Are video games ruining our kids?

The question seems to comes up every time a kid inflicts violence upon another kid. Experts say children are becoming de-sensitized to violence and often don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I’m no expert so all I have to offer is my own experience.

My nine-year old grandson, Landon, is a gamer. Through and through. Call of Duty, Black Ops, Halo…you name it and he plays it. And he plays it well. Very well. So well in fact, adults don’t like playing against him. A while back, one of his dad’s friends said, “I can’t believe I got beat by a seven-year old.” Yeah, he’s that good. Landon

His Uncle Garey doesn’t shy away from the competition, though. He’s been known to call Landon’s mom or dad and ask if Landon can play. Imagine!

But does grandma worry her oldest grandson is turning into a gaming geek? Not that there’s anything wrong with that but, sure, I worried. Note the past tense.

You see, Landon is a well rounded kid. He loves playing outside with his cousins, loves sleeping in a tent by a campfire, loves basketball and baseball. He’s been playing baseball since he was three. Yes, three. He used to arrive at his games in a car seat. He works hard in school and makes good grades and will kick it up a notch to bring a so-so grade up. His mother is his favorite person in the whole wide world; he adores his dad. He loves his siblings and feels a big brother responsibility toward them. I’ve seen the worry on his face when he can’t find Ava in the car-rider line at school. I’ve seen him take time to comfort Ivy or cousin Aiden when they’re upset.  I’ve seen him tote Casey or Ireland upstairs or downstairs to help mom or me. Yes, I’ve even seen him change a diaper.

He’s gentle and kind and has a wicked sense of humor. He has some of the best one-liners you’ll ever hear. And yeah, he has a high kill rate.

He wants to be a Navy Seal when he grows up. Not because he would “get to kill things” but because of the honor of helping others.

Landon3

Landon swinging with little brother Casey

Play on, Landon. Play on.

 

8 Comments

  1. I agree- the key to everything is moderation – it is up to us the parents!!

  2. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t get rid of video games. They are here to stay. I think most kids can tell the difference between a game and reality.

    Perhaps Landon will someday, after the Navy, be a game designer, like my son.

  3. Baby boomers who complain about the violence in video games have obviously forgotten that we grew up with Roadrunner and Wil E Coyote, Loony Tunes, and movies where animals were routinely harmed during the filming.

    Your grandson sounds like a great kid — just like my grandchildren who game and are equally loving.

  4. All my grandkids are game players. I think it is a new way of looking at sports. People say that video games are violent? What about football and other ‘real life’ games? Most experts have never played a video game. They only know what science tells them. But I have piano players, poets, science and math award winners and excellent readers in my grandkids. My parents thought watching color TV was going to be the end of society!
    Thanks for the great blog, Lynn!

  5. I don’t think there’s a black and white issue here. Ruining our kids? Certainly causal factors for violence and anti-social behavior are multi-faceted and couldn’t fairly be ascribed to any one factor. I do have concerns as a parent and teacher about the level of violence in the games we allow younger kids to play. I have personal concerns about it lending a de-sensitization to some kids who may already be pre-disposed in that area. But again, too many other factors are afoot to get clear research to support this. My preference was to limit violent games for my kids until they were older. They also didn’t get TVs or computers in their bedrooms, because I didn’t feel it necessary to give them a reason to avoid being around the family. But again…parenting preference.

    The quality of parenting is the single most likely cause for a child to grow up to be a well-adjusted. All other factors dim in importance, IMO.

    • Lynn

      February 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Kylie, I agree 100% with the parenting aspect. I guess that’s why I’m not too concerned because he has such a great set of parents to steer him right. I’m blessed with two great kids with great spouses who are parents before friends. I think more importantly than having a dad he adores, he respects him as much as a nine year old is capable of.

  6. Oh my, such a lovely post. Landon appears to be a good kid with a level head on his shoulders. Games are here to stay no matter what, so it’s just a matter of the parents teaching the kids right and wrong in the real world. It sounds as if the family is doing a good job or showing Landon real life verse the gamers world.

    • Lynn

      February 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks for the comments, Mary. He does have a good head on his shoulders, even if it is weighted down by all that hair LOL

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