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"Do you DS?"

Several times in the past few months, boys have thrown the question out to 6-year-old. And not only don't we own any video game systems, I'm not sure he even knows what the other kids mean. Clearly, the boys are using it as a conversation starter. It's the "do you like to play the same games I do?" method of finding common interests.

DS for video game neophytes like me is a Nintendo handheld video game system. While the friend queries have not yet resulted in 6-year-old begging and pleading for the games, I'm sure the requests will come eventually.

What I'm not sure of yet, is just how I'll respond. So far, when he wants to buy toys, it comes from his allowance. But is living in a low-television, low-video-game-use house detrimental socially to kids? Husband and I have different views on this. Television and video gaming won't hurt the kids, husband -- a lover of pinball as a kid -- believes.

My view? Right now, the television is on so rarely that the boys don't even think to ask for it. And weekdays are so filled with board games, Legos, pretend play, reading, camp/school and regular chores that I can't even fathom when we'd add the electronic time in. So, why rock the boat?

But back to the social skills. Earlier this week, I interviewed family manager and parenting book author Kathy Peel about a book she has coming out in August. (The interview and a discussion with her will run August 4.) While talking about her children, she mentioned limiting kids' electronic time. So, I raised the social question with her. Peel has three adult sons of her own. Two of them run their own businesses. Her take: Keep the electronics off. They'll be fine socially. They'll just play the games at their friends' houses.

How important do you see electronics as a social equalizer?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 18, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Tweens
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Comments


Peel has three adult sons of her own. Two of them run their own businesses.

is this supposed to mean that they are successful?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

ZzzzzzzZzzzzzzzZzzzzzZzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Zee | July 18, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the hours wasted in front of the tv and computer! Keep doing what your doing. He'll thank you in the end.

Posted by: Liz | July 18, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh please. Once again we have the ALL TV and ALL video games are BAD foolishness. Of course they're bad if they're the *only* things your children do. But assuming you actually parent your child, then not only can video games be a pleasant way to spend an hour, but also a way to strengthen a variety of skills. They can improve hand-eye coordination and also visual selective attention (see http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v423/n6939/abs/nature01647.html.
Certain types of games that require children to collect, catalog and memorize info on hundreds of characters (e.g., Pokemon) also help with developing and/or enhancing memory skills.

Gaming certainly does serve a social function starting around kindergarten. Banning all electronic media generally isolates your children, depriving them of part of the "common knowledge" of their peer group. It's a bit like being in a room full of Parisians all holding conversations in their rapid colloquial dialect when you've only ever studied formal French in a classroom. You kind of get some of what's being said, but much, if not most, of it is baffling. Not a very comfortable feeling. As for Ms. Peel's assertion that you should keep games out of your house, because they'll just play them at friends' houses, that struck me as incredibly condescending - "We're too good to have that rubbish in our house, but I suppose it's okay if you play it at that other boy's house." Ugh!

Posted by: two terrific boys | July 18, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

At our home, we don't have gaming systems. Instead we play board games and read literature. My children don't feel pressurized to play video games, and enjoy spending quality time with their family.

Posted by: Donna | July 18, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it is a problem socially, and your kids probably have a much better ability to sit and entertain themselves than many kids I know who spend every waking moment in front of the DS. I had friends growing up who were not allowed to watch TV and I loved going to their house because they always had the best ideas for games to play. That being said, I am not against video games. I think that if there is a balance with family time and other activities, then kids will be fine.

My 9 year old purchased herself a DS a few weeks ago with money she had been saving for over a year. We were also given a Wii for Christmas this year from my brother-in-law. My girls had never played video games before, the Wii has been used a total of 12 times (they like to bowl with Dad and I) and she has used the DS only to "connect" with a friend when the two are together and can send each other messages. Now that she has it, it doesn't seem to be so exciting to her. She'd rather run around outside.

Posted by: Momof5 | July 18, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

OMG, do we have to talk about this? This is one of DH's deep dark secrets. He loves his GameBoy. More than that, he is addicted to it. Where he works, people are happy to see him. So happy in fact that they sell the games to him at cost!

I am so afraid that little precious will be contaminated by this, I make DH lock up the GB when he comes home.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 18, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

We do watch TV in our house.... probably more than we should. A lot of times it gets ignored even if it gets turned on to watch a movie. Generally about 15 to 30 minutes of the movie is watched then the kids lose interest and wander off to do other things. They don't play with video games of any sort. I have an old PlayStation with a couple of games but nobody uses it.

Because we don't have the kids full-time it is hard to gauge their social interaction with their friends. We don't live in their neighbourhood and haven't had much of an opportunity to meet their friends from school. Step-son is pretty popular apparently so it would seem the lack of electronics isn't hurting him socially at all.

Posted by: Billie | July 18, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Altho we don't have any new games in the house, my son is very popular. Someone is always inviting him over. He knows all the "cheat" codes for all the games!

Posted by: My son knows! | July 18, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

We watch television. There are many educational shows on channels like Discovery and National Geographic. I don't see that these have hurt my children at all. When you watch something like Planet Earth in HD it is truly an amazing sight to see.

Posted by: Donna | July 18, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

The Washpo took down Jed's comments this morning! Jed was not slamming anyone, using any vile or disgusting language. There have been much more disgusting posts here including personal attacks. What is up with this? Does someone need some more Weasel Flambé?

Posted by: WTF? | July 18, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"They'll just play the games at their friends' houses."

Exactly. When the kids who don't have any video games come over, that is ALL they want to do. They aren't interacting with my kids, they are just seizing the opportunity to play with the Playstation, and they want to keep playing it even after my kids want to do something else.

