Is there any reason we SHOULD have video games? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 48 Old 10-11-2010, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are the only family I know with a 7 year old and no video games.
It's not that I think they are the devil, I just think they are a waste of time and zap kids lives away. I don't like the way I have seen some people become entranced by them. It kind of scares me.
I let the kids watch TV for about 40 minutes about 3 X a week. I already feel like thats enough of that kind of entertainment.

Are my kids going to be out of the technology loop? Am I not letting a part of them develop that is inevitably the way their generation is going to be functioning? Are they good for them in some way?
What do you moms with older kids think?
mom2happy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 48 Old 10-11-2010, 08:05 PM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think there's any reason you need to get them video games; however, there may come a time when they really, really want them and you may or may not re-think your stance.

We made it 8 years (with four kids at that point) w/o any gaming systems, and then decided to get a wii, and later DS's for the kids. I haven't regretted that at all, a year later, except that now our wii is broken and it kinda bums me that we have all these expensive games sitting around with nothing to play them on. My kids don't seem to miss it much, though, and find plenty of other ways to entertain themselves. We'll probably get a new game system at some point (possibly even another wii), but I don't feel, at least with my kids, that they suck their lives away and that they only want to play them. Not at all, actually - they did plenty of other things besides play games. But I understand how others can feel differently.

So, no, I don't think you are doing your kids a disservice by not having a gaming system. I'm sure they will have plenty of opportunities to play them at other people's homes, yk?

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
#3 of 48 Old 10-11-2010, 08:06 PM
 
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Outside of Augusta, GA
Posts: 1,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
*shrug* We don't have video games, either, and don't have any plans to. We also really limit computer time. And we don't have a TV.
SubliminalDarkness is offline  
#4 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 02:11 AM
 
Cascadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 880
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Other than being left out of conversations on the playground (yeah, a lot of it is about games), there really is no 'should'.

They're fun. We have a Wii. My family gathers around it, socializes, laughs, interacts. It's not a solo thing.

I played vid games as a kid and honestly, my reflexes are pretty darn quick I think due to them. I played a lot - not overly crazy. I'm normal, have normal social skills and I'm a productive member of the human race...so...
Cascadian is offline  
#5 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 10:00 AM
 
fritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are no compelling reasons for you to buy a console/video game. At all. Ever. If you're pressed for time, you can stop reading now =).

My perspective? DH grew up playing video games on various Nintendo platforms. His family was poor, so he actually had to get a job delivering newspapers to save up the money for the console and games. He never got to go to arcades. He grew up to work for several years in the gaming industry (programming games), so he's definitely got a unique perspective on video games, equating them with lots of hard work.

We recently bought Super Mario Bros. for the Wii (boy, does it come in handy to have a Nintendo expert available for me and DS for quick explanations, tips, and tricks) and DH spent hours one weekend night, blasting through an unbelievable number of levels, enjoying the nostalgia, admiring the improved game play and graphics, and still demonstrating incredible hand/eye coordination and superb timing. But DH rarely plays video games these days.

When I was a kid, we never had a console (our cousins had an Atari, and it was fun to play together). I'd sometimes get to go to Chuck E. Cheese's to play the video games there, but my favorite was skee ball, which isn't a video game. In college, DH bought himself a Playstation, and he'd spend hours playing his role-playing games while I watched and tried to stay awake. Watching someone else play puts me to sleep!

Since college, we've bought several different consoles and have owned a variety of different types of games (RPGs, combat games, puzzle games, etc). For DH, it's always been a great way to unwind or pass the time. He's not addicted, though. For me, after half an hour of playing, I'm done. We're both well-adjusted, intelligent adults, btw.

DH has amazing spatial skills. Is it only b/c he's spent hours playing video games? No. His brain is just wired that way. Have some of the games he's spent hours on helped hone those skills? Sure. Is it advantageous to his daily life? No (although we used to joke that it was when defensive driving in LA traffic). Does he even talk about games with other people? Almost never.

We have consoles and video games. DS has free access to all the media in our house, but he's not exhibiting addictive behavior, so it's not a problem for us. He's 5.5 yo. The entire family's favorite game is a problem solving one called Boom Blox Bash Party for the Wii. It's a lot of fun to play some games. Other games, though, are just too hard/frustrating (for DS and for me). Having fun while working on your logic skills (and reading a bit) and problem solving capabilities is a good thing! It's just that video games aren't the only way to accomplish those things.

