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Thursday, August 25, 2005


The Washington Times is running an Op/Ed piece on children and games. It's sadly poorly written:

The most problematic "progressive" toy is the video game, preying on the sensibilities of the young who play them by the hour. Some are educational and researchers suggest they can contribute to hand-eye coordination. Some wise men even defend the violent games as a substitute for aggressive behavior, acting as sublimation for scary thoughts (as in fairy tales). But the Big Bad Wolf by comparison is a fluffy puppy.

Most of the column is written in such short and overly broad reaching statements. She describes San Andreas as the best selling game which "soon fell in the hands of children" and deserves notoriety due to "it's pornographic images". Course, to date I have never seen anyone shore up any numbers on how many "children" (notice, she didn't say teenager) have actually played GTA, and I played all of San Andreas and saw basically no pornography.

The closest she gets to citing a source is quoting the remarks of one Christine Rosen, a senior editor for New Atlantis - which states it's mission as "an effort to clarify the nation’s moral and political understanding of all areas of technology". Christine is a self-desribed "moralizer" ... so I'm not sure why we should be surprised that she found her first experience with a first person shooter as violent and graphic. We should be surprised that people have decided that a single person's perspective on a medium they are unaccustomed with to be evidence.

Course, here's the kicker:

In the spirit of full disclosure, I write this on my laptop from a deck overlooking beautiful Currituck Sound on North Carolina's spectacular Outer Banks, with my grandsons Teodoro, 9, and Enrique, 6, a few feet away, lost in their LEGO Star Wars video game. Delight is written across their faces — and mine.

Well, at least that game is rated E for everyone. Course, Episodes III wasn't ... wonder if she snuck them into that...

1 comment:

Thomas said...

The Washington Times and "poorly written" in a sentence together? Say it ain't so!

One could make a joke about the paper's crazed messianic Korean owner, and the predominance of Korean videogame players in some online genres, but that would probably be wrong.