Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Invisible World

I had a conversation with a guy the other day about video games and his belief was that our youth today live in a fantasy world. They are spending so much time in an invisible world that they are helpless in the real world. They don't know how to change a tire. They don't know where the oil goes in the car. They very rarely leave the house as this would mean leaving their invisible world behind. A world where having enough ammunition is the only priority.

For me, my own home is war room central. In fact, one of the funniest moments I remember from our very own fraternity house environment was a day where all four boys were sitting on the couch watching their big brother wheel the controls of a new war game. It was during  the summer months a few years back and we had been on him about taking Drivers Ed but he had been putting it off and putting it off. It finally got to be a big joke around the house as most of his friends were driving but for some reason he just wasn't in that big of a hurry.

One of the challenges within the game is to drive an army jeep around which seemed to be a problem as he kept driving into a fence or the surrounding forest. I was watching along with all the other boys and said, "Man, you're having a time with that jeep." My youngest, who was only six years old at the time, slid the comment out of the corner of his mouth, "That's because he still doesn't have a driver's license." This of course resulted in loud laughter from all of us sitting on the couch while cutting big brother completely in half.

Growing up in the country, we didn't have anything like this. Video games didn't really surface until I was around thirteen or so but it meant hanging around the convenient store with a pocket full of quarters and that held our attention for about thirty minutes tops. Not like today where kids are playing three to four hour runs pausing only for bathroom breaks.

If you want my opinion, I think that if you let your kid play that long it only shows your disinterest in his or her life. It shows that the parent is willing to allow their child to spend time with a game rather than themselves. And I'm just as guilty with this as sometimes it's just easier. You're tired, you've been working all day and your thinking is as long as they aren't bothering you about whatever it is, then life is just fine.

Well let me tell isn't. 

I'm faced with a kid leaving for college and in my mind, the time I spent with him will never be enough. This could be just the way it is even if you spent every waking moment with them but I can't believe I'm actually staring college in the face.

What I'm trying to say in this endless ramble is that your kid is yours to spend time with so don't let a game rob you of your own time. The time that God blessed you with that slips by so fast that one day you wake up and you're staring at size twelve shoes as they walk out the door.

Video games, like a lot of things, are fine in moderation. Too much of anything is not good. That is unless it's time with your own child and there can never be enough of that.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! I have a first grader addicted to his 3DS, Wii and my iPad. I have to set limits all the time or else he would spend all day playing these games. Thanks for the insights ... I appreciate them. Yvette