Wednesday, February 17, 2010
When I was a kid, and for many generations before that, kids entertained themselves and each other by playing games like tag, hide and seek, jump rope, hopscotch, having races, etc. The rules were passed down from older children to younger ones with no need for adult intervention.
Now lots of kids don't even know what those games are unless they've been taught to play them in school.
Instead, they play electronic games. Is that a bad thing?
Some people say violent electronic games, like devices used for training new military recruits, can make kids comfortable with the idea of hurting or killing other people and blame the games for increased violence in our society. But I remember when people said the same thing about children playing with toy guns. Of course the old fashioned violent play was much less realistic, so the modern games might have some negative influence, especially if played excessively.
On the other hand, many of those games teach children good things like how to solve problems, and help improve their manual dexterity.
The biggest problem with electronic games is that children tend to spend too much time playing them when they should be getting exercise, but today most kids in our society can't go out to play in their neighborhoods without adult supervision like we did anyway.
Instead of considering computer games to be evil, it would make better sense for parents to control which games their kids play and how much time they spend playing them, and make sure plenty of physical activities are also included in their children's lives.