Like many other 8 year old boys in our little burb, my son really enjoys playing video games. And so it began, several years ago, we purchased a Nintendo Ds for him to play during flights and road trips. Then a few years later we purchased a Wii system for our home.
Now, I've heard it preached, harped on etc.... (and that's putting it LIGHTLY).... about the perils and evils of video games and their ability to turn your brain to sheer mush. I'm sure this could be the case, if abused and overused, but I would disagree for the most part, now that we have had our Wii for a while.
In our house, it's a new kind of family time. This is not an advertisement for the Wii specifically, but it's where my experience with video gaming lies. At first, I resisted playing the games very much because it wasn't my thing. But after a while...I started go-kart racing with my son, daughter and husband. (usually coming in last! but hey I'm okay with that...for now) We also bowled, golfed, played tennis, baseball..right in the comfort of our own home. Then, we decided to give the Partridge Family a run for their money and started our own Family Band via- Guitar Hero World Tour. Sara- on the drums, Jeff on Bass, Connor on Guitar and Mommy singing off key as loud as possible. EYE OF THE TIGER will soon be re-recorded by our family because, for some reason we think we're super good. :)
Oh, we still play other games like Candyland, Yahtzee, Uno, Skipbo, etc etc. But the reality is...we enjoy the electronic games just as much if not more. And our experience has been a very interactive, hilariously fun, engaging, connecting family time. So, if you haven't tried it...don't knock it.. if you have and it's not your thing, that's okay too. However...I think the school of thought that video games are anti-social is inaccurate and outdated.
As with any game, electronic or not, the value comes in doing it together as a family or with friends. So if you bought your gaming system for "the kids", maybe you should try playing it with them sometime. You might be surprised and actually have a great time with your family.
I realize everyone won't agree with me, and that's okay. This is after all, MY opinion and perspective not to be misinterpreted as reality and law for all mankind to conform to and accept as their own. :)