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Cranky Editorials About Videogames

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-off-my-lawn-ya-dang-kids dept.

205

GamePolitics has a roundup of some game-related weekend editorials. Some of them are awful cranky and not terribly well thought-out. From the Peoria Journal-Star: "Many of my college students... seem to be less familiar with books than earlier generations. In part, you can blame the influence of video games in pre-teens' lives. If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or Playstation, I think we know which one a kid will pick... In other words, good writing means good salaries. Think about that the next time you choose between taking your kid to the video store or the library..." Another piece rails against the Columbine videogame, while papers in Louisiana are duking it out over the recently passed videogame legislation.

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books vs. video games (4, Insightful)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381305)

"If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or Playstation, I think we know which one a kid will pick"

When I was a kid in the 70s they said the same thing about television. (Jesus, don't people remember that? God, I'm not THAT old!) My grandmother told me once that they said the same thing about radio when she was a kid. So what did they blame before radio? I'd imagine it was wanting to play outside instead of reading. Hint: many kids don't like reading all that much, especially ponderous books like Moby Dick

Re:books vs. video games (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381363)

Honestly. Moby Dick? I've read that and I'd NEVER recommend it to anyone I know.

How about a reasonable comparison: Playstation vs. Harry Potter. Get kids interested in reading first. Snicket, Rowling... THEN scare them off in the 12th grade English class with Faulkner, Conrad and Melville.

Hell, I'd bet even English majors would pick the Playstation over that dull tome that is Moby Dick...

Re:books vs. video games (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381605)

Uggh.. All I've read from Conrad was Heart of Darkness, and now your mention of his name makes me want to hide under my desk :(

Re:books vs. video games (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381902)

I never understood how anyone could not like "Heart of Darkness". I can see not being able to wade through "Lord Jim", or some of the more cumbersome short fiction...but man, "Heart of Darkness" was one of the few things I ever got assigned in an english class that I fricking loved.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382466)

That's interesting. I have both, but I started with Lord Jim. One of maybe three books I haven't finished in my life. I'll have to try Heart of Darkness.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382570)

A lot of people say Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness are wildly divergent, but I thought that Coppola did such a good job of holding on to the feeling of the story, that surreal craziness...Makes me want to go read it again.

Lord Jim, on the other hand...The book is split into two parts, Jim's fall, and Jim's redemption, and the fall part is boring as hell.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382660)

I'll agree with you about Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness. They were very much the same story, with a slightly different setting to them.

Regarding Heart of Darkness, I feel the same way you did about Lord Jim. It was split into two parts, and I found it extremely hard to get through the first part. But overall, the story was great.

It's kind of the same way I view the original Star Wars Trilogy. The story is a good one. The acting, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Interesting)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381829)

I can safely say that High School destroyed my love of reading. I don't even want to read ubiquitous Star Wars books anymore. In particular, I blame Maya Angelou.

Christ, one of the most entertaining books I remember reading was about the Longitude Prize and the Harrison clocks. But I'm sure the Literature Establishment will never agree with me.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Interesting)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382101)

I have to say that High School destroyed my will to read also. In middle school it was awesome, we could read any book from the library we wanted. I read a few C.S. Lewis books, Jurassic Park, and I instantly became hooked on sci-fi/fantasy. I started reading Robert Jordan, Anne Mcaffery, Orson Scott Card. I remember my teacher was impressed that I could read books by C.S. Lewis. Then high school came along and we were forced to read the same cookie cutter "classics" that every other damn high school student had to read. 90% of those books where just complete chores to read. I've read maybe about 2 or 3 novels for entertainment purposes since high school. One of them including "America: The Book" by John Stewart.

Re:books vs. video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381407)

Hell, I loved reading as a kid, and I never liked the Playstation, but I would rather mess with a Playstation than read Moby Dick too. That book was awful.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381455)

You echoed' my first thoughts on the subject.

BTW, before that they blamed comic books, dime store novels and other cheap, approachable writings for decreasing and abasing the literary level of the youth.

Here's a clue for the professor: No kid has ever wanted to read Moby Dick. Great literature for adults is often lousy for kids. Anyone who tries to force it to be otherwise is an idiot IMNSHO.

Re:books vs. video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382284)

I have yet to figure out their requirements for 'great literature'. It certianly isn't that it's enjoyable to read. No wonder kids don't want to read - if 'great literature' is incredibly dull 'Moby Dick' or incredibly gross (and dull) 'Lord of the Flies', what are they led to believe the 'not-so-great' books are like?

If I hadn't been a certified (certifiable?) bookworm before high school, I'd probably never have picked up a book again.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Funny)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381583)

"So what did they blame before radio?"

The novel, actually.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381596)

You used your grandmother's memory to dismiss the idea in general, but were the warnings of your grandmother's time correct? There is some evidence that people are, in general, less literate then they were a century ago before radio, television, and now video games.