When my oldest son was in high school he wrote a paper in which he said he thought it was smart that I never set arbitary limits on Playstation or TV use, but if they reached the point of overdoing it I would either tell them they'd had enough and to please do something else, or just give them something else to do. It wasn't conscious on my part, just common sense.

A friend whose family prohibited TV has told me of feeling bitter as a teenager because, as two terrific boys said, it was a cause of feeling left out of a lot of ordinary conversations.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What the heck is a "family manager"? Is that a glorified version of parent? Why has being an adult in the house become a role to analyze/exalt/etc.? My parents would be embarrassed by such analysis of their parenting. I have to think that people who spend too much time reflecting on themselves as parents are missing the point of parenting...it ain't about YOU.

Totally agree with Two Terrific Boys...everything in moderation!

Posted by: Mgcmp | July 18, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

We had no TV growing up until I was 13. Honestly the only way it has affected me is that I might miss out on some cultural references sometimes - I still don't know the words to the Gilligan's Island theme song - but otherwise I think I have survived unscathed. I will say that when I went over to my friends' houses all I wanted to do was watch TV, which they found annoying, but I think they had fun coming over to our house because we were pretty good at coming up with ideas.

Posted by: tsp 2007 | July 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"So, I raised the social question with her. Peel has three adult sons of her own. Two of them run their own businesses. Her take: Keep the electronics off. They'll be fine socially. They'll just play the games at their friends' houses."

No, they won't and her adult sons did not grow up in the same world as your 6 year old. If her adult sons are in their twenties, their social and skills universe has precious little in common with your child's.

Having basic videogame skills provides social commonality in the same way as playing hockey if you are Canadian or live in Western Pennsylvania, playing football if you live in Texas, and playing basketball if you live in North Carolina. Sure, you don't have to have those skills, but there's no benefit to preventing your child from having a shared experience with his peer group. Gaming is a precursor to thinking like an engineer. It develops problem-solving and an understanding of technology cause and effect. You can learn those things elsewhere, but . . . so?

We bought a used DS and 3 games off of eBay for our then 6-year old daughter last year as a Christmas present. For the grand sum of $80, she has something else in common with her cousins of both genders and something useful to do in the car other than bicker with her brother on the way to visit Grandma's house.

Why would I want my kids to passively watch TV rather than actively engage in an electronic form of problem solving and puzzles?

Life is about moderation not imposing rules that create isolation.

Posted by: Fr897S | July 18, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

We have 2 teenagers + a bunch of electronic game systems at our house (Wii, X-box, DS, etc.). We don't have any restrictions on their use - but the kids only seem to use them if they have friends over. I think they get used the most during sleepovers. Not a big deal, really.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"When the kids who don't have any video games come over, that is ALL they want to do. They aren't interacting with my kids, they are just seizing the opportunity to play with the Playstation, and they want to keep playing it even after my kids want to do something else."

We've had the same experience. We have one game system, 3 or 4 games (none purchased in the last 6 months) and 2 handhelds that are several years old. My kids enjoy them, no more or less than they enjoy basketball, riding bikes, exploring in the woods, playing tennis, baking brownies, or anything else fun. From time to time, they have each had the experience of inviting a friend over and having the friend obsess about videogames because the friend doesn't have them at home. The friendship never develops. The next time our kids want to invite someone over, they pick a kid or two who doesn't prioritize the game system over hanging with a friend.

Posted by: MN | July 18, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

All this tv watching and video game playing leads to obesity and kids/teens who are introverted and socially awkward. These kids spend all of their time playing video games and never develop social skills or physical/athletic skills. Then they become obese and don't know how to interact with people, instead obsessing over Battlestar Galatica and Halo. My kids are not going to have video games!

Posted by: obesity | July 18, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

to: obesity | July 18, 2008 9:55 AM
While plopping onself down on the sofa and either watching tv or playing video games for hours may indeed be a contributing factor to obesity you certainly can't think that it is the only one. Diet certainly has a huge role too.
I see nothing wrong with a kid playing a video game after homework is done - most likely after dark. Watching some tv as a family can be a rewarding experience and there is actually some good television.

Posted by: Moderation | July 18, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Hey, my husband and I love Battlestar Galatica and I've never liked video games! Watch the sweeping statements! And social awkwardness in kids and teens is actually age-appropriate behavior. Social behaviors are learned and that's when they learn them!

Posted by: Mgcmp | July 18, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

(they like to bowl with Dad and I)

Preposition "with" takes the objective case "me."

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 18, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't righly know about them their elecktrionic devices so I wents down to the bank to asks Mr. Drysdale. Mr. Drysdale said he don't know nuthin' about 'em either. But Miss Jane Hathaway done knows all 'bout them!

Well, sir, slaps me silly! Who would ever figure that a fine upstandin' unmarried lady would knows all bout that high technoligy?

But I guess it figures 'cause she being the only one that knows how to run them thar computer machines at the bank and all.

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 18, 2008 8:33 AM

Posted by: Here ya go! | July 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

At our home, we don't have gaming systems. Instead we play board games and read literature. My children don't feel pressurized to play video games, and enjoy spending quality time with their family.

Posted by: Donna | July 18, 2008 8:44 AM


you and Cecelia should be BFF. I think you have similar thoughts and ideas about kids, marriage, and life.

Posted by: dw | July 18, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Our kids have access to TV (two in the house), video games (a PlayStation 3, plus a couple of handhelds), and computers (each gets a laptop when he/she enters high school, plus the family desktop). Used in moderation, they're fine. There's nothing wrong with them.

