Most parents are concerned with violence in video games because it is having a negative impact in their children’s social, mental and emotional development. I am trying to keep them from throwing punches at the family reunion. Grandpa says he is just making men of my kids.
The problem is I don’t know if I want my kids to be men just yet.
I am not a fighter. I used to think that this was because I was a bit wimpy as a youngster, but I am now realizing that I was wimpy as a youngster because I abhor violence. I hide my eyes when someone takes a swing at someone else on TV. Car crashes make me sick. And I can’t even be in the same room with my kids when they play a video game.
Game; the word implies fun, goofing, candy eating, kool-aid drinking and civility. That does not begin to describe this DVD box in my hand that I had to wrestle my kids for just to read. Now I see why.
There is a seizure warning. The Nintendo manual says “Some people…may have seizures or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, and this may occur while they are watching TV or playing video games, even if they have never had a seizure before.
The manual also instructs me to watch my child as he plays video games and to be on the lookout for “convulsions, eye or muscle twitching, loss of awareness, altered vision, involuntary movements, disorientation”. Of course, some of these I witness regularly when I ask my son to do his chores, - along with rocking back and forth and humming hymns, but “convulsions”?
I am also instructed to insure that he sits or stands as far from the screen as possible. This I did by making him a comfortable seat in the laundry room, which fascinated him for a minute or two because he had never seen the room before.
“Where’d this room come from?” He said, like he’d just had his first encounter with an alien.
Obviously I am going to have to do something I have been loath to. Inappropriate and violent video games are making it necessary, in fact forcing me to interact with my kids. I must do this in order to prevent muscle spasms and blindness and vitamin D deficiency. To curb their violent tendencies, I am going to have to sacrifice my valuable surfing time to play board games with my kids - real games, like “Risk” and “Clue”. I may even have to break out the big guns, or their non-violent/peaceful equivalent, and unwrap my carved maple wood chess and checkers set.
No more SUV-R-TV I am thinking. Have I really been under the impression that watching incredible violence on TV every night is not going to have a lasting impact on my family and make us all want to hit Grandpa? Violence, even on TV, is barely acceptable in our house unless the cousins are over. We are just going to have to learn to resolve conflicts peaceably, either with our brains, or with Rock, Paper Scissors.
I am probably going to have to find another way to get what I need without threatening to “beat them into a pulp” or “pound them into tomorrow”. Maybe I should incorporate a peaceable, less violent way of forcing them to submit to my will…I mean encouraging them to consent. No more fighting ire with ire.
I may have to bring the monitor and all the games upstairs so I can monitor. I will assign my wife to watch as they play to see how age appropriate the video is. I would but I will be busy watching the children for signs of fatigue and eyestrain and loss of color in their lips as per the instructions.
|If you touch my horsey I will kill you.|