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Subject: Television?!....what's that? rss

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Hammock Backpacker
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We're quickly coming up on our 6'th anniversary without a television in the house. We have a 9 and 11 year old and we pass the time by reading, playing games, music, and watching DVDs. We do have three computers always running in the house with a cable modem so internet connectivity is always...well, just there.

I'm curious how many others on the BGG don't have or rarely make use of the television.

Well, it's off to get in a game of Alhambra. I barely beat my daughter and son in Amazonas this afternoon

 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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I sold my television in 1975 and didn't live with one until the fall of 2003. At that point I moved into my current living situation, and I actually have a television in one of my rooms. (It's the landlady's TV.)

I was curious about what I'd missed, and dabbled with dozens of different shows, current and reruns. Most of them are so bad it didn't take long to be repelled, and after just two-three months I found I only use the TV for two things: Simpsons reruns and the occasional movie on Turner Classic Movies. Nothing else is worth my time, but I do love the Simpsons - without a doubt, the best satire I've even seen.

Everything else on TV I've seen is dreck.
 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Quote:
Most of them are so bad it didn't take long to be repelled


I can hardly watch broadcast tv any more. It's not an elitist thing in that we feel better than other people who do watch tv...it's just that we've found other things to occupy our time. Now I cannot imagine how I ever found the time to watch it anyway.

I have been making my way through Seinfeld DVDs though...

Our kids attend an informal alternative elementary school (no desks, no textbooks, but there are couches and lofts!) and there are many kids they go to school with that are in the same situation so we don't currently have to 'deal with' issues about them feeling left out of the 'in things' with their peer group. I can understand how that could be a problem so we are lucky in that manner.

 
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So what do you guys do, sit around and write manifesto's with your free time? Fix up your two room shack in minnesota to run solar power and pig droppings? Fight the power!

devil



 
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Hammock Backpacker
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Quote:
So what do you guys do, sit around and write manifesto's with your free time? Fix up your two room shack in minnesota to run solar power and pig droppings?


It's interesting when you let this kind of information out about yourself. You usually get one of two kinds of reactions:

1) Boy...I wish we could do that.
2) Boy...you're a $@#&!@## freak!

It curious to me that we are so polarized about something like tv. Because we are so polarized, I supposed you're bound to trigger more emotional reactions from everyone on both sides.

I honestly don't think tv is bad per se. It's just that we have chosen to not own one and have found it to be an enjoyable experience.

And no, we don't sit around and write manifesto's and power our home with alternative energy sources. Funny thing is, it doesn't feel like I have any more free time than when I did have a tv. Instead, my life is packed with other things that I didn't have a chance to experience on a regular basis.

I am fond of pigs though...they make good ham...
 
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Jesse Acosta
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I think its awesome to not have 'cable'. TV I find is important, getting news, and ocassionally finding something good on the basic channels(Particularly PBS). When I lived without cable, I found so much more free time in my life, and became much more organized. Rather than coming home and plopping myself in front of the tv, I'de get chores done, talk with friends, and just be more active.
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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MWChapel wrote:

So what do you guys do, sit around and write manifesto's with your free time?


Well, I wouldn't have six books published if I'd had a TV in the 80s and 90s.
 
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matthew.marquand wrote:

And no, we don't sit around and write manifesto's and power our home with alternative energy sources. Funny thing is, it doesn't feel like I have any more free time than when I did have a TV. Instead, my life is packed with other things that I didn't have a chance to experience on a regular basis.

I am fond of pigs though...they make good ham...


Of course I am just playing, but yes, I consider certain luddite behavior somewhat oddball. I am a huge fan of pop culture and media of all type. I love music, TV, movies, books, and especially games. I have noticed here in the board game hobby, we tend to get more of certain types than I had anticipated. The what I call family/homeschooling/religious/luddite/ crowd. The first and second crowd is a complete mystery to me as a gamer from way back. I am used to games from my RPG days all the way to my MtG days as being stigmatized by those groups for years, but now all of a sudden it had to be "family" sanitized for my protection.

The luddite crowd is more of a scary lot. But they usually fall into that lot because of the first few, ie. religion, believing in the degradation of society. To me they seem to be withdrawing from and not embracing in some of the more interesting parts of life.

I do however believe that TV is a total pacifier that a lot of parents use to avoid being a parent. I certainly wouldn't go to one extreme as to keep it away from them hoping the "wrong" things won't rub off on them. As I am also a staunch believer it what ever you try to suppress in your children in youth, they will only embrace in rebellion later in early adulthood. I call it the catholic girl syndrome..

Everything is good in moderation.



 
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sos1 wrote:
Well, I wouldn't have six books published if I'd had a TV in the 80s and 90s.


