Friday, September 19, 2008

Video games = Satan?

I grew up with the belief that video/computer games were the work of Satan. That they sucked brain cells out of your head while you mindlessly sat in front of them for 14 hours a day. They couldn't possibly teach you anything except how to be completely irresponsible all day long. And besides, who could afford them? A couple well meaning family members often tried to buy the little portable devils for us, citing they would be perfect for those long (5 hour) car rides to the cabin. I responded with "My kids are fine looking out the window at the scenery." Man, I am so hardcore.

In "Deschooling Gently", Tammy Takahashi has a whole section on video games, and how they are in fact NOT the work of Satan. Since I loved every other part of her book, I really tried to love this part, too. Truth was when "video game" jumped across the page, my brain shut down, screaming whatEVER while I appeared to be paying attention.

That's right, mama. Close up your mind just a wee bit more.

Anyhow...long story short, this is where the crow-eating begins. Because now, through some twist of fate (which included me using my check card)the boys now have Leapsters. Its a long drawn out story which includes me attempting to play a game on Lego.com and totally not being able to do it, and watching my kids use their noggins to figure it out. It also includes my mom finding a brand spankin' new Leapster at the Goodwill for $5. (My guess is that someone meant to tag it $50, but forgot a zero.)It also includes me having to buck up and not care what other people think, which is probably a huge part of my anti-video game thing. It also includes me realizing that as a homeschooler, there are a ton of resources I can tap into as educational options. And I shouldn't just write any certain one off because I'm afraid of what someone thinks of me as a parent. If I REALLY cared...would I be homeschooling? Homeschooling might possibly be one of the biggest I-really-don't-care-what-you-think-of-me-and-my-kids movement you can make.

So now they have Leapsters. Iggy has a Spongebob game and knows way more about money than I thought he did. Ooky has a creature game and is really good at mazes. And Mom learned that you can't just shut out one system of learning because it seems a little more mainstream. If you boycott it simply because its mainstream...is that any better than mainstreamers boycotting what's off the beaten path?

2 comments:

Sadie said...

While we don't own any video gaming consoles....we do have computers and the boys do play them. It's not video games themselves I don't like...it's the mindless or violent ones. It's when video games take the place of actions. Used in moderation, basically anything goes around here...

Sarah said...

Ahh, I hear the church lady in your title....did you throw your hands up into the air when you thought it? Heh heh heh.

Anyway, I agree with Sadie, pretty much anything goes around here. I know homeschoolers out there that are hard core against TV and I say "Oh No!" because while I don't let them watch regular TV (we live in the boonies and can't get reception or cable and I'm too cheap to pay for satellite), I do use it quite often for DVD's that teach things that I really want them to learn, like the signing time stuff. Besides, how else are they going to know how to decapitate an alien (or the undead) unless you occassionaly let them play a video game? Hello? Where is the pitchfork? Of course it's in the secret locked hideaway in the garage that has spike traps and swinging fiery balls! And how would they know that without the games? :-)