Yes, they can be fun, but they are by no means essential to a happy childhood. The consoles and the games are expensive, and there are a lot of crappy games out there, so if you ever do decide to enter the video game world, please read plenty of reviews and do some research on both consoles and games before investing your money.

Learning how to use a computer is way more critical to today's youth than any video game could ever be. I wouldn't worry about my DS being left out of the technological loop if we didn't have consoles/video games at all. Not knowing what the internet is, though...now that would be out of the loop!
fritz is offline  
#6 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 10:13 AM
 
EdnaMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think all video games are a total waste of time. Familiarization with the digital world is not a waste of time. Computers are valuable tools and a lot of things are done using touch-screens, touch-pads, etc. Yes, we learned it later but our kids will be competing for jobs with children who have been exposed from an early age.

It's all about balance. Spatial skills do not come from video games, they come from playing in real life. I have heard in the Army that young recruits can't throw grenades nearly as well as older recruits. But they can shoot very well. Why? It's all a matter of experience.

We don't spend all day at the park (though we spend several hours), and DD1 doesn't spend more than 30 minutes a day playing any kind of video game. She has a v-tech (hand-me-down) and she gets to play on poissonrouge.org, pbskids.org, or starfall.com. I want her to be comfortable in the digital world but not addicted...

like me...

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
EdnaMarie is offline  
#7 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I don't think all video games are a total waste of time. Familiarization with the digital world is not a waste of time. Computers are valuable tools and a lot of things are done using touch-screens, touch-pads, etc. Yes, we learned it later but our kids will be competing for jobs with children who have been exposed from an early age.
This is what Im worried about.
I also didnt mention that my older kids 7 and 5, know nothing about the computer. I dont want them to suffer from my choices.
I feel like my kids have an advantage in one way. They can go outside and peel acorns or collect rocks and leaves for hours. Most of the kids in this neighborhood carry around a DS. If their parents told them to find something to do, they would be lost.
But... this is the world we live in and it's not little house on the prarie anywhere else (unless all of us MDCers could make our own town)
I think I might need to take the everything in moderation approach with this stuff. I'll probably wait till they are older and have their own interest in it.
mom2happy is offline  
#8 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:04 AM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My dd has a ds and is much more interested in rocks and leaves and acorns, so I wouldn't assume that introduction of a video game system would stop a child from those interests. I've seen kids who can't have fun without video games, but from what I've seen, kids who are given pretty free reign to go outside and play when they want play outside more regardless of whether they have a ds, and kids who are only allowed to go outside when a parent has time to go out with them are more likely to use video games a lot. Same with TV. My dd would never choose to use the ds on a beautiful day because there's too much else going on, but she does like it in bad weather and on trips.

Having said that, a child doesn't need one. I am, however, into following a child's interests, and some kids are simply "computer geek" types, and they don't do too badly in the long run with all their video game and computer experience. I don't think there's anything wrong with kids having a passion for that, if it's out of an internal interest and not out of boredom or lack of other opportunities. I think computers and video games are unfairly demonized sometimes. If a child is fascinated in sports, it's a good thing, but to be fascinated in computers is a bad thing? It seems like some personality styles are given more value than others.
mamazee is offline  
#9 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:07 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Two of my reasons are quoted here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I don't think there's any reason you need to get them video games; however, there may come a time when they really, really want them and you may or may not re-think your stance.
I want to respect my child's deep desires. esp. because my dd has the personality where obsession = deep curiosity. once she is over the curiosity she loses that play all the time obsession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I don't think all video games are a total waste of time. Familiarization with the digital world is not a waste of time. Computers are valuable tools and a lot of things are done using touch-screens, touch-pads, etc. Yes, we learned it later but our kids will be competing for jobs with children who have been exposed from an early age.

It's all about balance.
This is how i look at it too.

and Thirdly (though i am talking about computers here) how can i forbid my child from playing with something that I myself play with. What kind of message is that sending my child. Do as I say but not as i do. That its OK for 'me' but not for them. my dd is a 'thinker' and so she questions all these things.

in that sense video games is a 'must' for us because it is a place of questioning. for instance dd plays on the computer. and she shares all the cool games she plays. she is both the outdoorsy kind as well as the computer kind. she knows how to search the web for her kinda games AND about online safety.

she would like a DS but we cant afford one. however we talked about it - expensive games vs variety of online games and she prefers the netbook.

