This category will explore how to be mature in survival games, whether it’s a first-person shooter or an open world RPG.
“how to be mature in a relationship” is the question that many people ask themselves. In order to have a mature and healthy relationship, you must understand yourself and your partner.
After conducting the podcast on the “Making of Modern Immaturity” a few months ago and reading the comments on that page, I began to wonder: “What really makes a guy mature?”
Masculine maturity used to be simple to identify: a guy married, had children, and worked to support his family. He was well aware that he was an adult, as was everyone else.
These kind of identifiers are being used less and less these days. This is due to a multitude of factors, some of which are cultural and others which are economic. This trend has nothing intrinsically wrong with it. While I believe in working hard at your profession and marrying the perfect lady once you know she’s the one, these things don’t happen for every guy at the same time.
And, although I feel that getting married and having children is one of the most effective ways for a guy to develop and mature, I’m not sure that men who don’t accomplish these things aren’t mature men. Otherwise, you’ll be left with the idea that Catholic priests and Buddhist monks aren’t fully developed guys. If you believe that, go say 10 Hail Marys and then come back to this conversation.
Guys don’t know how to shift from boys to men because they don’t have these ancient indicators of maturity. They may not want to marry, have children, or work in a corporate setting, but they also don’t want to be a constant teenager. They’re trapped between these two guideposts—they’re no longer boys but haven’t “settled down” yet—and don’t see any examples for how to go on. Men are floating along like amoebas in the gap, which has turned into a life stage wasteland.
As a result, I’d like to propose a modern-day definition of maturity. And it’s encapsulated in the following phrase:
Produce more while consuming less.
Boys are shoppers. Their parents plan their experiences for them while they’re young, and all they have to do is sit back and enjoy it. They live with their parents, consume their meals, and utilize their belongings. Their spare time is spent amusing themselves. They deplete their parents’ resources while being docile and well-cared for. They have little to no influence on the world and little control over their own life. They are reliant on one another.
The issue is that guys don’t seem to be growing out of this passive position. They continue to consume rather than create. They may not be as reliant on Mom and Dad as they once were (though tragically, they still are), but they are still reliant on material possessions for pleasure. To make them happy, they consume clothing, movies, video games, automobiles, parties, fast food, and even travel. They exist just for their own amusements and pleasures.
Boys, on the other hand, live just for themselves; men, on the other hand, completely enjoy life’s pleasures while simultaneously living for a greater cause. Men find themselves in what they do, whereas boys attempt to find themselves in what they purchase. Boys define themselves by what they consume, but men define themselves by what they make.
The inability of males to make the shift from shoppers and consumers to producers and creators has four major consequences for manliness.
Man’s Free Will Is Being Weakened
Men want to be captains of their fate, to feel in command of their lives, as we’ve discussed many times. We want to be unrestricted agents who can steer our ship in any direction at any time.
Consumerism feeds into this urge, but it does it in a synthetic and simpler way. Consumption, the ability to select from a wide range of alternatives, as well as a wide range of goods and services, is promoted as the key to genuine independence and sovereignty.
In reality, this type of “liberty” is only a mirage. In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Mathew B. Crawford explains:
“Giving shape to things seems to be increasingly the domain of a collective mind, and from the perspective of any one person, it appears that this formation has already occurred, someplace else.” You select from predefined possibilities while customizing your [Build-a-Bear] features or the options for your Warrior or Scion. Each of these options presents itself as a viable option. Some poorly comprehended others have already formed a judgment on its quality; otherwise, it would not be included as an option in the catalog. Not only is the customer burdened with fabrication, but also with a fundamental evaluative action… The customer is left with nothing but a choice. The only risk this choice raises is personal taste since it takes place in a playground-safe field of possibilities. Ease, rather than vigilance, is the watchword here. However, since the field of alternatives formed by market forces represents a common consciousness, the consumer’s much-touted freedom inside it might be seen as an internalized tyranny of the majority. The market concept of independent Self-choice seems to work as a narcotic, easing the displacing of embodied agency or preventing the formation of such agency by delivering simpler satisfactions. Individual reliance is being accompanied by ever more loud invocations of freedom in principle, that is, in consumerism’s ideology. We are egotistical but not proud enough, paradoxically.”
Consumerism provides so many options that we miss the fact that they all fit into a set box. The major contradiction in the quest for contemporary masculinity is that we simultaneously feel adrift due to anomie and enslaved due to materialism.
