I have been searching and searching for games that are listed as prosocial, and WHY they are listed as prosocial. I have found that the titles that fall under that category are not games you can buy in a store. An example of this would be Farmville for facebook. It teaches you how to take care of animals and work together, etc. Other than that there are not a lot of games out there that teach these types of lessons for kids. I am still on the hunt and will let you know when I get some more answers…..stay tuned!
I have been doing some research on pro-social video games, and there is definitely some research out there! However, I haven’t seen any titles of these particular games, so I am going to go on a hunt for them. If I can find some specific titles of these games I will share them so that all of our kids can benefit from them!
There was a new study that just came out that has made a correlation between attention problems in children and playing video games. What the study proved was that prolonged video game usage in children had a lasting effect on their attention in other areas of life. It also showed that those children with attention problems tend to play video games longer than those without. So, in other words they go hand in hand! I think the interesting thing is that they said that even though video games can help your child process things visually and mentally, it can also have a negative affect on their attention span!
I recently bought my daughter the leappad for Christmas solely because it was described as having a writing program where she could draw and write stories and take pictures and videos to enhance the stories. This sounds like a great product right? Well it cost us $100.00 up front. This included one story program and a video application. We did NOT anticipate that the games would cost $25.00 a piece, and all additional downloads would cost anywhere between $10.00 and $25.00. They only offer two story applications, at an additional cost, plus the price of batteries to keep the thing going, plus there are only two story applications, so needless to say we feel completely taken by the toy companies ONCE AGAIN! To summarize this, we have put in over $250.00 with all accessories and batteries and upkeep. To put this in perspective for that kind of money she could have been enrolled in a soccer program in the fall, our local little league program in the spring, an art class in the summer, a basketball league in the winter and still had money left over! I think we spend more time researching the latest device instead of the local activities and sports that are available to our children. These local opportunities will not only enhance their social skills, it helps them physically, as well as learning new skills.
I have been reading all of the stories about Facebook lately. Whether it is a father shooting up his daughter’s computer because of the content of her postings, or parents attacking people who have DEfriended their children, IT IS INSANITY! I don’t understand how something as innocent as a social site can be turned into such a destructive force! I am not a big user of the site, however, it seems innocent enough to me. I have reported in the past about the pressures associated with the site and young users, but this has gone beyond mental mind games, this is actual physical abuse. It is sad that it seems our current society can turn anything ugly!
I think it is just disgusting how the superbowl has become one big day of drinking, sex and innappropriatenes. My husband has been dying for the day when his daughter would be interested in watching the game of the year with him. We sat down with food, a roaring fire and lots of beverages and told her how the big advertising companies were going to have their best ads during the game. We even went to YouTube and showed her some of the old ones that we thought were funny. However, we were watching the ads together, and it was TERRIBLE. Between the M&M commercial talking about it being “this kind of party” and took off his color coating (obviously clothing) was confusing to her. She asked what that kind of party was. We then had to fastforward through the always terribly vulgar GoDaddy commercials, and the flower commercial that seemed like it was selling prostitution. I thought the David Beckam ad was going to be about his ability or talent, but of course not, and we had to fastforward through that commercial as well. So by the end of it, my daughter liked the dog commercials, and that was about it. By the time we got to the half time show, we thought here we go, Madonna, our childhood star promised a clean show. We all got prepped for it, and come to find out they have taken the usually provacative Madonna and made her likable and somewhat clean, and then brought out Nikki Minaj and MIA, two vulgar female rappers to come in and do something to ruin the show. They are bumping and grinding and lifting their crotch flaps, and then flipping the bird. It disgusts me that the NFL has thrown so much money to make women feel apart of the experience, and yet they have geared almost all commercials and all shows in the Superbowl to the men, and ruin the experience for all.
And I would like to add that the commercials that have created all the buzz last night had NOTHING to do with sex, nudity or even crass humor. The number one commercial was the dog losing weight, the second was the commercial with a great message with Clint Eastwood, and the last one starred old cartoon characters. So when are the advertising companies going to take notice of what is really selling out there?
My daughter is a swimmer and we were at a meet this weekend with hundreds of children from the ages of 5-17. My daughter, like most swimmers, had time in between her events, so she asked what she should do. I started to think about it, and decided to observe the other children. Instead of talking, hanging out, and/or interacting, most of these kids were playing their handheld electronic devices.
I know that I had blogged over the summer how I was disappointed that during summer events there wasn’t an opportunity for me to meet other parents at pick up and drop off, because they were all on cell phones, texting, etc.