Are you the author of the GURPS supplements? If so, fantastic! I used to play GURPS about five years ago. Loved the system; alas, don't have time for RPGs anymore. If you didn't write those, well wouldn't I feel silly! blush

As far as the television goes, I have one which I watch DVDs on and that's it. We have DVDs for the children (mainly Sesame Street, some Disney), while my wife and I have an extensive movie and TV series collection. Otherwise, we spend our time studying (I'm in grad school, she's finishing up her BA), reading, playing boardgames, playing with the kids, or doing other family oriented stuff.

I only catch regular/cable TV when over at someone else's house, or on the road in a hotel. Any news I can get from the Internet.

And it's been like this, for me anyway, since about 1998. For my wife and I, it's been since we've been together. And I don't think we miss out on anything.

Now, back to my manifesto . . . devil
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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puck4604 wrote:
sos1 wrote:
Well, I wouldn't have six books published if I'd had a TV in the 80s and 90s.


Are you the author of the GURPS supplements? If so, fantastic!


Yes, that's me - thanks for your kind words!
 
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sos1 wrote:


Well, I wouldn't have six books published if I'd had a TV in the 80s and 90s.


I was busy enough playing the your the result of you output, so in a sense it was me who jusified your ability to use that arguement. Many, Many days of FUDGE and GURPS.

I have have written enough unpublished RPG games and modules to fill a shelf, but only to the enjoyment of my friends. For me it was just a hobby that never grew passsed that.

cool
 
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I have TV. I also read, game with friends, spend time with my wife, go to M's games, goof off on the computer. Oh, and I have cable. I have no problem with anyone not wanting Television in their house, but I've never had a problem with having a TV and having a life. Oh well. Wonder what's on TV Land right now... laugh
 
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Up to 2003 I was using at home the internet connection provided by my employer but then I had to buy my own. As the price for internet connection and for cable TV were more or less the same and my budget could not accomodate both, the cable was axed. Since then we only get six or seven channels through the air and even that with bad reception (ghosts and all that).

Myself, I rarely watch TV. I do watch "West Wing" on Sunday nights but that's more or less all that I watch. We do have three computers with internet access, so there is plenty to waste spend our time on.
 
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i haven't had a tv in years, but there are plenty of times that i'll watch when visiting somewhere and i like to catch an old movie. for me, the radio is a better source of news.

i have the external housing of my old tv and i have been planning to turn it into an aquarium, but haven't got far in my plans. recently a friend gave me another old tv for the purpose of hooking it up to my old atari, but i haven't done that yet either.
 
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Growing up, television was the background music of my life. I always hated it. I would go to bed listening to I Love Lucy, wake up to the morning news, come home from school to my stepmother's taped soaps, and eat dinner to Andy Griffith. Every room had a tv. So now, in my own family, we don't have cable. I don't want cable. My husband and I have a large DVD and game collections, so we will have our in home dates with are two little boys. My sister asked me one time, "You don't have cable. What do you do?" That's just sad. There is nothing wrong with relaxing to mindless tv but there are plenty of card games or other hobbies that do the same thing.
 
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Quote:
Of course I am just playing, but yes, I consider certain luddite behavior somewhat oddball. I am a huge fan of pop culture and media of all type. I love music, TV, movies, books, and especially games.


Great! It's rare that people find something that really makes them feel happy. [I'm not being sarcastic...honest.]

Quote:
The luddite crowd is more of a scary lot. But they usually fall into that lot because of the first few, ie. religion, believing in the degradation of society. To me they seem to be withdrawing from and not embracing in some of the more interesting parts of life.


I don't think I'd ever classify myself as luddite though. Three computers with a cable modem, writing software for a living, watching DVDs (and going to the movies), owning cell phones, and more MP3 players than people in the house would disqualify me
 
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Sport man what about the sport! How can I indoctrinate my son into wanting to play Rugby, cheering for Liverpool, the Sharks, the Hawks or the Pistons. Partaking in golf. Let it be known that my little toddler will be up all hours of the morning watching the TV and Australia regaining the Ashes. You can't put a price on that!!
 
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Quote:
You can't put a price on that!!


I agree...you can't put a price on that. Cheer away.

I didn't start this thread to say having a tv is bad? We just don't have one and I was just curious if there are others that don't or rarely us it.


 
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nnf1 wrote:
Sport man what about the sport! How can I indoctrinate my son into wanting to play Rugby, cheering for Liverpool, the Sharks, the Hawks or the Pistons. Partaking in golf. Let it be known that my little toddler will be up all hours of the morning watching the TV and Australia regaining the Ashes. You can't put a price on that!!


You could actually play the sports instead of just watching them on TV.

Just a thought.
 
