Greetings everyone, :slight_smile:

There is something which has been possessing me for a while. I read some posts and watched some videos on youtube in which people who are playing video games called losers.

I am not familiar with the North American/the US culture. So I have difficulty understanding what a “loser” can mean. When you play an online game, let’s say SC2, you either lose or win. Therefore you are either loser or winner. But loser is not used is that sense in these videos or urbandictionary.com posts.

It seems to me, when they say loser, they mean someone who is playing video games instead of doing sport or socializing or going to clubs (perhaps to get laid, or just perhaps to have fun). But how can someone who only play video games be considered a loser?
You can play video games and still be a happy person. (Look I still don’t understand what loser means.)

Would you be kind enough to give an explanation of what loser means and why people could use it?

I have two follow-up questions:
Since here is an English forum, I believe there are users from various English speaking countries. My question is to them: Is the word loser used in your country/region as well? Is it possible to make a comparison about whether in the US the word is used more often or in your country the word is used more often?

Second question:
Is it possible to say that loser is more often used in the US (assuming it is more often used in the US) because the US culture is inherently more capitalistic (thus more competitive) so people are much more impolite/mean towards each other and try to put each other down?

I am really interested in your answers. Thank you. Good day!

A loser in the context of life, not video games. A person with a rich and fulfilling life will have other interests. Only those who can’t compete in the real world would retreat to a fake world in video games, comic books, and television.

I don’t think this is an American construct. Asian cultures are as competitive, if not more.

Thank you for the answer.

I have a question about one of your sentence:

What do you mean by competing in the real world? Being rich, or making a lot of one night stands, or having a good career?

You said video games and comic books are fake world. Aren’t these things part of our life, thus automatically real? What do you mean by “fake world”? :slight_smile:

many thanks!

I think you are over-thinking things. In the US, it is an ambiguous term that the cool kids use to put down the not-cool kids. The opposite of winner, in a very generic sense.

Synonymous with nerd, geek, or any other term that mean people use in a non-specific, derogatory way.

Losers don’t create. Playing a game for your own enjoyment is fine, but when it consumes the majority of your waking life…you’re not really contributing to society…hence a “Loser”.

A lot of people assess the success of a person based on the number of milestones they achieve.

Graduate from high school. Go to college. Get a girlfriend/boyfriend. Get a “good” job. Marry. Have kids. Buy a house. Get promoted into middle management. Buy a nice car. Go to the Grand Canyon. Buy another house. Etc. Etc.

Losers are those people who don’t check off the right number of boxes, despite possessing the ability.

People look for flags that indicate loserdom. Like playing video games all the time. And to be fair, it really is hard to do much in life if you are obssessively staring at a screen. But the same goes for any intense hobby or interest.

I don’t like the whole concept of “loser”. Life isn’t a race or a game, so there are no winners or losers. But I disagree that happiness is all that matters in deciding if a life is well-lived. Plenty of self-destructive behaviors make us feel good.

Is there really a loser ? Probably, people with annoying traits…

There’s that song line
“Why is everyone always picking on me ? Because you have the curly habits of a chimpanzee”…

Its such a strong statement of what a loser is … the person that everyone PICKS ON. Why ?
Because other people do that… they clean their nest… they want to keep the gene pool clean…

In some TV show they said “He’s the sort of person who will face spousal abuse charges”…
What, that’s predictable ? Yep, the person who was bullied all their life will again by bullied by the spouse… well they may have a spouse only because that woman was desperate … and then the desperate woman does desperate things.

But its again saying - be bullied as a child, be bullied as an adult.

Everyone has their own definition of a successful life. At best one’s personal definition may closely align with a common held definition. That definition isn’t universally “correct”, except to the extent it effects you.

If virtually every employer, for example, feels a life devoted to video games is a failure, that might matter. If every woman thinks video game devotees are losers, it might matter. In reality though, it’s probably pretty easy to find a woman who loves your video game passion, so who cares what anyone else thinks?

The comic books and video games are real things that represent fake worlds, just like a novel or movie. If you start up your favorite video game, Turbo Tax, and start completing real tax returns for your clients, you’re still squarely in the “real world”

I think this is quite a simplistic interpretation. Lots of people don’t live the “typical” life you’ve outlined and aren’t thought of as losers, because they turn their attention to other, productive things. In American culture it’s important to do something productive, or at least want to do something productive. It doesn’t matter if its traditional middle-class aspirations, joining the Peace Corps, raising kids, or fighting forest fires. You’re supposed to work diligently to add or subtract something to or from the world.

If you lack either diligence or productivity, you’re a bit of a loser.

By the way, OP, your command of English is superior. But for the actual content of your post, I would not have guessed English is not your native language.

Loser is a generic insult that has more to do with the recipients popularity at a given moment than anything else. Someone can be into playing video games and not be considered a loser while someone else might have exactly the same life style but be considered a loser. Someone who is 30 and lives with their mother might be considered a “loser” while someone else who is the same age and lives with their mother is not because the second person is […insert some justification here].

The point is that being a “loser” is not objective, it is purely subjective, and it is not rational or logical.