Faking interest in videogames


antonelladallatorre <anto40@...>
 

I am relatively new to unschooling (I discovered it about a year ago) but I have been an avid reader of this list and often come to it for inspiration and learning. I've been interested especially in the discussions about videogames, since one of my kids (6.1/2 y.o.) is very passionate about the Wii (he played first LEgo Star Wars and now Lego BAtman).
Since I am not a gamer, I have a "limited" appreciation for this activity, but I understand that he is passionate about it and respect this. Nevertheless, I still have to work on myself to accept it entirely and in my heart, I still don't like it. This is for me a bit of a roadblock because, even though I do not actively interfere with my son's play, I think that my lack of enthusiasm for the game is evident. I don't want to fake interest (or any other emotion for that matter). I do however applaud his newly-acquired skills and rejoice with him when he finishes each level, finds a solution to a problem in the game or draws a picture of one of the villains, but I feel somewhat limited when it comes to building upon his interest. I mean, I am not very creative, utterly uninspired, in that department and feel a bit guilty for it.
Perhaps, if I really wanted to be genuinely involved (and therefore more supportive of his interest), I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many. I am still not convinced that playing the Wii (his technology of choice) impacts his (and our) life for the better (even if I realize that computer games are a reality that he will, at some point, encounter regardless of my choices).
Since the gaming began there's been a lot more talking among my kids (a boy and a girl of 5) about "killing" "shooting"and so on. I dont' like that very much, and I have a hard time engaging in a spontaneous, joyful conversation with them when this happens. Not that I necessarily fear that he will become violent on account of the games (which are only mildly violent compared to most videogames), but I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative.
Mine is perhaps a somewhat "old" concern, that others might have already struggled with and already "resolved", but if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!


 

-=-Since I am not a gamer, I have a "limited" appreciation for this activity, but I understand that he is passionate about it and respect this. Nevertheless, I still have to work on myself to accept it entirely and in my heart, I still don't like it. -=-

Then you're faking respecting his passion, too.

Rather than get advice about how to fake interest more convincingly, I hope you're really hoping for advice about how to GAIN an interest.

-=-Perhaps, if I really wanted to be genuinely involved (and therefore more supportive of his interest), I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many. I am still not convinced that playing the Wii (his technology of choice) impacts his (and our) life for the better (even if I realize that computer games are a reality that he will, at some point, encounter regardless of my choices).-=-

If you look at the paragraph above, you might count the rings of distance between yourself and any possible support, interest or respect.

Perhaps
if
really
genuinely
should examine


-=-Since the gaming began there's been a lot more talking among my kids (a boy and a girl of 5) about "killing" "shooting"and so on. I dont' like that very much-=-

Have they killed anything?
Have they asked for real guns?

Children are much better at knowing fantasy from reality than some moms are.

-=- I have a hard time engaging in a spontaneous, joyful conversation with them when this happens. Not that I necessarily fear that he will become violent on account of the games (which are only mildly violent compared to most videogames), but I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative. -=-

Be very wary of the word "just."

And this is disdainful in a much deeper way that you probably realize:
" I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative."

It seems you dislike video games so much that you're in danger of not liking your son anymore.
His imagination (in your estimation) is overtaken by alien narrative.
His thought (you think) is gone.

-=- if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!-=-

Does it need to be *precisely* that kind of struggle?

Perhaps thoughts and experience about any of the principles that help unschooling work well would be worthy of your gratitude.
If you see this as a "precise" kind of "struggle," you won't be looking at overarching principles, will you?

Sandra


 

There will be other suggestions, but I have two:

Play Plants vs. Zombies. Not get your kids to play it, but play it yourself. It will cost $10 or less, I think, depending what you play it on (computer or iPod touch or Nintendo DS or iPad or something).

