Thursday 28 October 2004

Computer games 'can help children learn'

This story is floating around the net in various guises, but the Guardian seems to be one of the best sites for good news stories.

Computer games 'can help children learn'

"Like all games, computer and video games entertain while promoting social development, and playing and talking about games is an important part of young people's lives."

Not only young people! From a very young age we are told not to play with our food, privates, on the road, in the park after dark, don't touch this or that... but through video games we CAN do all that, and more!

Video games re-introduce the concept of play to our 21 Centuary lives. People rarely have time to sleep, let alone for other people. Families are decaying, violence is growing. People blame this on computer games and whatnot, but our lives are full of work work work. We don't get time to socialise with family or friends.

THIS is why society seems so bad - because we don't know it. We used to know our neighbours, the local cops, the local thugs even, but fear and prejudice and lack of time have forced us to become isolated from one another, hiding in our homes, protecting all our hard earned goods which in turn keep us isolated.

Video games help break that isolation, not enforce it. Through Xbox Live I've met some interesting and wonderful people whom I would class as "friends". I might not know what they look like, but I know them better than I know my neighbors. There is a great degree of socialisation that goes on. When you combine this with LANS and Internet Cafes, and you have probably one of the best places to socialise as there are so many different people who play games, all with different interests and opinions. Talking to them, playing with them, opens your mind to this diversity.

"games deserve to be treated by schools with the same seriousness as books and films"

People who make them are just as serious as people who make books and films. The amount of work and time that goes into games is phenomenal, I'd be much happier if there was an INFORMED academic and social debate on the role of video games, instead of stupid, pathetic rantings that we continually get in the press and from 'concerned parents groups'.

"Public antagonism towards computer games is simply the latest manifestation of a long tradition of 'fear of new media', according to Dr Burn. 'It goes all the way from the invention of the printing press to horror comics in 1950s America.'"

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