my child who has an eye for things has loved the video games world. we arent anywhere near horses but she loooves horses. she loved the take care of horses game. of course not the same IRL but she could get a sense fo what is required.

she has seen her teenage friends play VD and at 7 had the conversation about war.

what i am learning from my dd is that she sees the world differently, and she has consistently 'taken' different 'aspects' of video games. its like its not JUST video games - but a place to think too.

it has also helped her with strategy too. and along with that figure out what the game designer is trying to do. like to be able to see how farmville is trying to trick you into spending money on their games.

the games have definitely built up an awareness for her.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#10 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:17 AM
MJB
 
MJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My kids get 30 minutes of screen time a day and they almost always choose Wii. Is there a reason why you prefer TV to video games?

I do think they help with hand-eye coordination. And my husband likes to play with them so it's some dude bonding time.
MJB is offline  
#11 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:20 AM
MJB
 
MJB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=mom2happy;15938198]
Quote:
I feel like my kids have an advantage in one way. They can go outside and peel acorns or collect rocks and leaves for hours. Most of the kids in this neighborhood carry around a DS. If their parents told them to find something to do, they would be lost.
My kids spend about 3 hours a day (on school days-- more on weekends) playing outside. They also play Wii for 30 minutes most days and know how to use email/google/youtube/etc. It's not either/or.
MJB is offline  
#12 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:30 AM
 
ErinYay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As others have said, video games do have benefits, like hand-eye coordination and familiarity with electronics overall.

I also think they have a lot of educational bonuses without even having to play "educational" games. RPGs in particular require reading skills, patience, strategy, problem solving, decision-making, and help build confidence.

Sure, there are mindless games, but outside of the first-person shooters and Mario-type games (the latter are fun for sure, though, and there's tremendous value, IMO, in fun for fun's sake) most video games have hidden benefits. The military uses video game-like simulators to enhance and train our troops for a reason- they're effective learning tools!

Here are a few links to articles about the benefits of video games, which include things we usually think video games hurt, like social skills and attention span:

1

2

3

(Disclaimer- both DH and I were avid gamers as young kids (my first game was Tink Tonk in the Land of the Buddy Bots for the C64!) and currently own roughly 2 dozen different consoles- most are vintage systems, but the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii are in constant rotation.)

brb, I have to go learn more about alchemy and homunclui in Atelier Rorona (which is also teaching me Japanese, as the voice acting can be set to be 100% Japanese, with English subtitles!)

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

ErinYay is offline  
#13 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 11:41 AM
 
sunnmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: surrounded by love
Posts: 6,123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=mom2happy;15938198]
Quote:
I think I might need to take the everything in moderation approach with this stuff. I'll probably wait till they are older and have their own interest in it.
Sounds very reasonable to me

My 9 yo still has little/no interest in video games, but likes some online games. Most of her friends have a DS and a Wii, but it doesn't present any issues or problems in playing together. Sometimes she plays Wii at a friend's house, but not very often. In fact, on two separate occasions, she's had a borrowed game at our house for a couple weeks (once a DS that was left here, and once a Wii that a friend lent while out of town). Both times, dd picked it up once or twice and then lost interest. My dd really likes Guitar Hero when we visit relatives/friends that have that, but she much prefers that, instead of buying a game system and Guitar Hero, we bought her a REAL guitar and pay for lessons

These game systems aren't cheap, and I don't see the point of buying them until/unless the child is already very interested--and even then, I'd try borrowing one first to see if they will quickly lose interest.
sunnmama is offline  
#14 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 12:29 PM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I do think they help with hand-eye coordination. And my husband likes to play with them so it's some dude bonding time.
I miss this (now that our wii isn't working). DH and my oldest DS would play together, at times, and I really think it was good for them. Sure, they also go outside and play catch with the football together and bond, but there is something about them sitting right next to each other, working together on a common goal and talking pretty continuously. I think it's Mario Galaxy 2 that they stayed up late to beat, but it's a game where both people are playing at the same exact time, and collaborating with what they are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post

My kids spend about 3 hours a day (on school days-- more on weekends) playing outside. They also play Wii for 30 minutes most days and know how to use email/google/youtube/etc. It's not either/or.
This is my kids, too. They play outside for hours most days, but they still use the computer or a game system often, as well. It doesn't mean they are addicted and would pass up bike riding with each other to play their DS or even watch a movie on Netflix. I can't ever see that happening.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
#15 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
My kids get 30 minutes of screen time a day and they almost always choose Wii. Is there a reason why you prefer TV to video games?
No, I guess it wouldn't make a difference. That's probably what I'll do if the time comes. I dont see myself saying "no way" to video games, but I dont want to encourage them.
mom2happy is offline  
#16 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=MJB;15938296]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post

