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Why Video Games are Bad for Kids *ducks*

December 6, 2011

I wrote a guest post last week for www.happychild.com.au – “Replacing a Playstation with an Electronic Drum Kit Improved Our Children’s Behaviour” – all about my own family’s experience with video games. It was a difficult piece to write, given that I work with a lot of people in the IT industry, and I’m probably in the one percent in my work environment who doesn’t own, and has no intention of owning, a video games console. That said, I’ve been really encouraged by the positive comments the story has attracted.

I’m not against video game per se, but I’ve seen the impact they have on my own kids and I don’t think they have a single positive influence on a healthy and fully-functional child. I’d much rather that my kids are playing outside, reading books, playing sport and music, and interacting with their family and friends.

My story was that we finally made the decision to replace our PlayStation with an electronic drum kit and keyboard, and the effect has been amazing. We have much happier and engaged kids, who are also developing real ability and talent as musicians – a skill that they can carry through life in a much more meaningful and creative way than simply knowing how to press some buttons and blow away some virtual scumbag in the latest first person shooter game.

(Pictured: “Drums”, toner, available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) licence.)

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