My living room still has 3 TVs, but I regret it

A year ago, I shocked the world with a profound truth: Two TVs in one room are better than one; And the third TV is even better. I will come back for more. No, I’m not here to discuss adding a fourth TV to my living room (not yet, at least, dear reader). But I’m here to share the reality of the three TVs’ lifestyle – and how this has, at times, made me question my decision to do it at all.

While three TVs in one room is clearly the next evolutionary step for our species, humans may not be ready for this kind of power just yet. Perhaps, when Icarus flew near the sun, the wings of Daedalus were not faulty, but Icarus himself. (They were both.)

To catch up with you, my wife and I have perfected the modern living room. In our house there is one entertainment center with two large TVs mounted on the wall next to each other, and a slightly smaller TV in the middle in between. The tiny TV plugs into a humble speaker, and we have what look like 3,000 remote controls scattered around us at any given time. Every TV has a Roku built in, and we typically use it like this: I play a game on my TV (left), my wife plays a game on my TV (right), and we watch a show or movie together (top). It’s the Triforce for living room entertainment.

Photo: Ryan Gilliam/Polygon

But living with such a beautiful setting wasn’t always perfect, and I’m humble enough to admit my mistakes. This is especially true in cases, like this, where the fault is in human attention span, not my own determination. I defended myself from criticism about how cryptic my setup should be, or how annoying the remote situation is – all fair points, thrown into the world by cowardly voices too afraid to adopt the TTTVVV lifestyle themselves. But it’s time to break the bread with you on this one, the Internet: Do we really need three TVs?

In the past two years, I’ve noticed my attention span waning. Sure, I have watched and rewatched many shows while playing and replaying games. And I did it at a much faster rate than average, because I always kill two birds with one stone. But I’ve often wondered how much I’m enjoying these shows in the background, and I’ve definitely rode off a slope or two in the elden ring Because I was so immersed in what was on TV Three.

Maybe it’s age, or just the constant chatter of information from a million different sources, but sometimes I feel overloaded. I often enjoy the moments when I’m alone in the living room and can just play a game and absorb its story without anything else happening. I can focus on one thing for just a few hours and enjoy it as a whole piece, not something loose and torn together, like a kid getting a sip of every kind of soda from a gas station fountain.

But this is not a problem with only three TVs. I was looking at my phone while watching movies with my dad 15 years ago. I was searching on Google for irrelevant bullshit that came to my mind when I only had two TVs. I’ve added several screens for work and school years ago, all in the name of “productivity,” although the second screen is mostly used for watching YouTube videos while playing Destiny. It’s an attention span problem, not an invented problem. My setup is just an extension of that mindset, and I’m already starting to find ways to resist that.

Over the past few months, I’ve started evaluating games and shows that I’m really interested in trying out without getting distracted. When I’m playing a review game, or I’m just interested in its story, I also won’t be watching something on top TV. If my wife is playing a game on the other TV, she might put on headphones and listen to a podcast. Or I’ll play a less thought-intensive game while we’re watching a show together, and eventually I’ll switch to something I want to focus on once I’m on my own.

The left TV is empty.  The Right TV Shows The Elden Ring As It Appears On Top Moon Knight TV Shows

Photo: Ryan Gilliam/Polygon

I’ll pair playing old games with watching new shows, or I’ll rewatch a show that I can quote from each episode while playing something new. When I can, I’ll watch a movie expected in the theater to force myself not to look at my phone, like an idiot, or give a running comment out loud, like an idiot too. I’ve watched moon knight Without anything running in the background – just me and Oscar Isaac and IMDb open on my phone, as God intended. I had a wonderful time. But I also watched every episode of Hell’s Kitchen Last year during reboot Breath of the wild And watching my wife play Witcher 3 For the fiftieth time. Both experiences are beautiful to me. One is not possible without multiple TVs, but both are possible with my setup.

When I told my wife how much I enjoyed watching moon knight Without distraction, I shared that I sometimes wondered if three TVs were the way to go. “Yeah, but it’s cool, and you know that,” she said to me. And she’s right. You don’t need a more modest setup; I just want to be adaptable to the amount of setup I use. We all get distracted by something, and that’s okay. There is no right or wrong way to accommodate the media you are interested in. I can insist You have to keep your eyes glued to the screen while watching Gloss, one of my favorites, but if I enjoy watching it in the background, what’s the difference? This is not a school. There will be no test after the scan.

Icarus burns even with the right set of wings. What could have saved Icarus – and what could have saved us all – was the restraint to temper our ambition.

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