Friday, March 1, 2013

Video Games - the Arch Nemisis -revised.

We started with our video game saga when my son was 9. He had begged for a Gameboy system and we had put it off. I really didn't want him playing the games and I thought it was a real bad idea from the start. Naturally, because I felt this way, my son wanted it even more. Kind of like forbidding the Simpsons or The Family Guy; once it was no longer forbidden it wasn't a big deal.

We had suffered a lot that year, the loss of my Dad was difficult, my son cried for him nightly. After a lot of discussion, we decided to indulge the boy and pony up for a hand held video game system. I was not enthused; I didn't like video games. On a personal level, they usually instigated my vertigo so I pretty much stayed away from them. However, the boy's video game collection grew rapidly. Then we decided he was old enough for a real video game system. Yet another idea I wasn't crazy over but we did it anyway. The boy had convinced the cuter half because of the boy's good behavior and grades....

I won't say that then it was a mistake. At the time I didn't want believe it was. The cuter half had convinced me that we were going to be SELECTIVE in allowing certain games to be played in our home was the ultimate factor. We found that certain types of games starting with the letter "M" were very disturbing. In fact, after one evening of allowing our son to play these games, he was very, um, disturbed and needed a lot of calming down. Very quickly, many of these games "disappeared" and were replaced with others that he may not have wanted so much.

There are games that have disappeared for one reason or another. In fact, the boy is asking for a particular game. Doing so with such tenacity, I am quite certain the game has "disappeared" and is now gone permanently. I have heard others say that doing that kind of thing (taking the game and making it go away) is bad for our kid. I do not concurr with that statement. I believe that we did the right thing, and are teaching our son that if he behaves a certain way after playing a game like that it is more likely that the game itself is going to go away somewhere and not be found again. The tenacity reminds me of a drug addict. A total obession to the extent that the boy is unable to stop or control himself.

It seems that event the MENTION of video games and he is a beligerant mess. He doesn't realize that he has become beligerant....and not someone people (us) want to be around. He just doesn't see it.

I am reminded of one time, going to a game store and asking them about a certain type of game. We went there to see if we could sell the game through them or if we would make more getting rid of it ourselves. The game store employees told us they never had complaints about this game or the system. However, if one looked closely at the "look" the one young lady gave the other, you would know that both were fibbing in a BIG way. After that experience, albeit brief, we decided to watch what our son was playing and subsequent behaviors. At that point we monitored time, many times using an egg timer, to see what would happen.

Either it is the visuals in the games, or the music or both, and if some are played long enough, the kids get wired weird and will go off. One of the requirements I had prior to video game playing is doing 150 jumping jacks. If the boy wants to play the games that bad, he has to knock out 150 jumping jacks THEN he can play for an hour. As he got older though, we had to disallow this kind of thing (playing for an hour). It took me getting socked to make me completely anti-video game. Now he is at 5 minutes or less- still using that old egg timer.
People used to bully me and tell me I would get used to the boy being that way. Excuse me? Being WHAT way? Abusive? No thanks. No girl is going to tolerate that crap and neither will the mom of the house.

This might sound extreme, but there are some games that are just not a good fit and the kids should be monitored when playing them. Bear in mind, this is just our experience and what we think, not everyone will agree with this attitude or vehamence against regular use of video game systems.

As I mentioned earlier, I would sell them all if I got the chance.

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