From Wikipedia (caveats as to quality, requires more research, but raises possibility the following is true):

"In New England, the literacy rate was over 50 percent during the first half of the 17th century, and it rose to 70 percent by 1710. By the time of the American Revolution, it was around 90 percent. This is seen by some as a side effect of the Puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading. "

"In the United States, one in seven people (more than 40 million people) can barely read a job offer or utility bill, which arguably makes them functionally illiterate in a developed country such as the US. In 2003, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), conducted by the US Department of Education, found that fourteen percent of American adults scored at this "below basic" level in prose literacy. More than half of these persons did not have a high-school diploma or GED. ... Literacy among college graduates declined between 1992 and 2003, with less than one-third of all graduates at the highest "proficient" level in 2003, and less than half of all graduates with advanced degrees at this level."

I'm not saying that video games are in any way unique in terms of having a possible impact on the decline of literacy, if such a decline is indeed happening. However, literacy decline is important to a functioning country as a paucity of literacy and comprehension could have a direct impact on politics, susceptibility to marketing, and a general inability to skeptically parse written and oral arguments. The current quality of journalism and punditry in national politics in the U.S indicates that this could well be the case and declining literacy is having a real, negative impact.

This is a lot of speculation, but it's an important issue deserving additional research that should not be dismissed just because it implicates video games. Language is central to the ability for a society to operate and anything that affects literacy affects a whole lot more than book reading. It's also not just about wether someone can read, but how well they comprehend complex arguments.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381710)

"In New England, the literacy rate was over 50 percent during the first half of the 17th century, and it rose to 70 percent by 1710. By the time of the American Revolution, it was around 90 percent. This is seen by some as a side effect of the Puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading.

In the United States, one in seven people (more than 40 million people) can barely read a job offer or utility bill, which arguably makes them functionally illiterate"


Don't forget the importance of mathematical literacy, especially in thinking about how statistics can be recast. You're talking 90% literacy in 1776, vs 14% of the present population being "arguably functionally illiterate" And presumably, that's illiterate in English, and some of those people might be perfectly capable of functioning in their native languages.

Frankly I don't think it's basic literacy that's the core issue, it's that reading decent books is likely an aid to mental modeling and critical thinking. That's where the possible downside of new media comes to play. Like this slashdot conversation quoted [slashdot.org] ,
[a] 7th-8th grade algebra teacher complained to me last night, "They can't figure anything out on their own. Even their video games don't teach them problem solving. It's all 'jump-jump-squat', over and over again."

Re:books vs. video games (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381967)

[a] 7th-8th grade algebra teacher complained to me last night, "They can't figure anything out on their own. Even their video games don't teach them problem solving. It's all 'jump-jump-squat', over and over again."

This teacher obviously hasn't been around for very long them. 80% of my middle school classmates couldn't figure out a damn thing in math class. And this was 15 years ago.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382104)

Oh yeah, because 1991 had absolutely no "jump jump squat" games ;-)

I think the question is, how clever were students, say, circa 1977?

Re:books vs. video games (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382566)

I think the question is, how clever were students, say, circa 1977?

Ok, let me recall back 29 years and I would have to say that maybe 10% got math and could apply the principles. Maybe 80% muddled along getting some, guessing at others, and simply applying pattern recognition to the rest. The final 10% were getting high in the can talking about who knows what. I bet todays classrooms aren't too much different.

What is missing from highschool, and college math, is accessible learning. I had one good math teacher who taught the material (at the time trig) in college, and then applied it to real world problems through demonstrations. The competency rate in that class was very high judging by the fun we had versus listening to other students struggle with thier work. Teaching math is difficult, sure, but it doesn't have to be impossible.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382601)

Ah, but the percentages wern't nearly as high.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381810)

"In New England, the literacy rate was over 50 percent during the first half of the 17th century, and it rose to 70 percent by 1710. By the time of the American Revolution, it was around 90 percent. This is seen by some as a side effect of the Puritan belief in the importance of Bible reading. "

Did they count women and non-whites in these literacy statistics?

Re:books vs. video games (1, Funny)

benzapp (464105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381891)

You used your grandmother's memory to dismiss the idea in general, but were the warnings of your grandmother's time correct? There is some evidence that people are, in general, less literate then they were a century ago before radio, television, and now video games.

The evidence is flawed as it is based on the belief that egaltiarianism is scientifically true. Negroes score a full standard deviation lower than other races on standard intelligence measuring tests. Their large numbers, and recent inclusion in such statistics, greatly skews literacy statistics. Negroes, no matter what their country of origin, have abysmal literacy rates. In 1960, the United States was approximately 96% white. Today, it is less than 70%, and will be less than 50% by 2050.

Literacy has declined in the US every year since racial quotas on immigration were removed. Especially when you consider that other countries (which presumably have equal access to television and video games) have higher rates of literacy (say, Japan at near 100%), it is logical to infer that the problem is not technology, but certain people simply are not capable of reading or writing. The unfortunate reality is those people tend to have more animalistic instincts, and will thus reproduce at rapid rates. This causes population pressures in their home countries resulting in mass emigration, and once they are in the US, they continue to rapidly multiply.

Every white person in the US should ask themselves: When we are a minority in our own country, will our new rulers treat us with the same goodwill as we treated them?

It will happen in your lifetime.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Funny)

AoT (107216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381965)

Oh shit, you did not just say "Negroes."

