Monday, January 01, 2007

Video Killed the Child Star

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The days of coming in when the streetlights come on are no more. Waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed has gone by the wayside in favor of glassy eyed and intensified.

Enter the arena of video games. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Kiddie orgasms packaged by way of Wii, Playstation and XBox. An ordinary, extraordinary box that has our children captured, and entraptured in an area that doesn't include dodgeball, kickball, double dutching, and hide and go seek (Hell, I would even take hide and go get it at this point)!

Though the number of children have declined in knowing the symbol for Pi, you have an innumerable amount of children who can tell you how to get to the 'next level' of video games, and who can manipulate a console better than Jeff Gordon navigates his race car.

Sure, I know that in my antiquated state of being, my experiences with Frogger, Combat, Centipede, and Pac Man pale in comparison to Grand Theft Auto, Black, Hitman, Blood Money, and John Madden Live. However, even in my Atari induced age, I knew for sure that I still had a healthy balance between staring back and forth with my black joystick with the red button, and going outside for playing a good old fashioned game of Y.E.S. spells yes and you are not it (FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE).

I don't see this with children now (and quiet as it's kept, some adults). Most children, can carry on a full fledged conversation regarding shortcuts, intracies about the game, and then go online for additional features, and waiting for the next version to come out, that which cost their parents the equivalent of one week's gas. It is all that they request on their birthdays, Christmas, Bah/Bat mitzvahs, and general by the way begging while mom and dad peruse through the shopping center. A trip to your local electronics store will bring you privy to children crowded around the nearest game console, and or, jockying for position as to "who got next". Moreover, you have children who will scream like a banshee if the gaming is limited, or worse, revoked as a result of punishment.

With parents (by often times, through no fault of their own) working more and more, traffic getting worse, and hand held heroin like blackberries bringing you both farther and closer to the workforce, what often turned into an extracurricular activity for the children evolve into their main source of entertainment.

Radio Flyer Wagon, where are you?

Here is a good article regarding Video Game Addiction.

What do YOU think about the Video Game Revolution?

22 comments:

chele said...

I'm not happy with it. The new PS3 costs $600 and my son actually expects me to buy it for him. What is that? I bought him two games for his PS2 and spent close to $80 and that is cheap.

The financial aspect is one thing but when I think about the hours spent in front of the game system ... I just don't get it. Even when he leaves the house it's to play games at a friend's house. I rejoice on those days when we actually goes to the basketball court and plays basketball that doesn't involve controllers or memory cards.

Anonymous said...

Its good and its bad, but mainly its just bad. There are 8 year olds that can kick my ass on an xbox and 13 year olds that know more about the internet than I do. I guess that makes them a little quicker than some. At the same time its destroying their eyes, making them anti-social, and giving them emotions that they shouldnt have. I have a friend who's brother is OBSESSED with the internet and video games. HE GOES NO WHERE. He doesnt go out side he doesnt do anything but sit on the computer. If you tell him he cant use it he damn near has an anxiety attack. He's 15 and he was screaming obsenities at me something fierce once because I wouldnt get off right away. Like the world will end if he's not on the computer RIGH NOW. Its like a crack adiction, and its scary.

P said...

@ Chele. . .

Ouch at the cost of the new PS3. I understand that things need to be upgraded, a la computers, but you can get a bare basics computer, with room to spare, for less than that!

@ The Peach. . .

Girl, ooh, wee. I think all in all, the fun of it has been disguised very deeply into what has happened with your friend. I mean your friend just straight hoo-banged on you because YOU were just having fun on the console.

**SIGH**

crazyone said...

I find that kids will play today just as they did in years gone by if they are encouraged to do so. One of the main barriers is that back in the day we were allowed to go outside and play without our parents. Most parents will not even consider letting their kids go outside alone these days. This means in order for the kids to get from in front of the game systems parents will have to get out from in front of the television. We have a family retreat every year at a state park and we can not get the kids to come inside. There was a group of twenty or so of them that spent hours keeping a fire going with twigs and leaves, rolling a log, and throwing rocks in a lake.

P said...

@ Crazyone. . .

I like the outdoors for kids. It teaches them to be creative, exploratory, and fearless. Though this generation has much to deal with (so much more than what we deal with), there are many opportunites to expose them to the ourdoors.

I live in a coastal state, so the beach is one. . .Public parks, camping (as you said). . .These things are inexpensive, (at least the park and the beach) are local, and create lasting memories.

There are also opportunites for children to play inside with their friends other games that involve their imagination, or at least, thinking with their minds, such as board games, or action related things that will bring their heart rate up and work that cardio. Camping always makes for a good time.
Thank you for your comment.

Miss Ahmad said...

i don't understand the video craze my brother plays video games a lil bit but he's more of an adventurer. you're more likely to find him at a pool hall or shooting pictures with his fancy camera than stuck in front of a tv.

i do believe that with the increase in child obesity, and diabetes that these video games encourage a sedentary lifestyle that our country cannot afford.

add to video games, junk food, distorted sexual and violence images, and you have fat pimply horny kids with a penchant for violence...

which is no bueno if you ask me!