Read this:

Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence
by Gerard Jones
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Monsters-Children-Make-Believe-Violence/dp/0465036961


Joyce Fetteroll
 

On Jun 7, 2011, at 2:00 PM, antonelladallatorre wrote:

but I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are
so thoroughly colonized by this narrative.
I assume you've heard the adage that relationships take work.

Though I think a better way to phrase it is "conscious effort."
Staying connected takes conscious effort. Forming connections with
someone you don't have a lot of natural connections with takes
conscious effort. And it takes conscious effort until it feels
natural. :-)

If video games were a small part of who he is, and there were lots of
other things you connected through, it wouldn't be a big deal to pass
on the video games. But since it is a passion of his, there isn't a
short cut.

Are there games the two of you can play together? The Wii has lots of
games and video sports that are good for the whole family.

But don't make it a deal of him either appreciating the games you find
you like or not connecting. Find out what he loves about his games.
Have him show you how to play and play with him :-) Bring food to him
and watch him. Read about the games.

There are moms who get motion sick watching games but they find ways
to connect even if they can't play :-) You will need to decide which
is more important: connecting with your son or holding onto your
personal feelings about video games because in this instance you won't
be able to do both.

Joyce


BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

"I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many."

What I see is someone who came to the and read that most here do embrace their children's video game playing and that we do not limit their play in any way so then you are not limiting your son's play BUT you have not really understood why people like me embrace our children's video game playing and why we do not limit it.
You have also not listed your "old" concerns in your post. What are they?
Why do you think we do not limit and and why we embrace  it?
One of the reasons we give the idea of the parent finding a game that they might like and play so they can understand what their children may be getting out of playing video games. There are so many different games it is amazing. Not all games have shooting and/or killing, and most look very different than Lego games!
I am not a video gamer but I have played many games I loved and I can totally see what my son gets out of them. I embrace it. I even have my own Nintendo DS!
I find stuff about games for him, videos on youtube, books, plush toys, gadgets, clothing, movies and many other things that are realated to what he is in right now. I hope I can save enough money to take my son to Washington DC next year to the Smithsonian's Video Game exposition and to tour all the places  around the DC area that are featured in one of his favorite games Fallout 3.
I also have lots of Lego Star wars  that my son and I had a blast putting together  ( or one that Schuyler put together with him!)
Video games are amazing. Have you see all you can do with the new X-box Kinnect? have you seen the  experiments people and Universities are doing with the Kinnect technology??
I am amazing of how much my son , soon to be 9 , has learned from video games and stuff about video games! IT is  incredible. But I am afraid you will only see it if you understand WHY and if you are open to see them and embrace it. You do not have to like playing yourself.



Alex Polikowksy


 
Alex Polikowsky


Deb <vwb777@...>
 

Let me throw my pennies in and offer you a bit of support. I kind get the sense you're being hammered here for your very valid concerns and questions. I'm not exactly new at homeschool but we had an eleven year spans between kids and this is my first time homeschooling a boy. And I apologize ahead of time to those of you who are gender neutral but I happen to believe there are very distinct and necessary differences between boys and girls. As you've seen, some of those differences come out in the wAy they play. I consider myself an unschooler and try very hard to meet my sons needs, to let him lead me in learning and other life choices, etc. My son loves to play a particular war game. You should know his big brother is fighting in Afghanistan and my husband is retired military. I said all of that to say this. That game bothers me down to my soul. And I watched for months along with my husband and son before he left while my baby blew the brains out of countless enemies with language coming from the speakers that I'm sure rivals a war zone. I tried to tell myself he needed it for whatever reason, that he was being a boy, that I was being controlling.....then I got it. It wasn't the game it was the blood and guts, grown up cussing and swearing, blood spurting sound that was bothering me. So I talked to my husband, he agreed and now he plays on mute. I'm being wordy I know but I get frustrated when unschooling seems to be the ok sign to stop using our parental instincts. I bet if I asked a child therapistt, he'd have some trouble with. seven year old listening to that for hours on end. He's a child! Grown men hear that in war and come back with post traumatic stress disorder. So listen to your maternal instinct. Sometimes no is necessary to protect our children and I promise you it will not damage your relationship. Sorry for taking so much time. Take are.