The Suppression of the Creative Impulse
Men have an innate drive to be makers, to modify the environment, to convert wood into furniture, to turn a blank canvas into a piece of art, and to leave a legacy. Modern men are most troubled by their rejection of this facet of manliness. Young men are encouraged to see life beyond the age of 30 as a guaranteed death, a moment when they must cease being selfish and begin living for others. The never-mentioned contradiction is that when it comes to happiness, consuming is the actual dead end. Your mind is stuck in a pointless cycle: new experiences offer you immense pleasure at first, but as you consume more of them, your pleasure receptors get saturated, and you have to increase the intensity and quantity of the experience to achieve the same “high” as before. And so it goes on indefinitely.
When you produce rather than consume, your potential for pleasure grows, rather than your need for it. Being a creator provides significantly more long-term and genuinely rewarding enjoyment than consuming.
Discipline and Commitment are Weakening
The issue with consumerism is that it places a strong emphasis on choice at the expense of the concept of living with that decision. Select, select, select. But what happens after you’ve made your decision? Of course, this isn’t a consumerist issue, since the solution would be to start considering the next option. Never are we asked to go from consumption to commitment.
That may work for toothpaste, but the most essential things in life cannot be replaced on the spur of the moment. They need the discipline required to construct something solid, precious, and unique, as well as the capacity to stay with something through thick and thin. True masculinity is harmed by the shopping around mindset.
The Distraction from What Really Matters
Consumers are motivated by a desire to obtain items and experiences that will enable them to experience in real life what they have only dreamed of. Of course, the new product or event will never provide the same amount of pleasure as the individual had anticipated. The individual feels disillusioned for a short while before conjuring up a new and improved fantasy about another thing or consumable experience that they think has a higher probability of fulfilling that need. Nonetheless, the imagination is always one step ahead of reality; no matter how great the acquired item is, the mind will always want for something even better. As a result, a cycle of longing-acquisition-dissatisfaction-longing is maintained.
Even if the gap will never be filled, this does not deter consumers. Longing, picturing and anticipating the next bought thing or event, gives the buyer greater pleasure than actually getting the product. The tension between imagination and reality, anticipation and climax, is where pleasure is found.
This “pleasurable suffering” isn’t a negative thing; it’s the appetite that motivates us to achieve all kinds of objectives, from the superficial to the worthwhile. The discomfort comes from the disconnect between how you want your life to be and how it really is; it’s a necessary sensation that propels us forward. According to studies, striving for a goal provides us with greater pleasure than achieving it.
The issue with materialism is that it satisfies our discomfort with fleeting and superficial pleasures, diverting our attention away from the true source of our hunger. We should strive to improve ourselves, our virtues, and our talents in order to ease our “discomfort,” always striving to be better than we are.
Produce More and Consume Less
I’ve been chastised for being overly harsh on video game players. To be honest, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with playing a video game now and again. Not the games themselves, but what they represent, is why I regularly cite video games in relation to the issue of stalled masculinity.
Men used to fight as soldiers, but today they just pretend to be. Men no longer play baseball or football; instead, they command avatars who do. Men no longer play instruments; instead, they push buttons on a plastic toy. We now consume instead of creating.
Why spend hours playing a toy guitar instead of learning how to play a real one? The obvious response is that doing the actual thing is more difficult. It requires focus and commitment to struggle with something substantial, something that does not have a reset option. So, what’s the big deal?
The work one does changes something in the environment, which in turn changes oneself. The act of creating refines your sensitivities, strengthens your strengths, sharpens your attention, and strengthens your character. You are unaffected and unaffected by passive consumption. Indifference is bred by consumption; empowerment is bred by creativity.
Creating may be done in a variety of ways. The classic ones, such as creating at your profession, building a life of love with your spouse and friends, and having children, are still some of the finest. There are, however, different methods to produce. Volunteering in your neighborhood. Gardening, blacksmithing, art, and music are examples of hobbies. Inventing, writing, blogging, and political activism are all things I like doing. Creating memorable experiences for others. Making a spiritual life for yourself. And just developing your character on a daily basis.
Wearing a gray flannel suit doesn’t have to be a part of growing up. It entails adopting an active rather than a passive position in the world. Making an impression. And rather than consuming the world, you may create it.
The “art of manliness rite of passage” is a term that has been used to describe the process in which one becomes an adult. It’s not just about physical maturity, but also includes mental and spiritual development.
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