What century are we in again?

Re:books vs. video games (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382023)

The evidence is flawed as it is based on the belief that egaltiarianism is scientifically true. Negroes score a full standard deviation lower than other races on standard intelligence measuring tests. Their large numbers, and recent inclusion in such statistics, greatly skews literacy statistics. Negroes, no matter what their country of origin, have abysmal literacy rates. In 1960, the United States was approximately 96% white. Today, it is less than 70%, and will be less than 50% by 2050.

That's very interesting.

I have a question for you, what do you use to get the soot stains out of your sheets after a night of cross burning? Is it just regular bleach or does stain remover help?

Re:books vs. video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382203)

Every white person in the US should ask themselves: When we are a minority in our own country, will our new rulers treat us with the same goodwill as we treated them?

Well if people like you keeping making retarded comments like this:

but certain people simply are not capable of reading or writing.

I'm sure they will love to return the favor; considering how well we've treated minorities in the past.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382247)

Especially when you consider that other countries (which presumably have equal access to television and video games) have higher rates of literacy (say, Japan at near 100%), it is logical to infer that the problem is not technology, but certain people simply are not capable of reading or writing. The unfortunate reality is those people tend to have more animalistic instincts, and will thus reproduce at rapid rates.

Hey dude, I think the 19th century just called, it want's it racist idealogy back.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382581)

Every white person in the US should ask themselves: When we are a minority in our own country, will our new rulers treat us with the same goodwill as we treated them?


An [wikipedia.org] excellent [pbs.org] question [splcenter.org] .

Ass.

Re:books vs. video games (2, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381962)

Meh. Video games are too new to be the root of the problem. Look back to TV and radio, and the declining importance put on literacy by schools.

Lot of people in this thread have said it already...Too much emphasis is put on "getting through" this period or that period of classic literature, and too little is put into fundamentals. I can't remember having quality grammar or analysis of structured argument in any high school course, and its wasn't in any of my required courses in college either.

It wasn't in any of my required courses. Did I mention I have a BA in english?

Don't be too quick to blame games. A lot of games require more reading than TV does.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382557)

Just wanted to point out that you juxtaposed incompatible statistics to make your point.. maybe they were in different sections of the Wikipedia article, but it was misleading.

If literacy was around 90% at the time of the American Revolution, and now 1 out of 7 people are illiterate, then that makes today's literacy rate about 86%.

The 4% difference, I'm sure, could be attributed to margin of error in however these polls were conducted.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381688)

Hint: many kids don't like reading all that much, especially ponderous books like Moby Dick

A lot of the old classics are completely overrated.

My mother always complained that we read too many "Fantasy" novels. Heads in the clouds. Read some real literature. What did she suggest? Wait for it.

Jane Austin.

Good grief. Apparently back in her day you simply had to read Jane Austin, or Charles Dickens, or some other pop classic tome that itself was trapped in the perpetual fantasy land of the english upper classes, or lower ones.

Best example. Pride and Prejudice. God Awful book. Seriously. Family crisis. Five daughters, none of them married. Family will lose everything if father dies. What do these five young, steadfast, selfsure women do? Campaign for women's rights? Petition their MPs? Write pamphlets? Begin discussion groups?

NO!! They spend the entire novel fopping about at dances and dinners trying to find a rich husband! I cannot express the banality of this novel accuractly. To suggest that anyone can learn morals, ethics, or indeed anything at all from it is a fallacy of the highest order. I can safely say I've gained more out of one Terry Pratchett novel than I could glean from an entire bookshelf of "classics" that people only seem to read to say they have read them.

Re:books vs. video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381757)

You missed the point of P&P. It's a comedy. When they act like self-absorbed wankers you're usually supposed to be laughing at them.

Still, Austen is pretty crap even when you do get the jokes. Some classics are pretty good though, and many are a real learning experience even if they aren't that entertaining in themselves.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381824)

Terry Pratchett probably does more insight into humanity in 10 pages than the entire literary "canon" combined :(

Re:books vs. video games (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382004)

That just goes to show how little of the cannon you've read. I've got no problem with pop fiction, but Terry Pratchett, though fun to read, is brain candy at best.

If nothing else, reading lit from another period will increase your vocab, and your ability to comprehend ideas expressed in complex language.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382056)

Yeah, Jane Austen is bad because she analyzed and satarized the social interaction of an incredibly important period and country in history. If you look beyond "haha, they're going to DANCES!" or "Why haven't they just built a gigantic robot army to fight for women's rights?" you might actually learn both about how high society operates and how humanity creates filters to force our superficial judgments of others to comport to our preconcieved notions of them.

That is what Austen's work is about. It's not "just" about parties and finding husbands. You're confusing meaning and rhetoric with action and plot, and if you can't get past that point, I'm not surprised you hate the classics- they all take a refined reader to understand and appreciate.

Literature is about nuance, not the rhetorical equivalent of the fish-slapping song.

Re:books vs. video games (1)

mythandros (973986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382109)

I mod this

(Score:65535, only person with an attention span)

Re:books vs. video games (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382199)

When I was a kid in the 70s they said the same thing about television. My grandmother told me once that they said the same thing about radio when she was a kid.