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, "antonelladallatorre" <anto40@...> wrote:

I am relatively new to unschooling (I discovered it about a year ago) but I have been an avid reader of this list and often come to it for inspiration and learning. I've been interested especially in the discussions about videogames, since one of my kids (6.1/2 y.o.) is very passionate about the Wii (he played first LEgo Star Wars and now Lego BAtman).
Since I am not a gamer, I have a "limited" appreciation for this activity, but I understand that he is passionate about it and respect this. Nevertheless, I still have to work on myself to accept it entirely and in my heart, I still don't like it. This is for me a bit of a roadblock because, even though I do not actively interfere with my son's play, I think that my lack of enthusiasm for the game is evident. I don't want to fake interest (or any other emotion for that matter). I do however applaud his newly-acquired skills and rejoice with him when he finishes each level, finds a solution to a problem in the game or draws a picture of one of the villains, but I feel somewhat limited when it comes to building upon his interest. I mean, I am not very creative, utterly uninspired, in that department and feel a bit guilty for it.
Perhaps, if I really wanted to be genuinely involved (and therefore more supportive of his interest), I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many. I am still not convinced that playing the Wii (his technology of choice) impacts his (and our) life for the better (even if I realize that computer games are a reality that he will, at some point, encounter regardless of my choices).
Since the gaming began there's been a lot more talking among my kids (a boy and a girl of 5) about "killing" "shooting"and so on. I dont' like that very much, and I have a hard time engaging in a spontaneous, joyful conversation with them when this happens. Not that I necessarily fear that he will become violent on account of the games (which are only mildly violent compared to most videogames), but I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative.
Mine is perhaps a somewhat "old" concern, that others might have already struggled with and already "resolved", but if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!


butterscotchchelsea
 

"Play Plants vs. Zombies."

-----------------------------

Another great game is Portal (the first one). It's a puzzle game with excellent writing and a truly unique game mechanic. It was made by some people I went to college with and is an extremely fun game. I am a gamer, though, and it will probably take some getting used to if you've never played a first-person game.

I went to DigiPen, one of the big video game schools (the other main one being Full Sail), and I had something of a crisis of faith while I was at school: Is it really meaningful to make games for a living? Shouldn't I be out there working towards something REAL? So I can understand being iffy about their value. But ultimately I got over it and realized video games are great. Games are a versatile medium combining storytelling, visual art, and play. They're every bit as real and meaningful as an opera, a novel, or a painting.

I recently (whoa, it's been a year already?) quit my job as an animator to stay home with my 8 1/2 month old baby, but my love of video games as a child led me to that job, and to so much in my life, including my husband, the father of my baby. :) I'm not saying the original poster's son will definitely go into a game-related field, just that it's possible that this will shape his life in lovely, far-reaching, unforeseeable ways. I hope this helps.

-Chelsea


antonelladallatorre <anto40@...>
 

Sorry, but this was harsh ans unhelpful. I disagree with your interpretation of my words. This sort of exercise you performed on my writing reminded me of a time in graduate school when a professor of mine returned a draft of a paper I had written all marked up in red. I hadn't thought of that moment in a long time.

Your second comment was more generative and I thank you for the link (and the suggestion).

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, Sandra Dodd <Sandra@...> wrote:

-=-Since I am not a gamer, I have a "limited" appreciation for this activity, but I understand that he is passionate about it and respect this. Nevertheless, I still have to work on myself to accept it entirely and in my heart, I still don't like it. -=-

Then you're faking respecting his passion, too.

Rather than get advice about how to fake interest more convincingly, I hope you're really hoping for advice about how to GAIN an interest.

