There is a lot of desperate nonsense online in relation to games and kids aggression.
Even the much cited Eron criticism of TV found a 10 percent
debatable correlation between kids and tv watching related aggression, whereas they found fifty percent of kids aggression results from family interaction. The adult she sees everyday is the model of what she is supposed to be.
Thus means that whatever game they are playing, is not going to have the biggest impression, it’s parent behavior while the game is in focus.
You can tell kids what you don’t like, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be less interested in it. Remember too, this is a fantasy, and in a fantasy imagining fighting zombies or burning down a forest is interesting. The best model for parents is to calmly lay out an argument, not yell an opinion.
This is much better than seeing you freak out with anxiety. It’s also why kids won’t play games in school (even if you call it edu) in the same way they do at home. In school, playing minecraft doesn’t affirm who they are so much as it shows them most teachers don’t understand games … and them.
This becomes obvious when I see YouTube videos of teachers bossing kids around in a classroom (playing minecraft) too. I don’t see them building mutually respectful arguments for gaming any more than non game interested teachers … it’s just “bang, hey kids, were going to play minecraft” … as they attach behaviour and imagination cuffs to be the power broker. Terrible in every level.
This isn’t modeling what teachers want kids to be, it’s partly frustration with the system and in some things I’ve seen … a dubious pedagogical basis for gaming. Banning games is simply the opposite reaction (much favoured by school leaders stuck in their own fantasy hyperbole of what constitutes media literacy).
Similarly, I’d argue parent anxiety over minecraft (or other) as being addictive our violent, won’t show any change because a kid plays at school (should someone actually research it with a valid method). It hasn’t before in studies of other media, so why would minecraft be different here?
Modeling who you want them to be requires cultural acceptance of games as a unique media form that plays a significant economical and societal role.
Parents will take games and virtual worlds seriously when schools do.
When it becomes a discipline such as media studies, english or computer science, then it will get further. Right now it seems the focus is in furthering the agenda and/or bank balance of a few enthusiasts.
But the is some hope. Numerous free online courses (moocs) allow parents to explore games and learning from a research base. And why should parents not join them?
Plenty of gaming teachers are actually unqualified too, in terms of “accredited to teach”. So give it a go, model an interest, ask questions of your kids and explore what interests them.
Personally, I think this is much better than hoping the teacher has any deep grasp of gaming (for transformational play). I seriously doubt “gaming” will be a timetable event outside of novelty or attention seeking any time soon.
Be the expert you’d like them to see. There’s are dozens of courses starting in October, all free, and all backed by University grade content. That will impress your kids much more than anything else. You are their parent. You don’t have to pay, or even like the games they do, but it’s a good idea to know why from some of the world’s most respected scholars like Jay Clayton.