While driving back from work I was listening to a radio phone in with the following phrases repeatedly hurled about

  • Brainwashing
  • Fostering violence
  • Casual link to crime
  • Fuelling drugs
  • Breakdown of relationships
  • Death of books
  • Mind numbing
  • Addiction
  • Causing depression
  • School failings
  • Antisocial
  • Evil

The target of this torrent of abuse – Computer Games. Lots of people phoning in demanding that gaming is banned. Many of the callers from the sound of it have never used a computer, never mind have and clue about important stuff like a Donkey Kong.

So let’s balance out the argument a tad.

One of the best ways our son has found to unwind and release some of his anxieties is through a bit of gaming. Games like FIFA, Clash Of Clans, Fortnite, Roadblock, Minecraft and Crossy Roads. Just an hour now and then really makes a difference.

On top of helping him relax it offers other positive elements

  • Helps develop his hand eye coordination
  • Works on his fine motor skills
  • Teaches patience and the benefits of practice
  • Helps with recognising common gaming words – helps with dyslexia
  • Provides a common and interesting subject he can discuss with other kids
  • Provides a fun way of learning how to cope with time pressures.

And above all it helps build confidence and a sense of achievement. The smile on his face when he gets to a new level or succeeds in a task tells you everything. He’s still glowing after winning the Champions League with Inter Milan.

So yes gaming does have its pitfalls but let’s not forget that it can be a shed load of fun and if moderated can be really beneficial.

So while he’s not looking let’s see if I can get Newcastle United to win something. Just like in real life that’s not going to happen. Maybe if I get Mario, Sonic, Pac-man and Lara Croft on my team……

97 thoughts on “FIFA

  1. Totally agree!! Declan loves the game Cuphead and all the characters. And when he wins he feels like a million bucks. But it is hard (and he HATES losing) so he works on that too. He also likes Minecraft (and did you know there is an “Autcraft”? Made specifically for kids on the spectrum to play with other mindful kids and/or kids on the spectrum online and to avoid all the negativity like bullying? So cool! Declan doesn’t play online, but if he wanted to add a social aspect to gaming this is pretty cool: https://www.autcraft.com/). And I totally agree it helps with Declan’s fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination as well. Games rule!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I plat that – badly. My job is to initially read through the instructions – figure out how to play it then just get badly beaten for months… I once tried to play a game of the treadmill, actually managed to complete a level but forgot to keep running. I was propelled about 5 yards backwards. The gym shame…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely. Look at the Lions vs. Xians and gladiators and Huns, boxing, football, Native American cruelties between tribes and on and on.. but it you look above to my statement to LWBUT, the violence in video games has grown absurd. Look up the site I suggest to him. Unbelievable. In one, thankfully now banned, you have to rape women to get points.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Fully agree with the viewpoint, but not sure of the scientific evidence?

      When i was a (very young) kid we played Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers and War Games – i had hundreds of model soldiers, tanks, aircraft and naval warships – talk about addicted to violence?

      Curiously enough i have never shot or killed anyone in real life.

      I am starting to find it hard to resist the temptation though, as the world gets dumber day by day ! 🙂

      Also i heard Elvis’s Viva Las Vegas this morning. Have you ever read the lyrics??

      The song is basically an Homage to problem gambling?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you want scientific evidence, read “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge. Published in 2007. It deals with how the brain changes according to not only what we do but also what we think and observe. I recommend this book very highly. Also, are you aware of a video game called “Rape Day” that glorifies sexual assault? iIn the game the rape of women is encouraged to progress the plot. Luckily the game was eventually pulled from the Internet. If you go to Science Direct.com, you’ll see a number of studies dealing with the effect of violent media on children–and adults. Our playing cops and robbers doesn’t bear a very close resemblance to children playing hours of war games a day. Another example of the most violent games can be seen if you Google ‘Top 10 Most Violent Video Games.” that deal with chain saw murders, BDSM sex, one based on the Columbine School Massacre that includes videos from the actual event, torture and yadda yadda yadda. A bit of a step-up from Cops and robbers. Should I rest my point? Probably…I know there has always been violence in the world, but in the time of the Internet, more and more people are forming alliances that bolster this violent behavior and the weapons have gotten bigger, offering more of a threat. Okay. Off my soapbox..

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I took your previous advice and currently have Dr Doige’s book on my table!

        I have not got to the video game bit yet! 😉

        The potential for over-stimulation and habituation of anti-social tendencies is far greater with certain video games ( but by no means all of course) than my earliest ‘habit’/social conditioning of playing with my friends and pretending to kill them all or wiping out the nazi’s/bad guys I am prepared to admit. 🙂

        Given the number of morons out there (like in Christchurch and recently in San Diego, as well as those who produce and promote the games you indicated above for ‘entertainment’) i would suggest that people like you and i stay on our soapboxes and shout as loudly as possible so as to provide a suitable ‘counter’ putting the opposing view to theirs. Somebody has to!

