Watch Morgan Webb Totally Degrade Video Games on the Tyra Banks Show

April 1st, 2008

Up for something totally degrading? I thought not but you’ll wanna watch this anyways.

Below is video from the Tyra Banks show (you know Tyra Banks, that popular super model? Yeah I’d never heard of this show before either), the segment is as she puts it about “decoding your man”. The subject matter is a man “obsessed” with video games, fortunately our video game heroine Morgan Webb was there to save the day. Watch what I am talking about and read below for my analysis:

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If you couldn’t tell by the tone of my language in the introduction I was not impressed by this video. This is a typical situation that perfectly highlights the perception problems that our industry continually faces among such audiences. Over the past few articles I have been edging towards this topic so I want to do a little analysis of the situation and break down what the underlying problem is.

Analysis

The first thing you should be aware of is the use of the word “obsessed”. Obsessed has a negative connotation and much like the word ‘addiction’ is commonly used by the media to typecast us gamers.

The real problem though is the lack of understanding by the female companion (isn’t it always a lack of understanding?). She does not know why her husband plays so much video games, it is incomprehensible to her hence she is on the show to find the answers to this. She announces her lack of understanding with “and I just don’t understand it”.

As you’ve seen, even though the segment is about solving the problems that women have (“decoding your man”, ie. How to understand why your man behaves as he does) the show instead concentrates around the man’s supposive problems (his obsession to video games) and throughout the video the language and choice of questions all fall back onto the him as the problem source. This itself contradicts the point of the segment but nevermind.

When Tyra asks the wife “how often does he play these games?” she answers inspecifically, stressing the length of play time instead of just answering the question. The unspecific nature of this answer doesn’t paint a realistic picture, so she manages to avoid substantiating her claim that he is obsessed and doublely she showcases a possible uncertainty of just how long. I also like how Tyra refers to games as “these games”.

She then rants on about how the relationship has panned out, still not addressing the real problem at hand. Her rant just like a lot of what she says reconfirms her misunderstanding. Interestingly she never mentions anything about laying games with him at all. We later discover that he enjoys playing sports games so theres plenty of opportunity to lay together. By this stage she seems quite frustrated.morgan webb fhm photoshoot

The typecasting continues with Tyra asking “Why so much? How old are you?” and then “23, not 13”. She then asks pessimistically “Why do you do that?”. The ‘that’ in this question is again language being used to typecast video game as the foreign medium, the unknown.

The guy here as an excellent opportunity with this question to prove his case. Unfortunately he gives in, admitting that there is a problem. This is an issue that has previously been discussed on several blogs and publications. Gamers far too often fail to truly stand up for their medium, we just take all of this nonsense; game classifications, violence in video games, negative typecasting. What he says is an example of this, especially this line “its definitely gotten better”. He just shot himself in the foot, right there.

Surprisingly Tara knows what a Colecovision and Atari are, how strange.

Despite these comments he eventually finds his feet and begins to share how he talks to his boss about games, proving that playing games are indeed normal, even if you are 23 years old. Do you think that Tyra is just going to sit by accept that playing video games is normal? No, she says in response: “Gosh, so if your boss is saying it, its very validating like ‘this is okay, my boss does this’” in a sarcastic way. This, right here is the worst offense in the video and a brilliant example of the lack of acceptance of the medium with such people. Its not just what she says though, firstly she interrupts him, shoots him down and then cuts to Morgan Webb disallowing him to prove his case entirely. Making this spectacle even more one sided. What she is trying to express here is that there is no valid reason to play video games and just because your boss does doesn’t allow you to either.

