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video games... - Page 2

post #21 of 107
Gaming family here as well (all of us), I can guarantee you that our brains have not turned to mush.

Parents who are incapable of nuturing and developing their child's creativity and natural gifts are just as incapable even if they never have a console game in the house. Having grown up in an extremely strict sect of a certain religion (where console games or television was seen as satanic, and thus was not allowed), I've seen extremely uncreative people AND creative people result, console games or lack thereof doesn't have much to do with it.

I've seen kids throw tantrums and fuss when it's time for them to come inside from being outside all day. I guess their parents should say they can't play outside anymore, since they can't give up something fun without a fight when they're little. It's part of being a parent, to deal with some resistance at certain stages when kids need help transitioning.

Other people are going to tell you you "need" to do a lot of things. Weekends away when the kid is under a year old, spanking, latest doodad baby gaget, public/home schooling, blah blah blah. Really, so what? You're the parent, you decide. If other people don't like it, well tough bananas for them! No parent, not even mainstream, escapes having people telling them what they should be doing. I don't know why people are like that, but they sure seem to be!
post #22 of 107
Thread Starter 
ah well, i didn't mean to insult people that allowed games!

i don't enjoy them, and don't see a point to them. and my son gets frustrated very easily. also, when he has a task, he HAS to finish it no matter how upset he gets. i'm afraid that if he doesn't get his way on a game, he will keep trying until he wins.

i would rather them doing different things. plus games are expensive. i don't think games are dangerous or harmful, just unnecessary. i don't see the appeal.
post #23 of 107
For me, it is more about moderation, content, and age-appropriateness. I wouldn't want to ban them outright, because I don't want it to be a forbidden fruit situation. Plus DF would be sad, LOL.

I hope to hold off on games (and all computers and electronics really) as long as possible. Kids are such sponges in the early years I want them to experience as much real life as possible.

We got a Wii mainly because it seems to have the widest variety of family friendly games, and you have to do more than just sit on your butt and push buttons. We have great fun playing Guitar Hero, having friends over to play Mario Kart, and my dad LOVED Tiger Woods Golf when he was here for Christmas.

I think as long as it is age appropriate content and it doesn't take over the kid's life, it is fine. I don't see the need for any of the first person violent games for kids or teens. I don't have problems with cartoon violence a la Super Mario, but real blood and gore is unnecessary.

They are expensive for sure. But I think you can teach your kids to value what they have BECAUSE it is expensive. They may have 2 or 3 games instead of 15 or 20. If they really want a new game they have to save up the money themselves. That works for me.
post #24 of 107
Children don't need video games and are not losing out without them. However, my dd does have a ds that is VERY useful for trips. And she has a game cube that gets limited use. If she were more interested in that kind of thing, I might worry about getting them, but she only uses them occasionally on trips or if the weather is bad, so in my house I have no problem with them. We've talked about getting a wii but it's a catch 22 - if she were more interested in video games it might be worth the expense, but if she were more interested I might be worried that if I bought one she'd sit and use it all the time. So for now we've decided it would be a waste of money as it wouldn't get used. The ds gets used primarily on trips and obviously the wii wouldn't be of any use for that.
post #25 of 107
I really like video games. I don't play them because I have so little free time, but when I was younger I could play for hours.

DS 1, who is 6, was obsessed with VG from the start. We didn't have a system and by 4 years old he was talking about VG almost non stop. He is sooo drawn to them for some reason. We got him a Wii right before he turned 5 because not allowing him to have any games at our house was making the obsession much worse. He would beg to go into Target so he could look at the games and play the demo. He would ask to go to certain people's houses ONLY because they had video games. He is much less game obsessed now.

BUT if he hadn't been so bizarrely over the top interested in video games there is NO WAY we would have a game system right now.

I think that trying to completely disallow VG is unrealistic. They are EVERYWHERE.
DH has 2 adult (early twenties) cousins who were complaining last Thanksgiving that their Mom never let them play video games. There was still a bit of resentment there...

I think the best solution to limiting the time is having certain days where the kids can play as much as they want, and other days that it doesn't get turned on at all. I try to get my son out and about as much as I can, and thankfully he is very active and social. He has many interests besides the video games. I never in a million years planned to get him a game system this young. In fact, I was adamantly against it.
post #26 of 107
I'm on the fence.

I've heard and read convincing arguments that many video games are way better than what I tend to think of as VGs (I grew up in the Atari 2600 era ☺) and encourage problem solving and strategy skills.

The author of one of them made a pretty funny case that when the printing press was invented the same things were said of the dangers of reading (especially novels, which were hugely suspect) as are said of video games now. That really got me thinking about whether I was allowing my prejudices to get in the way of real understanding of the issues.

