Teach a child that learning to recite the alphabet, pronounce words, or read a map isn’t fun and games and you may as well teach him/her to hate school. When really analyzing the quote in question, you can see that one can go both ways with their views and opinions. I mean, think about it! Video games, in and of themselves, aren’t bad. They have a lot to teach – hand/eye coordination, problem-solving, pursuing goals, frustration tolerance, etc… Can these things really be classified as bad?
Video games can be excellent learning tools for kids. Playing video games is known to release endorphins in the minds of children. If that time is spent learning how to solve puzzles, explore (digital) worlds, learning ingenuity and building coordination, then you know what – more power to the kids! That being said, we have to also factor in some exceptions. Say you have a child who loves video games. So much so, that they’ve lied and sneaked around to play them when they had been obligated to do other things, i. e. sleep.
Now, don’t misunderstand…obsessing doesn’t always have to be viewed negatively. We can consider it a good sense of focus. It is only bad, however, if other needed things are ignored. An obsession is only destructive when it interferes with the rest of life. When any obsession turns into deceit, thievery, violence or any kind of predatory behavior, you can pretty much conclude that it’s probably time to get some help. Additionally, there is one other reason that should cause concern from a parent when letting their kids play video games.
When the theme/basis of the games are contrary to the values that you’re trying to compel your kids to follow, then it’s probably a good time to start changing your child’s extracurricular activities. To that end, finding out something about the game before allowing your children to play it would be an excellent idea. NO EXCEPTIONS! It’s incredibly surprising and unbelievably frustrating when a parent is shocked to find out that even though they bought the game, it contains gore and sexually explicit images. You don’t want to come home and find out that you gave little Johnny the equivalent of soft porn.
KNOW THY GAME! After all is said and done, we just have to be careful with what is being learned and ensure that there is a balance, that interaction with the outside world is also viewed as valuable, and that human interactions and emotional connections are encouraged more. A good alternative would be spending more time with your children, connecting with them and interacting with them in ways they will understand. Play some games with them. Enjoy them. Teach them what it is to have love, compassion, and imagination. Ultimately, that’s what’s most important anyway.