Every time I sit down at the computer to work on anything important (e.g., paperwork, bills, etc.) I find that I need to play a game of Spider Solitaire. I’m not a video game player or even a computer game player. At least I wasn’t until I started staying home supporting my children and their needs. Playing a computer game suddenly became very important. I found that I needed to play, not just to have fun, but to WIN!
I asked my husband what he thought this was about. He pointed out that my desire to play coincided with me working really hard to get the school to meet my daughter’s educational needs. His theory was that I needed to feel in control of something, even if it wasn’t real. This seemed appropriate at the time.
However, all of that is behind me. Yet, I still feel compelled to complete a game of Spider or my match three phone game. Today, when I started playing Spider, I found myself saying, “If only doing the bills was this easy!” I think this is why I play. It is something I can control, it is fairly easy to win, and it takes me out of the real world. Plus, I don’t have to go anywhere and it only takes about 5 minutes to get a break from whatever I am doing! WOW! That’s quite a few benefits!
Is this why our children play video games? Is the world so overwhelming? Is life so hard that they need a break from just being?
You can find thousands of articles about how the world has changed and how everything is speeding by at break-neck speed. How can our children’s growing minds cope with all of the stimulation except by finding a way to escape? So the next time you are concerned with the fact that your child likes video games think about your childhood. How many TV channels did you have? How many emails did you receive a day? How many texts did you receive? How many ways did your friends have to contact you? How many choices did you have in school for classes? How many career choices did you know about? How many standardized tests did you have to take? How many children were in the neighborhood to play with? How hard did your parents have to work to put food on the table? How stable was the world around you?
I get overwhelmed just thinking about it, so, back to Spider Solitaire. I feel like I need control of something, anything to make it through the day. How must our children feel?