Television vs. Video games in relation to Child Development
Now, I'd like to start off saying that I'm not a fancy, big city psychologist.
At best I'm some young man who thinks too much, decided to take quite a few
psychology classes back in the day, and thinks he deserves an opinion.
That's at best.
It's logical why a parent would care and want the best for their child. From about
the 1950's to early 80's, a huge concern for parents of children under the age of
say fourteen, was too much television.
"Don't sit so close!"
"It'll rot your brain!"
What I find interesting is that video games have been forced the title of "Children
Destroyer" over television.
Before I go too far with this, walk with me down a path. I recall once mentioning to
my mother, when she presented me with the options of going outside to play or reading
a book, why I couldn't just watch television instead of reading. I mean, I sit for both,
I could snack while doing both, so why couldn't I watch TV instead? Her answer, after
slapping me for questioning her, was that reading stimulates your brain and helps you
learn while TV is essentially a waste.
I, maybe due to the slapping, agreed with her. I take this same logic and apply it
to the concern of video games being more destructive than television to a child's brain.
Television provides you with nothing other than to watch. You don't, generally I mean,
have to actually think about the conflict of a television program, if there even is one.
Suppose a sitcom like Friends. Wait... I don't remember the characters for that. Ok, Ross.
Monica... Matthew Perry? Take Friends and give it a conflict, say someone cheated on
someone else. The conflict will either worsen or be resolved in 23 minutes (given commercials)
and thus the viewer must do nothing other than wait. There is no problem to solve,
no knowledge to absorb, no experience to be FELT, but rather just witnessed.
I, personally, feel that video games would be better than television for a child for
two simple reasons.
Like mentioned above, there are conflicts to address in gaming. Be it, "How do I kill this
big motha?" or "How do I use the 'Speedy thing comes in, speedy things come out' principle
to my advantage" You have to solve problems and must think. The sheer fact that you brain
must be exercised, be it to solve problems or to improve reflexes, makes video games
more involved than television and arguably, better for children.
2. Social Involvement
Ok, this one is a stretch. There is kinship amongst gamers. Were I to say something
like "All your base are belong to us" to a regular person they would, and do, stare at
me blankly. Say that to a gamer and they'll chuckle a bit. (Varies on the person.)
The idea of involving people in groups, is beneficial for humans. Humans need other humans
to be healthy. Multiplayer games are great for that. Everyone in the same room, all
having a gay old time with Mario and his hijinks. The 'quality' of human interaction
through solely MMO games is debatable and I will not cover it in this 'article'. I
personally know that there are online relationships I value more than with the actual
biological organisms I interact with, but I also know that online interaction can
be chocked full of lies. Point here is that television does not really provide a conduit
for social interaction. Maybe they laugh at the same time, but in my crappy opinion,
it doesn't go much beyond that.
In summary, video gaming, even simple games, involves more brain usage and social
skills than television and is thus more beneficial to a child.
Post Script: Kat, how the Hell do you get me to make blogs? I don't get it. Stop using
your woman powers, dammit!! read