Saturday, July 30, 2005

This is not About Football... 

Computer games have potential for great damage when they're touted as an "equal field for experience". They're not. They're virtual. Nothing more, nothing less. Kids who can't play football- well, they don't play football. They do other things that football players don't, or can't. But they're not athletes because they're great at XBox. They're just good at video games, & that's not an equalized experience. The sense experience of such an activity, is all but absent- save for a few developments on the technological horizon that goes to great lengths to mimic these sensual relations. These games certainly have a form that is no more spontaneous than any peewee football game.

Moderation is essential in gaming, particularly for children. This argument concerns time, not content. The difference between computer games & the Coney Island ferris wheel is that three & a half minutes later, someone tells you to get the hell off the ride. Off you go to eat actual popcorn, walk along the actual coast & smell the actual sea. With few exceptions, more screen time = less physical activity. This plays a large part in an American childhood obesity & depression epidemics that we'll pay for as a culture later. So selling the snake oil of virtual equalization to children IS dangerous.

- Frank Sherlock

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