My kids spend about 3 hours a day (on school days-- more on weekends) playing outside. They also play Wii for 30 minutes most days and know how to use email/google/youtube/etc. It's not either/or.
That is good to know. Sometimes I get dramatic about things. It wouldnt have to be either/ or, especially when there would be time limits.
Gosh- it's like Im seeing technology as something that threatens childhood. I am just too darn sensitive and think I need to loosen up.
mom2happy is offline  
#17 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 01:55 PM
 
Cascadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 880
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=mom2happy;15938198]
Quote:


I also didnt mention that my older kids 7 and 5, know nothing about the computer. I dont want them to suffer from my choices.
I feel like my kids have an advantage in one way. They can go outside and peel acorns or collect rocks and leaves for hours. Most of the kids in this neighborhood carry around a DS. If their parents told them to find something to do, they would be lost.
.
Hmm...my kids play outside for hours, are incredibly social and have lots of friends, are not overweight from lack of activity...and they play Wii about once a week, have computer screen time, have a handheld (not a DS), and watch some tv. I really think that's your statement's a gross generalization. When we hear about the evils and ills of things like screen time and vid games, it's usually from the most extreme cases...the kids who end up on Maury Povich or something because they're 5 and 200 lbs. In these extreme situations, the kids and parenting are likely predisposed to social/physical issues anyway, and this exacerbates it.

It's about balance. No, no one gets unlimited screen time.

I actually teach my kids to be technologically literate. They play games, learned to google and use wikipedia, learn about the world with google earth and space, they can type, their spelling's improved, as well as tons of culture from youtube. Penpals on email. etc. My DD said that her and a friend (remember, they're 6) had to teach their teacher how to do something on the computer.

And I'm not even ahead of the game. Kids HER AGE have iPods, iPads, laptops, and so on.

So yeah...the computer part, I'm not sure I agree with as I consider familiarity a life tool and almost an expectation at school. But that's just my bias, obviously.

I'll be honest here and go so far as to say that I wouldn't rank playing with leaves for an hour as having higher educational/useful/fun value to them as a self-motivated hour on the computer learning about space/playing space games/watching clips of space documentaries/googling photos of nebulae/etc. etc. Again, IMO.
Cascadian is offline  
#18 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
mom2happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=Cascadian;15938859]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post
I'll be honest here and go so far as to say that I wouldn't rank playing with leaves for an hour as having higher educational/useful/fun value to them as a self-motivated hour on the computer learning about space/playing space games/watching clips of space documentaries/googling photos of nebulae/etc. etc. Again, IMO.
See, this isnt what I posted the thread about really. I was talking about games, not learning from the computer.
Using the internet as an educational tool is nothing short of amazing.
When they show an interest in looking up info on google I will surely accomodate that with supervision.

I also wasnt expressing that my kids have a higher education. I will say, however, if we get together with other families in an unstructured setting there are many children who just hang around and complain that there is nothing to do. I strongly feel its because they are provided with constant entertainment/ sports/ extra curricular activities.
Im not even talking about the extremes.
That is the advantage I believe my kids have. As far as them losing out on another advantage- that is what Im trying to figure out here.
mom2happy is offline  
#19 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 04:24 PM
 
EarthMamaToBe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sunny, SC
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DH had ADHD and his pedi recommended video games to help with attention span and it did wonders.
EarthMamaToBe is offline  
#20 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 08:14 PM
 
velochic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Dreaming of the Bavarian Alps
Posts: 8,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
People who have them will argue they are useful. I don't see any use and no reason at all to have them. None. Dh is a computer science professor and I am a SAHM, former programmer (still do web design) and neither of us had video games. In fact, dh, who is in his 50's, was never even exposed to TV or computers until college. He's top in his field, which happens to be computer vision, so obviously having video games around has nothing to do with talent in the field. Whatever "motor skills" one might gain can easily be gained by doing the actual *physical* activity, rather than pretending to do it on a screen. I just see no redeeming qualities in video games.
velochic is offline  
#21 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 08:26 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,298
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, there is no reason. My 7 and 10yos don't have them. Neither do most of their friends. These kids always find something to do with each other. There is never any standing around wondering what to occupy themselves with.

