Monday, July 07, 2003

Let the games begin

Comforting news for parents of video-gaming youngsters: All that virtual virtuosity will not necessarily turn your child into some sort of anti-social misfit. A new study suggests that for the latest generation to grow up with their thumbs on a control pad, playing video games is a social activity that they are able to juggle competently with other important life activities, like studying and, you know, seeing daylight. For some, working video games into a workable routine has been a lesson in efficient multi-tasking.

And at least so far, by the evidence in my home, there seems to be something to that. My oft-warring sibling pair have never socialized so peacefully or for such prolonged periods as they have since we bought my daughter a Game Cube for her birthday. They often play "head to head" in a spirit of cooperation, and my son also oftentimes sits peacefully just watching his sister play. Anything that gets that guy to sit peacefully is tops in my book, as is anything that interrupts the flow of "Mooooom, he's bugging me!" So i've been inclined to feel pretty enthusiastic about video games, but it's nice to have some hard evidence in their favor. Especially after a weekend party at which another mom turned up her nose at the very mention of allowing kids to play such things. "We don't do that," she sniffed. Guess she wants to raise anti-social misfits.

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