Our older son will enter school in the fall and we enrolled him in our local Waldorf School. One of the guidelines of the Waldorf education entails the exclusion of any screen time for children. That means, no TV, no computers, no games, no smart phones and such. The idea behind this is that (in general) media kills creativity and overwrites the emotional experiences of the real life with those experienced in front of the TV. Although I do enjoy a good movie once in a while (we don’t have a TV, though) and spend way too much time in front of the computer, I do feel that our children can only benefit from a very limited exposure to media. Especially video games, I thought are outright evil. I still don’t think that playing video games is good, but here is a very interesting TED talk by Jane McGonigal about what makes gaming so attractive and how can we use the potential of Gamers, their optimism and enthusiasm, for the real world.
Well, thinking of it, I am a scientist and I “play games” everyday in the lab. Or, in the evenings, I “play games” in the kitchen trying our new recipes, or at the sewing machine trying to sew a new garment. Maybe we should all make a greater effort to teach our children to enjoy the sweet fruits of success when experiments give good results or sewing projects fit, and that we can get so much better at it if we’d only spend so many hours?