Our kids are also very active physically (playing various sports - softball, basketball, volleyball - plus the older kids work out at the gym on a regular basis).

Blaming TV, video games or other electronic devices for social awkwardness, obesity, violent behavior, or anything else is a cop-out. Don't be a "family manager;" be a parent and make sure that your kids lead a diverse, healthy life.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 18, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Agree with MN and others. Everything in moderation. Yes, some kids don't mind not being "in" on the stuff their friends enjoy -- but some kids do. I was in the latter category. My mom was so absolute on certain things -- extremely limited TV, no junk food, etc. -- that I learned to value those withheld "treats" far too highly, which did not serve me well once I got out on my own.

I also think the whole "they'll never do anything else and will get fat and stupid" argument is a total strawman. You're still the parent. The appearance of a videogame does not somehow magically render you powerless and turn your kids into electronic zombies. If you don't want your kids to play games all day, don't let them. It's a privilege, not a right, and if they abuse the privilege, it can go away, just like anything else.

We've had computer games for the kids since they were small, and more recently added a Wii (which I love, although the BoomBlox Ghostly level is freaking killing me). The kids, like us, go on jags where they want to play it for several nights in a row; then they forget about it for weeks at a time. It's just one more thing that we enjoy doing together as a family. Can't wait for Rayman II this fall!

Posted by: Laura | July 18, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Our kids are also very active physically (playing various sports - softball, basketball, volleyball - plus the older kids work out at the gym on a regular basis).

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 18, 2008 10:12 AM

well they're moving on from one addiction to the other - video games to steroids. what will be next?

Posted by: dw | July 18, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey, my husband and I love Battlestar Galatica and I've never liked video games! Watch the sweeping statements! And social awkwardness in kids and teens is actually age-appropriate behavior. Social behaviors are learned and that's when they learn them!

Posted by: Mgcmp | July 18, 2008 10:03 AM

Yeah these kids will never "learn" proper social behavior if they are playing video games incessently. They'll turn into video geeks who are either fat slobs or skinny nerds who dont know how to interact with people.

Posted by: obesity | July 18, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Again with the sweeping statements!

Posted by: Mgcamp | July 18, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

my son loves his ds & he also knows the "cheat" codes. mostly he plays pokemon, mario, & transformers. he is quite popular with his friends because he is good at playing pokemon games. he's respected & enjoys helping his friends get to the same level he is on. i have found that he self regulates his game playing to some extent. he's only 8 so i'm not expecting him to be able to self regulate like an adult. i have also found that the ds is a great motivator. he wants to buy a game for his ds he has to earn the money himself. he has to save his money & not get distracted by something else if he's in the store.
i think that electronic games are along the same lines as junk food. everything in moderation.

Posted by: quark | July 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Yeah these kids will never "learn" proper social behavior if they are playing video games incessently. They'll turn into video geeks who are either fat slobs or skinny nerds who dont know how to interact with people.


Posted by: obesity | July 18, 2008 10:18 AM

And you will always be a judgmental jerk who sees life only in black and white.

Posted by: To obesity | July 18, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Playing board games and reading literature is so much more active than playing video games. No chance of getting fat as long as kids exchange one idle pleasure for another.

Posted by: john_nj | July 18, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"well they're moving on from one addiction to the other - video games to steroids. what will be next?"

My, what a sparkling display of wit and intellect. Tell you what - Mommy's got a big bag of Cheetos and some Cokes upstairs; why don't you go up and get some and ask her what "steroids" are? Then you can come back down and troll more blogs for the rest of the day.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 18, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Playing board games and reading literature is so much more active than playing video games. No chance of getting fat as long as kids exchange one idle pleasure for another.

Posted by: john_nj | July 18, 2008 10:31 AM

Playing board games and reading literature exercise children's imaginations in ways that video games can't. A mix of video games, board games, reading and physical exercise makes for a better-balanced child.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Don't kids play outside anymore? Gameboys, board games, TV, and chores are the only things I see listed. Open the doors and let them free, even at 6 they can scooter/skate/bike up and down the block if you have good sidewalks. Or how about going to a playground, park or pool if available?

Posted by: Siggy | July 18, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Obesity...are you displaying the fine social skills you have learned by avoiding video games...or are these your blog balls?

Posted by: Mgcmp | July 18, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I assume from her post that Stacey doesn't have a computer in the house either. I can't help but think that kids growing up into the world of tomorrow will benefit from some level of familiarity with and knowledge of computer use. And once they're actually on the computer, the kids are likely to spend some time with games. As long as all of this is done in moderation, I can't see the harm.

Posted by: Tom T. | July 18, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Jed,

I would keep an eye on Miss Hathaway if I were you. She keeps inviting Jethro over to play Wii. I think she really wants to play house!

You may be having a grandchild before you know it!

Posted by: A word from the Wise | July 18, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you should spend a tad bit MORE time on a computer honing your less than adequate punctuation skills. There are keys you might want to familiarize yourself with - Shift and apostrophe for example.

Posted by: to obesity | July 18, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

to 10:37 AM

no kidding... it was for the benefit for those who believe video games & tv have no place in a kid's life.

Posted by: john_nj | July 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"There are keys you might want to familiarize yourself with.."

Two red cards for passive voice and ending a sentence with a preposition. A yellow card for not choosing the best verb.

Rewrite:

You may wish to familiarize yourself with the "Shift" and "Apostrophe" keys.

