“How are you going to make a difference playing games in your room?”, says me.
“I didn’t spend 18 years of my life to raise a person who is good at playing video games.” says me again, over a relaxing lunch with my kid. It’s amazing that she still speaks to me, let alone has lunch with me in public places.
According to this webcast, my kid is learning to be a better collaborator by playing video games. She is becoming a master, putting in time and effort to become an expert at Skyrim. She is good and getting better at something, just not something that is deemed useful or worthy by me.
She finds success, she takes chances, she solves problems and feels a part of something bigger than herself. She is happy doing this stuff.
She has hope, it’s me that doesn’t. I see it as a total waste of time, a way for her to avoid getting on with her real life (going to university, getting a job etc), a way to bury herself in fantasy while her mum supports her in the real world (I buy the food and provide shelter).
So, I appreciate her approach to help me understand where she is coming from. I do. I really appreciate her non-confrontational way of slipping me a TedTalks video while I am watching my yearly dose of the Oscars. And, I am contemplating having my students play the World Without Oil game (if my school’s filter allows them to play).
But does playing games create people with the habits of mind to save the world? Am I going to sit by while my daughter learns these habits or am I going to encourage her to get off her fanny and get outside to experience real people, see real places and have real experiences? Can she find meaning in a non-virtual world? I sure hope so.