Get your game on
Is it just me, or do kids these days have any reason to ever go outside any more? I mean, why go outside and play cops and robbers when you can play Grand Theft Auto III or Halo III? Why go play tackle football with your buddies when you can play Madden ’08? Let’s make it even more ridiculous with the advent of the Wii; why go bowling, play tennis or shoot a round of 18 when you can do it all from your couch?
Back in the 90s when I wasn’t watching Saved by the Bell, I was out trying to show my buddies my best Troy Aikman impersonation out at the school yard. Back then, the kids that stayed inside to read or play video games all the time were easily identifiable by their paleness. Mind you, with my Irish/English roots, I’m not exactly the quintessential representation of healthy olive colored skin, but when I was a kid I always had a sweet farmer’s tan.
In a Dallas Morning News article that ran last week, librarians are resorting to throwing video game tournaments at their libraries in order to woo young non-readers into local libraries. One librarian was quoted saying that even though a kid might come in to play video games 30 times in a row, they’re banking on the hope that on the 31st time the child might wander into the books to take a look. It’s the idea that if they can just reach one child then the experiment was completely worth it.
On the other hand, libraries will need to be careful not to alienate other visitors that are there to wait for it, wait for it....read. When it comes to video games and TVs in general, kids and many adults are sucked in like flies to a fluorescent lamp of death. Librarians should know that kids like hanging out with other kids and when a child has the choice of playing Guitar Hero with their friends or reading a book, I’m putting my money on Guitar Hero.
So, as our kids have more opportunity than ever before to squander away their chance to educate themselves with a good book, we, as responsible parents and adults should be the ones to step up and lead. Kids are always going to be kids and if we don’t start acting like adults we might need to start worrying about our own future at the hands of these future leaders. A bit dramatic, I know, but there is no room for Guitar Hero in our libraries.
The question of the day is, naturally; will the libraries have the gamer handbooks available for checkout? - John Herrington
Photo courtesy of Adrian on Photobucket.