Nothing displays more focussed attention than a child playing a video game – absorbed in the sounds and intent only on achieving the target.
My daughter related an incident during a recent visit. At Christmas she gave her young niece a board game. It was called Rush Hour – a number of small cars are placed on the board in various, progressively difficult, formations as if in a parking lot. The aim is to get one certain car out of the parking lot without removing any other cars, the only movement allowed being forward or backward. The child didn’t know what to do with it … until her Uncle showed it to her in electronic form on his phone, which she took and with thumbs flying, proceeded to work it out.
Is it possible the child couldn’t relate to the three-dimensional objects? That would be ironic with simulated 3D movies and television becoming increasingly available.
Does anyone else find this disconcerting? The electronics that eat away hours of our time transform and become more sophisticated with increasing speed, changing how we relate to our world, decreasing the amount of time we are engaged face-to-face in verbal dialogue, morphing our language into RU’s, BTW’s and LOL’s, decreasing our attention span, and making violence and death a game.
At Wood Rabbit Journey there is an excellent post about today’s students that I encourage
you to read. An excerpt:
Do they (the students) ask for help? – rarely and when they do, they can’t seem to form full sentences.
Perhaps heartening – if this means they are working things through on their own (which I do think many of the games encourage), yet very disturbing if they can’t articulate their thoughts and ideas.
Do your students absorb written information? – not often
Will they never be enriched by the classics? Will they not be able to digest recounts of history? Will their emotions never be stretched by a rich description of time or place or person? Will their minds never sing to the rhythms of Whitman or Wordsworth, E.E. Cummings or Robert Service?
We know that children spend a lot of time on their own unsupervised – an inevitable outcome of the necessity for double-income households. Video games, xboxes and smart phones are the new babysitters, occupying them indoors, supposedly safe from a world that has become more violent and is roamed by predators. Texting and emails decrease the need for face-to-face and give a false sense of anonymity, feeding the trend to a lack of accountability and responsibility.
Life-like video games and advancing technology are not undesirables but how do we work to ensure the coming generation don’t lose themselves in a virtual world?
Jake’s Sunday Post is: Focussed Attention