And during the time from then till now the population as a whole did grow worryingly fat and unhealthy.

Not just books but also physical games, sports and "sound" toys like legos are losing out to videogames. Sure, videogames can eercise your mind too, but very o few of them do, and none can teach you hands on physics and practical thinking as well as using our body or building stuff with your hands. Videogames themselves and their content don't worry me much with regard ro children, but the way they are displacing a lot of other activity actually does, a bit. Yeah, TV did the same thing, but I suspect it's not a zero-sum game: TV and games together take up more of kids' time than TV did alone.

I'd most certainly hope... (0, Flamebait)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381323)

That the kid would pick up the video game, for a number of reasons. Our society is too "traditionalist" as a whole, revering the "classics" while ignoring the quality that's both modern..and thus more relevent, that's under our noses.

As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings.

Finally, the reason why people read the "canon", is so that they'd have something to discuss with their peers during less important moments. It's a way to connect with those around us. Video Games, natch, pop culture as a whole serves the same purpose in the modern world.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (3, Funny)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381408)

As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings.

Exactly. The fact that most of the great thinkers throughout history have been illiterates who never bothered with books further supports your assertion.

P.S. This post employs a literary device. Figuring out the literary device is left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381558)

I'd argue the assumption that being a great thinker is the ideal. The great thinkers have very often been unhappy, depressed social outcasts.

I think you will find a much greater correlation with happiness and productivity when compared with taking an active role in one's life and surroundings versus shutting oneself up with books and writing.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381809)

yeah. if only there was some way we could have -helped- people like Newton and Erdos. Instead of frittering away their lives as social misfits, we could have guided them into happy, fulfilling lives.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381937)

As they say, "ignorance is bliss!"

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381615)

P.S. This post employs a literary device. Figuring out the literary device is left as an exercise for the reader.

Hmmm, I think that must be "telling it like it is".

P.S. This post employs a literary device. It is either the same literary device as used by the parent, or it isn't. Figuring that out is left as an exercise to the reader.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382026)

I'm going with "sarcasm", and I'm amused at how many people responding to you utterly missed it. Q.E.D.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381436)

[QUOTE]
As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings.
[/QUOTE]

And First Person Shooters inspire deep thought?

Wow. You aren't even trying to hide the fact that you're using the traditional arguments FOR books over these new-fangled moving pictures against books and for twitch reaction games.

Here's a hint - twitch games don't give you time to think. Most games don't even give you much worth thinking about, not if they can help it.

There is a LOT of printed material out there which is no better. That's reality. And the more prolific our pop culture gets the worse the noise-to-signal ratio of what's in print gets.

Frankly, /. doesn't help with that curve over all, either. But, I'm still here, looking for the pieces that do.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381664)

Actually the signal-to-noise ratio is a lot better than it used to be. I spend most of my time reading non-fiction materal online. Most of that material didn't exist 10 years ago.

As a whole, non-fiction books really only became widely accessable over the 20th century.

Yes. I'm saying that ALL fiction is "noise". I'm not saying that people shouldn't partake in noise. Whatever makes you feel good and doesn't hurt others..right? What bugs me, is you have all these cranks that say we should go read some "classic" of literature. It's ALL mental masturbation. Just different types.

And by the way. When I'm playing a FPS, I'm activly searching the environment, looking for enemies, escape routes, power ups, etc. I don't play FPS too often, to be honest, but they're definatly a mental exercise.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381999)

All fiction is noise?

Like Candide?

Or Invisible Man, by Ellison?

Come now, you just aren't reading the right fiction.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381515)

"As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings."

You have books that read themselves to you? A good book forces you to use your imagination and create in your mind the world that is being described. As for being engaged in one's surroundings, that is a completely irrelevant statement. If you're engaged in any form of entertainment, books, video games, TV, movies, you are going to be disengaged from your surroundings.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381611)

To me, most books I read really end up lulling my brain down to a lower thought level. There are exceptions but these are not so much in the story, but in the style of writing. (And a wide variety of genres they are too. Pratchett and Rushdie. But if you think about it. They have a LOT in common)

Yes, it forces me to create the world that is being described. But that's automatic. Not very much mental. If I'm watching a TV show, I'm often trying to figure out what's going to happen next. (I don't watch much TV 'tho). Same with movies. And with Video Games, I'm activly thinking about the system of the game, what's going to come next and what I'm going to do about it. (I'm a systems person. I'll look at a game and see the numbers that arn't shown)

Complete agreement (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381592)

Reading books like "The Golden Bough" or "Animal Farm" or any of those dusty old books by old, dead white men just encourages mental laziness - you're sitting there, reading words without any kind of interaction on your own. Also it reinforces eurocentric patriarchical values, which is bad.

Compared to Gran Tourismo 3, where you're mentally actively engaged in racing a really fast car or Donkey Konga, where you're using your powers of mental thinking to their utmost to make an ape jump and run using conga drums, reading some dumb book just so you can talk to people and look smart about knowing some old junk is plain stupid.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381636)

"As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings."

