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Ninja and Dr. Lupo Respond to Joe Rogan Calling Video Games a “Problem”

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  • Joe Rogan called video games a problem on a recent episode of his podcast, arguing that they are fun but a waste of time. Instead, he suggested that time could be better spent on activities that have more potential for becoming a profitable career.
  • Gamers like Dr. Lupo called it a bad take, noting that anything can be harmful when done in excess and that video games have brought many people success, friendships, and more.
  • Others said nothing you enjoy is a waste of time or has to bring you financial benefits.
  • Tyler “Ninja” Blevin’s explained that there are many ways to make a living out of gaming and offered to go on Rogan’s podcast to discuss it more.
  • Still, others noted that Rogan was speaking from personal experience as someone who has admittedly been excessively consumed by video games in the past.

Viral Comments 

Some of the biggest names in gaming are responding to comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan after he characterized gaming as fun but a waste of time. 

The comments from a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” made Rogan a trending Twitter topic this weekend. In one widely shared clip, Rogan said, “Video games a real problem…You know why? Because they’re f**king fun.”

“You do them, and they’re real exciting, but you don’t get anywhere.”

He used Martial Arts for comparison, saying someone could become obsessed with Jujitsu for example, and spend years becoming an elite athlete. Then he said they could turn that into a profitable career by entering competitions and maybe one day becoming an instructor and opening their own school. 

“You [could be] doing something exciting and fun, or you could just be playing fucking video games. Three years later you could just be that same kid, just playing video games… waiting for the next whatever the fuck game is… and you’re gonna waste your time,” he added.

Those remarks were made during a discussion with Joe De Sena, the author and fitness guru behind Spartan obstacle course races. Before making those remarks, Rogan was discussing a child’s need for positive role models in their life so that they don’t seek refuge in activities that stimulate them like drugs or video games. 

He did hold back from saying that finding success in gaming is nearly impossible because he said he heard the same comments about pursuing comedy. Instead, he said, “There are kids that make a lot of fucking money playing video games, but you have to be adaptable, you have to able to play multiple video games because the one game you get really good at, what are the odds it’ll be around in five years time?”

However, that last comment was not included in the clip that went viral. And most people online seemed to have only caught wind of his general message about gaming being a waste of time. 

Reactions 

The message prompted a wave of different reactions online. Many agreed that there was some truth to his words, sharing personal experiences about gaming consuming their lives.

However, plenty of other people shared how gaming has had a positive impact on them, allowing them to find great opportunities and friendships, among other things.  

One person to hit back at Rogan’s claims was DrLupo, one of the most successful streamers in the gaming world. In a tweet, Dr.Lupo said, “Listening to this podcast is a waste of time if it’s all you do all day and wait for the next episode. Generalized bad take is bad. Anything can be harmful in excess. Video games have made many people successful, they’re the cause for a majority of my friendships, etc.”

Other gamers echoed that statement like Tommy “ZooMaa” Paparatto who said, “Nothing you do that you enjoy is a waste of time. Sure there needs to be balance so you don’t build unhealthy habits, but his take goes for literally anything you do in life. Do what makes you happy & follow your passion, don’t let someone telling you it’s a waste of time stop u!”

Careers in Gaming 

A lot of internet users also felt Rogan put too much emphasis on finances, saying that not everything in life has to provide a monetary benefit. Still, many pointed out that there are plenty of opportunities to make money in the realm of gaming.

One of the most notable figured to address this point was Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who uploaded a video response to social media on Sunday.

Ninja began by saying he watched the viral clip as well as more of what came before and after to get more context. After that, he said, “It sounds like he’s talking about the top 1% or the odd or one-off chance that you’re going to be a professional player- an esports player, and a successful one at that.”

“I just don’t think…Joe doesn’t really understand the full context of what the gaming community is and how many different avenues you can be successful in in gaming,” he continued.

“I mean there’s streaming, content creation, YouTube, being a professional player, being a fricking coach. You can be incredibly understanding of the game and not have the physical capacity to be able to get pentakills every single game.”

“That doesn’t mean there’s not a job for you, right? That doesn’t mean there’s not a place for you in the gaming community where you can be successful, especially when coaches are being valued more and more which is a beautiful thing to see because coaches have been in sports forever.”

Ninja closed by saying he would love to appear on Rogan’s podcast to talk more about this but reminded those in the gaming community that there are many different ways to make a living out of gaming. 

Still, there were some who noted that Rogan is someone who has logged a lot of hours gaming himself and is not exactly an outsider speaking on the community, but rather speaking from his own experience of being consumed by games. 

In fact, in an episode of his podcast from a few weeks ago, Rogan said he had a problem with video games and would play for hours a day. “I’m like an alcoholic and its a bar,” he said when talking about his gaming room, saying it affected his health. 

Esports consultant Rod Breslau even hit on this note, tweeting, “Joe Rogan has been playing Quake for like 20 years and has brought on pros and devs as guests, his comments come from a place of being borderline addicted to video games more than anything. if you’re gonna get mad at Joe Rogan there’s way better stuff to choose from.”

