Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Video Games and Kids: Bad... or Maybe Good?

My parents never purchased my brother and I video gaming machines while growing up. The computer did run a few, but these new-fangled electronic toys never seemed to garner respect.

I remember running into a nervous father years ago in downtown Chicago over lunch. His son's sole interest - video games - worried him about his son's future. He understood them to only be a waste of time. But I reassured him that the industry is growing, and those involved in the business side were raking in solid profit.

I told him about my own experience in playing History of Civilization II, and about what I learned. While schools taught academic subjects, Civ added another layer to my understanding of the workings of society. Namely about balancing limited resources, the dangers of overextension of resources and the danger in underutilization. At that time a news story came out suggesting that past gamers (those that used joy sticks and Sony Playstation style controllers) developed extensive hand-eye coordination. This made them more skilled at arthroscopic surgery than those that hadn't spent hours developing this skill.

Historically, the role of games in society played an important role in developing mental capacity. Kids playing with each developed skills in interacting with others. Aside from overexposure to violence, maybe games add new skills of the digital kind, ones that could be very important in today and tomorrow's digital worlds.

Interested in learning more? Connect For Kids will hold a live discussion tomorrow with two gamers about kids’ gaming habits and how new advances might actually be healthy for them.

The online chat is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 @ 1:00 PM ET. Feel free to submit a pre-question.

Quickly, I'm not overly knowledgeable about Connect For Kids, but I am fascinated by the topic.


Blogger Matthew said...

I have written an entry in my blog that sheds further light on this subject. Please feel free to read it at:


12:43 PM  

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