Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's a Video Game, Mom!

Yesterday, both my kids were home from school. At around two in the afternoon, we prepared for our second big outing of the day, a trip to the bank and possibly Radio Shack for batteries, which we needed for my son's bumper cars. But even the mention of Radio Shack brought on an onslaught of tears and renewed pleas for a video game. Any video game would do. Elliot just wanted a video game.

I did not buy a video game. But, my daughter whispered to me that she wanted a piece of cardboard so she could make a video game for Elliot and cheer him up -- but it had to be a secret. This I gave her. When Helen's "video game" was done, it had a place for thumbs, four buttons (two on each side), a boy and a girl and a building in between them.

"Is that you and Elliot?" I asked.
"No. It's just a boy and a girl."
"Are they trying to climb the building?"
"Mooooom, it's a VIDEO game!"
"So they're fighting!"

On Tuesday over on Strollerderby I'd blogged about the California case argued before the Supreme Court requesting that sales and rentals of violent video games to those under eighteen be banned. My not-surprising take was that parents and kids should figure out reasonable limits together.

I don't think my daughter's assertion that video games mean de facto fighting changes it, but it is kind of upsetting that that's what she thinks. It wouldn't be a video game, even one drawn on cardboard, if the people in it weren't fighting. One more strike against video games.


{Lari. said...

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marjorie said...

helen is so clever! in art and insight.

but i don't know that it's fair to say "one more strike against video games." josie plays Wizard 101 and Toontown (on the computer) Cooking Mama and Wii Sports (on the Wii) and makes little avatars and plays Kitten Jump, Jirbo Match and Angry Birds on the iphone. none of them are violent. (well, maybe Angry Birds. debatable.)

Robin Aronson said...

i know i have to be more open to video games, and i know some are great and not violent, but i really worry about them especially because of elliot's attention challenges. so my closing line is like blanket anxiety.

Carolyn said...

I also wonder how I will fare when making these decisions. For so long we resisted tv (not so hard when we didn't have one) but video games are next. Took the kids to a bday party where kids were playing one and mine were totally clueless as to what it was - and of course mesmerized. I worry that limiting their access too much will prevent demystifying and learning how to use it rationally - rationed. But at the same time there is still so much other stuff to do.

Robin Aronson said...

that's a really good point. access means it's not cool and mysterious but just something that can be part of the day and used reasonably as such...hopefully.