Since the March break ends today, I thought it would be fitting to write about a topic suited for people like myself who grew up at the onset of the video game generation. I must confess this article is inspired by a part of my day battling my 6 year old in a golf game on Nintendo Wii.
I remember being 10 years old when I saw for the first time an ATARI system. It was awesome! Asteroids, tennis, tetris and pac man - what could be better than that? Hours of mindless entertainment at a simple flick of a switch. My parents couldn't afford one at the time and if we were to play we had to hang out our friends. I don't recall to many parents getting excited over the sight of these "new aged games," but I remember my uncle making an analogy about when he first saw a television. Since there were few, everyone in the neighbourhood (or in our case First Nation) came by to check it out.
Video games sure aren't what they were 25 years ago. In fact, some Provinces like Nova Scotia have considered some pretty big steps to prevent young children from being exposed to violent content. I've checked Nova Scotia's public statutes and can't seem to find legislation, but I recall a few years ago a bill being introduced which would require an age restriction on children renting video games with violent content. Like the movies for all you film fans. Good idea? Hmm. Not sure. As a parent I see value in limiting what your children see, or play with, especially when it isn't age appropriate. Researchers are quick to claim that over saturation of violent content desensitizes teenagers who commit violent crimes. I don't know, I seem to remember some U.S. Senator that said if you listen to Rap music you would end up joining a gang. Guess I just wasn't tough enough to become a gang member. I am more inclined to believe that it's just a part of growing up in a different generation.
I'll let you decide.