More video game time

posted by Jeff | Sunday, April 14, 2013, 3:33 PM | comments: 0

I recall there were several crusades against video games while I was growing up. What's amusing about this is that those were the days when games weren't exactly photo-realistic. They were more blocky pixels than anything. The state of the art when I graduated high school was the Super NES.

Regardless of the screen resolution, the case against video games usually centered around some aspect of them being "bad" for you. That seems completely strange in retrospect, and now there's even research that suggests video games make you better at a lot of things. It really does make sense, when you consider that there aren't many things that you engage at quite as intensely, maybe for several hours, out of the desire to master it. I think the problem when I was a kid was that people associated the games with TV, and TV is very much a passive experience where you can sit and drool and not interact.

I was thinking about this today, because Simon has discovered Angry Birds on our phones. He asks to play. He doesn't totally get it, but he knows that he launches birds and stuff happens. It's clearly a gratifying experience for him. I've had video games my entire life, and I don't see it being different for him (though the form factor certainly has evolved). I don't see any reason to arbitrarily keep them from him, but there will be some kind of balance that we'll have to require, like anything else. It's just interesting how our attitudes have changed.


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