Monday, February 13, 2006

Better living through video games

Better living through video games?
Its exciting to read these articles and see the researching being done taking games seriously, but it's amazingly frustrating for me to see how hard it is for us to let go of what is comfortable.
"It's like going to the gym," she said. "You build up the ability to control impulses with practice."

"We know that practice changes the brain, as with playing an instrument, a motor task -- it makes physical changes in the brain. Maybe those kids who play video games and who are also bilingual will be the best of older adults at filtering out distractions."
"I'd still be plenty concerned if my child played them all the time," Prof. Bialystok said. "Sure, they're getting better at rapid search and response problems, but I really would prefer my child read a book."
Why is reading a book STILL seen as such an incredible thing? It's a completely solitary activity. Its linear. The reader consumes ONE person's thoughts and perspectives while being disconnected for that person. It only engages ONE of our senses. How many kids are punished for reading 2-6 hours or more a day? How many of you shut down the playstation after 1 hour for your kids?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE books too but never as being better than the incredibly, powerfully, engaging activity of playing, competing, connecting, communicating, strategizing, failing, experimenting, writing, AND reading in a video game.

As an aside: I read a few years ago that Yu-Gi-Oh cards are written at the 10th grade level...go ahead and guess the ages of the kids MOST engaged in that little activity. HINT: It's WAY below the 10th grade. (wish I could find the link to that study again)

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