Posted by: Grammar Police | July 18, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

So to get back to the topic, isn't it more important to focus on the types of video games they play, vs. not playing at all? At what point do you move from Mario Bros. and Pokemon to warrior games?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

I sort of understand what obesity is saying. I see a lot of kids whose lives revolve around the computer and video games. They don't play outside nor do they interact with other kids.

Posted by: dw | July 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

There is a huge difference between kids whose lives revolve around computer and video games and those who play occasionally. Moderation - there's a novel concept.

Posted by: to dw @11:36 | July 18, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

My DH really really wanted the wii, and found one, so we got it. He got last year's football game on ebay. And we have the wii sports. When wii fit came out, he got one - and he LOVES it. We both wii fit, but he is a little obsessive.

So my 6 YO REALLY REALLY wants to wii fit, which he is doing, in moderation. Mostly, he plays the games on the wii fit.

We downloaded donkey kong and mario bros. for me. So the kids play the games, some of the games (the sports ones) get them off the couch - so they are not just sitting there without being active.

Again, they like it, but get bored, so like others said, they will play for a while, then stop for a while, etc.

Except the wii fit, as mentioned DH is addicted. Not a bad thing, I think he's lost 10 pounds already...it's a great motivator - and it's like a video game. What's wrong with it if it works?

And, I had none of that stuff growing up. We just couldn't afford it - parents wanted to buy me a computer, but never did. But the games were just some things - there was everything else I didn't have that most of my friends had as well (vacations, clothes, etc). It was very painful, but I'm fine today (at least I think so).

So, some parents decide to spend their money on other things, and they should not be dinged for it - but yes, I believe saying something like: oh, they'll play it elsewhere - *is* condescending...

Posted by: atlmom | July 18, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"I see a lot of kids whose lives revolve around the computer and video games. They don't play outside nor do they interact with other kids."

I'm sure they exist, but I think it's a mistake to use that as a reason to say all videogames are always bad, or that they can't be enjoyed in moderation. There are also kids who sit around and read obsessively, or play role-playing games obsessively, or do any other number of non-video-game activities obsessively and don't go outside and play or interact. I think that's about the kid and their family, and not about the object of their obsession and isolation.

That said, I think Stacey's concern about whether she needs to get videogames to socialize her kids is odd. If they are happy with the way things are now, then great. If they start asking for it, then figure out how to bring them in in a way that works. Make your decisions based on your child, balance their desire to play the same games with their friends and their overall health and activity levels.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

There is a certain "language" that goes along with video games. My son (13) tries to engage me in conversation about what level he's on in what game, what cheats he knows, etc. - and I have to tell him he'd better save that conversation for his buddies because it's Greek to me. His friends all speak Wii and DS - sadly, his parents do not.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I think parents should just use the $600-$700 dollars they are willing to spend on video games for things that are good for their children, not something thats going to turn them into zombies. Perhaps bible camp, books about Christianity, and some sing-a-long records and cd's.

Posted by: Cecelia | July 18, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

There is a certain "language" that goes along with video games. My son (13) tries to engage me in conversation about what level he's on in what game, what cheats he knows, etc. - and I have to tell him he'd better save that conversation for his buddies because it's Greek to me. His friends all speak Wii and DS - sadly, his parents do not.

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 11:50 AM

See thats what I'm talking about. Soon your child will completely be ignoring you and turn to drugs and be promiscious. You've got to start parenting instead of wanting to be the child's "friend" and giving him or her everything they want.

Posted by: dw | July 18, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I pretty much agree with Laura's approach. Moderation in all things, don't give up your power.

But I do think age makes a difference. I do think that too much (of course that number varies) television impacts on brain development. And I have experienced in myself as well as observed in others how video games raise adrenaline - not that a good soccer game doesn't either, but in a soccer game your body has a chance to work it off.

So for my family I sort of feel like I need to keep an eye on it. My overall plan is to keep the electronic stuff to a minimum for as long as possible, and then certainly by the time my son is a young teen, I plan to buy the latest and greatest so that he wants to hang out at home at least SOME of the time.

Posted by: Shandra | July 18, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What a huge leap in logic you just made. Just because I don't share my son's interest in his games, doesn't mean he'll stop talking to me, take drugs and become promiscuous. Sheesh.

The point of my comment was that, like with many hobbies, gaming has a certain "language." Boys (esp. older boys) speak this language - Moms often don't.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - that 12:02 comment should have been titled "to dw:"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

one of my son's friends does not have a ds & most of his other friends do. when the ds-less friend came over once he got his hands on the ds he would not let it go. the friend who have ds' are more willing to share & take turns with it because it's not a big deal.

Posted by: quark | July 18, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

dw: "See thats what I'm talking about. Soon your child will completely be ignoring you and turn to drugs and be promiscious. You've got to start parenting instead of wanting to be the child's "friend" and giving him or her everything they want."


Now I know where I've heard that - you're Meredith Wilson!

