Netflix & Cry: Books Vs. Video Games

Cate offers thoughts and reminisces on things that make her just want to go watching some Netflix & Cry.


I was up in the moun­tains a few months ago with my best friend, and we were sit­ting on our beds in the cab­in talk­ing about our fa­vorite books and video games. Our con­ver­sa­tion some­how veered into how peo­ple view video games as vi­o­lent, gory, and “SATAN666!!!” Jack Thompson and Aniteer Sharkeeter have done their best to drag the name of video games through the mud, frame them as aw­ful, and in the rush for some sort of change or cen­sor­ship when they’re per­fect­ly fine the way they are.

Back to my best friend and I back at the cab­in; we had a very in­ter­est­ing talk about how peo­ple view books and video games. If you’re 40 and you play video games you may be called a los­er or the like, but if you read books at 40 you’re wise and cul­tured. If you’re 16 and play video games then you’re at risk of be­ing *in­sert buzz­word here*!! But if you read at 16 — and my friend and I have heard this — you’re “not like the oth­er stu­dents,” or “you must be re­al­ly smart for read­ing so much!” But, to be hon­est, books and video games are no worse or bet­ter than the oth­er. Sure, we learned a lot from books, but books can be just as grue­some as a video game. You think I’m read­ing Shakespeare or some­thing like that, but I’m ac­tu­al­ly read­ing about a girl who steals the life force from peo­ple, leav­ing them a shiv­er­ing husk on the floor.

This is an anec­dote, sure, but I’ve read a book that went in such de­tail about how a girl killed her­self that it caused me to have a pan­ic at­tack. But, sure, we read­ers are not at all ex­posed to what a video game would ever show us. In the same book there’s a kid forced to use drugs, and a girl in a high­ly abu­sive house­hold. I’ve read books where rape has, or al­most has hap­pened in great de­tail. The things I have read in books would cause an up­roar and a scream for them to get banned amongst folks like Thompson and Sarkeesian.

Books don’t even have rat­ings. A 15 year old can eas­i­ly get their hands on 50 Shades of Grey. They can get ahold of some vi­o­lent, gory shit. Unlike video games, where you don’t need your ID to get your hands on it. Should there ever be the same re­stric­tions on books like video games? No. The point is that peo­ple see read­ing books as a in­her­ent­ly good, whole­some me­dia and video games as in­her­ent­ly harmful.

You can’t hold up one me­dia, call­ing it amaz­ing and a great hob­by, while trash­ing an­oth­er me­dia that does the ex­act same thing. That’s flat out hypocrisy. This whole thing is be­gin­ning to segue into an­oth­er ar­gu­ment that I’d rather dis­cuss in an­oth­er ar­ti­cle lat­er on. So stay tuned for more things that make me want to just go watch Netflix & cry.

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