-=-Perhaps, if I really wanted to be genuinely involved (and therefore more supportive of his interest), I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many. I am still not convinced that playing the Wii (his technology of choice) impacts his (and our) life for the better (even if I realize that computer games are a reality that he will, at some point, encounter regardless of my choices).-=-

If you look at the paragraph above, you might count the rings of distance between yourself and any possible support, interest or respect.

Perhaps
if
really
genuinely
should examine


-=-Since the gaming began there's been a lot more talking among my kids (a boy and a girl of 5) about "killing" "shooting"and so on. I dont' like that very much-=-

Have they killed anything?
Have they asked for real guns?

Children are much better at knowing fantasy from reality than some moms are.

-=- I have a hard time engaging in a spontaneous, joyful conversation with them when this happens. Not that I necessarily fear that he will become violent on account of the games (which are only mildly violent compared to most videogames), but I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative. -=-

Be very wary of the word "just."

And this is disdainful in a much deeper way that you probably realize:
" I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative."

It seems you dislike video games so much that you're in danger of not liking your son anymore.
His imagination (in your estimation) is overtaken by alien narrative.
His thought (you think) is gone.

-=- if anyone is willing to volunteer their thoughts and experience with precisely this kind of struggle, I would be grateful!-=-

Does it need to be *precisely* that kind of struggle?

Perhaps thoughts and experience about any of the principles that help unschooling work well would be worthy of your gratitude.
If you see this as a "precise" kind of "struggle," you won't be looking at overarching principles, will you?

Sandra






 
Edited

-=-
Sorry, but this was harsh ans unhelpful. I disagree with your interpretation of my words. This sort of exercise you performed on my writing reminded me of a time in graduate school when a professor of mine returned a draft of a paper I had written all marked up in red. I hadn't thought of that moment in a long time.-=-

There are a few thousand people on this list, and I'm sure something in that post was helpful to some of them.

My assumption was that you came to this list because you wanted to have your ideas examined in the light of unschooling. It's the purpose of the list.

It's possible that you posted without having read here and followed the links:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlwaysLearning/

Please read these, too.

NEW MEMBERS PLEASE READ THIS: For New Members of the Always Learning List
About posting to the list

Information on how and why the group is intended to work: Notes on the AlwaysLearning List

If you've never read any John Holt, here: https://sandradodd.com/johnholt
His thoughts and writing are behind unschooling.

This isn't graduate school. The writing isn't for practice, it's real. It's common for people to write things they didn't realize they were thinking, and can be very useful for others to point that out. It's also common for people to assume that groups will provide approval and soothing words for the mom, rather than taking the child's side. This list has never been that way, which is why we ask people to read that introductory material before posting.

Support looks like this:
http://sandradodd.com/support

It's out there on many yahoo lists and homeschool forums, but it tends to serve to keep parents where they are rather than helping them move toward a better relationship with their children and a better understanding of natural learning.

Sandra


 

-=-I recently (whoa, it's been a year already?) quit my job as an animator to stay home with my 8 1/2 month old baby, but my love of video games as a child led me to that job, and to so much in my life, including my husband, the father of my baby. :) I'm not saying the original poster's son will definitely go into a game-related field, just that it's possible that this will shape his life in lovely, far-reaching, unforeseeable ways. I hope this helps.-=-

Absolutely similar, also without any definites or guarantees:

My oldest son played video games quite a bit from very young childhood--we had an arcade game in the house for a while, and he played "Playroom" on a MacIIsi as a toddler. We got him an NES (first Nintendo system) when he was four. We played board games and card games with him.

From the age of 14 to 18 or so (19 maybe?) he worked at a gaming store (collectible cards, RPG and board games), and from 20-24 (he'll be 25 in July) he's worked for Blizzard Entertainment. He did luck into those opportunities for being in the right place at the right time, but it took more than just that luck. He also had interest and understanding and experience, and supportive family and friends.

Our honest interest in his honest interest in games helped us have nearly 25 peaceful, productive years (so far).

Sandra


 

-= I kind get the sense you're being hammered here for your very valid concerns and questions.-=-

No one is hammering anyone.
If anything, we're hammering out ideas.