I'm not saying that video games make children dependent on them for entertainment (although I've seen cases of it) or that they sap a child's ability to think up non-video game stuff to do (although again, I've seen it). What I am saying is that kids who don't have video games do not (in my experience) lack things to do.

As for the whole "familiarity with the digital world" argument, I don't buy it. I was an adult when the internet came along. No previous computer experience except for word processing in the college "tech center." Yet here I am happily communicating on the web, sending email, managing digital media, etc. All skills I picked up quickly as an adult. I'm not worried about my boys' hand-eye coordination. They make their own bows and arrows and shoot the watering can in the back yard. I would rather they do that than playing video games, frankly.
zinemama is offline  
#22 of 48 Old 10-12-2010, 08:55 PM
 
CheriK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: central valley, California
Posts: 442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Funny to find this discussion. I'd logged on to post for ideas about helping kids to learn game limits (but that's another discussion).

We are a tech-loving family. My husband, both brothers, father-in-law all make their living from computers in some form or another. FIL just set up systems for our homeschooled 9 year olds, so we now have 3 computers networked in our house. We have two dedicated game systems here, FIL has a third (all different). My two oldest bought themselves DS systems and Ipods. DH and I both have our own handheld systems of different varieties. I have a smart phone.

But on a typical day, I'd say we spend less than 30 minutes using all that technology (not DH, he's on the computer all day at work, but that's his job). Right now, DS is over-doing it on a new game. But it's new and as the excitement wears off, his intense interest will wane. And when his friend knocked on the door, he was off the computer and running outside.

We homeschool and I have to say that among the homeschool community we are probably towards the extreme end of game use. Many families choose to homeschool because they do not want their children exposed to this sort of technology. I do respect that what works for our family won't work for others. And NOT allowing game use for my children, when all the adults around them use computers all the time, would be inappropriate IMO.

We have limits on game use. The kids have to finish their chores and schoolwork before they can play games or watch TV (also before they can play outside with friends, read, play board games. . .). Game systems don't stay on all afternoon & all screentime ends at dinner unless it's family movie night. I really try not to dictate length of play beyond that. For those of you don't play games, you might not realize that many of the games have goals that you're trying to reach. Quitting in the middle of achieving a goal means losing all your progress, which is frustrating to say the least. We teach our kids to plan their game play just as they plan other activities - don't start a new level when it's almost dinner, for instance! We as a family have made decisions on what types of games are allowed in our house. DH and I agree that the graphic "first-person shooter" type games simply aren't appropriate or necessary for ANYONE to play, for example. It's easy to find game reviews, screen shots, examples of play on-line. It's my job as a parent to know what games my kids want to play & whether or not they're appropriate.

Video games themselves can be educational. A game doesn't have to say "educational" to teach, and probably the ones that are best at teaching aren't designed specifically to be educational. Same, IMO, is true for board games (we also are a board-game loving family; we host a monthly homeschool gaming afternoon & probably own about 100 different board games). And some of the game systems, like the Wii and the new Playstation Move, are really fun family games.

There have been several recently articles & studies on certain specific career choices and the benefits of video games. For instance, surgeons who play video games actually perform better at fine surgical procedures, especially those using computer assistance. And the Air Force uses video games for training pilots. For some perspectives on why playing games might be beneficial:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4685909/
http://www.joystiq.com/2009/02/07/so...n-video-games/

(Not saying that your child will want either of those career choices!)

I don't think there's any reason to introducing video games if your children aren't missing them. However, I also don't think they're evil. They can be fun, they can be educational. They can also be a HUGE time drain. We all need balance. If I spend all day doing only one thing, I am hugely cranky by evening. Our children need our guidance to find that balance, whether it's playing video games, running around outside with friends, digging in the dirt, watching TV, even reading. I'd rather video games be a part of life that they become used to than forbidden fruit that they end up playing at the neighbor's. I want to expose my kids to my values about game play and what's appropriate both content-wise and time-wise. Same perspective about TV and books.

I agree that technological literacy is hugely important for our children's future. I remember visiting the "computer room" at my father's work as a child and using the punch cards (remember those - when the computer was programmed by punching out dots on cards & inserting them in the right order - don't drop 'em!). I remember when we got our first computer which could do nothing without typing in a program. Our children are growing up with computers being a mainstay of everyday life. Heck, my cell phone has a better processor than that old computer in Dad's office. Our children will need to be comfortable using technology to function in society. Do they need to play video games to learn to do that? No, of course not. But it's a lot more fun to learn what computers can do with games than with a programming class!

