Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Videogames

There are days when by principal I feel the need to tell the girls not to play video games. Most moms will agree they are not great for kids. Although i will argue that having an interactive game system like the Wii or Xbox Kinect are better than sitting around watching hours of iCarly or Spongebob. I have no room to talk since I stare at a computer screen all day followed by an evening with my laptop propped on my lap.

Playing "Little Big Planet"

For the most part it seems to keep the kids entertained...at least when they are doing well. But, tonight something happened that made me wonder exactly what the kids see in the games they seem to love so much. I have often noticed that Olivia seems to get pretty stressed out when playing...she gets to a certain point and can't get any further. This seems to ensue panic followed by Layla coming to her "rescue". Sometimes she takes a humorous tone with the games she can't seem to master. She was playing "Little Big Planet".  If you are unfamiliar with this game, I am not the person to ask. To me it is like a sock puppet going through an acid trip....but the kids seem to love it. Olivia was stuck on the same board. She kept "dying" by falling off this conveyor train thing and her sock pupped would get electrocuted. This would happen over and over again..probably a good ten to twenty times. I braced myself for the tears and screaming that would soon follow. She was groaning a bit...but she seemed to be a bit giddy about it. Once again, Liv's sock guy jumps then gets  a jolt of electric. She turned her head slowly and said "Shocking!"

Tonight involved a Wii meltdown of epic proportions. I was doing some work in the kitchen. Josh was busy perfecting his game of Words with Friends. He was laying on the couch while Liv was sitting playing her game of Pet Cats on Wii. Josh and I both seemed to catch the same look on her face. She looked like she had smacked her head on a door or something. Her eyes were welling with tears and her hands seemed to be shaking...I could tell she was trying to compose herself the way only Olivia can (with much drama). Finally, she was able to get a few words out.
" I need help. I need Layla. I need to pass by the alligator but I can't."  (Layla was at her art class). Full tears are falling down her face like raindrops on a window. Then, out of no where, she went in to full shoulder shaking hysterics. " I want to play this game, but I don't want to die!"
Josh takes the controller from her to help her navigate her cat through some sort of water. "You MISSED it" She yelled at Josh. "There is a bird there" Her voice was strewn with terror "You are moving too far...I need Layla!!!" She yelled. Josh gave her a look and told her to never talk like that again. "What is the big deal, you need to calm down." I offered from the kitchen. " I didn't save it, I didn't save it!!" she stammered. " I don't know how...DADDY-don't get attacked!!" Josh and I looked at each other...the epic video game meltdown was way too much for us to comprehend. Liv was in full on hysterics. She could barely get out a full thought. "No..You need that...wait..go back there..wait..oh no..I cant tell which way to go..you went too far..."

Usually children cheer to do the things they love..like go swimming, eat ice cream, stay up late. I just can't understand why Olivia plays video games. She has turned it into complete stress for all involved..and tonight we just realized what poor Layla goes through when Liv plays video games.

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