Joe Rogan is like Oprah to me – an almost therapist-like figure in my life who constantly seems to provide me with the direction and motivation that I need.
There’s no denying his platform is huge, with guests of all kinds frequenting his podcast which has now become the most listened to in the world. Some of my personal favourites include the likes of ultramarathon runner David Goggins, atheist and public intellectual Sam Harris, as well as Kevin Hart and Russell Brand.
Joe gets a lot of flack though, largely from people who have seen one taken-out-of-context quote about trans athletes on Twitter and assumed he’s a massive transphobe/piece of shit human being. Some even think he’s a member of the alt-right, which is just ridiculous because any regular listener of Rogan will know he’s actually liberal minded and tolerant of everyone.
However, his recent comments on gaming have caused a stir, as he’s suggested that playing video games is a “waste of time”.
Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast with fitness expert, author and businessman Joe De Sena, 52-year-old Rogan described games as being a ‘real problem’ in society.
Here’s the clip:
Addressing De Sena and the audience, Rogan emphasised the need for kids to challenge themselves through physical sports, setting themselves goals to achieve in the offline world.
According to Rogan:
“Video games are a real problem, They’re a real problem. You know why? Because they’re f*cking fun.
You do them, and they’re real exciting, but you don’t get anywhere. You [could be] doing something exciting and fun, or you could just be playing f*cking video games.
Three years later you could just be that same kid, playing video games, waiting for the next whatever the f*ck game is…You’re gonna waste your time.”
“Like martial arts, you can get obsessed with Jiu-Jitsu and three years later you are an elite Jiu-Jitsu athlete and you’re entering into competitions and you’re a purple belt and you’re thinking maybe I’m able to open my own school someday.
Rogan then went on to discuss gamers who make “a lot of f***ing money” through streaming.
“You have to be adaptable, you have to be able to play multiple video games, because the one video game that you get really good at, what are the odds it’ll be around 5 years from now?”
The thing is, Rogan has spoken about the addicting nature of video games before, and has openly admitted several times that he’s been addicted to various games, playing in excess of 12 hours a day during the height of his affliction.
However, with the boom in Esports, the reality is that gaming is a genuine career path for many youngsters, with various individuals making millions of dollars out of it.
Needless to say, Rogan’s comments sparked backlash from the gaming community, with streamer Ninja sharing a video to Twitter saying: “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.”
Meanwhile, Twitch and YouTube creator DrLupo commented: “Listening to this podcast is a waste of time… Generalised 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.”
I have to respectfully disagree with Rogan on this – I can see his point that not everyone is going to make a career out of it, but at the same time, there are loads of people who spend hours watching films and various forms of other entertainment that don’t get the same criticism.
Video games seem to be an easy target because there’s a stereotype they’re for losers sitting in their mum’s basements all day, but the reality is that talented and enterprising young people are not only seeing gaming as a form of escapism, but realising their potential to make them seriously successful.
You’re still my guy though, Joe.