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This is an interesting topic for me as I'm relatively new to board gaming and have noticed that recently there has been a drastic drop in television watching around here.

We used to have friends over once a week to watch some shows. (Since we have children, going out can sometimes be difficult so we bring the party to us.) When I got into the board games, I changed the night to a board game night. It's been a hit! Even on nights where people aren't coming over (they're often here to play games two or three times a week now), I find myself on BSW or playing a game with my husband instead of watching shows. Even trying to get in one night a week to watch Six Feet Under is tough.

On the other hand I am getting in less exercise now. I used to do yoga during my favorite shows and I'm finding that difficult to do during board games. I can't seem to convince everyone to put the game on the floor so I can stand on my head while we play.

 
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quozl wrote:


You could actually play the sports instead of just watching them on TV.

Just a thought.


Jonathon, I did and he will. My ailing body does not allow me to play as much sport as I used to but when I get the chance, look out. He already plays cricket, he has a mean run up, bowls right handed and bats left handed. He is a great rugby tackler, tackled his 89 year old great grandmother the other day-nearly put her in hospital!! And he dribbles a football both feet but can only strike the ball with his right foot.

I personally see no harm in watching sport with me (unless there a punch ups and then I change the channel) and sometimes prefer it to his cartoons and stuff.
 
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About 2 and 1/2 years ago my tv broke. It had been on from the moment I entered home till I went to bed, so I could say I was a real tv-junky by that time. As I hadn't enough money to buy a proper new tv, I had to deal with a lot of 'free' time. This was filled with reading, surfing the web and listening to the radio. After about a month, I realised that I wasn't missing tv anymore.

spacerx:
The space of my old tv is now filled with a nice aquarium. Really relaxing! If you have the time, do it!
 
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MWChapel wrote:
The luddite crowd is more of a scary lot. But they usually fall into that lot because of the first few, ie. religion, believing in the degradation of society.

Well, I often call myself a Luddite (I don't have a DVD player or CD player; my PC runs Windows 98; we turn on the TV only so I can see if the Braves are winning; the kids see no TV; and I'm struggling with the fact that it's hard to find a non-digital video recorder right now). But it has nothing to do with religion, of which I am pretty much opposed.

Children simply do better without TV. But even before we had kids, we didn't watch TV (except, of course, to track the Braves ). It's just that it's so bad. The shows have gone downhill and premium cable offers so little that the price isn't justifiable. And who wants to watch the news these days--it's too depressing and unnerving. Things just work better without that thing turned on.

Randy, who watched probably 10 hours a day of TV until I was 40.
 
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I've been carting a 13" color TV around since my divorce 17 years ago. Never had cable, only get two channels where I live now. That's fine, news and weather is all I care about. I recently inherited a DVD player and 3 VCRs(Dad was a gadget head) but the 13" was too old to hook up the DVD. So yesterday I bought a 20" flat screen w/ a built in DVD for $109.97, the same price as one w/o the DVD player. I still only get two channels but now I can rent,borrow or buy movies.
 
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Helenoftroy wrote:
My sister asked me one time, "You don't have cable. What do you do?" That's just sad.

Some of our acquaintances who have small children asked a similar question. During one rainy day (we had several in succession a week or so ago), one mother asked how we cope without resorting to the TV as a babysitter. "How do you do it (meaning: raise kids) without a TV?"

We said that we have the kids draw or we read books or play with a puzzle or blow bubbles on the porch or play in the yard when it's nice or even play a boardgame (as best as one can do with a 2-year-old and an 8-month old). Many of the other parents were shocked. They were mystified that a child would do some "quiet" play.

One of the mothers, who does rely on TV for her kids but says that she doesn't like to do so because she was a teacher, said that she realizes that the TV watchers are, generally, less focused and more hyper and have very short attention spans. I guess it's a self-fulfilling problem. Use TV as a babysitter and they become more agitated when it's off (or more "high-energy") because they can't stick with one activity for very long. I'm not saying that's the case for every kid, but 95+% of the examples I've seen back up this observation. The few laid-back toddlers I know of read, draw, and play with less frenetic toys. Hmmm.

But none of that means that TV = BAD. Hell, I grew up in a home where the TV was on all the time (except when we were sleeping). They still do that (though I've noticed that the visual stimulation quotient of TV today vs the 1960s and 70s is markedly different). When we visit, our kids are perplexed by the fact that the TV is playing over in the corner, even though everyone is playing with the kids or talking. In moderation (let's say 1/2 hour per day for toddlers, as much as an hour for school kids), TV probably won't have devestating effects. But if I can get our children over the hump, so that they learn to entertain themselves without it, I'll be very happy.

Back to your regular programming.
 
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