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UK teachers protecting the young with ignorance

8:30 PM on 04.03.2012 // Fraser Brown
  @FraserIBrown

Teachers here in Blighty are concerned. They aren't worried about how the curriculum doesn't prepare kids for the real world or how they've simply become training camps for university, no. It's videogames that appear to be getting their knickers in a twist. During the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) a motion called for ministers to introduce legislation to tackle the "negative effects" videogames are having on the very young. It seems like they can't be bothered educating kids on moderation, so instead they want the government to bring in new laws. Brilliant.

What makes this whole brouhaha even more hilarious are the problems they claim videogames create. Their first claim is that these games are making children more violent in the playground. It's not real violence, though, just make believe, the kind of stuff kids have always done. It used to be cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers, when I was a bairn it was pretending to be superheroes or Power Rangers. Their second claim is completely contrary to the first, though. They believe that spending hours alone will make kids isolated, anti-social and fat. So these children are energetic and play together but they are also fat and friendless. I'm so glad that my taxes are going towards hiring only the best minds in the country to educate our spawn.

In the whole ignorant, completely anecdotal tirade against videogames, only one thing came out of it that I even remotely agree with. Far too many parents don't give a shit about what they buy their kids. I used to, for my sins, work in Blockbuster. Frequently, I'd see parents come in and purchase or rent 18 certificate games for children under 10. Now, I'm a childless 26 year old, so I don't for a second believe I'm in a position to dictate what they buy their kids. However, I don't think it's asking much for them to take the time to actually see what their offspring are playing and if it's really appropriate for their age. If they do know and they still decide to buy it, then that's their business.

I'd much rather see teachers and parents get educated about videogames, they represent a fairly large part of many children's lives, so wouldn't it be better to understand them rather than waste government money, our money, on bringing in even more legislation? We've already got so much useless legislation here that I'm amazed this wee island hasn't sunk.

Children becoming addicted to video game fantasy worlds... [The Guardian]



Fraser Brown, Former Contributor
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Fraser Brown is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming who is not Alasdair Duncan. Got a splinter stuck in his hand nineteen years ago and just left it in there. True story. ... more   |   staff directory

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