Good grief. I have yet to see any video game that as the depth of a a good book.
I admit my writing sucks. I am dyslexic, spelling and grammar are not my personal strong points. However I love to read and I like to play video games. I have yet to see any game that interested me as much as Dune, Brave New World, 1984, Cross Creek, Catch 22, or any number of other books that I have read over the years.
What people don't understand is that 99% of everything is crap. Time is the great crap filter. If people are still talking about a book, movie, song, or yes even a video game after 20 years then it is probably really good. If it fades with time then it was crap.

So by definiton 90% of "pop culture" is crap.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381652)

Our society is too "traditionalist" as a whole, revering the "classics" while ignoring the quality that's both modern..and thus more relevent, that's under our noses.

The problem is, there is no reliable measure of what's "quality" and what isn't in terms of what's modern. Are you saying with a straight face that, for example, kids should be exposed to Britney Spears rather than Beethoven? What determines quality? Simple popularity, or some other measure? Or are you arguing that art, music and film critics should now determine the education of our kids? Should GameSpot and IGN set the nation's high school curriculum?

The classics are classics for a reason; they have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed and remembered.

If you would like to argue that kids should be playing games that may one day themselves be considered classics, then you're free to make that argument - but to simply say they should be doing this because it's "modern" makes no sense. A true classic has a lot more relevance today - regardless of when it was created - than even the most popular disposable "art."

As well, reading is much too passive an activity. It encourages mental passiveness, instead of being aware and engaged in our surroundings.

Jesus, have you ever even read a book? It is about the least mentally passive activity possible.

It exercises almost every area of the brain. It encourages imagination in a way that video games never could - with a video game, the visuals and sounds are provided for you. It encourages you to think about things you may have never before considered. It grows your vocabulary. It teaches grammar without you even trying. It is the best way to learn English and all the different ways that you can use it. (It is also the best way to avoid misspelling words like "relevant" - something that you obviously need help with.)

It's scary to me - as a gamer - that there are such uncreative and potentially illiterate people as yourself out there encouraging others to be just as uncreative and illiterate. And people wonder why games themselves have gotten so uncreative lately - from creative minds come creative games. And if you don't read, you're not exercising your imagination on a regular basis.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381767)

The problem is, there is no reliable measure of what's "quality" and what isn't in terms of what's modern. Are you saying with a straight face that, for example, kids should be exposed to Britney Spears rather than Beethoven? What determines quality? Simple popularity, or some other measure? Or are you music. What I'm saying is that we should teach our youth to be informed critics of culture as a arguing that art, music and film critics should now determine the education of our kids? Should GameSpot and IGN set the nation's high school curriculum?

I'd argue Williams and Uematsu right along Beethoven as an introduction to instrumentalwhole. To realize that not everything new is good, but not everything new is bad. And some things that are old are just archaic.

It's scary to me - as a gamer - that there are such uncreative and potentially illiterate people as yourself out there encouraging others to be just as uncreative and illiterate. And people wonder why games themselves have gotten so uncreative lately - from creative minds come creative games. And if you don't read, you're not exercising your imagination on a regular basis.

Movies, TV and Video Games, in fact, trigger my imagination a WHOLE lot more than the average work of literature does. While I will agree that the more fantastical stories are good for the creative parts of the soul, your typical literary snob will put down any such work. Personally, for reading for enjoyment I prefer Pratchett and Rushdie (Nice combo huh?). The wordplay and puns that both authors put together keep me thinking activly and enjoyably for hours.

In any case. I can't believe that nobody ever watches a movie and doesn'timagines what happens "off-screen" or after the fact. Playing a game is a whole different ball of wax, of course. It's more active thinking. Being aware of your surroundings. Constantly reorientating yourself to new points of views.

And why am I illiterate? Because I don't read the "Classics"? Sorry. I spend most of my day reading NON-FICTION (Read:The only thing to truly increase your mind).

In fact, that's my big beef with this. Reading Moby Dick is no better than reading Snow Crash, for example. Both are forms of mental masturbation. (Again, I don't think that's a bad thing) So is Video Games, for that matter. It's ALL mental masturbation. I'd understand their PoV if they were saying that we should all read...hmm..Cobra II or The World is Flat (although I'd argue that the latter is fiction. Ha!)

But they're not. They're saying that new culture should be wiped out. And I think that's just hypocritical.

Re:I'd most certainly hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381818)

Actually, we had to read an essay about this in my british lit class. In the early 19th century, they thought women shouldn't read at all - especially not fiction. Because creativity lead to craziness and independant thought, and that was dangerous.

I can believe this... (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381344)

I'm talking about young people who don't know how to use a period. Or never learned that you need to capitalize "United States." Or have no idea about extreme basics like nouns and verbs, and why one of each must be in every sentence.

I can believe this is a problem. (A coworker was recently ranting about someone who regularly sends her lengthy emails where the only vowels are the 'o's in 'lol'.) But IM, chatrooms and blogs seem like more likely culprits than games.