So it's not all that helpful to me to ban all video games. It's the same reason we don't have broadcast TV but have been totally enjoying the BBC Earth DVDs. Some things are quality and some things are not.

I agree that they can be a huge time waster, but I also tend to not want to assume that they would take over. I think a lot of the "kids lying around playing video games" is because nothing else looks attractive. At my house we have ways of making other things look attractive, like offering to play catch with our son. I guess ultimately I believe we could impose time or day limits rather than a total ban if we had to.

On the social issue… I don't intend to raise my kid that "because everyone else is" is a good reason to do things. At the same time, if my son had a group of friends who were really into basketball, I would think it was natural for him to play that with them. I think there's a lot to be gained in listening to our kids about this stuff and deciding on a case-by-case, thoughtful basis. So if my son himself came to me and said it was important to him, I would listen to him about it.

Fourth is the violence issue. This is the tough one for me. I recently read about some parents who had allowed their son to play some ultra-violent war game – but they required that HE follow the Geneva convention in playing it. So they all sat down to read the Geneva convention rules and talk about why and all that. I thought that was incredibly cool and to me giving a child, particularly a boy, a chance to practice making decisions according to a set of ideals under (artificial) pressure like that is actually kind of amazing. That really changed my thinking.

So… right now we don't have any video games or a gaming console. But when my son starts to want one I think we'll just negotiate from there.
post #27 of 107
a couple months ago I would have said no, we don't have a gaming system so my kids don't play video games. But, we recently got a wii, and it is really cool and has turned out to be a good thing for our family. And this after going a year TV-free.

My oldest son (6 yrs) plays the wii the most, but the others (including myself) enjoy it, too. It has also been a good 'bonding' time for DH and DS. One weekend they spent many hours beating Paper Mario together, and I loved seeing how happy my kid was to spend time with just dad. I know, there are many other opportunities to bond, but it was something they worked on together. I may have been a bit annoyed b/c I had a hard time getting them to do anything else during that marathon (mostly DH, I wanted him to take us out to eat and had to bug him for a while), but looking back, it's not that big deal now because it's not like that all the time.

My kid isn't addicted or anything. He was perfectly fine going almost a week recently w/o playing when we had the TV moved to another area in the house, and didn't move the wii as well. I honestly, now, don't see the big deal to video games. But I suppose it depends on the game and the player.

I don't limit it as in, okay it's been an hr time so it's time to turn it off until the afternoon, kids... but I will often say hey, how about riding your bikes, or coloring, and they almost always jump at the suggestion to do something else. Plus, it's our only TV so if there is something on that another family member wants to watch, they are respectful in turning off (or pausing) the gaming system.

oh, I'm still AP and NFL and all that but DH is planning on hooking the wii up to our cars entertainment system for the long drive to california next month. I think it's going to be a good thing.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magali View Post
We are a gaming family too. We are intelligent people who have been playing video games since we were kids. By no means are our brains mushy . I don't think you should "give in" to video games just cause everybody else around you does, because if you feel strongly against them it is your call. Now back to WoW...
:

This is pretty much our experience as well- including the WoW!

In fact, we started playing WoW when my family was all spread out- it was a way we could chatter at each other and do something cooperative without horrible phone bills or travel expenses. My parents (in their 60s) play, my husband and I play, my 7yo dd even has a couple characters she likes to goof around with.

DD has a Nintendo DS, I allow her to self-regulate. When she's doing something new she'll often play for longer than I might really like, but within a couple days she's set it aside to go play outside. I find that when I don't try to control it, she's much less likely to make an issue of it.

It works for our family, and really don't see that there's a significant risk of 'turning our brains to mush'. In fact, some studies have found that video games, particularly strategy games, help to retain brain function in elderly populations.
post #29 of 107
have not read *every* response. . .
had a boyfriend in college who would invite me over where I would sit w/ the roomates' girlfriends and watch them play vgs, for hours. Same thing w/ bf after college. So, met dh who d/n have any type of console and I made it so clear they were not allowed in the house, it might as well have been in our vows. I'd rather my dc read books, make art, play pretend whatever or play outside than vgs.

DH has been spending a good deal of time at the local watering hole lately b/c he found a game there he has become addicted to. It happens quick and easy and I don't want that in the house. Having said all that, I love tv and movies and would not be happy tv-free.
post #30 of 107
First off VG are not for every family. I think that as your kids get older if you forbid them to go to someone else's house to play them occasionally then yes it would be extreme, but not having them in your home is your choice. If people give you a hard time, just state that this is what works best for my family, and change the conversation.