Like Ninja, he also invited Rogan to reach out to him to talk more about how esports can be a “lucrative full-time career.”

Ninja later also hit on the point that Rogan is familiar with esports, writing, “Joe Rogan is a gamer, hands down the dudes loves them and is pretty well informed on the competitive side/aspect of it. I just believe there is a huge gap of the last 5 years where gaming has catipulted into a different era and would love to explain”

As of now, Rogan has not commented on any of the responses or outrage.

See what others are saying: (Dexerto) (GameRant) (Complex)

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N.Y. State Senate Passes Bill Championed by Jay-Z That Would Restrict Use of Rap Lyrics in Court

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A companion bill currently sits in the state’s assembly.


“Rap Music on Trial” Passes Senate

The New York State Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would curb prosecutors’ ability to cite rap lyrics and other creative works as evidence in legal battles.

Dubbed “Rap Music on Trial,” the bill aims to “enhance the free speech protections of New Yorkers by banning the use of art created by a defendant as evidence against them in a courtroom,” according to a statement from State Sens. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) and Jamaal Bailey (D-Queens).

“The legislation will protect all artists and content creators, including rappers from having their lyrics wielded against them by prosecutors,” the statement continued. 

Right now, all forms of creative expression, including rap lyrics, can be used as evidence in criminal cases. Rap lyrics, however, are more likely to be weaponized against those who wrote them in trial, experts say. 

The use of rap and hip-hop lyrics in particular is emblematic of the systemic racism that permeates our criminal justice system,” Bailey said in a statement. 

Hoylman agrees that there is a double standard.

“Nobody thinks Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, or that David Byrne is a psycho killer, but routinely rappers have their lyrics used against them in criminal trials,” he tweeted. 

The bill would not fully ban the use of rap lyrics in court. If made into law, prosecutors would need “clear and convincing proof that there is a literal, factual nexus between creative expression and the facts of the case” in order to use these works as evidence.

Major artists including Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland, and Robin Thicke previously signed a letter in support of the legislation.

A companion bill currently sits in the New York State Assembly. 

Rap Lyrics in Court

The use of rap lyrics against their artists is not an uncommon tactic. Earlier this month, an indictment charging Young Thug, Gunna, and two dozen others over alleged gang activity and conspiracy to violate racketeering laws used lyrics of the aforementioned artists. 

While the case is in Atlanta and would not be impacted by the New York bill, the use of their lyrics has stirred controversy. In a motion requesting that Gunna be released from jail, his lawyers argued that it was unfair to cite these works.

“It is intensely problematic that the State relies on song lyrics as part of its allegations,” his lawyers said in court documents. “These lyrics are an artist’s creative expression and not a literal recounting of facts and circumstances. Under the State’s theory, any artist with a song referencing violence could find herself the victim of a RICO indictment.”

​​Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis defended the indictment’s use of the lyrics and argued it did not violate the artist’s free speech. 

In the letter signed by numerous recording artists, the authors said this kind of tactic “effectively denies rap music the status of art and, in the process, gives prosecutors a dangerous advantage in the courtroom.”

“Rather than acknowledge rap music as a form of artistic expression, police and prosecutors argue that the lyrics should be interpreted literally — in the words of one prosecutor, as ‘autobiographical journals’ — even though the genre is rooted in a long tradition of storytelling that privileges figurative language, is steeped in hyperbole, and employs all of the same poetic devices we find in more traditional works of poetry,” the letter, which was written by Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro and University of Richmond Professor Erik Nielson, said.  

See what others are saying: (Billboard) (Pitchfork) (Complex)

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YouTube Touts MrBeast and Mainstream Appeal in First Upfront Presentation

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According to Nielson, over 230 million people in the United States used the video service in just one month. 


YouTube Presents at Upfronts

During its first Upfront presentation on Tuesday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said the company said it was joining staple broadcast and entertainment companies “because YouTube is the mainstream.”

“Viewers have more choices than ever about what to watch or where to watch it,” Wojcicki said while speaking at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. “And they continue to use YouTube.”

The company had previously done its Brandcast presentation at the NewFronts. This was the first time its pitch came alongside television competitors during the busy Upfronts season.

Many of YouTube’s primary talking points were highlighted in a company blog post. In its address, it marketed itself not just as the future of media consumption, but as the modern-day leader, too. 

It said that over 135 million people watched YouTube on Connected TVs, representing every age demographic from toddlers to viewers 55-years-old and up. It also cited Nielson data that said YouTube has over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on TV screens. 

Nielsen also found that YouTube reached over 230 million people in the United States in just one month. 

YouTube Offers Up Its Talent

MrBeast, one of YouTube’s top creators, attended the presentation. The company boasted that if MrBeast were his own streaming service, he would “would have more subscribers than the next three most popular ad-supported streaming services.” In other words, with 95 million YouTube subscribers, MrBeast is ahead of HBO and HBO Max’s 77 million, Paramount’s 33 million, and Hulu’s 54 million in the United States. 

Or course, subscribing to a YouTube channel is very different from subscribing to a streaming service, as YouTube subscriptions come at no cost. Viewers can subscribe to as many or as few creators as they please for free, while each streaming service has a monthly or annual fee to gain access to its content. 