Cheri
fencing.gifDD and DS are 11 & toddler.gif DD is 4    hbac.gif  Our car is a bike!bikenew.gif

Sharing our homeschool.gifwith 3cat.gif, 2 dog2.gif & 4 chicken3.gif

CheriK is offline  
#23 of 48 Old 10-14-2010, 04:10 PM
 
emilysmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
People who have them will argue they are useful. I don't see any use and no reason at all to have them. None. Dh is a computer science professor and I am a SAHM, former programmer (still do web design) and neither of us had video games. In fact, dh, who is in his 50's, was never even exposed to TV or computers until college. He's top in his field, which happens to be computer vision, so obviously having video games around has nothing to do with talent in the field. Whatever "motor skills" one might gain can easily be gained by doing the actual *physical* activity, rather than pretending to do it on a screen. I just see no redeeming qualities in video games.
I agree. My dh is also a computer science professor, and I am a physics professor, so we are by no means afraid of technology. We are so old that we can remember when Atari was cutting edge. We can remember when calculators were so expensive, we children were not expected to have one until learning trigonometry. Yet we are not only comfortable working with technology, we are CREATING new technology,

Our belief is that computer games are not useful for teaching children to function in a technological world. Besides, the technology changes so rapidly, I don't think what is learned in a computer game or transient technology will even exist by the time my child is grown. The hard work in computer programming is not the computer work. Instead, a mastery of mathematics, analytical problem solving, and logical reasoning is what is necessary to do well in our fast changing technological world. So, no computer games at all for my 6 year old daughter for now, or for as long as I can foresee. For my child, at least, I see no benefit from computer games.
emilysmama is offline  
#24 of 48 Old 10-14-2010, 04:34 PM
 
lonegirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto and Sault Ste Marie
Posts: 1,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well...our perspective.
We are a video game family (DS is playing a language learning game on the IPad as I type).
From a very early age ds played games with us. I have videos of him playing Dance Dance revolution at 2y....and getting a lot of excellents! His reaction time is amazing...he learned his right from his left before he was 2. His hand eye coordination is phenominal! He plays Rock Band/Band Hero/Guitar Hero with us He plays on Easy and gets 75-95% on either guitar or drum.
We have 3 XBox 360s set up in the house so we can all play together (some require multiple consoles set up), a Wii with Wii Fit and lots of fun multiplayer games.
He received a Leapster2 at 2 for Christmas....it is an amazing learning tool as well as a fun game system-he could write the alphabet by 2.5y and spell his name way before 3, he learned the difference between upper and lowercase....all while playing games.
We each have our own Nintendo DS (since before ds was 3) We each have our own Itouch.
He has learned to respect technology and to be gentle with it from an early age (how many 2 or 3yo do you trust with an Itouch/Ipad/DS?)
His first computer he had was the Comfy Easy PC
http://www.ifusion.co.il/clients/comfy/site/Easy-Pc it was his big gift for his first birthday! He loved it and still occassionally plays on it.
In his bedroom he has a touchscreen computer set up. He has several JumpStart games, Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, Blues Clues, Reader Rabbit etc. He has fun with this! We homeschool and he has a membership to JumpStart as well as several educational sites. They are all set up for learning, but in a fun game.

That being said....he loves to play and run and collect leaves, do crafts, play with cars, Lego, Knex.....he is a well rounded, highly imaginative, fun, outgoing, typical nearly four year old (aside from much of his pretend play being made up of pretending things being part of a video game)

We also play lots of board games and card games as a family. We have game nights with friends and ds joins in too!

PAT- photosmile2.gif Mommy to a super little boy kid.gif Tyr -Nov 17, 2006 Married to joy.gif Sky -August 28, 1993 
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011  m/c 6w5d  angel.gif
lonegirl is offline  
#25 of 48 Old 10-15-2010, 04:32 PM
 
