Stupid is as Stupid Does…

I bought myself a settop DVD recorder for Christmas and on my Christmas break I’ve been copying over to DVD all the videogame stuff I’ve recorded on VHS. Yesterday I watched some of the videogames are evil/moral panic stuff including First-Person Shooter (the internet archive has a cached copy of the site which seems to have gone offline, but because it was all fancy flash, not much is left of it) which details the story of the filmmaker and his attempt to understand his son who is obsessed with Counter-Strike. I know when I become a parent my first impulse will be to make a movie about my son rather than to try to actual join in and play the game myself.

I also watched PBS’s The Video Game Revolution which, while a history and not nearly as moral panic-y as First Person Shooter, contains segments with a psychologist who closely monitors his son’s videogame playing. That isn’t a problem, because any responsible parent should do that. However, instead of actually, you know, turning off the game and controlling the situation, the father repeatedly tells the kid to turn it off while the kid whines and moans — but continues to keep playing.

Now I’m not a parent, and it is certainly easy to gel like an expert when you aren’t one yourself, but it seems odd that these two examples, in which both fathers have some sort of credibility lent to them by their profession, filmmaker and psychologist, both seem so clueless not only about videogames but how to parent. Is it any wonder then that people who seem so clueless about their children also seem so clueless about what they children are doing? I guess that is why we need people like Jack Thompson to try and save us from ourselves…

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  1. Brian

    Speaking of, I just came across this news article and didn’t know if you’d seen it:
    “Video games with heroes make kids aggressive”