From here Morgan Webb spouts out a bunch of irrelevant garbage by the request of Tyra. Remember though this is all meant to fix the problem as to why this lady doesn’t understand her man, why she doesn’t understand why he loves playing video games. Morgan presents the idea that he plays games to escape reality and that he fits into one of several classes. This isn’t fixing the problem though. Speaking specifically about how game genres doesn’t explain why the guy plays video games. He doesn’t want to be a sports star, he just likes sports and enjoys playing sports games. I prefer 3rd person action adventure titles that doesn’t mean that I want to be the character in the game nor does it mean that I am trying to escape reality. Morgan fails to lay down the law and just state that people play video games for entertainment reasons (because that is what the medium is intended to do, why i this so hard to understand?) and that the wife needs to accept that he enjoys doing this and it is part of what makes him himself. She should be helping the wife to understand and not trying to change the man to please the wife because that will simply lead to disaster!

I am going to skip over most of what she says as it is embarrassingly irrelevant and just focus on how Morgan and Tyra then patronize this guy about playing sports games. Firstly has anyone here ever actually heard of what she is babbling on about, a “goal digger”? Morgan continues, trying to convince this guy that what he is doing in the game is not in real life and that he needs to wake up to this. Once again, how is this relevant to anything? I’m pretty sure that he can tell the difference.

All of this is wrapped up with some more patronizing and then a conclusion-less ending. Just look at the insecurity on the guy’s face at the end, you can tell that he has been totally misunderstood here.

Conclusion

What gets me about this nonsense is Morgan Webb. We already know that Tyra Bank is a complete bimbo, hell she couldn’t even hold the microphone upright. Morgan Webb on the other hand is meant to be some sort of video game heroine. I am not a fan of her myself but for a long time I’ve been under the impression that she is a semi-respectable video game and tech presenter. I guess I can throw those ideas out of the window eh? This is what happens when two bad models get together and discuss video games.

  • They really did side step the issue that was a hand. To be fair though the segment was called how to decode your man and not how to understand him.

    This kind of thing was talked about on a Diggnation episode a few months ago and I think Alex and Kevin came to a great conclusion. The problem isn’t with the boyfriend or the girlfriend it’s with them as a relationship. They have to willing to understand each other. If I was that dude though I’d be giving her the fling. If she’s taken it that far then I’d just move on.

    Great finish Dan.
    “This is what happens when two bad models get together and discuss video games.”

  • John Doe

    I find it funny that here she is bashing the ONE THING that made her who she is today…GAMES.

    If she thinks for a minute that she would be where she is without the fact that she was a girl and plays games…she is kidding herself. She is not that attractive (I think she is hideous), and her annoying tone is painful to watch.

    Morgan, head back to the trailer. Your roots are showing.

  • Abe

    Video Games are still for the most part not a Social Norm. Everybody has a hobby or something that they do for alone time or whatever. The video never once mentioned a specific number on hours played. I could understand if it he was playing for 12 or 14 hours a day, but I doubt he is.

    Society in general needs to give its head a shake and realize that video games are some peoples way of unwinding after a hard day a work etc, just like going to the bar or reading etc etc etc.

  • Ms Webb should’ve known better, being a co-presenter of a G4TV program aimed at gamers.

    She could’ve found a way in which he can convince his fiancee to share his passion for console gaming instead of merely parrotting Tyra’s advice that he put down the controller and devote more time to her.

  • Hey guys thanks for your comments. ^_^

    Yeah I totally agree Abe, its something that I have been pondering over a lot recently. I wonder when our medium will actually hit that point of social acceptance. Despite the strong progress in recent years I think that it will still take more effort to see change.

  • Dave

    It’s Tyra Banks, who cares. Games are moving more and more into the mainstream and some day we won’t look at it any different than TV or movies or any other hobby.

  • Mike

    While it’s true I’d never watch the Tyra Banks show and that people who do watch would have completely dissimilar interests to my own, I am definitely offended.

    1. Tyra should be slapped
    2. Richard is not representative of all male gamers. In fact, I am really disappointed by his participation on this show (or I should say, lack thereof). I hope that he had no idea what he was getting into consenting to go onto this show and confronted his girlfriend about it afterwards.
    3. Morgan, you are truly a disappointment. Apparently it’s the money that does the talking. Way to help further confuse those that do not understand games and we appreciate your effort to further fortify the stereotype of women.

    Help me, Dr.Tyra! I am sadly afflicted with a disease — I am a gamer.

