Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Observations from the xbox

About a month ago I lifted our restrictions on "screen time" (something I want to write a longer post about soon). Last week the boys started playing the lego star wars game on the hand-me-down xbox 360 we recently got from my brother-in-law. They have been really enjoying the game, and playing it lots... for several hours each day. I am still struggling some with how I feel about spending all that time playing a video game vs doing other things (and is there really that much difference between playing a video game vs say a board game? I don't know. More fodder to ponder). But as I have sat and watched them play this game, I have noticed a few things and wanted to jot them down. Because it does seem like these games have the potential to develop a lot of important skills.

  • Patience. I was never very into video games as a kid, and I am remembering now why. I don't have the patience for them. It takes a LOT of patience to figure out the challenges and puzzles within the game.  The games can get very frustrating, so this also provides practice in dealing with frustration, disappointment, and perseverance.
  • Cooperation. D is playing this game with his 3yo younger brother. This means a lot of the two of them trying to work together- D trying to help Q figure out what to do, Q trying to go along with D on the mission, etc. 
  • Problem-solving. Many times D will get to a spot in the game that seems impossible. But then after a while of trying out a bunch of stuff, he will figure it out. Or we figure it out together. Or, last resort, we turn to the internet for some research. 
  • Creativity. After playing, D will often start telling me about how he would make his own version of the game-- what he would change, what characters he would use, the storyline he would follow, etc. It is really cool to see him make the game his own. 

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