Thursday, January 13, 2011

On video games and LEGOs

I have been somewhat resistant to get my boys into video games, fearing the lack of exercise and lack of socialization that playing these games can lead to.  However, I am really pleased with the Wii that we got from my brother as a second-hand Christmas gift for the boys.  We bought the LEGO Star Wars ($20!) game that lets them play through all 6 movies, unlocking characters and scenes as they go.  Dr. O' has to jump in and play to get them through some of the challenges, but it's a good activity for him to do with them.  I do cringe a bit at the on-screen (very mild LEGO-on-LEGO) violence, but it seems to be a good outlet for boy energy to engage in protective and chivalrous battle for good.  I love that the boys have to communicate, to cooperate, and to move their bodies in order to play this game.  I-M takes the lead, reading for A-man and telling him where they're going to go.  It helps I-M's working memory to recall the next step and helps his problem-solving skills as they navigate the terrain.  Unfortunately, they saved a game yesterday back at the beginning, locking up 8 of the 10 characters that Dr. O' had unlocked for them.  We're going to start saving our progress on an SD card when we get to a new level. 

As for my socialization fears, I think it's good for boys to play these games in moderation so that they have an "in" with other boys and can play video games together or can play the story of the game outdoors.  They watch almost no TV and play these games less than they had previously spent watching TV.  After a stimulating time playing Star Wars, they want to go upstairs and build with LEGOs.  My kids have never been bound by the constraints of Star Wars canon, so they have made up their own Star Wars myth that they enjoy playing indoors and outdoors with lightsabers and in their room with LEGOs.  A-man reminds me every day that they don't have Darth Vader or Yoda.  I know, little man.  He's a tremendously thankful and contented kid, but he does see a gaping hole in the LEGO collection.  We have Anakin, multiple Lukes, Obiwans, and C-3PO's, but no Vader or Yoda.  In due time, kiddo.

{Edited somewhat for clarity. I read so much bad writing that I fear it works its way into mine!}

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