Re:I can believe this... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381522)

I often notice that I (a European) have far better English than many Americans who, at worst, can't even write an understandable and coherent sentence. If you tell them that they're being incoherent, they might reply that people don't need to write properly on the Internet. Oh, I see.

Re:I can believe this... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381649)

I don't understand your statement "Oh, I see." Does it have a similar meaning to "oic"?

Re:I can believe this... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382087)

That's because you, like many Europeans, have been indoctrinated into "The Queen's English", as opposed to what we speak in the US :-)

Seriously though, there are many dialects of English, as seen by a PBS documentary a while back titled, "Do You Speak English?" in which they toured the different regions of the US and covered the different origins and differences in the language. Amazingly, much of the difference is actually inherited from the country from which the bulk of the residents draw their lineage from -whether England, France, Spain, Germany....

One major difference though, is the difference between "formal" and "informal" English. The web is (IMO) dominated by informal English, which even I have trouble with at times. What you may see as writing improperly, they may see as writing informally.

Re:I can believe this... (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382316)

No, I'm talking about completely and utterly incoherent nonsense, not informal English. They aren't writing informally, they're just unable to write English.

Re:I can believe this... (4, Insightful)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381538)

And sadly, the people who say things like what you quoted will insist the kid must read "Moby Dick" and other classics, while simultandously denigrating the reading of science fiction, fantasy and graphic novels.

I'd like to know when in the Professor's childhood, millions of kids stayed up until midnight to get their hands on a new book, or waited anxiously by the door for the delivery person to bring their finally un-embargoed book. Then maybe he should visit a local, mainstream bookstore when the final Harry Potter book is released.

Just because kids don't read what he did or thinks they should, doesn't mean they are any more lacking in literacy.

Re:I can believe this... (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381643)

I think Harry Potter is something of a special case, though. It's also very simply written and plotted - compare it to its rough 1960's equivalent, A Wizard of Earthsea, for example.

Re:I can believe this... (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381848)

It's also very simply written and plotted

And I think that's a big part of what makes it so approachable to many kids. Plus it's a fascinating story that hold their attention. What worries me is when I see teachers and parents pushing books they think kids should read, sometimes causing kids to not want to read anything. If a kid doesn't want to read "Moby Dick", let them read Harry Potter -it's better than not reading at all.

BTW, I did pull my Earthsea books out for the kids about a year ago. Although they are much, much shorter than the Harry Potter books, my youngest reader had a difficult time getting through the first one, and didn't want to read any more of them (we'll try again in a year or two). But we did have some interesting discussions about them, beyond the "how cool was that!" type of thing.

Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381362)

If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or Playstation, I think we know which one a kid will pick.

If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or pick-up a game of baseball, I think we know which one a kid will pick.

If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or going out on the lake for a day on a friend's boat, I think we know which one a kid will pick.

If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or hanging out at the local Denny's, I think we know which one a kid will pick.

If the choice is 'Moby Dick' or mowing the lawn with the blunt edge of a butter knife, I think we know which one a kid will pick.

Seriously. If we're going to bemoan the fact that kids generally tend to prefer leisure activities to poring over the great classics of Western literature, we could at least pick something that most kids might actually enjoy reading, like Shakespeare (Serial regi-patri-fratricide? Poison-tipped swords? Mass slaughter? Hot chicks? Rawk!)

But Moby Dick--well, what teen wouldn't be utterly enthralled by a several-hundred-page long account of the finer points of the early American whaler's life and amateur deck-pacing?

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

Lewisham (239493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381454)

GamePolitics took a very selective quote, and that is to their detriment.

TFA actually says, right afterwards:

"Then again, when I was a kid, I had plenty of non-educational alternatives, from junk TV to sandlot baseball. Yet my mother dragged me to the library every week, so I ended up with books all around me all the time."

His argument isn't that video games have replaced reading. He's just saying that they are the flavour of the decade for avoiding reading. He's just rallying parents to force their children to read more than they do.

His problem is he treats it as an either/or proposition. You either read, or you do something non-educational. The first problem is that English is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence (although an important one), and as GP points out, you learn other skills from play. The second problem is that I played a lot of video games as a kid, and I have great English skills. You have to read. That's a given, but reading doesn't necessarily fight for time with other activities. I read in school, and I read before I went to bed. Reading was either forced on me by others, or the only viable solution for the environment.

All that we need is for parents to get TVs out of bedrooms and books in there instead. I think the literacy level will improve quite a bit.

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381492)

If I wanted to force children to start reading, I doubt I'd start with Moby Dick. Even I couldn't be bothered to read Moby Dick.

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381528)

Yet, reading fiction, even the greatest work of "Literature", is no more informative than making a sandcaste. I'm not saying it's wrong. If it floats your boat, whatever.

But I'm tired of this stuff. The alternative is informative non-fiction. Period. Mentioning "Moby Dick" ruins the entire argument.

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381622)

From the perspective of a liturature teacher things may be diffrent...

Reading Moby Dick or other "classic" works of fiction is "required" as a base point of comparison if you intend to spend the rest of your life picking apart fiction and sucking any enjoyment out of it.

