March 29, 2006

Ditching the P.S. Stupid.

Okay, it's not really called that. It's a PS2. The video game thing. If you have a kid, or a wannabe kid, in your house, you probably have one, or one of it's ilk. I swore I would never buy one, because I viscerally hate them.

For Step-Father's Day three years ago, I caved. I thought it would be a pleasant gift for Brad from the kids, and as it wasn't theirs, they couldn't commandeer it. Right. We did everything you're supposed to; setting time limits, no using it on school nights, when your eyes bleed you have to stop.

Of course, I hadn't factored in the biggest hassle would be with the biggest kid, Brad himself. It is more addictive than crack. You can actually see brain cells flying out of the user's head. After a few months, I ripped it out.

No one I told believed me. My family was doing something counterproductive and useless. They would sit in front of this ridiculous thing, and magically five hours could disappear into a giant time suck. There was nothing hard about ripping it out.

It's been two years. It gets plugged in for a day or two at Xmas or March break, but that's it. At the end of spring break, the kids went to their dad's. Brad walked by the controls on the floor, the sirens beckoning him onto the rocks.

It's gone again. But I'm still waiting for that Intervention show on TV to cut off some other guy's P.S. Stupid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In defense of the brain-sucker.

I've got two boys, 8 and 6. As I write this I'm watching my younger one teach himself how to drive on an extremely sophisticated "race" game. (We're old school. Gamecube rules.)

Last week both boys discovered a deep seated love of golf through gaming, and my older boy now pores over draft magazines because of the family "superbowl" played on "Madden."

The boys are sport-minded, cooperative with each other and, the strangest benefit, optimistic about problem solving. There is always a way out of every difficulty in a game, patience and creative thinking are all one needs to reveal it. I think I even feel better about things myself after I've artfully figured out how to get Curious George through three traps and up to the roof of the museum to get the elusive banana.

Ok, my 6-year-old just drove into a palm tree. Maybe this isn't the most effective way for him to learn to drive.

March 31, 2006 1:19 PM  

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