Nov 15, 2012

The "Gaming" Reality and What Parents Can Do

Image borrowed from
Read something quite shocking this morning.

Jim Denison writes:
When typical Americans reach 21 years of age, they have spent 10,000 hours "gaming".

By comparison, a person with perfect attendance in middle school and high school would have attended class for 10,084 hours.
- 92% of two year olds play video games
- 99% of boys 18 and younger play video games
- 94% of girls 18 and younger play video games

We have a couple of choices. We can cry and bemoan these realities. We can do that. That's what older generations typically do.

Or, we can accept this reality and impact what games and how games shape our young people.

I would rather be a part of shaping a new reality of our young people.

I'm no expert in video games and the psychological, emotional, social impact they have on kids, but I do think I have some common sense. So here's what I do as a parent with four kids under the age of 18 who play video games.

  1. I choose with them the games that are appropriate for them. It doesn't matter if all their friends are playing a particular game. It doesn't matter that certain games are the most popular game in the history of human kind. Helen and I get to choose what is appropriate at our home. Just as we monitor and determine what and television shows are acceptable, the parents determine what is appropriate for our kids.
  2. Our kids are only allowed to play video games on non-school days and after they have completed their homework and chores. 
These two rules seem reasonable to Helen and me. 

That kids are playing video games is a reality. However, parents can and should still shape how they interact with video games. 

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