined with the ubiquitous social-media-based "relationships" and "friendship" building, makes me really wonder where these phenomena will lead the younger generations in terms of the critical skill of relating to other humans.

Shelly Turkle at MIT does a lot of great research around this:
 

Omega Male

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Have to check myself on this, too. There has always been hysteria around media consumption by the younger generation. Comic books, radio, movies etc. Heck I grew up in a repressive society that didn't even allow TV broadcasts until the late 70s because it would "corrupt the public morals."

But there is an insidious feedback loop in the new games that wasn't possible in the past because the technology didn't exist. That is they are being monitored and tweaked in pretty-much real time to get and keep their "engagement" hooks in their player base. My golf buddy's wife was the CFO of King (Candy Crush) before she managed to sell the company to Activision and we used to hang out at the London office because it had free beer and Xboxes and playground slides between the floors and all the other typical tech bullshit. But they also had dozens and dozens of math and stats PhDs crunching through the mountain of data generated by hundreds of millions of players having billions of interactions a day with the game. And all that effort was going into trying to get those users to open the app more often, engage with it longer on average and (obviously) spend more money in aggregate. (It's not a perfect analogy because Candy Crush, funnily enough, made its money mostly from older women.)

So when kids, specifically teens, specifically boys -- who have basically zero impulse control at this stage of their development anyway -- are up against a similarly concerted, commercial effort to hack their brains' reward mechanisms, I don't think we should be too surprised that it's proving pretty effective!
 

emptym

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Omega Male

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Feel like PG&E going bankrupt might have some consequences other than fewer fires?
 

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