Koolbreeze said...

my kids go outside. my son plays but not that much. i keep hearing about the addiction... i hope i never see.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

What do I think? They need to take their lil' azzes outdoors and play, like WE did. Instead, you send them outside, and I swear they have a mental stopwatch, that says "Time Served".

Outdoors didn't hurt our generation a bit, and Atari and ColeecoVision was big when we were kids.

The Mistress said...

I think it's jacked up.

And parents cater to them with this mindless obsession! It's fucking stupid as hell. The bullshit that goes on in these games is unreal.

When I was a kid, my ass was reading BOOKS (and watching Punky Brewster all the damn time)...but you catch my drift.

Anonymous said...

Girl this WHOLE post described my son!
I don't know what the world is coming to!
I think that's why we have fat little kids who can ride bikes at 12!!
I mean I don't even think kids ask for bikes anymore-
and if the did it's so dangerous on the streets that they can't ride them...
Make me wanna holla- like Marvin Gaye!

Anonymous said...

Hard-hitting post as usual P...

Look, these kids are beyond the revolution. Tell me this, when's the last time you've ran across a kid that smelled like "outside?" The fact that you have to think about it says enough.

I remember I used to lie to my mom and say I didn't play that hard so that she wouldn't make me take a bath. The way my nephew stays on that Halo, if he didn't shower for two months he'd still smell as fresh as a towel slept on by Snuggles.

It's just the way it is now. These kids don't know. I used to be able to go outside and play with a stick for hours (one of those good four feet sticks too; they'd fall after it rained). Sigh. The only advantage I see these kids having over us is still possessing baby skin when they're forty-three years old. Peace...

P said...

East Coast Critic:

I heart you! You better be glad you're like 75 years younger than me and I'm on the West Coast, yo.

Anonymous said...

My brother is a madden-aholic..he will take days out of work to play people online(hes 30)

ESPN actually has a show dedicated to said gamers and none ofthem are below the age of 18..(infact some are 40)...yep 40..sigh...

Jaimie said...

1. I hate video games, and didn't even like them when I was a kid. My dad says he always remembers me as a kid curled up on his sofa with a book.
2. Stella has a Radio Flyer red wagon.
3. Video games make your brain stupid, in my opinion.
4. Stella had a play date recently. The little girl has a brother, in oh, maybe 2nd grade. The brother didn't look up once when I came into the bedroom, and I stood there for about 15 minutes. Even Stella said, "Spencer didn't even pay attention to me!"
5. Why are boys more into video games than girls?

Anonymous said...

I dunno...being married to a computer geek (although he hardly looks like one) has made my entire family hip to the joys and pain of electronic pacifiers.

For a long time I rejected all things VIDEO GAME related, but my husband assured me that it gives children GREAT hand-eye coordination. All of our children were exposed to the computer and internet early in their lives because they always saw me or their dad on the puter.

Now I won't go into the whole crackalicious ways of Myspace, but we've always encouraged our children with educational tools to use on the computer or internet based programs that had a form of LEARNING and TEACHING involved.

But one day I picked up a new game for the Xbox and my then 4 year old son figured out how to play the damn thing in about 20 minutes. He plays some games better than his dear old dad. But the one thing I CAN say about my kids is that there's a healthy balance between playing outside, playing on the computer, playing video games and playing with their toys. Which I think is FAR healthier than the things that MOST kids do...vegg out in front of the tv or puter.

Great post! Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

okay i can't trip...i enjoy my PS2 and keep it moving...i mean the FAT PS2...not the slick thin one...that's a hook ain't no way in hell...but i do enjoy some madden....i have 3 maddens...wifey was like that's the best gift she bought me...i'll go upstairs and play and she gets to read or do whatever...lol...but your right...it's a scam

P said...

@ Tam: I have good hand eye coordination, too. :P And um, update the pic. I don't know the gurl with long hair! Who dat?

@ Sarcastik: I think you have, based on reading your posts, a balance (you go out, play with lil sarcastik, and treat the lady out) and understand the distinctions between playing and being all weird wif the game.

Anonymous said...

Yo...I'm not going to even lie...I'm the biggest nerd that you'll ever find. I love my video games...and I'm not the stereotypical person who only plays Madden either. I still have...all connected to the 32 inch with surround sound...Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and the dreamcast. And on top of that, I play computer games and even have arcade games running on my laptop. But, see...I balance all that out. I'm not playing games 24/7. I play basketball more than video games, and I'm tryin to step up the social life too, cause mine is slightly stagnant right now. I will say however, that playing games...well, having an electronic fetish period ain't cheap. I spend more money on electronics than anyone else I know. I gotta have the new video card, I gotta have more Ram...and blazay blazay. If you have the means, I say go for it...but don't sacrifice the necessities to do so.

African girl, American world said...

My kids are 5 and 7 and I just got them a PS2 and a used gamecube. They play every once in a while. They are late bloomers. Their friends have had theirs for years now!
I was horrified when I witnessed a 4 yr old pee on himself cause he didn't want to stop playing the game to run to the bathroom!!

Anonymous said...

okay shawty i just thought you were going to dogg out James Brown family....let me know when you do...

Anonymous said...

okay shawty i just thought you were going to dogg out James Brown family....let me know when you do...

Anonymous said...

sorry..the damn thing "hozed" up on me...