Greg – “Did you take my Lancer?”
Sam – “No, I just took my scorcher.”
A couple minutes later…
Greg – “You did take my Lancer!”
Sam – “No I didn’t!”
Greg – “Was there a Lancer over there on the ground, and you picked it up?”
Sam – “uh…um… ye…NO!….”
Greg – “That was my Lancer!”
Me – “Now THERE’S a conversation you don’t hear every day in most homes!”
This is just a typical conversation in our home. Normally, you can hear the clackity-clack of me typing away on the computer hard at work, and the sound of guns, reloads and screams coming from the TV because Greg and Sam are playing either Gears of War 3 or Modern Warfare 3.
Now don’t get your panties in a bunch because I let my daughter play video games, let alone Gears of War 3.
Sam is an extremely brilliant little girl. In fact, I think she has a higher IQ than I do. Plus, she’s grown up with video games. Mommy and Daddy play them all the time. They’re no big deal to her. It’s literally just a game.
I know what you’re thinking, “But their so violent!”
In Gears of War 3, you can change the settings so that when you shoot someone, flowers come out instead of blood. Obviously, this is not real. Flowers don’t spill out when you shoot someone in real life. To me, that just makes it EASIER for the player to know without a doubt, it’s not real. Does Hollywood do that? NO!
But more importantly, video games offer an excellent teaching opportunity, regardless of the game. In campaign mode, everything the characters say is closed captioned on the screen, and the majority of the levels are huge puzzles that make you find a solution to a problem to progress to the next level.
Plus there’s the visual aspect. There are a number of studies that have been done on how video games improve the abilities of the visual cortex.
Because there is so much happening on screen, the player has to be able to almost instantaneously find and prioritize the nearest threat and all subsequent threats. There is plenty of evidence that supports that gamers are much more capable of enhanced visuo-spatial attention then those who do not game. This also increases their observation skills.
Sam notices things I don’t, and I’m as observant as House, MD (I’m not being arrogant, that’s just what I’ve been told).
But we also homeschool, so don’t think video games are her only education. But when mommy needs to get some writing done in order to pay the electric bill, it’s a nice little reward for her, and she loves playing with daddy.
The Family that Games Together, Stays Together.
All three of us game together and Sam just loves the family time!
Ten minutes later…
Sam – “Where’d you go?”
Greg – “I left ‘cuz you took my Lancer!”