Saturday, December 10, 2005

Perpetuating A Clockwork Orange

apophenia has something interesting to say about video games and teenagers:
How many parents allow their kids to go out and play? I live in San Francisco - do i ever see kids on the streets? No. Why? Because parents are afraid. They're only allowed to go out under supervision, only allowed to play in very specific ways, in formalized activities, in community centers. They can't hang out on their stoop, play on their streets, play in the park. They can't socialize because parents won't let them. Video games let them go into a world that is not controlled by adults, a fantasy world where creativity and exploration are allowed. It is quite common for youth to play with their friends, to have a fantasy world to share. Who wouldn't prefer the fantasy world to the surveillance world? What would happen if we allowed fantasy to come back to the physical interactions for youth? What if kids could go on adventures outdoors like we used to? Until we deal with our culture of fear, video games are going to be *much* more appealing than everyday space. Not because they are addictive, but because they are simply more fun.

While it's true that we need to reduce the culture of fear in this country, that's a long-haul job, so in the mean time, game developers can take this message to heart and try to provide meaningful, supportive, educational, and (most importantly) fun online spaces for kids. Why aren't there any Massively Multiplayer Educational Games? (MMEG's?) Let's make one!

(Via Wonderland.)


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