Having said that I am an avid reader, I have not read Moby Dick, I think Dickens is boring and I play the occasonal game, if this makes me uneducated in the eyes of someone with a doctorate in nit-picking so be it.

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381793)

Having said that I am an avid reader, I have not read Moby Dick, I think Dickens is boring and I play the occasonal game, if this makes me uneducated in the eyes of someone with a doctorate in nit-picking so be it.

Ummm, Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick. Also, you haven't been bored to death by his writing until you've read "Billy Budd."

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

nfgaida (68606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381807)

Ugh, I still have that book from my 2nd year theology course. ZZZZZ. With that book, I learned the leason that I could often skip the book and still discuss the topics in class. (Doesn't always work).

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382346)

Sorry if I wasn't clear, those are two seprate statments, Dickens is often refered to as a "classic" author.

I can see where you got that though.

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382267)

I think that the only thing that Moby Dick beats is grievous physical injury or sexual assault.

I'd rather spend half an hour playing with a marble, a string and a helium filled balloon than read Moby Dick.

Seriously. If we're going to bemoan the fact that kids generally tend to prefer leisure activities to poring over the great classics of Western literature, we could at least pick something that most kids might actually enjoy reading, like Shakespeare (Serial regi-patri-fratricide? Poison-tipped swords? Mass slaughter? Hot chicks? Rawk!)

I could never get past the thick language enough to enjoy Shakespear.

LK

Re:Call Me Ishmae*SZZZNNNNNKK* (1)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382668)

I'm 28 and I still haven't picked up Moby Dick. Yet, I read 20 or more books in any given year, not all of it "fluff".

Moby Dick? (1)

Maul (83993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381425)

Not to be redundant, but I'd pick just about anything over Moby Dick.

Re:Moby Dick? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381529)

...I'd pick just about anything over Moby Dick.

Even Philip Dick?

Re:Moby Dick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381678)

Well, yes. PKD is probably the best author of the 20th century, I've certainly loved his stuff for a long time, and in fact have spent many hours reading it when I was a teenager and could have been playing on my playstation.

Read Valis. It's amazing.

Re:Moby Dick? (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382464)

Okay then... How about Andy Dick?

Purpose and Perspective (3, Interesting)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381444)

I think (and will not substantiate with evidence, as is customary on this Internet thing) that the biggest problem with arguments like those mentioned in TFA is purpose and perspective. It has long been the case that the previous generation doesn't understand the current or next generation simply because they somehow forget that just a few years back it was they who were misunderstand by their previous generation. Age tends to lock us into our own perspectives, and we forget to look for others. I for one have always hated reading the "classics" because they lack relevance and tend to contain language that was long lost - yet society seems to have continued without "thee" "thy" etc.

I remember in senior English in high school reading passages from Beowulf, then trying to read the original text (in English, but in Old or Middle English). I wonder if the people in those times felt the youngsters were too radical and forgetting their heritage. Language is meant to allow for communication between people and cultures (and times, really). So long as we're able to communicate, and do so effectively, we're good.

That said, I think the more important dilemna is not youth's rejection of classical education for video games, but the lack of communication that exists between many youth and their parents/grandparents/etc. In most cases, it's not the youth's fault.

Re:Purpose and Perspective (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381569)

From the sound of it, the fact that US schools make kids read Beowulf and Moby Dick probably has more to do with the decline in reading than videogames.

Re:Purpose and Perspective (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381822)

I dunno, Beowulf was pretty bad ass. I mean he held his breath for like a month looking for Grendel in that lake.

Whooptee doo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381471)

Just because people like to play games, so what. Yes, the internet and gaming has changed people's ways of thinking and writing, etc... but for the most part, it's for the better... you have more stream of conciousness types thinking things through like you get with people brainstorm, an activity that a lot of people didn't used to do so much a long time ago before the world was wired. Part of that comes from thinking faster, reacting quicker, learning how to work around problems and situations quickly, stuff that is essential in video games and online in chatrooms and stuff like that. Interaction is also a side effect of video games and the internet. Books make people go to their imaginations, solitarily, sort of like tv does - it's a one way communicator... you are being told what to think and what conclusions to come too, doesn't matter how many channels you have on tv or how many books you have on the library shelves, you can't talk back to tv or to the book or traditional tv... throw in video games that have some element of real world conflict and problem solving, or some internet stuff where communications can go too ways, and you have a lot more going on and it's better in a lot of ways than having someone sit in a room by themselves meandering over their own thoughts slowly, as those thoughts are being driven by words on a page. Yes, video games, and internet may not make people spell properly or capitlize words the right way, but who made up the rules for that stuff anyways? It's all made up rules that came about over the course of many years and decades... rules change, and should. People don't always use fully grammatically correct English in everyday spoken conversation, why would they online? Why should they obey such conservative rules that really don't help communicate the real meaning of what's being said all that much all the time anyways? Is "I'm very jovially pleased with your comments" really all that different from LOL?

Right (1)

djSpinMonkey (816614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381517)

Because the kids of 20 years ago were all about reading some Moby Dick.

