Gaming a good parenting tool?

This week’s issue of The Escapist is dedicated to Generation G, people brought up on gaming. Allen Varney writes about gaming and parenting. It’s an interesting collection of interviews discussing how ‘grown up’ gamers are playing with their children and how they’re finding it useful for quality time, communication and learning. I found the article quite sweet and charming. True gamers are growing up and reproducing and they’re not giving up their passion for gaming, instead they’re encouraging it in their home and within the families.
I think the key issue here is to be involved with the gaming enjoyment, to take the time to play with your kids and to be aware of how gaming can be used as a learning tool. But I do however feel quite weary of such overly optimistic articles. This is not to be mistaken with just encouraging game play in the family but not participating yourself – because they’re not the same thing.
I’m DEFINATELY not saying that games are bad for you. I’m just saying, these articles written by games enthusiasts can be slightly overoptimistic and often objectivity is extremely hard to find. It’s good to read such positive experiences once in a while, certainly and that’s why I throughly enjoy reading The Escapist, I just find the authors a bit blinded by their own passion. It’s quite funny actually, because whether it’s written academically or journalisticly (oh dear…is that a word?), most gaming articles tend to be extremely enthusiastic about games with extremely little criticism, if the author is a gamer, that is. If the author has never touched a game, the text is just filled with negativety and condemnation of cultural hell. I’m missing something here. Studying MMORPGs has often led me to this problem, most of what I’m reading academically, seems like gaming journals where the writers are just informing you of what a fairytale world they’ve encountered. If there actually is any criticism it’s because the game producers are accused of enforcing cruel dictatorship. I’m mildly exaggerating here, but it definately is how I feel at times.
It seems like there’s two unified fronts gamers vs non-gamers. Games are good for you vs games are poison to our society.

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