  • It’s really amazing that the video-game industry, now a huge global revenue machine, is still looked upon in a derogatory manner. Unfortunately I think for the unenlightened the word “game” is automatically associated with immaturity.

    I think opinions are slowly (very) starting to change as video game platforms break out of the bedroom and establish themselves alongside the TV in the lounge and a wider diversity of games are introduced. I somehow get the feeling however that it’s going to be many years before video games are completely accepted and not demonized.

  • Irritated person

    You post an article about the Tara Banks show, and you talk about GAMES

  • Excellent analysis, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your break down. Tyra capitalizes on exhibiting a water-downed perception of gaming that is vapidly defined for the means of her own manipulation. This method is entirely disingenuous to defining gaming as a means of modern entertainment (much like television, movies, music, etc.) and discredits both Tyra and Morgan’s generic, unthoughtful ‘advice’ to Richard. Like Chris said, this is a problem within their relationship and not a problem with gamers.

    But while we may roll our eyes to the likes of what Banks has to say about gaming, the reality is a lot more people watched that show and agreed with it than read this blogpost and actually *thought* about what was being said. I too am interested to see when gaming will become a commonplace activity accepted by society as a norm.

    Also, subscribing to your feed now 🙂

  • Hey .tiff thanks for the words. ^_^

    Writing about these sorts of incidents really does show that our industry still has a long road ahead as many of you have suggested.

    I think that casual gaming for our medium is critical to create audience expansion and reach our ultimate goal of acceptance. I hope to continue pressing this issue of acceptance in later posts.

  • Bob

    This is exactly why pop show hosts should never, ever, try to act like psychologists (Dr. Phil is really no exception).

    For one, a professional psychologist or psychiatrist would NEVER make a value judgement on your behalf. They would also never tell you what to do or make any decisions on your behalf. They understand YOU must come to understand your own actions by yourself, and change them by yourself. They cannot force you to change your actions; they can only lead you to understanding.

    Tyra and Morgan, on the other hand, has essentially done the absolute opposite. Tyra makes the judgement that video games are “bad” before any words are even spoken. Morgan then further categorizes the “gamers” into 3 arbitrary categories (She mentions FFVII, and then makes the assumption that it contains Orcs and Elves… Because, you know, Sephiroth is SUCH a hotty, that people mistakes him for an elf! Riiight…. -_-‘) and then makes the decision FOR him–essentially, to spend less time playing video games and more time with his girlfriend.

    Absolutely the worst advice anyone can give to anyone–but hey, I’m sure the Tyra Banks Show pays the bills <_<.

    This is really true for any sort of talk show hosts, they think their perception is the “correct” one, and anyone that disagrees are, well, “abnormal” and requires “correcting”. Pathetic, really.

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  • i thought it was a bit over the top.

    and i think you are right its not all the guy’s fault even though they are making it seem like he is the bad guy in this.
    i think the woman is just jealous of the video game being such a huge part of the guys life. I mean the guy said gaming has been part of his life before she came around. if she cant handle that then find another guy dont try to change him

    i too found it to be stupid that they were trying to convince the guy it wasnt real life. he isnt a child he knows what is real and what isnt.

    I find nothing wrong with a guy that likes to play video games. I love to game myself. (and to be honest i like guys that know how to game)
    its just fun. entertaining.

  • I have just watched this clip for the first time and being from England and without sattelite i have no idea to the general feeling of this programme on a whole, the first thing that immediately grabbed me was the way that once Tyra had made a seemingly ill informed and self subjective point she would turn to the audience as if to say to the poor guy “look you are on your own here” it made me feel very uneasy and reminded me of the way children bully each other to conform to the group mechanic.
    I am now 26 ( yes not 13) and i have owned every console ever made, I have never faced any criticism of my passion for gaming and my current girlfriend is as much of a gamer as me, To not understand or even try to look a t someones hobby as their own preference is a really bigoted and narrow minded view on Tyra and the shows account, they have only served to show themselves in a bad light, i am sure that Tyra has a passion for something and i believe she would object to me criticising so i am upset she chooses to aim an attack at the medium i love. Great article mate

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  • That video makes me angry. I know I shouldn’t let it, but it does. I’ve never had any respect for Tyra Banks, so this video didn’t change much there, but I would have thought that Morgan Webb could have discussed video games and gamers with a bit more positive tone.

