Any Good Things About Video Games That I'm Missing?
August 26, 2010
Our kids like playing video games. They say it's fun.
They'd eat a lot of ice cream, pop and sugar, too, if we let them, coz it's fun.
What I wonder is if video games are any GOOD.
My basic approach is to find good things to do then let the fun come as it will. Usually good things are at least kinda fun to do, but if not they probably have other positive adjectives that can be used to describe them, maybe in addition to being fun, no less.
Anyway, fun doesn't quite seem like a reason to do something. It's more a side effect. Does that make any sense?
So... back to video games... Are they know to be good in some way for kids? Is there something I'm missing? Does anyone have any links, data, reports?
When I consider video games I see kids using eye motion and clicking actions with the goal of getting points and moving up levels.
The kids have to know/learn what works at what time to be able to click to get the points.
I suppose there's some problem solving going on.
But is it on the order of actual problem solving?
It seems really close to stimulus and response -- like rats, food and mazes.
My other impression is that childhood is short and that it is actually good for something, like learning.
Offhand, it seems like video games might be good for something like killing time. But since when is time the enemy of our kids? Hmmm... If they're tired, then they should rest.
I mean, is there time enough in a day as it is for them to do everything that would be neat for them to do?
Then there's this "like" factor. Kids like certain things. Like candy and white bread. Kids also seem conservative in some ways. They're risk averse in ways and get insecure about new things. Hey, it's a big world full of unknown things. That's why they have parents to help them along and to show them things when they're ready. But they often don't like what they don't already know and they don't like things if they're not fun or not about their immediate pleasure. ...And a very immediate pleasure for them is likely stimulus-and-response.
Are we impoverishing our children's lives by letting them play video games?
It seems that watching TV might be better for them than a video game because with TV there might be a story, a character, some development, growth, drama. LIFE.
Of course TV can easily be filler, too.
But even filler TV has content. How? In its culture, its set and setting, its backstory. You need to know more to know this content. You have to look behind the screen. Of course, the content isn't really very interesting: filler TV is just jobs for a few people. It's just someone trying to get you to watch so they can make money. There is nothing more to it than that. So when you watch you're a consumer -- an exploited victim, basically.
What do video games really do? They make money for the adults who sell them. They exploit kids. Right? Or am I missing something?
A board game like Monopoly teaches kids fair play and process. They have to get along for, like, an hour of structured play! I remember how hard that could be!
Then there are games that deal in points and levels in a sense such as chess. Only chess seems different from a video game. Chess is a substrate for your creativity. It's structured yet at the same time it's a canvas, a blank slate. Can video games be like this?
Of course, people can escape into chess as well. Fiddle while Rome burns. Chess and fiddling should be used FOR our lives not as replacements for life. There are things to learn from them but for OUR sakes not for their sakes.
I don't want to let our kids down. But I don't want them to miss out on the benefits of video games either... ?
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