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Thread: Parent: Nintendo DS Would Have Distracted Newton From Discovering Gravity

  1. #1
    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    NDS Parent: Nintendo DS Would Have Distracted Newton From Discovering Gravity

    I just discovered a hullabaloo over at the Orange County Register's Mom Blog that began when blogger/mom Marla Jo Fisher explained why she keeps her household gaming free.

    Part of the attraction for this story are the new ways Fisher demonizes games, which she thinks would hold her son back from growing up smart and fit.

    This is kind of novel:

    I truly believe that video games were created by Satan to turn otherwise normal children into his drooling, glassy-eyed stooges. After my son plays them at his friends' houses, he comes home irritable and testy for the rest of the day.

    But this... this is new stuff:

    Here's my question: When do kids ever think these days? When do they ever have brains free from electronics long enough to ponder the universe? To think of things that might someday lead them to a cure for cancer?

    If Sir Isaac Newton had been playing a DS, I'm sure he never would have noticed the apple falling from the tree, so he never would have formulated the theory of gravity.

    Fisher gets hit with gamer backlash in the comments section below her blog. That's not too surprising. More interesting is a dad named Kevin who writes about his kids' relationship with games.

    Here's some from Kevin's comment:

    My youngest son's case: he's 13 now, and loves his Xbox. The game he loves to play enables him create and design his own courses and let's others online use his course too. The menu system for this game is very complex, and develops analyical skills just to work through the whole thing. He is able to record his course runs and can "render" them and put them up on a forum for his buddies online to watch. He can do screen captures (get still pictures) of him playing. This has motivated him to learn Photoshop (totally on his own) so he can edit the photos and post them on his forum. He's now into creating videos of his games, creating title pages, splicing in pictures, adding video, adding music for other gamers to watch. I was amazed! I got him Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements (video editor) for christmas! He's 13!! He's certainly not the only kid out there doing this.

    I'm not so interested in commenters here haranguing Marla Jo Fisher, but I am curious what parents believe their kids are getting out of playing games. A release? Development of skills? Entertainment?

  2. #2


    Since you asked, I'll be glad to answer this one.

    Gaming opened a great and many doors for me. As a child, facing abuse, it gave me away to escape the world I lived in. An interest in Videogame design led me to coding, which led me to being a part time open-source coder.

    Beyond that, it gave me a reason to go to college, despite my hatred of all institutionalized learning. I'm paying 28k US$ a year to learn how to do video game design, computer animation, art, and a few other things.

    In short that "thing that turns kids into [etc]" gave me a reason to fight for a future. Way to go, generation gap, for proving once again that there are plenty of good reasons to roll with the times.

    To take this a bit further, gaming is part of what brings me and my friends together. I met several at my closest friends at gaming tournaments, and there's even a few local regulars that I vie against that have a fairly heathy competitive vibe going.

    I'm not strong - I have severe injuries in my right leg that make it difficult to run, and countless problems that keep me fairly weakened physically... But, for some of us, that's alright when you can just post online "Hey, anyone up for a bout of Smash Brothers?" and have a friend right next to you in a few minutes over IP.

    I guess I'm just trying to say, as someone who grew up in the Mario vs. Sonic era, that I think, strongly, that instead of closing doors for me, gaming opened a great and many doors that otherwise would have remained shut for most of my life. For people to show such a one sided ideal (not that I don't acknowledge some of the woman's points as perfectly valid and concerning) is not only wrong, it is a very wrong way of trying to open a debate. That is not someone looking for discussion and consensus - that is someone looking to push their point with no questions asked - someone not even worth Hitler's time, let alone mine.
    Last edited by copb.phoenix; January 5th, 2010 at 23:11. Reason: A few more points to make.

  3. #3
    DCEmu Rookie LDAsh's Avatar
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    I'm sick of dumb-asses talking rubbish. They are idiots, because they obviously know nothing about video games as a pure artform, capable of anything the same as any other art platform, yet they obnoxiously criticise it. Anyone who criticises what they blatantly don't understand (or choose not to understand) are lost, desperate and looking for something to blame, and always will be. If it wasn't video games, it would be rock music, if it's not rock music it would be comic books, and so on...

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