Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The old Videogames are Evil rant

A user saw one of the series of videos I made when Maria's GP2X (handheld Linux gaming device) arrived and posted this admonition, to which I replied:

Man, I would never get that for my duaghter not even the system. I watch this video and im thinking damn I feel sorry for this girl no offense.

Well if your take is "hooking kids on videogames" then I should let you know that they have a set time limit on their Wii which I check daily (it contains a log of how long each game was played and a total). The GP2X was allowed to be used in the car (anytime) or by permission, for example, while watching over her siblings a couple times a week, for some reason she could watch both, I never could. Trust me, I tested her.

The core of the issue is responsibility. This girl also cooks dinner sometimes (she's 9), makes breakfast 3 times a week, cleans her room and parts of the house every day, and gets solid A's in school. So... what am I to do with such a good daughter? Not give her anything? No. I'll give her a GP2X and teach her to be responsible with it, and she is.


I'll go on to point out here that this same girl can rattle off the differences between menial and mortal sin, makes acts of sacrifice (such as giving up anything that tastes good for a day) during holidays usually only adult Catholics fulfill (my wife says she, within reason, followed them as a child and I agree, our children learning to take discomfort in stride has only made them better people). Exactly what else should I do? Flog her?

This child has enough weight put on her, caring for her sick baby brother (or caring for him when he's not sick, but a sick baby is much worse), working hard at homeschool (all of which is graded by St. Mary's in Kansas, not her mother), walking, feeding and watering the dog, bathing her smaller siblings when her mother is busy or feels like giving her the responsibility (my wife loves making our children work, including the baby boy - he has to get into his car seat by himself).

So anyway, little rants like this get under my skin - these children face a much harder life than most American kids today (excepting those in poverty).

Rewarding them doesn't seem obligatory, but essential.