[Discuss-sudbury-model] video games, game boys and the like

From: Michael Gerlinger und Akiko Gerlinger-Kato <gerlinger-kato_at_web.de>
Date: Mon Mar 3 07:50:00 2003

Hello everybody,

my name is Michael Gerlinger. I have no real connection to SVS except that I came across this listserv via savesummerhill where I use to pester members with lengthy posts.
My 2 sons (5 and 8) are in the Free School in Frankfurt which is, I believe, the oldest still existing free school in Germany grown out of Germany's first "anti-authoritarian" kindergarten.

I liked very much the posts I read especially your discussion of computer games und such. made we want to join in.
While most of the points raised sounded familiar I remember one question that I want to I ask you, which I heard first from a very experienced farther at our school.
After going through all the usual cons of video games and game boy playing he asked:
"But these games seem to fulfill a need that kids have. What is that? And why do we think we should ignore that need?"
(Obviously these games can compensate a lot of things, like lack of contact, of love really - but that surely is not true for all of the kids.)
I don't have a really satisfying answer myself.
Shouldn't we at least try to understand where the pleasure comes from before we discuss the cons?
Even saying that we should trust the innate learner is - true as it is - kind of a defensive argument, implying that the thing itself is not necessarily worthwhile.

David Deutsch published an interview on the subject in the Taking Children Seriously site. It maybe doesn't cover all the issues but I liked it a lot. It is called "Video Games: Harmfully Addictive or a Unique Educational Environment?"
Here is the link:

http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~tcs/Articles/VideoGamesInterview.html

Cheers

Michael Gerlinger
Frankfurt
Received on Mon Mar 03 2003 - 03:32:07 EST

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