        With the proviso that we have the actual evidence to back up our views.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’d love to hear your comments on the book as you go along. I found every chapter stimulating. See if you can tell which chapter was about someone I knew. I’m not telling but will if you guess. Hope you like it. I’m honored that you took my advice.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. All I can say is the games son hears about from other kids are mostly football, racing or world building ones. Yes some awful games out there but it doesn’t mean the kids have to play them. One day game content will be more strongly policed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the key phrase here is “if moderated.” Everything in moderation is fine but I do take on board the point above made by lifelessons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When i first read that list i was guessing the problem was: ‘The Internet’, seems i got that one wrong??

    When i saw the screenshot i thought it was a sport report on your TV and poor old Spurs had not done themselves proud!!! 😦 (1-8 drubbing!)

    Radio phone ins?? So many idiots with an opinion on a subject but with no experience or evidence, rarely does someone actually KNOW what they are talking about and most just want to winge (kinda like me really!!) 😉

    With video games, as with everything else in life there are good points and bad points and if you take it to any extreme it will likely have bad results. There is a real issue with ‘habituation’ though, i feel (no real proof as yet) and by that i mean if you see something every day your brain comes to accept it as ‘the norm’. It’s not so much of an issue with violent games – when you can easily tell the difference between a game and ‘real’ life.

    Game makers though are in a race to narrowing the gap between what is ‘fake’ and what seems real and i don’t see that having a happy ending while so much anti-social behaviour is being promoted in gaming.

    Everything in moderation… and that includes moderation!!! 🙂

    I’m not too sure how that goes with murder, domestic violence, theft, rape or profiting from your neighbour’s misery goes though?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the Theory!!!

        Seems something went wrong somewhere in the 90’s and a many parents lost their ‘or else’. Setting limits or choosing which games their brats get to play is a power outside of their limited means.

        These days some parents are actually scared of their kids and fear the consequences of trying to bring them up with any sense of personal responsibility.

        Good Job you are ‘Old School’ is all i can say. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I could not agree more and many autistic children use gaming as a way to self regulate and wind down after school too. My son has learnt so much from gaming everything from improving his reading to social skills. When you take the time to join in or listen to them the benefits are so obvious. For some too (ones that play online) it is their social time when maybe they have more difficulty making friends in real life and their chance to be part of a team. It’s good to hear some common sense being spoken about it. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. In America, gaming is now growing as a legit competitive sport. Universities are actually developing teams to compete against each other like any other athletic team league.
    Now…okay, I think THIS is going too far. Are there going to be scholarships now because a kid’s good at Minecraft? How the hell is this going to help a kid in his/her career and becoming a productive member of society? But that’s curmudgeon me angrily shaking my cane from my creaky rocking chair on the front porch. Get off my lawn, you hooligans!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. People who have never played computer games or have children who do are extremely ignorant of the benefits. My nephew for instance, is very into his computer games and as a consequence excels at maths.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We tend to blame the wrong things for the misfortunes of life… History is littered with book burnings, and weird rules.

    When I was a kid, I used to make bows and arrows out of knicker elastic and garden stakes… Those pointed ends were lethal, yet I did not hurt anyone, nor was that me intent. It was just fun to play cowboys and Indians – competition games are a healthy and fun way to deal with the stresses of life.

    On another note… I saw a great little tool developed by four imaginative teenagers to help people struggling with dyslexia. It was an adjustable black frame that fitted a page on a book…. Inside was a viewing window made of a faintly yellow clear plastic, but still allowing the words to show through… one line only at a time. Apparently, it stopped some of the jumbling of words that happen with dyslexia and allow the sufferer to read accurately.
    Simple tool. I have looked, but can’t see a link for it, but if I find it, will send it along. I was impressed by its simplicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a friend with a brother that NEVER comes out of his room he is so busy playing games. His parents pay for everything. It’s disgusting. Games are fine as long as it’s GAMES. But when it becomes your life with NO other social interaction? No.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My grand is a serious gamer and has college degree , works and enjoys building computers, so yes, gaming is a shed load of fun to help settling problems.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sure the studies refer to mindless, endless gaming; maybe to overly violent games as well. Really, as with anything, use common sense and moderation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When I saw your list, I thought you were talking about the Daily Mail.

    I don’t have any insight into computer games — I’m not much of a gamer and, although my boys have a Wii U, they don’t bring it out particularly often. However, I do remember growing up in the 1980s when this exact same sense of moral panic existed around the so-called video nasties of the time.

    Yet all those teenagers who spent their time trying to get hold of VHS copies of (not very good) horror films managed to grow up into reasonably well-adjusted adults.

    Of course, before that, there were scare stories about TV destroying the art of conversation.

    And cinema before that.

    And the radio.

    And Sunday Newspapers.

    And the Printing Press.

    It seems to me that every generation has a collective panic about the preferred media of the next generation. These panics are invariably based on ignorance and each one is as empty as the last.


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