Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Game Time

Generally speaking I don't like video games.  No that's not quite right.  Generally speaking, I HATE video games. Despise them.

Video games.  

Cookies on the other hand.   Now, there's something I LOVE.  Cookies are good. Video Games Bad; Cookies Good!

Video Games just seem like such a complete waste of time and a serious distraction from getting other, more important, things done.   And you all know I am a doer of lots of good stuff!  I worry about the impact that video games are having on our children too.  You've not seen a fit as ugly as the one that is thrown when my 6-year old son has to turn off the wii or his kindle.  It isn't pretty.  It is like some switch is instantly flipped and my once lovable, huggable, cute, little, curly haired, boy becomes an angry, hostile and down right awful human being.  It breaks my heart and fuels my hatred for electronic devices. That said, I am starting to accept that it is possible there may be some slight benefits to video games.  Some.  It is a long shot, but there may be a few. However I mostly still hate them and technology in general and maybe I am smarter than I sound.  Einstein shared my concerns.
Unfortunately, Einstein, I think we are living this reality and it just keeps getting worse.
 I can't believe Einstein felt this way midway through the 20th Century.  He really was a genius and look how much more humanity has been lost to technology since then.  I am getting depressed.  Hold on, I need to call my therapist.

Okay I am back. I have an appointment this Friday!

Now First of all, a little back story is probably warranted.  I lived without TV for a year because I really despise most things electronic and I am kinda crazy like that and always up to a challenge. NOTV2011 will take you to all of our fun tv-free adventures.  It was AWESOME!  An incredible year.  I can honestly say that I enjoyed that year greatly and I miss it today, tomorrow and quite possibly forever.  We now watch more television than is probably healthy and to make matters worse we joined the world of devices when the kids got kindles for Christmas. While I must admit they were very helpful during our drive to Florida, I am totally annoyed with them now.  Totally annoyed.  The kindles were absolutely priceless during the 22 hour car ride home (we drove straight through people with 7 people in a minivan).  Without the kindles someone might have died.  Probably me, of an unfortunate suicide.  Or I might've snapped and killed Jeff.  Or he might've offed me.  Or you know what? One of the kids would have killed another one of the kids fighting.  If not for the kindles, we would likely only have two kids.  You get the idea. Someone would be dead.  So in that setting they were a valuable entertainment tool and a necessary safety precaution, but today they are a total pain in my a**.

This recent revelation (that there may be benefits to video games) has been simmering inside my mind for some time now.  At work we are busy preparing awareness materials to present to corporations about our services.  Viewing various Ted Talks with the purpose of gleaning tips for our presentation was a recent assignment of mine.  So I have watched several Ted Talks in the past six months.  Searching for unique ways to make presentations more interesting and less lecture like, what I have learned is this:  There are a lot of Ted Talks. A lot!  Some are good.  Some are bad. Some are down right bizarre.  And then some are really, extremely, thought provoking. Mind blowing really.  Some are the kind of talk you just keep thinking about for months.  My two favorites so far were the one by a neurologist about her experience having a stroke and recovering from it and the one that is actually related to this story entitled, "The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life".   When I read the title I figured it was overly dramatic and sensationalized.  I soon learned that video games actually saved Jane Mc Gonigal's life.  It was a compelling argument in support of video games and it made me think, "Maybe".  Maybe video games are not the worst thing ever.  And then a few weeks after watching that Ted Talk, I found myself playing bowling on the wii with the family and I thought to myself this is FUN and we are being somewhat ACTIVE on a cold and sleeting day.  And darn it my son is so frickin' cute when he bowls and then dances around joyfully awaiting the result of his efforts.  You should see his dance moves when he gets a strike!  That dance is the BEST!  It was a rare POSITIVE gaming experience for me.

Forget about cures for diseases... let's just create a new video game. You know a game that will help our kids learn to kill things and become desensitized to death and violence.~Vern

Then the other day the kids came home from school with a newspaper article about how video games are good for you. It kind of pissed me off, because it was in a publication that the school provided them and it was not research based and it was very one sided.  They were convinced I would read it and instantly decide that all video games were great and they could play them non-stop without any restrictions whatsoever for the rest of their lives. WRONG.   I am nothing if not the video game Nazi.  I may actually be a distant relative to Hitler, the way I police the kindles and wii.  Yes, I am at war with video games and electronics in general.  And while I am probably fighting a losing battled, I will continue to battle on.  I am not a quitter.

I'd like to see the research that supports this quote from Reagan.  However, somewhat related, my dentist and I were discussing this very topic the last time I was in his office and he informed me that his son was a lot like mine in that he was addicted to video games and had behavioral issues surrounding video games; His son is now an adult and he turned out okay. He is indeed an actual pilot who claims the video games prepared him well for the rigors of flight school.  Who knows, maybe I will get a pilot out of all this.

Anyhow, I don't have this all figured out yet, but I am committed to fighting technology as long as possible.  I believe deeply that the most important lessons in life are learned by interacting with living creatures and our environment. While I fully admit there are some practical applications for electronic devices, I am not convinced that our young children need a lot of screen time.  They need to get outside, they need to interact with other living creatures and most importantly they need to learn how to look in someone's eyes and talk to them about difficult stuff in a compassionate and appropriate way.

PS I think that running is a much healthier habit and has many more benefits to offer mankind.  I pray each and every day that at least one of my children will become a runner and we will have a shared love for that activity. Running is so much better than any video game (even Minecraft).

PPS I didnt know how to spell Minecraft so I had to google it and Minecraft actually popped up after just the first three letters were entered into my search.  This was very, very disturbing to me.  I called my therapist back and plan to go there today if anyone cancels.

PPPS Kara went to run club with me for the Boston Marathon Party and we had a ball so I feel like I may get her involved with running if her asthma doesn't become too problematic.

PPPPS  I hate that Kara has inherited Jeff's asthma gene. I wish she had lungs like her momma.

Vern out

No comments:

Post a Comment