Comments on Mary Gold's Nintendo Article
Wow. Finally someone who gets it. I am doing a research paper on the
benefits of gaming for a Comp II college class. I have met quite a bit of
resistance from my classmates on this topic. I am 25 years old and I grew up
playing video games. I sparked my interest in computers from playing online FPS
Your article really touched me. More people need to understand all of the
benefits that you receive from playing video games. Parents argue with me that
it is not a "normal" way to socialize. I would much rather see a teenager on a
video game then out smoking crystal-meth looking for a fight. Enough with my
rant I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your article.
I am a high school student writing my senior research paper on the benefits
of video games. Year after year students do the negative aspects of games
(effects of violence is usually their focus), so I thought that I would try
to dig up the positive side of games. Of course I love video games, but
how can I justify that to adults who automatically judge? I am using
college studies/research and news articles to have facts to back up my
argument. Saying that video games are great because they are fun just
won't fly with this paper.
In other words, I just wanted to thank you - your article is a great help,
and I hope you don't mind if I quote part of it.
Hi there - just re-read your If you give a kid a Nintendo
article And spent most of the time chuckling...
We picked up a PS2 for DH's birthday recently along with a few games
(and promptly got into the discount program at the local game store!)
The hands down favorite so far is a James Bond game (well, I can't play
for beans but DH and DS - almost 6 - love it). I am treated to a daily
synopsis of what DH has unlocked, who won what, how things went, what
was discovered, the specifics of each weapon used, who was which
character - by DS. He has quickly adapted to DH's strategies and even
adopted some himself (causing DH no end of trying to figure out new
strategies!). Fortunately, DH is both a game enthusiast AND the at home
parent so they have lots of time available to play. DH often plays the
single player missions with DS watching to get bonus stuff (they both
like it that way) then they play together.
And, it's funny, but all those "he'll play all the time and not get any
exercise" doomsayers need to see DS play - it's an aerobic workout that
tires me just watching! He rarely sits and usually spends half his time
jumping. Yes, we have plans to pick up some wireless controllers to
facilitate movement without getting tangled up (the dogs will like
What's interesting is that DS will stop when he decides he has had
enough for a time and go do something else or go get a snack. And,
enough, with the game plugged in and off, there's been less TV watching
- go figure. DS knows how to switch it back and forth but he doesn't
much bother with it. For him, it is a physically active, socially
interactive activity (he learned to play this game originally from some
teenaged friends of ours before we owned a game system). He doesn't
playing solo on the PS2 - for that he picks up his Gameboy. BTW for a
while he was indeed drawing Pokemon and asking DH to draw them (DH can
draw anything but people), inventing Pokemon, pretend playing that he
was a Pokemon trainer (running around the house with all the superballs
and such he could find to catch Pokemon), and in general enjoying
Pokemon world. He still plays for fun and regales me with the various
types, their strengths, weaknesses, what they are good against and not
good against - don't know many not quick 6 yr olds who say things are
"super effective", which he picked up from the game and now applies to
Wed, 14 Apr 2004
Thanks so much for this article. We gave our sons a GameCube for Christmas
last year, and have found it to be fun and educational. Sometimes they will
play almost obsessively. Other times it will sit for long stretches
untouched. They have already accumulated a variety of age appropriate
games, and are happy to bounce from one to another, honing their skills.
I have heard from many a parent that this was a very dangerous gift to give
our children, but we have found just the opposite. Thank you for putting it
all into words that I might send doubting relatives and friends to read.
By homeworld on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 08:50 am:
Thank you, thank you! I have always loved the "Give a kid a Nintendo" article. It literally changed my kids lives by changing my mind awhile ago. I never told you how much I appreciate that piece of work.
What a great article...I guess I won't complain to my husband about playing
Playstation anymore or about the Teletubby game he bought Andrew (and I think
Since I've started thinking of unschooling I've been able to relax a lot more
about things like TV and videos and video games...I've always thought of them
as great time wasters...but as this article shows...for a child those things
can be a springboard for so much more.
[Ellipses were in the original. -ed]
To: zenmomma@hotmail. . .
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 01:24:03 -0600
I just found your article 'If You Give a Kid a Nintendo'.
http://sandradodd.com/game/nintendogold I found it very refreshing!
Our daughter who just turned 4 in early January, absolutely loves her
Nintendo Gamecube she received last Christmas. We've known that we'd be
homeschooling since before her birth and although I realize our state (IL)
does not require any formal schooling or recording until age 7, I have been
doing some investigating and exploring to find out what works best for us.
I suppose I classify us as home/unschooling. I basically follow her lead
and dive right in when I see an opportunity, (although worksheets are used
when she requests them). She has a very voracious appetite for learning
and although she is just 4 years old, I have to be honest that she is
teaching me new things daily.
Her first game for the Nintendo Gamecube, by her choice was 'Pikmin'. I
have heard many complaints around me, that she is playing video games (and
is quite good at them) too young. My reply so far has been that she has
learned to count to 20, recognizes numbers in print, can perform simple
addition and subtraction to 20 (in her head), map reading skills (including
direction), logical thinking and strategy (the best way to make them do
what she wants, the fastest, as the time ticks the day away), and not to
mention hand eye coordination. They just don't want to accept that it
could be possible! I therefore, had begun to doubt myself.
So, thank you very much in writing this article!! I have now regained my
confidence and will continue to home/unschool as we see fit.
Subject: Give a Kid a Nintendo
Date: Fri, 08 Nov 2002 04:20:43 -0600
I have had your article in my 'favorites' for awhile and completely
forgot it was there. After recently having made a website for our
unschooling support group and searched forever trying to find articles
to put up, I couldn't believe that I had left that off. Ren from
unschooling.com, our support group, etc, saw it as I was skimming
through the tool bar trying to find where to make a sig line for her. It
now has a link from our site.
Anyway, I love it, my 27yr old daughter called me to ask if I wrote it.
I told her no but I'd like to read it. She couldn't believe it because
my now 15 and 10 yr old have done everything that you wrote....and I do
mean everything. Brandon, the younger one got his incentive for reading
because everybody got tired of looking up cheat codes for him. (I had
already read and deciphered the entire magazine he got for Zelda) He was
eight and couldn't read.......believe me, by eight and a half he was
searching by himself. Aaron has sketchbooks filled with anime and other
characters. They have both had their share of ebay games and even the
six yr old is drawing in the sketchbooks now. The two boys both hang out
in the magazine section of the grocery store while I shop.
Tonight I read your article to Brandon and his comment was:
"Wow! That's cool, kids learn by playing." Duh....that's all he's done
his whole life.