DSM: RE: RE: RE: RE: DSM Video games

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 08:05:50 EDT

I feel the opposite.

When I was a kid we played outside all the time because access to enriching
things like television, video games, PC games and the internet either didn't
exist or were very limited. We played in the dirt because we were bored
shitless. We dreamed up scenario using plastic army men and sticks.
Definitely not as good as computers.

I'm not really sure why you would think of television as sugar. We have two
televisions with satellite, and all our kids ever watch is Animal Planet a
half hour a day or so. Television is enriching in quite a few more ways
than sugar is (although sugar has plenty of non-nutritive enriching
properties). Is it because TV is stimulating and sugar is stimulating as

Anyway, our kids watch as much TV as they want. When they were young they
might have spent an hour or more a day, but then they moved on to better
things. Lots of kids (especially the conventionally-schooled neighbor kids)
watch more TV, but I think that's because adults make their lives
fantastically dull all day and then they leave school exhausted but craving
stimulation. The manic-depressive pattern of the classic workaholic.

My kids lead a more consistent and sane existence, and do so without my
trying to structure their lives.

-Joe Jackson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> [mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of Liz
> Reid&Errol Strelnikoff
> Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 11:16 PM
> To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> Subject: DSM: RE: RE: RE: DSM Video games
> Would
> > people mind as much that their kids played video games if
> > they understood
> > the need for play better? Or is it the violence?
> > What is SVS' stance on adult control of media's violence?
> I think I have a very good understanding for the need for play. I
> went to free schools and I was also homeschooled/unschooled back in
> the seventies and eighties. My parents always held play as the most
> important part of our young lives. I now have two young children aged
> four and six and I can observe for myself how much is going on for
> them when they are playing with friends and by themselves. I am not
> at all anxious for the computer games to start, although I am aware
> that they are inevitable.
> I feel less than enthusiastic about computer games for a few reasons
> and it's hard to describe quite why. First, I think that their
> popularity among kids is, like television, somewhat due to the poverty
> of the environment available for kids today. Kids are so dependent on
> their parents to chauffeur them around to activities and friends'
> houses. The neighborhoods full of kids playing outside all day are
> few and far between. Our world just seems to have less and less to
> offer children.
> Second, and I know that people will disagree and I am happy to be
> persuaded otherwise, I think of television and computer games as being
> like sugar. Sugar is very delicious and I find I have to be aware of
> how much of it I am eating or I would have way more than my teeth and
> blood sugar think I need. It is one of those things where I am
> healthier if it is just not available, but if it's around I consume a
> lot. I don't think I am the only person that does this and I notice
> that my kids can consume quite a lot of sugar also. They aren't as
> bad as some kids and they eat more than others. But when I don't have
> a lot of sweet stuff in the house they don't seem to miss it.
> Especially if I take some time to make their favorite types of savory
> foods.
> I find that television works a bit like that also. We don't receive
> television in our area, so our kids watch it at their grandparents' a
> couple times a week. I don't think that my kids will feel deprived
> when they are older because they didn't get to watch all the TV that
> their peers are getting, but I could be wrong. (My parents dealt with
> the problem by taking us on very long trips through the Sahara and
> across the Saudi desert, not much by way of TV and sugar out there.
> We also seemed to be poor quite often and unable to afford TV. The
> biggest hole I notice in my education because of this is that I am
> terrible the entertainment section of Trivial Pursuit)
> The computer game bug has yet to enter our house but when it does I
> shall look very carefully at the social environment my children are
> in. If I feel that their access to friends and play is limited then
> maybe we shall need to move to a place where they would have better
> access. In the mean time I try hard to have plenty of kids in and
> around our house as much as possible. I hope, perhaps in vain, that
> if the environment is rich enough then computer games won't be their
> primary source of play, as it seems to be with some boys.
> Anyway, for us the violence is not the issue and neither is the lack
> of understanding of play. Rather it is just plain prejudice as to the
> nutritional value of sugar, I mean computer games and their
> opportunity cost.
> I have followed the letters of others on this subject and I am hoping
> you are right and I am wrong, as I most certainly am not going to
> police my kids.
> Liz Reid
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