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Videogames are “crack”, “Satan’s Sudoku”

Janice Turner over at The Times newspaper has launched a scathing attack on videogames in her column, saying that “it’s an impossible task to police our children’s multimedia addiction”. The piece, entitled Xbox is crack for kids is an otherwise sensible article about limiting childrens’ screen time at home, but she goes on to pick out videogames in particular as a cause for evil doing.

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“Because, unlike the TV-hating parents, I refuse to buy them portable gaming consoles, Xboxes, GameCubes, PS2s. These are Satan’s Sudoku, crack cocaine of the brain. Even the crappiest cartoon or lamest soap teaches a child about character, plot, drama, humour, life. Playing videogames, children are mentally imprisoned, wired into their evil creators’ brains. And they play them – beepety-beep – on journeys, over family meals, any minute in which they find themselves unamused.

And their parents never seem to say, hey, this is the bit where you pick up a book. Or game over, kids: get an inner life.”

A few of the responses to the article are worth a read. Kerome from London points out:

“The fact that games are a mainstream entertainment much like TV or the movies seems to have passed some parents by. Mostly they are either harmless or mildly beneficial – kids will get more out of improved hand-eye coordination from something like Sega Rally, or better mental agility from Crysis, or even some educational value from games like Rome: Total War.

The only thing is, keep an eye on total playtime and make sure your child leads a balanced life. Too much World of Warcraft is a bad thing, but then the same thing could be said for alcohol and many adults.”

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

Gentle persuasion

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