Valid concerns and questions about unschooling will be treated as just that. Discussion of the principles of unschooling. Not of one family or of one situation.

-=-And I apologize ahead of time to those of you who are gender neutral but I happen to believe there are very distinct and necessary differences between boys and girls. As you've seen, some of those differences come out in the wAy they play.-=-

There are differences, and there are overlaps. They're not "very distinct" in the way that maybe all boys play certain games and no girls do. there are girls who love to play Halo, and boys who don't like it. There are girls who play soccer and boys who read Jane Austen.

Differences are real. Expecting children to conform to a stereotype of those differences can be harmful.

-=- I consider myself an unschooler and try very hard to meet my sons needs, to let him lead me in learning and other life choices, etc.-=-

There are problems with the idea of "child led learning" and this list. Rather than the parent OR the child "leading," it's more useful to look at the parents helping to provide and maintain an environment in which learning happens easily and constantly.
http://sandradodd.com/nest

from http://sandradodd.com/balance :

Energy is shared, and that's how unschooling works. Whether I'm excited about something new, or my children are excited about something new, there's still newness and excitement enough to share.

Some parents label unschooling as "child-led learning," and so they think they're going from "parent led" life to "child led" life, but the balance point is that the family learns to live together harmoniously.

Harmony makes many things easier. When there is disharmony, everyone is affected. When there is harmony, everyone is affected too. So if it is six of one or half a dozen of the other (right between none and a full dozen), go with harmony instead!



Sandra


 

-=-That game bothers me down to my soul. And I watched for months along with my husband and son before he left while my baby blew the brains out of countless enemies with language coming from the speakers that I'm sure rivals a war zone. I tried to tell myself he needed it for whatever reason, that he was being a boy, that I was being controlling.....then I got it. It wasn't the game it was the blood and guts, grown up cussing and swearing, blood spurting sound that was bothering me. So I talked to my husband, he agreed and now he plays on mute.-=-

Your baby didn't do anything with any enemies or brains. He was (I'm guessing) sitting in your safe home, far from a war zone, holding a plastic remote control.

He was being a boy. You were not seeing the difference between play and reality.

Playing a game on mute isn't ideal. Some games are fine for that, but in some you don't get the clues you need to know what's about to happen. I hope you considered headphones for him, rather than requiring him to play only part of the game so that you would feel better.

-=- I get frustrated when unschooling seems to be the ok sign to stop using our parental instincts. I bet if I asked a child therapistt, he'd have some trouble with. seven year old listening to that for hours on end-=-

Certainly you could ask just about any child therapist and he would say send kids to school, limit them, they're only children, set limits, tell them what to do. There are very few child therapists who have ever met an adult who was unschooled for many years. There are people on this list who have met dozens of them. There is knowledge here that's unavailable other places.

-=- Grown men hear that in war and come back with post traumatic stress disorder.-=-

Please don't trivialize post traumatic stress disorder by comparing it to video game play.
Please don't dramatize video game play by comparing it to being in a war zone.

-=-So listen to your maternal instinct.-=-

My mother's maternal instinct was to yell and spank.
A mother was arrested in New Mexico for trying to sell her daughter's virginity, I read in the local news (where I went to read about a big forest fire).
Many evils are swept under the rug by claiming instinct.

There are instincts and they're hard to feel or to hear in modern culture, especially, perhaps, for Christians who are told instinct is the devil tempting them. It is something worth considering and thinking about, but for the purposes of the Always Learning discussion, looking at what promotes good relationships between parent and child and what helps learning thrive are better to look at that justifications for controlling.


-=- Sometimes no is necessary to protect our children and I promise you it will not damage your relationship. Sorry for taking so much time. Take are.

If "no" had never damaged any relationships, the world would be a paradise.
Children can only hear so much "no" before they start ignoring it. It's good to save "no" for really important things, because mothers do not have unlimited power to say no.