We are a video gaming family we own a Wii, a ps2, and a nintendo 64. The way we make it work best for us is that my 7 year old has a certain number of hours that he is aloud to play per week. He has some of my old pogs in a small jar. He has to pay me the amount of hours he wants to play in that play period. When he runs out of pogs he is done for the week. We started up this system near the beginning of this year and it has worked well. It only took about two weeks for him to learn that if he asked for too many hours the first few days, he would be out of hours and have to wait till next week to be able to play again. Now he plays an hour some days, two some other days, and some days he does not ask for any hours. My 3 year old only asks to play about once or twice a week and only wants to play about 10 minutes before getting bored with it and finding something more fun to do.
post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
they will say things like what happens when they can't go outside and they are really bored...and make up all these wild scenarios that try to make games the solution that would never happen. i also don't want to invest in an electronic baby-sitter.
If ds1 couldn't find anything else to do when he can't go outside, that would signal me that we needed to get rid of the consoles, actually. I'd be very disturbed if he thought video games were the only possible way to avoid boredom. However, ds1 is the kind of kid who just doesn't get bored. He's 16, and I'm not sure I've ever heard him say "I'm bored", except once or twice when he was sick.
post #32 of 107
Thread Starter 
i don't want to "forbid" them from playing games. i just don't want them in the house. if we were at a place that had games or they were over at someone's house that had them, i would let them play. since i don't enjoy games at all, i don't think that would be a good tool for bonding with my kids. and i see a lot of parents use them as an electronic babysitter, and i don't like that either.
post #33 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
i don't want to "forbid" them from playing games. i just don't want them in the house. if we were at a place that had games or they were over at someone's house that had them, i would let them play. since i don't enjoy games at all, i don't think that would be a good tool for bonding with my kids. and i see a lot of parents use them as an electronic babysitter, and i don't like that either.
If you don't want to have them, that's fine. Truly.

But what you've said doesn't really convince me personally just becase a) you don't like games, which is fine, but if your DH and kids do, it could be bonding for them and b) although tv/video games/dvds/internet can be electronic babysitters, that is a parent + child behaviour, not due to the actual devices themselves.
post #34 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
If you don't want to have them, that's fine. Truly.

But what you've said doesn't really convince me personally just becase a) you don't like games, which is fine, but if your DH and kids do, it could be bonding for them and b) although tv/video games/dvds/internet can be electronic babysitters, that is a parent + child behaviour, not due to the actual devices themselves.
i'm not a woman , but nah, my girlfriend and i do not play. i don't want it to escalate into the electronic babysitter. i'm not trying to convince anybody of anything, don't worry.
post #35 of 107
I grew up with various video game systems in the house--I think I was four or five when we got the original Nintendo with Mario/Duck Hunt . My parents didn't limit it particularly and it was never something i had trouble stopping. I almost never play anymore but I enjoy it when I do.

It's always been casual fun and a social experience for me, from when I was a kid and my brother and I would wake up early on weekends and play nintendo together to college when my roommates and I bought an old used system and would play in a big group, taking turns with the controller. I'm actually looking forward to when/if DD is interested in playing, too.

To DH and I it's just another way to play and learn, like books and DVDs and music and board games. There are so many weird, interesting, varied games--Harvest Moon, Katamari Damaci, Dance Dance Revolution, Mario Galaxy, whatever. I think learning to play yourself, watching your kids play, and engaging with them about what they're playing takes a lot of the anxiety/fear out of it.
post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
i'm not a woman , but nah, my girlfriend and i do not play. i don't want it to escalate into the electronic babysitter. i'm not trying to convince anybody of anything, don't worry.
You don't trust yourself? Don't get one if you don't want one, by all means. But it won't turn into anything you don't turn it into.
post #37 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
You don't trust yourself? Don't get one if you don't want one, by all means. But it won't turn into anything you don't turn it into.
it's not exactly that. it's more of the addictive thing.
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
i'm not a woman , but nah, my girlfriend and i do not play. i don't want it to escalate into the electronic babysitter. i'm not trying to convince anybody of anything, don't worry.
Whoops, sorry.

If you and your gf are agreed then I just don't see the issue.
post #39 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Whoops, sorry.

If you and your gf are agreed then I just don't see the issue.
ah, no big deal.

the issue is that people try to get us to change our minds. it's pretty annoying. i was just trying to see if we were totally out of line...
post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
ah, no big deal.

the issue is that people try to get us to change our minds. it's pretty annoying. i was just trying to see if we were totally out of line...
Nope, the great thing about being the adult in a family is that you get to decide what is and isn't ok for your family. Our family is video-game friendly, but we don't do violent movies etc... just who we are and what we choose to invite into our home and life. What works for your family won't necessarily work for another, but that's what makes each family so amazing and strong.
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