YouTube didn’t only show off its homegrown talent. Popstar Lizzo also took the stage to sing her praises of the company, along with a few of her biggest hits. 

But the company’s most important appeals came from the strengths it offered to advertisers. It claimed that 2020 Nielson analysis showed that YouTube on average had a 1.2 times greater return on investment than television.

It also announced a frequency optimization tool for advertisers that would allow companies to control how many times viewers see their spots in one week. In its blog post, YouTube said this allows for “more efficient” spending and “a better experience for viewers.”
It touted this optimization as “a solution only YouTube can provide.”

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (TubeFilter) (Variety)

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“Saturday Night Live” Faces Backlash for Sketch Mocking the Johnny Depp Amber Heard Trial

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Many fear that jokes about the case could hurt the everyday domestic abuse survivors that see them.


SNL Mocks Trial

After “Saturday Night Light” parodied the ongoing defamation trial between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in its cold open this weekend, many are criticizing the show — and media at large — for making a mockery of the case. 

Ever since the trial began in April, there has been an onslaught of TikToks, tweets, videos, and other posts turning the happenings in the courtroom into clickbait content. Most of the posts use Heard as a punchline as the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp narrative prevails online. 

Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” While she never mentioned Depp by name, many believed the piece referred to previous abuse allegations she had made about him. Depp, however, alleges that Heard was actually the abuser and concocted the claims to ruin his career. She countersued for $100 million. 

In its most recent episode, “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch starring Kyle Mooney as Depp, Cecily Strong as the judge, and Aidy Bryant and Heidi Gardner as lawyers in the case. The sketch took place in the courtroom as the involved parties discussed allegations that Heard defecated in her and Depp’s bed. They then watched “video evidence” of house staffers, played by Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, and Chris Redd, finding the fecal matter. 

At various points, Strong’s judge said they should continue watching the video “because it’s funny” and she and Mooney’s Depp both said they find the trial “amusing.”

“This trial is for fun,” the judge proclaimed at one point.

Many online did not see the humor in SNL’s parody, arguing that a case involving domestic abuse accusations should not be a punchline. Some said the sketch was “disgusting and desperate.”

“Domestic violence is not a joke. Rape is not a joke,” writer Ella Dawson tweeted. “Abusers using the legal system to continue to terrorize their victims is not a joke. Abusers using accusations of defamation to silence their victims is not a joke.” 

“In twenty years people are going to look back at this trial and all of the media coverage and be disgusted,” Dawson continued. 

You’re free to have absolutely no opinion on the Depp/Heard trial, but thinking it’s ‘for fun’ is for someone with a diseased heart and brain,” Meredith Haggerty, the senior culture editor at Vox, wrote.

Many felt that regardless of how someone feels or who they support in this case, those making fun of Heard are “making a joke of victims everywhere.”

Criticism of Media’s Trial Coverage

Others argued this sketch was part of an overall disturbing trend in the media’s coverage of this case where serious allegations were being played up for laughs. 

The hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp has trended on Twitter several times throughout the trial as fans defend the actor. Many also use it to mock Heard, share clips of her crying, and in some cases, spread misinformation about her courtroom claims. The tag is also popular on TikTok, where it has been viewed over 11 billion times as of Monday morning. 

Many of the videos involve jokes about the case, memes, fan cams, and other content meant to belittle Heard. On TikTok, the tag #AmberTurd has raked in over 1.6 billion views. Some videos involve animated renderings of courtroom videos meant to make Heard look careless or dumb. Others use audio of Heard alleging that Depp hit her along with silly imagery to make those claims look like a farce. Many involve people making fun of the way Heard has cried on the stand.

Experts have told numerous media outlets that by ridiculing Heard, Depp’s supporters are potentially harming abuse victims that may come across these posts. 

“I can’t imagine what this might be doing to someone who may eventually want to seek safety and support,” Ruth M. Glenn, the chief executive officer of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told NBC News. “Whether it’s Amber Heard or Johnny Depp, how dare us make fun and make light of someone who is sharing something very personal — no matter how we feel about that person.”

The trial is being broadcast live so interested parties can watch it unfold in real-time. The viral clips have allowed the case to become a massive entertainment spectacle.

Public discourse of the trial has sorted people into either “Team Depp” or “Team Heard,” and just a quick glance online will show that Depp has so far won a good portion of public favor. Still, no matter how one views the trial, many think jokes at the expense of Heard’s claims are a bridge too far.

“In the commentary, it’s almost as if people are forgetting that this is real life, that this is not a show that we’re all watching,” Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, told USA Today. “Many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault will go into a courtroom at some point and have an experience that is largely outside of their control, in a setting like this.”

“There’s such a strong desire in the public discourse for [Heard] to be the villain, for her to be the example of the fact that there are victims who have ulterior motives, that there are victims who are not telling the full truth,” Palumbo continued. “It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of folks thinking critically or wanting to understand the nuances of abuse or of unhealthy relationships.”

See what others are saying: (NBC News) (USA Today) (Rolling Stone)

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