Sandra


Joyce Fetteroll
 

On Jun 7, 2011, at 10:16 PM, antonelladallatorre wrote:

Sorry, but this was harsh ans unhelpful. I disagree with your
interpretation of my words.
The purpose of the list is to help people clear out the fuzzy ideas
that get in the way of being a child's partner, of creating a more
joyful home, of connecting with kids (and, as a side-effect, spouses
too!).

Not every unschooler wants that. Which is why the list has all sorts
of warnings (front page of the group at Yahoo, emails sent on joining,
suggestion to read for a while) to alert people this list is different
than they expect, is different than they may want. That allows them to
bail before they get responses different than they want.

If you want to connect with your child you won't be able to while
holding onto so many negative thoughts about his passion.

Reread your initial email and imagine your husband wrote it to a
message board about you and about something you love. Imagine him
writing the subject line about faking an interest in your interest. It
might feel like he cared more about a pretense than he cared about you.

Fears tend to not respond easily to rational thought! To get rid of
them it helps to want what your fear is standing in the way of more
than you want to hold onto the fears. And that will take conscious
effort.

What will your fears gain you and at what price? What will getting rid
of fears gain you and at what price?

Your fears *will* interfere with you connecting with your son. Your
fears are telling you to protect him from a danger. But how real are
those dangers? That's where you need to examine. If you damage your
relationship with him -- and being negative about something he loves
will do that -- for dangers that aren't real, what will you have gained?

What are the experiences of unschooled kids who play video games?
*That's* the question you need to ask! :-) The fears *sound* like they
make sense. It sounds reasonable that playing violent games will
create violent adults. But what happens to unschooled kids who play
whatever games they want for as long as they want? Are our kids
sociopaths? Are the people on the list more interested in a philosophy
than their kids? Are our kids somehow special so they're immune to
violent video games?

There's lots to read about video games at Sandra's site and mine. The
intent is not to convince you your fears are irrational. But if you
decide to work at letting go of your fears, the information there is
valuable. Even better is to look directly at your child and see the
joy in his eyes where he can live in a supportive, warm home and visit
and play in a world where the rules are different. And best of all he
doesn't need to give up his loving home to do that. He can shut that
other world off whenever he wants and live in a world where he's
loved. If you think he'd give up the home he has to live in a world of
fear where he could be shot just to be able to shoot other people,
that's something to examine!

http://sandradodd.com/videogames
http://sandradodd.com/game/tales

http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/ Down the left hand side.

Joyce


Deb Lewis
 

***Perhaps, if I really wanted to be genuinely involved (and therefore more supportive of his interest), I should examine more closely the reasons of my resistance, which are many. ***

I don't think you need to love the games or be interested in the games. You're interested in your son, that can be enough.
Enjoy his enjoyment. Admire his successes. His game playing isn't about you. <g>

***I just dislike the fact that his imagination and his thought are so thoroughly colonized by this narrative.***

I think your choice of words is interesting and maybe you can give it some more thought. His imagination and thoughts have not been colonized. He's enjoying a new game. When it's gardening season in zone 3, as it is now, finally, I spend much of my time in the garden and yard. I love it. I think about vegetables and perennials and shrubs and trees and bunnies and worms and beetles and spiders. I am not colonized by anything. (Shush, you there, in an ecstasy of typing about eyelash mites and liver flukes and indigenous biota!) My mind has not been overtaken by a Beatrix Potter narrative. I am still myself. It is my season for enjoying the garden.

It is your son's season of gaming. It may last another year or five or a lifetime. If he was reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series would you be concerned his thoughts and imagination had been colonized? Some people are so interested in movement and music they become dancers, choreographers. Is that illness, brainwashing, obsession?

My son was seven when he started playing video games. He liked Nocturne, Doom and some others. He gradually lost interest sometime before he was fourteen. I got a kind of motion sickness watching first person games but I loved watching Dylan's concentration, enthusiasm and delight. These days he's interested in music. I'm not musical but I love listening to him play the piano and organ. I like finding music I think he'd enjoy.

