Gaming with Kids: Good or Bad?

hlg_parentgamershmedium.jpgMSNBC has posted a well researched and well-written article about a topic close to my heart lo these past 5 years and that’s the benefits of gaming with children. The article quotes several families who do this. There’s a dissenter or two and the article ends inconclusively (which is just good journalism). It reminds me of that poll AOL did recently where one parents claimed that its a “waste of time” – See I’d argue ANYTHING you do with your kids is never a waste of time and I feel sorry for that guy’s kid. Anyway, come on in to find a link to the article and my main beef with it. (Illustration by Duane Hoffman, reproduced here for commentary)

Article Link 

Note that picture. It’s a cute illustration of a father and son playing a game together. Note that they aren’t having fun. The dad has an outraged or dismayed look on his face and he’s leaning in protectively toward his son. The boy looks shocked or suprised and kinda happy at the same time. It’s not a big deal but I feel the dad’s expression here slants the article. Making it look like the outraged dad is the answer to the headline’s question: “Gaming with Kids: Wasted Time or Worthwhile”

Let me answer the question for you. The answer is “worthwhile.” Or at least as worthwhile as watching football, playing catch, reading poetry out loud together (hey, some family probably still does this) and playing board games or just being social.

No Responses to “Gaming with Kids: Good or Bad?”

  1. This really is sad. Certainly, I agree that there should be more to family activities than just playing games together, but that hardly makes it wasted time.

    Although I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of the picture. I take it as the dad being annoyed that his son just owned him again at Virtua Fighter 2.

    At least that’s what it’s like in my house.

  2. Sure.
    But I’ve worked at newspapers before and frankly, illustrations are often used to convey a message. Add that to the generally unfriendly tone newspapers seem to think they’re expected to take with this hobby (unwarranted skepticism) I think it’s possible at least that it was intentional. You do see how a picture like that next to a headline like that is… at cross purposes? Oh and follow the link and look at the bigger version at MSNBC. The small one doesn’t show the eyes.

    Anyone else think I’m reading it wrong?

  3. Oh wait? You can’t. Where’s the darn link? I know I put it in there….

  4. My remark was more tongue-in-cheek than it came across, apparently 😉

    I agree with you that the illustration does show the father looking on in concern, though I’d argue that it actually fits the article well.

  5. I think it’s good but sadly my parents simply don’t care for games so I sometimes get away with M rated games but they can usually tell if it’s a really violent game like say, Gears of War. I’d really like to try and play a game with my parents.

  6. Sorry to hear that Derek. I’ve made it my mission to encourage parents and kids playing games together because – like you – I had parents who weren’t interested in videogames. As far as you playing M-rated games, that’s your parents call. I have no problem with kids and teens playing M-rated stuff if their parents don’t mind. Sounds like yours are pretty savvy.

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