"Professor" Harold Hill: Well either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community.
Well, you got trouble my friend. Right here, I say, trouble right here inRiver City. Why sure I'm a billiard player, certainly mighty proud to say, I'm always mighty proud to say it. I consider that the hours I spend with a cue in my hand are golden. Help ya cultivate horse sense, and cool head and a keen eye. Did you every take and try to give an ironclad leave to yourself from a three rail billiard shot? But just as I say it takesjudgement, brains and maturity to score in a balk line game, I say that any boob, can take and shove a ball in a pocket. And I call that sloth, the first big step on the road to the depths of degreda- I say first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon, then beer from a bottle. And the next thing you know your son is playing for money in a pinch back suit and listening to some big out of town jasper here to talk about horse race gamblin'. Not a wholesome trottin race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse! Like to see some stuck up jockey boy sitting on Dan-Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say. Now friends, let me tell you what I mean. Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table. Pockets that mark the difference between a gentleman and a bum with a capital B and that rhymeswith P and that stands for pool.
And all week long your River City youth will be fritterin' away I say your young men will be fritterin. Fritterin away their noon time, supper time, chore time too. Get the ball in the pocket, never mind getting dandelions pulled or the screen door patched. or the beef steak pounded. Never mind pumping any water till your parents are caught with a cistern empty on a Saturday night and that's trouble. Yes you got lots and lots of trouble. I'm thinking of the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt tailed young ones. Peeking in the pool hall window after school. You got trouble Folks! Right here in River City. Trouble with a Capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for pool.
Now I know all you folks are the right kind of parents. I'm going to be perfectly frank. would you like to know what kind of conversation goes on while their loafing around in that hall? They'll be trying out Bevo, trying out Cubads trying 'bout Tailor maid like cigarette fiends. And bragging 'bout how they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with sen-sen. One fine night, they leave the pool hall, heading for the dance at the armoury, libertine men and scarlet women. and Ragtime, shameless music that will drive your son, your daughter to the arms of the jungle, animal instinct, mass 'steria. Friends the idle brain is the devils playground. Trouble!
Mothers of River City. Heed that warning before it's too late! Watch for the telltale signs of corruption. The minute your son leaves the house, does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee? Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger? A dime-novel hidden in the corncrib? Is he starting to memorize jokes from Cap'n Billy's Whiz-Bang? Are certain wooooords creeping into his conversation? Words like "swell". A-ha! and "so's your old man". If so my friends. . .ya got trouble!

Posted by: to dw | July 18, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

We've had children refuse to play at our house because we don't have any video games. Any suggestions on how to handle that? Do you have that problem, too, Donna?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Keep the electronics off. When your kids' friends have high cholesterol, adult-onset diabetes at age 12, and bad knees from too much weight, your kids will (hopefully) be healthy and fit. They'll still ask "do you DS?" but they'll do it while huffing and puffing.

:(

Posted by: Anon | July 18, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Keep the electronics off."

Why does it have to be all or nothing?
You all are like chicken little - the sky is not falling. You can play video games or watch tv on occasion just like some people can have a glass of wine or a cocktail on occasion.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

We've had children refuse to play at our house because we don't have any video games. Any suggestions on how to handle that? Do you have that problem, too, Donna?

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 12:12 PM

No we don't have that problem at all. The children's friends like to come and learn about the Bible and make cookies and listen to Christian rock!

Posted by: Donna | July 18, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Boys (esp. older boys) speak this language - Moms often don't.

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 12:02 PM

Then it's up to the Moms to learn the language. I'm interested in whatever my kids are interested in - because their interests open me up to new things and it's a way to connect and continue connecting as they mature. Our son plays tennis. We learn about tennis. My husband takes a class in painting with acrylics, our family learns about that, and so on.

If an interest or hobby is important to a family member, that's a learning opportunity for everyone in the family.

Ignore technology at your peril, moms.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Soon your child will completely be ignoring you and turn to drugs and be promiscious."

dw is as fake as Donna.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Of course every mom here who never played video games or sucks at them will say "we don't let our kid do that or we play board games or they are a waste of time". In boys world those who don't play are considered geeky losers.

Posted by: women just don't get it | July 18, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

There is someone posting as me. The comment at 12:32 is not mine.

My children's friends come visit all the time. We take walks, bird watch, identify trees and flowers and talk. Some days we play croquet or badminton. If it is rainy we watch a movie or play a board game. I think some like to visit because I always have great snacks. Air-popped popcorn is a favorite.

Posted by: Donna | July 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

1230: Sorry--I didn't realize how that sounded till I hit "submit." As many other posters have stated already, all things in moderation. I have a TV, and I'm not against kids having one after a certain age. I just think way too many kids are way too sedentary nowadays. It used to be a really big deal when a kid got adult-onset diabetes, and now it's starting to become commonplace. There was an article in the Post a few days ago about how daily exercise drops from 3h to fewer than 30 minutes during teen years. That makes me so sad. Sure, part of it is due to excessive homework, but part of it is movies, bad TV, and video games.

Posted by: Anon | July 18, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Sure, part of it is due to excessive homework, but part of it is movies, bad TV, and video games.

Posted by: Anon | July 18, 2008 12:40 PM

Maybe parents can get out and walk or do something with their kids. Adults are more obese than ever before. I bet many of the kids who park in front of the tv/video games all day are the same ones whose parents plop down into the recliner or on the sofa as soon as they get home.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Peel has three adult sons of her own. Two of them run their own businesses.

is this supposed to mean that they are successful?

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 7:39 AM

No, if she said "one is in jail for shoplifting from Best Buy, another one locked himslef in a basement", THEN you would perceive them as succesful.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Nothing sadder than those boys faces who leave our house after playing xbox . Their parent's lame offerings of scrabble or take a walk are just pathetic.

Posted by: lame parents suck | July 18, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Of course every mom here who never played video games or sucks at them will say "we don't let our kid do that or we play board games or they are a waste of time". In boys world those who don't play are considered geeky losers.

