Video games were invented by the devil

Today brings another “genius” who tells us that she thinks that video games were invented by the devil. Anytime I read something like this it boils me up inside. They continue to show that some people are just not meant to be parents, or don’t really want to do the hard parts – like discipline.

The Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom says:

My anti-video game attitude was only reinforced recently, when I read a story in the Boston Herald about a mom who was so frustrated by her son’s obsessive video gaming that she finally called 911.

Apparently, her 14-year-old had become so fixated on “Grand Theft Auto” that he refused to stop playing it. The trouble in her house started after she woke up at 2 a.m. and found her son playing the game on his bedroom computer.

Video games can be bad, if your child is not monitored – like everything else in the world. Unrestricted, unsupervised, unregulated access to certain things for children is not always the best idea because most children haven’t learned what is an acceptable amount of time for certain activities. Should you regulate your child’s access to certain food, even if it is healthy? Of course you should because too much of anything is bad for you.

Parents that say that video games are the cause of childrens’ bad behaviour are simply looking for a scapegoat, and it is understandable. What parent wants to admit that their child is a terror and is not well behaved? It is easier to blame something like video games. I’m sure we all have witnessed the child at the grocery store or shopping mall running rampant without the parent saying anything.

Now I wonder about the question can video games teach children any positive skills? Video games are endless and therefore there are many opportunities for children to pick up real life skills, even if those skills are not learned directly from video games. Not all children are outgoing and make new friends easily – video games are a common thing among children and can help break the ice when a child is being encourage to expand their social horizons. Children can also learn teamwork through co-operative play. But again, ensuring that children balance their video game time (along with TV and movie viewing) with appropriate healthy outdoor socialization with other children is important. If your child would rather play video games than spend time with friends, then maybe it is time to step in and turn off the video games, or limit them to an hour a day.

Now with this “Frumpy” mother’s misinformed nature, I think it also important to note that video games can probably (I’ve seen no definite evidence, but this is pretty much common sense to me) have adverse effects on children if they were some other factor. For instance, if you knew a sociopath would you give them a gun and let them loose unsupervised? Do convicts on parole just get to roam the streets free without supervision? The answer to both questions should be no. If you had a really nice TV and you knew someone that had a habit of throwing things when they got frustrated, would you let them play a video game with that TV alone? Probably not.

The author of this article continues to demonstrate my point that children should not be left to their own devices:

I was an odd, geeky kid most of my childhood.
I was too weird for most of the other kids to play with, so I spent most of my time reading obsessively, which of course only made me more of a dweeb…

She had problems as a child with socializing with other children because of a self-admitted obsession with reading. Reading is great, but the thing is that it reading begins to cause the symptoms of addition to appear (like the focus of the “addiction” causes the person to spend less and less time with friends and family, work life begins to suffer, etc) then the person has obviously gone overboard with their hobby/passion/pastime. Now I need to mention that I do not mean this as a personal insult but rather proof of children not always being able to balance interests with healthy living.

There are plenty of video games that are suitable for children, and no I don’t mean Grand Theft Auto (which is actually rated to be inappropriate for children). Most Nintendo games are very appropriate for children, like the New Super Mario Bros. Wii for instance, cartoon violence and the like. Children under the age of 13 should generally stick to games rate E for Everyone. Other games include Braid (E10+),  Vancouver 2010™ – The Official Video Game of the Olympic Winter Games(E), LittleBigPlanet(E), Frogger(E), Forza Motorsport 3(E), Madden NFL Arcade(E). Would you let a child watch a R rated movie? If not, then why would you let a child play a game that has the equivalent rating (M for Mature)?

In the end, this author simply proves that parents are not informed and therefore vilify something that doesn’t deserve it. It is common for video games to be used as a scapegoat rather than have a parent admit that they are a bad parent. Hopefully we can move on from blaming video games for the world’s ills and start accepting responsibility for our own actions.

One Response to “Video games were invented by the devil”

  1. Tom Lee Says:

    Hmm, never thought it could be like this…. very strange

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