TEAK's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Juneau, AK
Posts: 2,231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
Well...our perspective.
We are a video game family (DS is playing a language learning game on the IPad as I type).
From a very early age ds played games with us. I have videos of him playing Dance Dance revolution at 2y....and getting a lot of excellents! His reaction time is amazing...he learned his right from his left before he was 2. His hand eye coordination is phenominal! He plays Rock Band/Band Hero/Guitar Hero with us He plays on Easy and gets 75-95% on either guitar or drum.
We have 3 XBox 360s set up in the house so we can all play together (some require multiple consoles set up), a Wii with Wii Fit and lots of fun multiplayer games.
He received a Leapster2 at 2 for Christmas....it is an amazing learning tool as well as a fun game system-he could write the alphabet by 2.5y and spell his name way before 3, he learned the difference between upper and lowercase....all while playing games.
We each have our own Nintendo DS (since before ds was 3) We each have our own Itouch.
He has learned to respect technology and to be gentle with it from an early age (how many 2 or 3yo do you trust with an Itouch/Ipad/DS?)
His first computer he had was the Comfy Easy PC
http://www.ifusion.co.il/clients/comfy/site/Easy-Pc it was his big gift for his first birthday! He loved it and still occassionally plays on it.
In his bedroom he has a touchscreen computer set up. He has several JumpStart games, Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, Blues Clues, Reader Rabbit etc. He has fun with this! We homeschool and he has a membership to JumpStart as well as several educational sites. They are all set up for learning, but in a fun game.

That being said....he loves to play and run and collect leaves, do crafts, play with cars, Lego, Knex.....he is a well rounded, highly imaginative, fun, outgoing, typical nearly four year old (aside from much of his pretend play being made up of pretending things being part of a video game)

We also play lots of board games and card games as a family. We have game nights with friends and ds joins in too!
Can I come play at your house?
TEAK's Mom is offline  
#26 of 48 Old 10-16-2010, 10:56 AM
 
SunshineJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: In transition
Posts: 1,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well first the disclaimer. DH and I are complete technology geeks. We're both in the IT profession (yeah, I remember the old Apple 2E with the external drives, etc.) and actually met online while playing a forerunner of WoW. No surprise technology figures into our lives! Our kids were on the computer by age 2. Regarding game systems, we have a Wii and they have DSs (all gifts). Do I think they improve spatial awareness and reflex time? Yes, I do - but I also think that any activity that involves these will have the same results. What I've seen as benefits to their game systems would be more opportunities for problem solving, they have encouraged my kids to stretch their reading and math skills (who wants to stop playing every 2 min to ask what something says or equals?), the format keeps their attention enough that the perservere when trying to solve a problem (our son tends to give up on such things usually), and they work together helping each other with their games. Most of the kids in the neighborhood seem to have one, so it's a also turned out to be a great "levelling tool" allowing the older kids to have something they can use to relate to the younger ones and vice versa. LOL my DH is becoming known as the Pokemon expert by all the kids (yeah he has one too!).

Now, with all that being said, do I think a child "needs" one? Nope, not a bit. I was actually against mom getting them for the kids. We do have limits on them, and I think they'd be fine without them. However, after 2 years I can't honestly say there's no value to them because I do see some advantages as well.
SunshineJ is offline  
#27 of 48 Old 10-16-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
We didn't introduce the idea of gaming to the kids, but the Christmas they were 10 and 12, a Wii was the only thing they wanted. We got them one. They really don't play with it all that much, and we still have family board game night.

I don't think a child "needs" one, but I think that as kids get older, they should get to help decide how their recreational time is spent.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#28 of 48 Old 10-16-2010, 03:20 PM
 
EdnaMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,937
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
Well...our perspective.
We are a video game family (DS is playing a language learning game on the IPad as I type).
From a very early age ds played games with us. I have videos of him playing Dance Dance revolution at 2y....and getting a lot of excellents! His reaction time is amazing...he learned his right from his left before he was 2. His hand eye coordination is phenominal! He plays Rock Band/Band Hero/Guitar Hero with us He plays on Easy and gets 75-95% on either guitar or drum.
We have 3 XBox 360s set up in the house so we can all play together (some require multiple consoles set up), a Wii with Wii Fit and lots of fun multiplayer games.
He received a Leapster2 at 2 for Christmas....it is an amazing learning tool as well as a fun game system-he could write the alphabet by 2.5y and spell his name way before 3, he learned the difference between upper and lowercase....all while playing games.
We each have our own Nintendo DS (since before ds was 3) We each have our own Itouch.
He has learned to respect technology and to be gentle with it from an early age (how many 2 or 3yo do you trust with an Itouch/Ipad/DS?)
His first computer he had was the Comfy Easy PC
http://www.ifusion.co.il/clients/comfy/site/Easy-Pc it was his big gift for his first birthday! He loved it and still occassionally plays on it.
In his bedroom he has a touchscreen computer set up. He has several JumpStart games, Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, Blues Clues, Reader Rabbit etc. He has fun with this! We homeschool and he has a membership to JumpStart as well as several educational sites. They are all set up for learning, but in a fun game.

