Comments on Nintendo Article

Comments on "If you Give a Kid a 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 games.

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.

Justin Styla
October 2004)

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 that!).

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, oddly 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 like 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 other things.

Deb Rossing
aka Bugsmom
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.

Dawn Bennink

By homeworld on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 08:50 am:

Hey, Mary-

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 Zoboomafoo too.)

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.

Tanya Bergstein
[Ellipses were in the original. -ed]

To: zenmomma@....
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 01:24:03 -0600

Hello Mary,

I just found your article 'If You Give a Kid a Nintendo'. /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.


From: [LeaAnn]
To: zenmomma@...
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, 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.


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