Even Addictive Games Promote Family Values

Even Addictive Games Promote Family Values

There's been much debate about the​ effect that video games and online games have in​ the​ development of​ our children and even in​ the​ socialization of​ adults. Reams have been written about the​ ways in​ which video games isolate youngsters and encourage a​ sedentary lifestyle. Some argue that,​ when adults play video games and online games to​ the​ exclusion of​ other activities,​ they effectively distance themselves from others and put up emotional barriers.

While moderation and self-control may be important considerations when playing video games and online games,​ I believe a​ case can be made that some addictive games promote family values.

Some people grow up in​ "game" families,​ and others do not. I'm from a​ family of​ avid gamers - and this was long before the​ advent of​ video games and online games. Some of​ my first memories are of​ going with my parents to​ their friends' houses and sitting quietly while they played bridge all evening. My father worked in​ construction,​ and so was out of​ work during the​ winter. I fondly recall coming home from school and finding my mother,​ father,​ and my father's best friend sitting around the​ table playing cutthroat pinochle. as​ I grew older,​ I spent many weekends up at​ a​ mountain cabin,​ playing hearts with eight or​ ten other people until the​ wee hours of​ the​ morning.

In our family,​ we​ didn't only play card games. we​ played every kind of​ game imaginable - board games,​ travel games,​ Mah Jong,​ outdoor games - you name it. I was the​ reigning backgammon champion in​ my college dorm. we​ also were voracious puzzle solvers. I preferred cryptograms and anacrostics,​ while my grandmother solved crossword puzzles in​ pen until she was 94 years old. And,​ yes,​ when the​ first Ataris came out,​ my mother bought one and we​ spent countless hours playing Pong and Donkey Kong.

There's no question in​ my mind that the​ addictive games we​ played united our family and taught us important life lessons. the​ first lesson,​ of​ course,​ was don't cheat - and never play with cheaters. That has served me well in​ business. the​ second lesson was good sportsmanship: always play to​ win,​ but be gracious when you lose. That,​ too,​ has been an​ important life lesson. Even though I try my best,​ sometimes I don't come out on​ top. the​ third lesson was about the​ importance of​ thinking ahead and strategizing to​ reach your goals. the​ fourth lesson was about partnerships and teamwork. I had to​ learn to​ be a​ team player,​ and sometimes a​ former adversary would become an​ ally at​ a​ moment's notice.

Most of​ all,​ though,​ our family's addictive game playing gave us an​ opportunity to​ be together,​ to​ have fun,​ and to​ laugh. We're all highly competitive,​ but at​ the​ end of​ the​ day,​ we're all friends.

My son has inherited my love of​ games and puzzles. to​ be honest,​ I couldn't wait until he got old enough to​ start playing kid's games. Like many parents,​ I played Chutes and Ladders until my eyes crossed! He plays his video games - but we​ play a​ lot of​ them together. we​ also do jigsaw puzzles together and enjoy working in​ puzzle books and magazines. He even creates puzzle books for his classmates using the​ class' spelling words.

So,​ while people turn up their noses at​ addictive games,​ I say that they can teach important life lessons and instill great family values. Play on!

Even Addictive Games Promote Family Values

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