Posted by: women just don't get it | July 18, 2008 12:38 PM

Of course, if you read the comments today, you'd know this comment is horse s**t.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: women just don't get it | July 18, 2008 12:38 PM

Of course, if you read the comments today, you'd know this comment is horse s**t.

actually it's not. Women generally despise video games and /or suck at them. Then they have boys and try to ban them. Poor boys

Posted by: yeah, sure | July 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"How important do you see electronics as a social equalizer? "

Very important.

Next question.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

It's not worth it to buy all available game systems, but one or two well-chosen system (DS and XBox360 in our house) cover the bases. A kid can't just "come and play" in friend's house anymore than he can come and eat dinner with them, it's called mooching, doesn't make him popular. Besides, you want his friends to come to your house too, that's when XBox360 and big screen HD plasma makes your house a place to be. DS is perfect for long car rides and field trips, especially because of wireless. It's funny to watch the kids on the bus playing the same game and communicating both in real and virtual world at the same time.

I would not lump all the screen time together. Game systems are for playing, computer for working, TV is for the news, Discovery channel, Food network and such, movies come on DVDs, sitcoms and simpsons-spongebob-similar-crap are out.

Posted by: Medina | July 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Nothing sadder than those boys faces who leave our house after playing xbox .

Those aren't sad faces - they are brain dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Certain types of games that require children to collect, catalog and memorize info on hundreds of characters (e.g., Pokemon) also help with developing and/or enhancing memory skills.

Posted by: two terrific boys | July 18, 2008 8:34 AM

Have the kid memorize all the Presidents, VPs, states and their capitals. Make it exiciting, have a road trip together, read a book. I was always amazed when a kid knew 500 pokemon names, but not his state senators.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

They memorize what they want because they want to, not because you make them.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I would not lump all the screen time together. Game systems are for playing, computer for working, TV is for the news, Discovery channel, Food network and such, movies come on DVDs, sitcoms and simpsons-spongebob-similar-crap are out.


Posted by: Medina | July 18, 2008 1:00 PM

Computer is for playing World of Warcraft.

You hate the Simpsons? Anarchist.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What nonsense! Denying your kids access to TV, electronic games, and other technology diminishes their cultural literacy and isolates them from their peers. Of course you don't park kids in front of the TV or computer for hours at a time or let electronic games be their only activity, but broad exposure to these activities is as much a part of their education as literature, art, and music. My kids say they sight read and play musical instruments better because of the dexterity they developed playing electronic games. Are you luddites, or just truly ignorant?

Posted by: Gregnva | July 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This country is falling apart because strong family values are not enforced and people have made abortion and gay marriage socially acceptable. We need to get back to our roots and religious value system.

Posted by: Shakes, VA | July 18, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Boys (esp. older boys) speak this language - Moms often don't.

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 12:02 PM

Then it's up to the Moms to learn the language. I'm interested in whatever my kids are interested in .....
Posted by: | July 18, 2008 12:35 PM

Well, my son absolutely loves flatulence humor and I'm not into that either. I guess I'm a very bad mother.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough, DS#1 - 6yo - does know the names of our federal, state and local political representatives - mostly because he hears DH and me talk about them and he's curious. Frankly, I think the Pokemon characters probably have more "brains" than most of our elected representatives, but that's another conversation...

As for moms and video games, well, I had MY DS before son#1 got his on his 6th birthday. I'm rather partial to Brain Age and Flash Focus, but I also love playing Battleship against son#1 with the DSs wirelessly interacting. We're getting a Wii for Christmas, mostly because we want Boomblox, Wii Fit, and Rock Band. Our sons have seem Mom and Dad play enough air guitar that we're all ready to try it in a game. And before some troll starts about how we should get son#1 "real" music lesson, he doesn't have the hand strength yet to play guitar (per the instructor), but is taking keyboard lessons as a consolation prize.

Finally, we use the poker chip system to manage electronic media time. Each boy gets a certain # of colored chips each week - red for computer, green for TV, blue for handheld gaming. Each time they want to use/watch something, the kids have to turn in a chip and we set the timer. Helps cut down on arguments and teaches valuable lessons about budgeting. Money doesn't really interest them yet, but they're always happy to do an extra chore or two if they can earn chips.

Posted by: two terrific boys | July 18, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, if you have banned videogames at your house you really do owe it to yourself to see if the reason is gender stereotyping. I'm not saying it is across the board, but if you are a woman and disagree with your husband on this topic and disagree with your son on this topic, then think about reasons beyond rationalizing it that it might be.

My brother in law has a teenager daughter and he is horrible about not doing this. Makeup is not allowed, going to movies with boy/girl groups is not allowed, she spends too much money on clothes and jewelry. I've talked to him about backing off and letting the "women folk" figure out what's appropriate, but he's full-speed-ahead "I'm write and women are wrong." If you, as a woman, see problems with this attitude then you know why I, as a man, see identical problems with "anti screen time" advocates. They're no different than anti-book advocates.

Posted by: Neener | July 18, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with everyone promoting moderation. I don't think video games are the enemy as long as the kids do other things as well. My son has a buddy whose parents don't allow him to play video games or watch tv. So every time this kid comes over, all he wants to do is watch tv and play videogames. Last week, I took the boys to the pool for the afternoon, and our little buddy kept on complaining that he wanted to go back to the house to play video games instead. It was kind of a drag since the weather was nice and my son loves the pool.

Posted by: Emily | July 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Neener | July 18, 2008 1:59 PM
SPOT ON! It cuts both ways. I try to defer to my wife. After all, she's been a female every minute of every day, where I have never been one, even for a second.

Posted by: father of a daughter | July 18, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"How important do you see electronics as a social equalizer?"

If your goal is to acheive social equality, you set your goals too low.

