I have heard it said that video games teach skills. And, fine, maybe hand-eye quardination and fine motor skills. But are we missing the bigger picture here, and no I am not talking about the typical picture.
Growing up, I didn’t have video games until my teenage years, they just weren’t really available. But, what I did have was far more valuable looking back. I had the world. I had the grass between my toes. The air in my lungs, and my parents understood the value of that. I played sports, and I knew how to throw a ball.
I was that bike riding, ball throwing, mud-pie kind of girl. I was the tom-boy, and I knew it. I loved chasing behind my brother, every eye rolling moment of it.
But, our generation, we learned from the world around us. From playing in the grass, dirt, and everything else we could get our hands in. From making ramps for our bikes to jump with, and realizing what wouldn’t work by trial and error. By making our own tracks to race on.
I went creek walking with my friends, and explored the variety of flora and fauna living there. We’d spend hours, sometimes days doing this. But, we learned the value of the very eco-systems we were learning about in school.
So, my question is, what is it really that our children are learning from have a video game do these types of activities for them? Yes, sports are great. Don’t get me wrong. But the most learning I did beyond school, well that happened out side, by trying to do things. Seeing if they would work. Getting mad, sometimes pissed when they didn’t, and then trying again once I came up with a different approach. That teaches far more than a video game ever could. So, maybe we are the ones missing the point. Maybe they aren’t “learning” as much as we want to believe they are.
Turn off the gaming system, send your kids outside, and tell them to learn something. They might look at you funny, but, by the end of the day, they might just understand.