I think it's possible that it's *your* imagination that's the problem. <g>

Deb Lewis


Jackie Sharp <jackie.sharp@...>
 

"Grown men hear that in war and come back with post traumatic stress disorder."

Since grown men (and women) hear these things in war along with experiencing war (IEDs, mortars, direct and indirect fire), it is impossible to tease the sounds and the actions apart in order to say that hearing that in war causes troops to come back with PTSD. I'm an Iraq vet; a game is a very different thing than actual war. I've never feared for my life while playing a video game. I've feared for my life when I was deployed. These are two very different things, and an explosion in real life sounds and feels nothing like the way it sounds in a game.

"You should know his big brother is fighting in Afghanistan and my husband is retired military. I said all of that to say this. That game bothers me down to my soul. And I watched for months along with my husband and son before he left while my baby blew the brains out of countless enemies with language coming from the speakers that I'm sure rivals a war zone."

Perhaps your fears about what your husband experienced and what your son would be experiencing in Afghanistan spilled over into an unfounded concern about the effects of the game on your young son. As it's been stated by others on this list and me, a game is not the same as reality. This sounds to be much more about you and your fears. I know it's tough as a military wife; I'm a military wife too, and my husband is in a special forces unit. I would just examine thoughts and notions about war and its perceived similarities to a game more closely, especially if I'd never been to war.


Jackie Sharp <jackie.sharp@...>
 

"So listen to your maternal instinct. Sometimes no is necessary to protect our children and I promise you it will not damage your relationship."

I'd also like to add that, after I got back from Iraq and got out of the Army, I dated a guy for awhile who had never served. We were watching a movie one night about war and terrorism. About 15-20 minutes into it he said we shouldn't watch the movie because it was going to be a trigger for me. I was completely engrossed in the plot at this point and not at all uncomfortable or feeling any negative side effects. I told him I was fine, and that I did not want to stop watching the movie. He wouldn't let up and insisted the movie would be harmful to me. It pissed me off then because I felt belittled, and I realize in retrospect that he was uncomfortable with the movie and my experience for whatever reason. He wanted me to stop watching it because it made him uneasy; it had nothing to do with me. Just because someone is uncomfortable with something doesn't give that person the right to cut someone else off from something they're enjoying.


 

-=-. I told him I was fine, and that I did not want to stop watching the movie. He wouldn't let up and insisted the movie would be harmful to me. It pissed me off then because I felt belittled, and I realize in retrospect that he was uncomfortable with the movie and my experience for whatever reason. He wanted me to stop watching it because it made him uneasy; it had nothing to do with me.-=-

It can be a good tool, when thinking about how to respond to children, to imagine how we might treat adult friends, guests, or partners. It helps me, anyway. It might not have helped that boyfriend in the story about the movie. :-)

Sandra


 

-=-This sort of exercise you performed on my writing reminded me of a time in graduate school when a professor of mine returned a draft of a paper I had written all marked up in red. I hadn't thought of that moment in a long time.-=-

I've taken many classes (before and during college, and some graduate classes). The purpose of taking those classes is to get feedback. I can remember some times that I wrote something turned it in, and got some number and letter marked up top, but no suggestions at ALL, no comments at all to help me know what I might do better next time.

Professors are paid to read carefully and critique. Some don't, really. They glance over and put 'B' or something up top. It sounds like your professor did his job in a responsible way.

This list isn't a writing class, but as clearly as I could I have (and other moderators have helped me) provided access to details about the intentions and expectations relating to this list.

The ideas and suggestions of lots of people are the best part of this list! It's great for someone to put a question or situation out here for others to pull apart and examine. When the topic is videogames, there's not another person here who knows more about what can happen if kids are given videogames and the leeway to play them than I do.