Posted by: pemdas | July 18, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

hey twoterrificboys, what a great idea; the poker chips. i might start using those. very visual & concrete. i might tie that into homework. thanks for the tip.

Posted by: quark | July 18, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

the people i hate are those who say" sniff,sniff, we don't allow videogames for Theophilis, sniff,sniff" We encourage him to study mozart writings, blah blah blah. Fun times for a 7 year old.

Posted by: give the kids some fun | July 18, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

the people i hate are those who say" sniff,sniff, we don't allow videogames for Theophilis, sniff,sniff" We encourage him to study mozart writings, blah blah blah. Fun times for a 7 year old.

Posted by: give the kids some fun | July 18, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"Last week, I took the boys to the pool for the afternoon, and our little buddy kept on complaining that he wanted to go back to the house to play video games instead. It was kind of a drag since the weather was nice and my son loves the pool."

I have experienced this too. It is sad. Our kids play when they want to and then leave it and do something else. Those kids act like they will never see it again and become obsessed.

Posted by: moderation IS the key | July 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

and my son, as we speak, is begging me to play wii fit...

Posted by: atlmom | July 18, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine any other form of education/entertainment/indoor fun which we would even talk about just outright banning?

I do think at this point to not have ANY tv, movie, video game access just because you hold some moral stand and do not live in a segregated community and never expect your children to leave is a form of stunting your childs social growth.

That doesn't mean you let them do it three or more hours a day every day. Isn't the job of a parent to provide an environment that allows exploration and experimentation in a relatively safe environment of all new things possible and allow the childs own unique personality and preferences to blossom and be nurtured?

Posted by: Liz D | July 18, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh and in another example of how kids ONLY do what adults teach them- in our world of cellphones, blackberries, and twitter, why would be surprised most kids want to stay jacked in most of the time?

Posted by: Liz D | July 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"the people i hate are those who say" sniff,sniff, we don't allow videogames for Theophilis, sniff,sniff" We encourage him to study mozart writings, blah blah blah. Fun times for a 7 year old."

Lampooning someone who seemingly declares their superiority, then inferring your own is the height of irony.

The choice of Theophilis (sp.) as a snooty name smacks of someone who hasn't spent much time in the company of snootiness (or who has some particular disdane for the Bible).

Posted by: pemdas | July 18, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

fr Shakes VA:

>This country is falling apart because strong family values are not enforced and people have made abortion and gay marriage socially acceptable. We need to get back to our roots and religious value system.

Not at all true. If you want a true "religious value system", I suggest you look at moving to Iran. Nice fellows over there, the taliban.

Posted by: Alex | July 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the only Theopholus I ever met was an elderly African-American farmer who was being treated at Walter Reed since he was a WW2 vet.

I second that it's an odd name to choose when the writer probably meant Madison, Jaiden or Hunter.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"If you want a true "religious value system", I suggest you look at moving to Iran. Nice fellows over there, the taliban."

Taliban = Afghanistan, particularly along the Pakistani border. Nothing to do with Iran.

Facts, people, facts.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"in our world of cellphones, blackberries, and twitter, why would be surprised most kids want to stay jacked in most of the time?"

I wouldn't go so far as to say kids do only what adults teach them (some kids seem to be pretty impressive creative geniuses all by themselves, for good or for evil, LOL) but I think this is a really good point. There have been days when I've struggled with staying focused on being home and undistracted when I know there's an unresolved situation at work, and it is something that concerns me. The other day just after I had come home from work, my cell phone rang, and I went to answer it and he said, "No, mommy, come on, just let it ring!" He's got a point!

Posted by: babycrocs | July 18, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Where did that Shakes, VA, guy git off to? He asked me to fetch him a nice wire coat hanger. Said sumpin' 'bout a bortion or sumpin'. I got his coat hanger. It's a real nice one.

Posted by: Private Parts | July 18, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The choice of Theophilis (sp.) as a snooty name smacks of someone who hasn't spent much time in the company of snootiness (or who has some particular disdane for the Bible).

Posted by: pemdas | July 18, 2008 3:21 PM

I defer to someone who apparently is a walking encyclopedia of snootiness....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

the people i hate are those who say" sniff,sniff, we don't allow videogames for Theophilis, sniff,sniff" We encourage him to study mozart writings, blah blah blah. Fun times for a 7 year old.

Posted by: give the kids some fun | July 18, 2008 2:29 PM

Is it really more appealing if the guy uses, "Jason", instead? Seriously?

I'd say he has a disdain for the educated, generally. Ain't got a think to do with the Bible.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Obesity, I just have to say it. I am a geek. A real geek. I design and maintain data centers for technology companies for a living. I play video games, I have a $3000 computer for playing them as well as a Playstation, X-Box 360 and I am considering a Playstation 3. I can afford all of this at 26 because I have the technological know how to have a job that most people simply cannot do. I am a classic introvert. I enjoy my time spent alone and I NEED time alone after extensive social interactions in order to recharge. That said, I am also in good shape, have a good social circle (both in "real" life and on the web), and am one of the best read people I know. Playing video games is not evil. It does not ruin your life. Taken to an extreme it can be harmful (but so can excercise), in moderation it can be a very Good Thing. When you talk about parents ruining their children's lives by allowing them to play video games I think you are being very narrow minded. Video games are part of the experience of this generation, completely removing your children from that experience for no better reason then that you don't understand it, is what really makes for a bad parent. Make sure you know what you are talkign about before you make sweeping generalizations.