    But seriously, what was that dude thinking, going on the Tyra Banks Show?

  • YOU GUYS ARE STUPID

    Um… yeh my boyfriend plays a lot of video games and I play too but not THAT much. once a week or what not. BUT>>> I point is that playing video games is getting in the way of their 7 year relationship. If your boyfriend is playing more video games then spending time with their girlfriend that’s wrong!!! If he doesn’t want to stop playing video games excessively then get a girlfriend that’ll play with you. Don’t hate on TYRA discuss the issue itself. You guys speak like real ADDICTS!!

  • You Guys are Stupid, if you read over the analysis you’ll see that there is an obvious misunderstanding taking place on behalf of the girlfriend. Which is what myself and others that have commented as being the core problem. If you look at the manner in which this whole charade takes place it is set around this misunderstanding and as such it is difficult for any of us to judge if this guy is actually addicted to games..as such. But considering that he is in a situation where video games are being looked at with an overall pessamistic tone it is a fair conclusion that this is indeed not his problem and infact, chances are he is not addicted to video games.

    Also the word ‘addict’ is a great tool for the girlfriend to use to typecast her boyfriend. Its used in a vast array of situations to overstate a situation and restrict access of individuals.

  • gorillaparadox

    that video really pissed me off, It had some pretty offensive comments. That was a really good analysis by the way.

    I’m living with my gf now and after a year she’s gotten used to my daily gaming but I can tell she doesen’t find how I can be interested in it. I’m definately gonna show her this link.

    P.S. gamers with gf’s, try to find a easy game she’ll like and get her playing. I bet it’ll help. Hasen’t worked for me yet but I just started with it.

  • Novakane

    K…She didn’t say anything bad about video games at all. All she did was give three different types of gamer guys and how girls should interpret them. The only thing close to negative was saying that he should play a little less. If anything you should all be talking crap about Tyra who spent the entire interview trying to force negative feedback. Leave MORGAN WEBB ALONE! JUST LEAVE HER ALONE!

  • Ben

    Yeah this is totally one sided and the worst thing about it is that there’s no talk of compromise or finding a solution that both parties can be happy with. I love videogames but my wife doesn’t really much at all. but we still find ways to work. She understands that this is a hobby of mine and it’s no different than if I were to work on cars or play golf or whatever else is considered normal. I have managed to get her into a few games such as Viva Pinata and Professor Layton which she ended up playing all the way through. So yeah, one shouldn’t completly neglet their spouse for videogames but I do believe there is a middle ground that both parties can come to terms with.

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  • joe

    OMG he knows it is not real life. Holy shit Morgan is stupid. We wanna play our games so we can avoid your boring talk. This guy just wants his own time and to ignore his girl. He doesn’t pretend anything he just doesn’t want to hear her babble.

  • Mike

    Unfortunately when you’re a man going on a show that always takes a woman’s side and treats a male as nothing more than a dog that needs to be trained, you should know what to expect. Notice how you’ll never see a show with a male host who brings on couples and then proceeds to manipulate situations and words that are spoken in order to fulfill an agenda of making the wife look like the only flawed idiotic being in the room and the husband as the victim. It would never fly yet how come this does? It’s chauvinism no matter which way you cut it but these days it’s taboo if a guy does it.

  • Morgan Webb is a bimbo. I caught an episode of Xplay once where they were going to commercial and her and Adam were supposed to be playing and she was holding the Xbox controller upside down and spouting, “I’m winning! I’m winning!” You sure are, Morgan. Winning the moron of the year award. I am a woman and I game all the time. I have high doubts that this bimbo has ever played anything other than Viva Pinata or a DDR game. I’m sure she loved all the Barbie games out there.