Kids and Video Games: A Luddite Responds
Today I got an e-mail about a new survey of parents and kids that reveals that 96 percent of kids ages 8 to 14 will bring some form of video game with them on vacation, and that one third of parents surveyed worry that their child will be bored if he or she doesn't have enough video games to play on a trip.
Really? That's what parents worry about?
I've never been a fan of video games, maybe because I never got into the habit of playing them when I was growing up, but I don't begrudge my pals their nazi-killing, zombie-slaying hours of play -- as long as I'm not around. And I'm sure the Wii is a lot of fun, and there are lessons to be learned in educational games. But on vacation, is it really that important to bring those games along?
As neither a kid or a parent, I can't possibly know about how to entertain kids on long drives or other chores of vacationing. But it does worry me that kids and parents alike seem so dependent on video games, especially when on the road. After all, travel is about exploring new things, making new memories and connections to the outside world, and not, in my opinion, about doing the same things you do every day at home.
Of course, the fact that this survey was sponsored by Game Crazy, a chain of video game stores and online game-swap shop, means the numbers might just be telling a story the gaming industry wants to hear.
Still, I wonder if I'm missing something here in the fog of my knee-jerk reaction. Are video games really indispensable on family vacations?
By Christina Talcott |
July 9, 2008; 7:26 AM ET
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