-=-What I was thinking and trying to express was simply a desire to read other people's journeys ("struggles") from a lack of appreciation/knowledge about something (in this case gaming)that their kids are interested in, to an appreciation of it. Many people volunteered their experiences and gave suggestions, all of which-including yours- was helpful.-=- (that was from a post that was returned by another moderator)

There are dozens of accounts of other people's journeys (not so many "struggles"; this list and my site and Joyce's exist to help people stop struggling) here:
http://sandradodd.com/game/tales.html
http://sandradodd.com/game/benefits
http://sandradodd.com/videogames
http://sandradodd.com/game/reading
http://sandradodd.com/game/nintendogold

Sandra


BRIAN POLIKOWSKY
 

"Just because someone is uncomfortable with something doesn't give that
person the right to cut someone else off from something they're
enjoying."

I know this can be a hard one for parents. I have no problems with video games but just a couple weeks ago I had to really take a deep breath and not say something to my son and I almost blew it.
First I am scared of guns, always been. Even my mom can fire a weapon but I cannot even hold one. I have always been like that. Second I am on of those that cannot kill an ant, sometimes I even feel bad killing flies and I do NOT like flies!
My husband showed my son how to shoot with the pellet gun and they went pigeon hunting in our farm. Pigeons and racoons are the only animals that they shoot around here, the first  carries a disease that kills calves and the second will kill any farm kitten.
My son came in all happy to tell me he had killed a pigeon on his first day on shooting ( thanks to video games!).
I started going like " Oh poor bird..." I stopped my self and  thought about my son's excitement in being able to do it and I took a deep breath. He was happy and I was happy he was happy.
This morning he got up around  6 AM and went to help his dad milk and then he went pigeon hunting and got two pigeons , which they feed  to the mother cats. I was even able to cheer him today. He is so safe with the gun and conscientious about it that I feel really comfortable with him using it. If I followed my instincts I would never let him go near any kind of gun and never would want him to kill anything.

Alex Polikowsky

  










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Deb <vwb777@...>
 

Maybe the PTSD thing was over the top and of course imrealize that my son hasn't developed it by hearing those sounds. You weren't traumatized? Many adults are and were. My point is that we are talking about children. There are several studies which indicate early exposure to violent, graphic acts on television, movies, games, etc., lead to a myriad of problems. I guess my simplest gut feeling about it is that he is blessed to live in a country at peace, where he doesn't have to be lulled to sleep by the violent sounds of human beings slaughtering each other. Why would I celebrate that being brought into my living room for him to be exposed to? Something tells me that it will change him somehow....not for the better....and that he will lose the magical innocence that only comes for a short time during early childhood. I do appreciate your comments by the way. And thank you sincerely for your brave service. I know I sleep free at night thanks to you.

Deborah

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, "Jackie Sharp" <jackie.sharp@...> wrote:

"Grown men hear that in war and come back with post traumatic stress disorder."

Since grown men (and women) hear these things in war along with experiencing war (IEDs, mortars, direct and indirect fire), it is impossible to tease the sounds and the actions apart in order to say that hearing that in war causes troops to come back with PTSD. I'm an Iraq vet; a game is a very different thing than actual war. I've never feared for my life while playing a video game. I've feared for my life when I was deployed. These are two very different things, and an explosion in real life sounds and feels nothing like the way it sounds in a game.

"You should know his big brother is fighting in Afghanistan and my husband is retired military. I said all of that to say this. That game bothers me down to my soul. And I watched for months along with my husband and son before he left while my baby blew the brains out of countless enemies with language coming from the speakers that I'm sure rivals a war zone."

Perhaps your fears about what your husband experienced and what your son would be experiencing in Afghanistan spilled over into an unfounded concern about the effects of the game on your young son. As it's been stated by others on this list and me, a game is not the same as reality. This sounds to be much more about you and your fears. I know it's tough as a military wife; I'm a military wife too, and my husband is in a special forces unit. I would just examine thoughts and notions about war and its perceived similarities to a game more closely, especially if I'd never been to war.