Saturday, January 5, 2008
XBOX... Friend or Foe?
I think we were the very last people on the planet to get a game system. Bill and I have never been ones for having to have the newest and latest and greatest, but we do like quality items that add entertainment and comfort to our home. Our "biggest" TV in our house is 27 " wide and so far it suits us just fine. I love my DVR (Tivo esque) and use it religiously to tape my favorite programs so I can watch them at my leisure when everyone else has gone to sleep. But about 2 years, Bill started working with really young guys (23-27 yrs old) on his crew who were incessantly talking about all these games they owned on PS1,2,3, XBox, etc... All code to me. Went right over my head. When William wanted a PSP, I thought he was asking to take classes to learn how to read minds. When I was young, I went outside to play when I was bored inside the house. On car rides, we played highway games to keep us occupied between asking "Are we there yet?" But I digress... Bill came home with a huge box a couple of years ago with the writing XBOX 360 on it. I thought we got a globe. I know, I know. I was furious! I loved being able to say we didn't own one of "those" things. I truly didn't care whether or not my kids were "in" with the times. I still don't. All that stuff catches up in due time. As a teenager, I got anything and everything I wanted on a silver platter, and it didn't make me a better person or make me as happy as I thought it would. I vowed to make sure my kids have to work for some of the things they get... especially since they are boys and I am trying to teach them that they should carry the brunt of the burden of providing for their future families. I thought the Xbox thing was going to ruin our family. You never see kids playing outside anymore. They all have their heads pointed toward the big lit up box with a controller in their hands. This thing was just something else I would have to make a schedule for. As it is, there is absolutely no TV during the school week, and I practically have the Ds's and the PSP locked up in my desk until Summer vacation. I am sooo afraid my kids would start to dislike books and the joy of a good book. So anyway, he brought this thing home. Hooked it all up, and all four of my men slumped down on the floor to stare at it for 3 hours straight. The house could have been on fire, and they would not have noticed. I almost cried. Then something miraculous happened. They shut the cabinet it was in... put on their shoes, grabbed their helmets and rode their bikes for the rest of the day. My middle boy Alex asked me why I was so happy when they were leaving the "box". I told him how proud of them I was that they chose to shut down the thing and go get some good ole fashioned fresh (ish) air!!! He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Mom, I'd love to let you think that... but we beat the game and there aren't any more to play, so we had to shut it down." Sigh... I am still happy to say that they would rather play outside or read than play that "thing". I have learned to live with it. I use it as reward system. If they finish all their chores, and do a couple things without my asking and all their homework and reading is done, they can play it until bed time. It works out fine because between TaeKwonDo, baseball or soccer practice, that leaves only Friday night. hee hee So I have deemed the gaming system a friend. Not a close one, maybe an acquaintence. I still don't care whether or not my kids know all the games inside out, whether they have higher game scores or have the lastest and greatest in those things. The scores I care about are community service hours they put in for their school credit for citizenship, future SAT scores, their reading aptitude scores,and how much they love each other. All that other stuff is just stuff. So many people are rushing around trying to keep up with the Jones'. When that happens, we fail to see what in right in front of us. The best game of all. The game of real life. WE only get one turn to play. Make it worth it.