Posted by: Functional Geek | July 18, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

We will recognize Functional Geek by his glaringly pasty white skin. No risk of skin cancer from too much sunshine for him.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, my son absolutely loves flatulence humor and I'm not into that either. I guess I'm a very bad mother.


Posted by: | July 18, 2008 1:52 PM

If the shoe fits.

You might also consider that if you wait to share your son's interests until you are interested in exactly the same things and find exactly the same jokes funny, you may find yourself a lonely old, frustrated woman whining to your few friends about how your 23-year-old son never calls or visits.

If you're not interested in his jokes now, he may not be interested in hearing about your aches and pains later.

Posted by: amartha | July 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This blog ought to be renamed "sweeping generalizations". I weep for some of these kids - deliver me from these involved, progressive (self-absorbed, self-rightous, helicopter) parents living vicariously through their children. I recommend settling down in front of the TV with a couple 2 liter Cokes and a large bag of Cheetos (screw airpopped popcorn). I dare say the sun will still rise tomorrow...

Posted by: Gregnva | July 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

We will recognize Functional Geek by his glaringly pasty white skin. No risk of skin cancer from too much sunshine for him.

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 4:56 PM

Funny, I don't recall anyone complaining about Steve Jobs' or Bill Gates' pastiness. Personality, talent, and success take the edge of Functional Geek's trivial flaws.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"This blog ought to be renamed "sweeping generalizations"."

Why? Because maybe 2 people plus Stacey in the course of the day thing video games are bad? The concensus has been all things are good in moderation, bub. Stacey and obesity are outliers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I can afford all of this at 26 because I have the technological know how to have a job that most people simply cannot do.
-----

but nothing you wrote about was particularly expensive.

Honestly, what you just wrote about can all be cured by a good therapist. You write like an alcoholic who doesn't see a need to change. At 26 maybe you don't, but as an IT manager, at 36 you probably will see why you need to change and at 46 you'll be working weekends because the culture of videogames won't make sense to you anymore. I manage a system engineer 15 years my senior who laments that no one plays in-person D+D any more- at his age MMORGs are out of the question- they make no sense to his limited sensibilities.

Instead of applauding the isolated, person-free life, I'd suggest working with a doctor to eliminate the need to recharge after extended social interactions. that's just curable, you know?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If you're not interested in his jokes now, he may not be interested in hearing about your aches and pains later.
-----

oh please, not believable.

I am the parent of little kids who I'm involved with, but I've seen nieces and nephews totally pull away from the parents at age 12, expect their parents to be at arm's length if not demand it through every increasing keeping-adults-at-arm's-length and then weird, how both niece 1 and nephew 1 came "back to the fold" at age 17 and 18 and the family had one tight-knit year before baby oops turned 11 and got smart-mouthed because we didn't know the names of the actors on high school musical.

Because if there's one thing that we all can be sure of, kids never change and it's all the adults' fault.

Your age is showing poster.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What age is that? The age of someone with more wisdom than you?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Instead of applauding the isolated, person-free life, I'd suggest working with a doctor to eliminate the need to recharge after extended social interactions. that's just curable, you know?

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 5:00 PM

Since you are so good at identifying the speck in your neighbor's eye, I hope you are eqally adept at identifying and removing the plank out of your own eye.

Posted by: huh? | July 18, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"I'd suggest working with a doctor to eliminate the need to recharge after extended social interactions. that's just curable, you know?"

Total Haxian wow. Being an introvert is a personality, not a disease. It doesn't need "curing."

Head-up-a** disease, on the other hand. . .

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Zat you, MN?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"I'd suggest working with a doctor to eliminate the need to recharge after extended social interactions. that's just curable, you know?"

Total Haxian wow. Being an introvert is a personality, not a disease. It doesn't need "curing."

No kidding, I feel the same way, completely drained by small talk and inane,unending interaction with others. Alone time energizes me, talking endlessly about the weather, your kids poops, and your aches and pain is a beating.

Posted by: introvert and proud of it | July 18, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Total Haxian wow. Being an introvert is a personality, not a disease. It doesn't need "curing."
--------

what that person wrote was far past being an introvert. If you read the post then you'd understand. Since you didn't bother to read it, go about your business making up stories in your head.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Alone time energizes me, talking endlessly about the weather, your kids poops, and your aches and pain is a beating.
-------

your disdain for others is curable. The next time you see someone with some career you really wish you had. You know deep in your heart what that career is, look at how they react to people. Do they falsely imagine that they talk about about "kids poops?" People don't really talk about that, but in your mind you've invented a life where other people talk about inane topics and you don't. Is that introverted? Not from how you wrote it. People are living, breathing, caring individuals just like you and for you to believe that, it just might take some time sitting down and talking about why you don't really believe that in your heart.

but don't confuse that with being introverted.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Pull my finger

Posted by: to amartha: | July 18, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: | July 18, 2008 9:12 PM

Bite me, how's that Freud?

Posted by: yawn | July 19, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"bite me?" I think all of us here feel sorry for you. I hope you feel better!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

My sons ages 10 and 14 both have x-box 360s. They are hooked up through FIOS to the net and enjoy playing games with their friends on line. We limit them to 2 hours on and 1 hour off from the games. We buy them a book with every video game.

I just do not understand a parent who advocates reading vs playing games. Reading is a 100% solo activity while gaming is interactive and requires problem solving.

I work in a computer heavy field and can always spot co-workers that have zero to minimal computer experience. Yes as a 6 year old i do not think games should be an important part of their lives, but as they get older, video games should get introduced in to the picture.

Posted by: Chris | July 22, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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