|Could the same be said about video games?|
As a long-time video game lover, I couldn't even imagine life without the joy of staying up past bedtime to finish just one last level. But a recent conversation with one of my close friends reminded me that some people never had the wonderful experience of growing up in a virtual world.
This isn't about people who just don't like video games (that's a whole different conversation, let's save that one for later...). This is about people whose parents don't allow video games in their household for whatever reason. In my friend's case, her mother decided that there were better ways for her daughter to spend her free time. Recreation was found in big museums and thick books instead of game consoles and imaginary adventures on the TV screen. While money might have been a factor, as it often is when it comes to games, the main reason seemed to be that video games were a waste of time...for lack of a better way to put it. You know, one that is less offensive to a video game connoisseur like me.
While I respect her mother's decision and understand it almost completely, I'm uncomfortable with how it puts my childhood in a negative light. I don't feel as if I missed out on cultural experiences or learning opportunities by spending time indoors with a controller when I could have been perusing an art gallery. And my passion for reading and large book collection was never affected by my deep gaming habit (The only time I've ever spent in a museum was a summer volunteer position which was not the best time in the world...).
I automatically thought that by never playing video games, my friend didn't have a "real" childhood. Of course that's not true; it was just the first thing that came to my extremely gaming-centric mind. But are the gamers the ones that missed out?
Are video games a basic part of childhood or a just pointless distraction? Did you grow up without games because of your parents' rules?