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Monday, November 12, 2007

Video Games

posted by on November 12 at 14:23 PM

Here’s a shocker from the NYT: Most parents think video games are a waste of time, and don’t play ‘em with their kids. The exception? Younger, single parents with part-time jobs. In other words, bums.

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''I don't think it's good for them, the violence, the obsession,'' said Karen Kimball, 55, of Hale, Minn., another nonplayer who estimates her 17-year-old son plays 25 hours weekly.

I guess parenting isn't good for them either, huh, lady? 25 hours? Unless he's making money playing tournament games, tell your nerdy child to mow the damn lawn or something.

Posted by Sam M. | November 12, 2007 2:30 PM

Just like Mom and Pop were so excited and about everything else they didn't have when they were kids? Bemoan, ad nauseum ad infinitum.

Posted by kid icarus | November 12, 2007 2:36 PM

Mass Effect!! MASS EFFECT!! My life it over!!!

Posted by Mr. Poe | November 12, 2007 2:44 PM

Heaven forbid you should connect with your child doing something they find engaging and enjoyable (and the parent probably will too).

I don't understand the resistance parents have to video games: sure, your 15 year old emo kid who plays 60 hours of World of Warcraft a week probably wants nothing to do with you, but get 'em a bit younger and it can be a great way to bond.

Take the (admittedly family-focused) Wii for example: your kid can be playing Mario Galaxy while you take the backup position with a spare controller and collect things on screen and help them out with hard parts.

There are ways to play with your kids that don't encourage killing hordes of things in games with a heavy biblical reference (a la Halo), and these kinds of games are available on every console. How about learning about your kid's interests and leading them to make good choices?

Posted by Tdub | November 12, 2007 2:50 PM

Video games are for children. It disgusts me to see a person over age 20 play a video game.

Posted by Catman | November 12, 2007 2:53 PM

I'm still coming to terms with those durn dime novels, comic books, and rock and roll music.

Posted by Postureduck | November 12, 2007 2:56 PM

Catman- if technology scares you so much, just go back to playing Monopoly.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | November 12, 2007 3:18 PM

Video games are for people who enjoy them -- just like television, movies, music, books, and other forms of media. Amazingly enough, people that don't like them have plenty of other options for leisure activities. But it really annoys me to have people whining about my favorite pastime because it's a "waste of time" or "only for kids."

Guess what?

The vast majority of humanity consumes media and other forms of entertainment for exactly that purpose: to have fun. They're not doing it for personal edification or to make the world a better place. So when some self-righteous jerk says that they should be out curing cancer or feeding the homeless or doing something productive, they're missing the point.

@4: Your comment is helpful for parents, but ultimately, kids will play what they want to play -- and that includes the games that push the violence and sex envelopes, because they're "cool." What parents are really there for is the same thing they should be doing for other forms of media: teaching their children to enjoy responsibly.

@5: Grow up.

@6: Love it!

Posted by sociallytangent | November 12, 2007 3:32 PM
Posted by kk | November 12, 2007 3:34 PM

Regardless of the content of this article. Most likely a bunch of stupid FUD about video games and the kids who kill people because they play with the pixels and polygons...


This is NOT an NYT article. You see those little letters A and P? Associated Press. Associated Press is not the New York Times.

Jesus, I know the Stranger is not full of any journalists, but come on! At least figure out who the major players are.

Posted by Graham | November 12, 2007 3:37 PM

@8: Of course kids will play whatever they want to, but I have a serious issue with parents who don't engage themselves in the decision-making process and subsequently don't care about what their kid likes to do. If your kid's into video games, involve yourself responsibly. They can find their own ways to play GTA and kill prostitutes, gun down gangs and reduce the pedestrian population by 6-digits on their own time, but when you're playing with them (and buying them) it should be stuff you agree with and is appropriate.

To this day my dad can beat my ass in Civilization 4, and it's a great way to expand beyond the weekly phone call now that I'm living 3000km away.

Posted by Tdub | November 12, 2007 3:52 PM

I was going to make a weak argument on behalf of videogaming, since I'm a 40 year old who makes them for a living, but now that I go to post, I don't really have anything to add. Go ahead and ban them or whatever. A menace.

@10, the AP article Dan linked to was in fact in the NYT. Like about 75% of the print content of the Seattle Times, the reporting came off the wire or from another paper. Probably something to do with subscriptions being at 30 or so people for most newspapers these days.

Posted by Peter | November 12, 2007 4:18 PM

We play Wii with the wee ones when we can.

Of course, we also play boardgames, read with them, go to the park, and even sit down at the table each night for dinner with them.

Balance is everything.

Posted by Packratt | November 12, 2007 5:05 PM

Video games, in moderation, can be fun and enjoyable for everyone and anyone. But when consumed too much, they lead to problems.

They're like every other 'vice' in our society: drinking, pot, sex, &etc... yes, it can be bad if you do almost nothing else, but really, that's a small percentage of people who do, and most of us have a great (responsible) time doing it.

Just make sure they don't play 10 hours a day. Support them when they do things well, try to help them find real-life lessons and applications from it. Play with them once in a while. It's not that hard, people.

Posted by Paul | November 12, 2007 9:03 PM

instead of letting my kids play video game violence, we go out and rob corner shops and shoot innocent animals. anything to get them away from video games. SHIT.

Posted by Jake Salvador | November 12, 2007 11:44 PM

@14: Video games won't give you cancer. You're still good to drive after a six-hour Halo-bender with your friends. And if you consider sex a vice, there is something truly wrong with you on a fundamental level.

Video games are no more a vice than movies or music are.

Posted by Ben | November 13, 2007 11:57 AM

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