Thursday, January 22, 2009

The w** is not for we (us)

Since the holidays, many of the boys' conversations with classmates in school seem to concern the w** or other such video-gaming systems.  C keeps trying to arrange playdates on his own, truly less interested in the kid he wants to go visit, but far more interested in the video games he might get to play when at his house.   The boys' begging for video games has increased and this weekend it reached a head when we went to a birthday party and the boys got their very first taste of actually playing the w**, not just hearing about it.

P and I have made the definitive statement, "We will not have a video game system in our home." We've heard lots lately that so-and-so gets to play w** all the time so what's the problem. We've tried to be clear that different families have different rules, but the guys are having a hard time buying that.  I think I've been called bossy more than once these past weeks.  I've decided to take it as a compliment.

Now, I am not morally judging you or your child if you make a different decision in your home.  I just know my boys.  The attention and time suckage potential for my fellows would be huge if we had a w**.  I've heard the arguments, especially around the sports, fitness, and music video games, and if that's the choice you've made-- hey, enjoy yourself.   I don't doubt that I would have a good time playing some of those games.  But I just don't need them in our house.  If the boys play the games at other folks' homes, so be it.  I won't get all up in arms about it, unless they are violent and misogynistic games and then I would have a problem-- a big one.  In the end though, this is where I stand on the video games, today on Thursday, January 22, 2009.  Who knows if my views will ever waver?

However, when I watched this New York Times video today, I can't imagine changing my mind.


Anonymous said...

that is disturbing

i'm sure it won't surprise you to hear i don't ever want one in the house. my husband disagrees.

Andrea said...

Ugh...that made me ill (did you see they don't even blink?). The other day NPR had a story about how the Army has taken the "skills" kids have learned playing video games and adapted them to their weapon systems...I had to ask, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Isn't it just as likely that these kids are being "trained" by video games on purpose so that they will be ready and willing killing machines/cannon fodder? Surprisingly M doesn't ask for video games very often, but for a while we had a "Big Action Construction" computer game and whenever he got on it, if I wasn't paying attention, he'd be there an hour or more.

Terra said...

I think every generation of parents faces the same thing about what they will have in their home. When we were kids it was the TV. My parents limited us to 2hrs a day and we had to evaluate the TV guide and make choices. Now I think even that is generous! That worked for them, but one of their friends had no TV. With something as exciting at the wii, I'd be asking, "what is it they WONT be doing while they are playing it?" playing regular games, reading, imagining, running, hiding, drawing, building, etc. Even if you did get them one, they have such good habits and foundations they would not be negatively affected by it.