That being said....he loves to play and run and collect leaves, do crafts, play with cars, Lego, Knex.....he is a well rounded, highly imaginative, fun, outgoing, typical nearly four year old (aside from much of his pretend play being made up of pretending things being part of a video game)

We also play lots of board games and card games as a family. We have game nights with friends and ds joins in too!
My daughter, when she plays games, is not careful with them, despite my anxiety about it. My first DD, when faced with a difficult problem in a game, just sits there. She is totally inert. I have to sit with her and talk her through it. She's perfectly content to stare at the screen.

It sounds to me like your son is ALREADY a highly-motivated problem solver, not that these games helped him develop the skills that he wouldn't have learned otherwise.

Another parent might say, "My child was reading and writing at age four. Of course, she didn't have any distractions like video games."

You can see from my post above that I'm not anti-tech, I just don't think what your son has learned and his behavior can be attributed to his exposure. Some people are just like that from the start.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
EdnaMarie is offline  
#29 of 48 Old 10-17-2010, 01:34 AM
 
straighthaircurly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Roseville, MN
Posts: 1,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We don't have any video games. Not because I think there is anything bad about them in moderation, but because our 7yo son has never shown interest. He much prefers building with K'nex or Legos, or running around outside, or dressing up in costume and reenacting Civil War battles. That is just who he is. Frankly, the neighbor parents love our son because he gets their kids outside to play and away from their video games (to which their 8yo at least is extremely addicted). My son has played video games at their house on occasion but they just don't hold his interest very long.

I had to laugh when our son was at OT for his sensory processing issues. The therapist told him she had a great surprise for the end of the session. It turned out to be a chance to play a Wii game. He said, "No Thanks". The OT was shocked and had to talk him into trying one of the games.

If he ever asks, I would consider a Wii.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
straighthaircurly is offline  
#30 of 48 Old 10-17-2010, 01:46 AM
 
straighthaircurly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Roseville, MN
Posts: 1,537
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
Well...our perspective.
We are a video game family (DS is playing a language learning game on the IPad as I type).
From a very early age ds played games with us. I have videos of him playing Dance Dance revolution at 2y....and getting a lot of excellents! His reaction time is amazing...he learned his right from his left before he was 2. His hand eye coordination is phenominal! He plays Rock Band/Band Hero/Guitar Hero with us He plays on Easy and gets 75-95% on either guitar or drum.
We have 3 XBox 360s set up in the house so we can all play together (some require multiple consoles set up), a Wii with Wii Fit and lots of fun multiplayer games.
He received a Leapster2 at 2 for Christmas....it is an amazing learning tool as well as a fun game system-he could write the alphabet by 2.5y and spell his name way before 3, he learned the difference between upper and lowercase....all while playing games.
We each have our own Nintendo DS (since before ds was 3) We each have our own Itouch.
He has learned to respect technology and to be gentle with it from an early age (how many 2 or 3yo do you trust with an Itouch/Ipad/DS?)
His first computer he had was the Comfy Easy PC
http://www.ifusion.co.il/clients/comfy/site/Easy-Pc it was his big gift for his first birthday! He loved it and still occassionally plays on it.
In his bedroom he has a touchscreen computer set up. He has several JumpStart games, Pajama Sam, Freddie Fish, Blues Clues, Reader Rabbit etc. He has fun with this! We homeschool and he has a membership to JumpStart as well as several educational sites. They are all set up for learning, but in a fun game.

That being said....he loves to play and run and collect leaves, do crafts, play with cars, Lego, Knex.....he is a well rounded, highly imaginative, fun, outgoing, typical nearly four year old (aside from much of his pretend play being made up of pretending things being part of a video game)

We also play lots of board games and card games as a family. We have game nights with friends and ds joins in too!
At age 2, DS had some Leapster or Leap Pad thing and HATED it, he kept wishing it responded faster. He had computer games Reader Rabbit and Baby Keyboard and some others. He played them a little and then was just never interested again. So I stopped wasting my money. Now, board games he would happily play everyday since he played his first one at 18 months. Loves them! But computer and video games just don't seem to be his thing. At least not yet. I think it just depends on the kid.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
straighthaircurly is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off