Growing up as child in the 80’s, I remember this often spoken phrase by my mother, “After you finish all of your homework you can play your games.” I know now my mother only wanted to motivate me to do my homework, get good grades in school and realise that work very often comes before play. Although, being a kid, I thought that homework was stupid and was just a boring waste of time.
So what were video games for anyway? Well, in the early 80’s most video games and computer games weren’t much more than mindless shooting games, driving games, platform games(ie. Donkey Kong), or games where you collect objects(ie. Pac-Man) – Purely for entertainment. These games seemed to frustrate more and more parents as childrens school grades seemed to slip, and some games even became targets in the political and/or religious arenas. Despite the bad press, game making and game publishing companies pressed on with ever better games.
On the other side of the coin, their existed games that could educate and inspire, teach and inform, expand the mind and raise the intellect. I owe a lot to the early expansion of my vocabulary, writting, imagination, and grammar skills to one particular company called Sierra Online. They produced many award winning series of games such as the King’s Quest series, and the Space Quest series. For me, these were the pinnacles of my childhood, and thanks to a few good parenting decisions, I would not be the same person without them.
All in all, parents play a key role in a childs developement. Homework is a neccessary component of the schooling system, but video games aren’t going away any time soon. Therefore, this battle will end at a stalemate with the full knowledge that all things should be taken in moderation, and for good developement there should be a balance between work and play.