The same is happening with children. Instead of getting to know one another, talking, interacting, socializing, they are on electronic devices. They were watching movies, texting, listening to IPods, playing video games, etc. I am wondering what we are doing to our children. I have fond memories of hanging out at sporting events making up games, talking, finding out about other kids, and who I was in the social interactions around me. I finally told my daughter to come up in the stands and sit with me in between events since she was the only one without a device. I was noticing that the younger ones had handheld video game devices, where the older ones would listen to music on their IPods, and text at the same time, while sitting in a circle as if they were really spending time with one another. It was very strange.
You could tell that these kids were friends, but they weren’t able to truly interact without the crutch of a cell phone or headphones. I am just wondering what is in store for this young generation that they can’t go up to a group of peers and start a conversation without the averted eye contact while texting, or without one headphone in their ear listening to music? I just wonder if we are crippling them socially?
I have been thinking of what my New Year’s Resolution might be in this new year. I was thinking about healthy eating, becoming more active, among other generic resolutions that we all promise to ourselves in January and then forget about in February. So I have been thinking about what I could really promise to do this new year, and try to put my best foot forward.
I am going to try and have my family spend less time media consumed and more time together. I think that families are so busy, whether you are involved in sports, clubs, various activities, church, work, school, homework, family obligations, etc. BUT what if when you are home with your family, you don’t turn the television on first thing, and keep it on all night? What would happen then? I have tried it with my family for the last few weeks, and have found that if the television isn’t on, we find things to do togther. We have played more games, read books together, do puzzles, etc. What I have found with my children is that they go and FIND things to do.
When we have free time, my oldest child will ask if we can watch television first, and then play the Wii second, and when both answers are no, she protests, but then plays with the toys she was given for Christmas, will find my son and they will make up games to play together, as well as other creative activities. She even came to me the other day and said that she had made up a routine to show me with music, choreography, and costumes. Instead of sitting mindlessly on the couch my kids are now playing hide and seek, creating art projects and spending time engaging with one another.
I don’t want to try and tell everyone that we don’t watch ANY television because that isn’t accurate, however, during the week my oldest child does not watch any television because she is just too busy, and on the weekend she would rather be outside playing in the snow, riding bikes, or playing games. My son stays at home with me and he is allowed one show in the morning. My daughter has one show that she watches on Sunday and we enjoy doing that together.
I have heard that little rhyme that says the families that play together stay together….and have always chuckled at the phrase, but the meaning seems true. The more you can “play” or be together the stronger your bond together will be!
As Christmas is looming I would like for all parents and grandparents to remember that we don’t always have to give into the whims of our children, when we know what is best for them, is not what they are wanting! I think that the fight that we, as parents, are constantly making is; do we buy the gift that is easiest, or do we buy the gift that is best in the end? I know that we are always trying to make this Christmas one that they will never forget, but in the end we hurt our children and ourselves. We hurt them because then they spend endless droning hours in front of the computer filling their brains with violence, gore, filth, rape, degradation of the weak, as well as allowing them the prime opportunity to become addicted. If we chose an option that is less appealing at first, it could be better for everyone in the end. i.e. Athletic Lessons that could spur some unknown interest, an art lesson or acting lesson that could ignite a creative streak, or even a mini vacation for the weekend that could make a lasting impression forever. For pre-teens and teenagers, to get them socks instead of their favorite game is not the answer, but maybe a membership somewhere could lead them on a new career path that they hadn’t even thought of, or a lesson that brings a new social and physical outlet that they never knew they had before. These are the decisions that grandparents and parents need to make at Christmas as well as the entire year!
Violent video games and children is something we’ve focused a lot of time on since launching MediaViolence.org. The reason behind that is that the video game industry is continuing to grow at a staggering pace. Earlier this year, research from Gartner, an influential and respected technology researcher, estimated the industry to grow to $112 Billion by 2015.
As the article goes on to say, the fastest growth category within the already incredible pace will come from mobile gaming – which is outside the gaming taking place of iPhone’s and other smart phones.
With a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops selling over $650 Million in just five days, and games like it growing in popularity, overlayed with the growth of mobile gaming, two multipliers are in place that make it more challenging for parents. More games, that are more realistic, seeking to outdo one another in the level of graphic violence, coupled with increased access, and that access being mobile, means that parents must be even more vigilant than ever to prevent their kids from playing the games that they deem inappropriate. Of course, this is all assuming they have an opinion on the subject, and want to prevent their kids from playing a certain game.
And, that’s the major impetus behind our effort with this site. We seek to inform parents about the real risks, so that they can be armed against the increasing demand they’ll have directed toward them. A $74 Billion industry well on it’s way to $112 Billion is certainly filling the airwaves with messages that seek to downplay any risk. We just want to be a voice of subtle opposition. The stakes are our children, and we think there’s no stakes higher.