Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Game....Its Your Move

If you have a wee person in your home between the ages of 2 and 17, you will be familiar with the video games they play and how much time they spend behind the controller.

Nintendo, Wii, online gaming, iPhone, WoW, Kinect, Playstation, PSP - as parents, we are all familiar with these terms but your kids will be able to tell you even more about them.

Oh, I can hear you saying "Yeah, but I limit them to the amount of time they spend gaming".  As parents we are immediately on the defensive as there seems to be a negative stigma attached to kids and gaming.

Did you know that 91% of kids between the ages of 2 and 17 (that's about 64 million people) are regularly playing video games? 
Video games are often used as a scapegoat for many of the issues affecting today’s youngins. Supporters for outdoor play often bitch that kids spend too much time indoors playing games. Health experts preach that kids need to get their fat arses up off the couch, put down the video game controller and start moving around.

Politicians and parenting groups flap their lips about games desensitise children to violence, expose them to questionable content, profanity and promote addiction.  Fuck that shite

While blaming video games seems like a fucking cop-out, it’s important not simply to dismiss the concerns that so many parents have raised about video games today.  Many of these issues are perfectly valid and legit and only through understanding what causes such suspicions to arise, can parents sniff out ways to deal properly with them.


Jane McGonigal PhD is a world-renowned game designer of alternate reality games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems.  She believes in using current research from the positive psychology movement, and argues that games contribute powerfully to human happiness and motivation, a sense of meaning, and the development of community. She say sgames can provide an environment where:

  • difficult things are possible, encouraging optimism
  • things are naturally interesting, provoking curiosity
  • players have a sense of urgency, providing motivation
  • actions are immediately meaningful, inspiring awe and wonder
In her other works, Jane describes how games are in fact developing important skills within societies that will be critical to overcoming global challenges facing humanity.

So mum's, fret not if your precious little peeps are bashing the controllers for a couple of hours a day, they are, afterall improving their lives!

Interesting theory.

Check out this video.


YeamieWaffles said...

The best thing about this post is that it's all true Lass. I admit that I'm not much of a gamer at all but I used to love video games and they never did me any harm, at least people who are playing video games aren't out doing drugs and shooting people or something hahaha.

Seriously though there are loads of benefits of video games, like how they get you thinking and various things, it's ridiculous if anyone assumes that you're a bad mother or some shit just because you take this stance.

Brian Miller said...

i buy it, i think there are benefits...just as much as i think there are drawbacks...

Althea said...

As I am reading this I can hear the Super Mario Bros. that my brother is playing on. It's no use my mum trying to limit our gaming time as she does it too. She is particularly fond of Assassins Creed! x

Lulu said...

I don't know for sure, as my little one is too little for games just yet, but I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with WHICH games they are playing - the content of the games - rather than that they are playing video games.

Christine Rains said...

That's really interesting. My little guy is two and doesn't play any games yet, but my husband is a huge gamer, so we definitely know our son will get his video game fill as a child.


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