Posts Tagged ‘video games’

This article on UTNE Reader irks me.

I find it too incendiary to actually agree with what they are saying. I have troubles connecting with statements like these:

“In a September 2007 report, “Under-Equipped and Unprepared: America’s Emerging Workforce and the Soft Skills Gap,” the youth-advocacy nonprofit America’s Promise Alliance declared that “a large percentage of the children and youth who will enter the workforce . . . are lacking enough of the ‘soft’ or applied skills—such as teamwork, decision making, and communication—that will help them become effective employees and managers.””

Or this:

“America, Dana Gioia says, is dividing into two distinct behavioral groups: one that passively consumes electronic entertainment, and one that uses technology but also participates in the arts, sports, exercise—and volunteers at three times the rate of the other group. The factor that differentiates these groups is not based on income, geography, or education, but simply on whether people read for pleasure and participate in the arts. In his Stanford speech, Gioia argued that “a child who spends a month mastering Halo or NBA Live on Xbox has not been awakened and transformed the way that child would be spending the time rehearsing a play or learning to draw.””

Using technology as a red herring to distract from the many other issues that play a role in children’s engagement in arts strikes me as simplistic and lazy. The fact that parents who are not interested in artistic events or activities will probably result in children having practically no exposure to these is not even mentioned. Also, what role do schools play in this? Are schools running suitable artistic and culturally inclined programs? Schools tend to stress the importance of scientific subjects much more than they do with any of the liberal arts as well.

And how can they even discuss the long term impact of “mastering Halo or NBA Live on Xbox” when there is absolutely no historic data to measure against? This article reminds me of the discussions on the “evils of rock and roll music” during the ’60’s, with lots of fatalistic predictions that end up being used as a source of ironic vintage advertising material forty years later.


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