Re:Right (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381656)

Yeah, we totally were. Remember when we all had Moby Dick lunchboxes, Ahab haircuts, fake peg-legs, insisted everyone on the playground call us "Ishmael," and made fun of the weird kid who preferred Hemingway? Good times, man. Good times.

Re:Right (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382105)

Back it up to 30 and you could be talking about Led Zeppelin lyrics. There is more to lit than stuffy old novels.

Only one solution: (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381556)

Cranky editorials about the cranky editorials about video games!

Damn (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381639)

I was hoping for a return of Cranky Steve's Haunted Whorehouse map reviews. :mad:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381642)

Is basically Moby Dick. There's some fucking Charles Dickens in there, too. It's a god damn literary bonanza!

So, my point:

Tell these fuck-muffin editorial "authors" to crank up WoK, and shut the fuck up while it's playing so their kid can get learned. Crank up the 6th movie (Undiscovered Country) and he'll be ready for a god damn degree in English Literature and Roman History. Print out an article on the Dewey Decimal, and he'll have an MBA in Library Science.

These fucking parents just aren't motivated enough to do any of this. They just want to sit around and wank about the Government not doing it's job. wtf?

Every generation has its culprit (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381647)

Today games, yesterday TV, before that radio, before that it was the "bad books". And I'm quite sure that what we call the "classics" today were the "bad books" of their generation.

Yes, the language of our kids changes. For the better or worse, who're we to determine that? Looking back 200 years you'll see that the language was laboured, ponderous, loaded with terms and phrases that feel awkward to us today. Yet, if you spoke like we do today back then, you might have been called "simple" and "unrefined", because you use most likely fewer words to express what you want to say, and you do not try to create word constructs that make your listener doze away.

Language is ever evolving. And while I'm not really fond of the "OMG d00dZ!!!1!!1111" we find in chatrooms more often than people able to create sensible English sentences (non-native speakers are exempted from the requirement), they don't represent the language spoken. They are a minority (even though one that we, as computer users and most likely also chatroom users, tend to meet fairly often).

Don't worry. They won't write books, so our generation will not be judged by them by future generations.

Re:Every generation has its culprit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382005)

And while I'm not really fond of the "OMG d00dZ!!!1!!1111" we find in chatrooms more often than people able to create sensible English sentences (non-native speakers are exempted from the requirement), they don't represent the language spoken.

They, like, so don't.

Re:Every generation has its culprit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382594)

Looking back 200 years you'll see that the language was laboured, ponderous, loaded with terms and phrases that feel awkward to us today. Yet, if you spoke like we do today back then, you might have been called "simple" and "unrefined", because you use most likely fewer words to express what you want to say, and you do not try to create word constructs that make your listener doze away.

Pretty unlikely on both sides of the coin. Most of the records we have of speech patterns from earlier periods are either literary works or the minutes of formal proceedings. Neither would be reflective of common, informal speech. In fact, you would have very little difficulty making yourself understood to, say, a London fishmonger of 1800, although your speech would be noticibly strange.

Put it another way: Not everyone in Shakespeare's time spoke in iambic pentameter.

Quick run through (2, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381677)

Ok, random thoughts on each of the articles referenced by TFA:

The Columbine game: this is one of those times when, even as a fairly straightforward, no compromises, advocate of free-speech, I wish I didn't find myself on the same side as some of these nutcases. Yes, yes, it's their right to say it and yes, I'll defend it. I seriously wish I didn't have to, though. I feel the same way about Rockstar sometimes. Their games rock in terms of the core gameplay (even if they have started recycling of late), they've reinvented several genres several times and if they want to make a game in which you dig up and rape the corpses of the grandmothers of assorted members of congress, then it is their right to do so. But for god's sake, guys, could you not grow up a little? Would make all of our lives so much easier and not make me feel... well... soiled, whenever I have to defend video-games against the latest loud-mouthed office bore.

On games resulting in poor literacy: this article's slightly better than the snippets in both the summary and TFA. I've worked (briefly) in a school and there's no denying that standards of literacy are hideous today. Is the growth of the games industry a factor? Possibly. There's certainly an extra level of distraction that has resulted from the easy availability of games. However, I think this is missing the point a bit. The primary responsibility for ensuring a child's literacy is split between parents and schools and there are too many cases where both of these fail. I strongly suspect that many of the teachers complaining about videog games are themselves part of the problem. If they would stop chasing after the latest politically correct, culturally sensitive educational paradigm and start actually teaching kids how to write - including incentivising failure and penalising failure - then they might find that school-leavers would suddenly be able to string two words together in print again.

And the Louisiana thing: Oh for god's sake, have these people nothing better to do? They know the law is unconstitutional and will, after much time, effort and expense, be struck down. Is there not a case for prosecution here, on the grounds of misappropriation of public funds?

Compare and Contrast (2, Interesting)

nsmike (920396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381706)

I have a BA in English. I can remember a few of my classmates who were a semester ahead of me in credits, and ended up in a Senior Seminar course with one of the most respected and well-liked professors of the English department (with good reason, he is an excellent professor). Unfortunately, for both him and the students, he chose Moby Dick as the subject for this seminar course. I never heard so many students turn on a good professor so quickly, and look so dejected and defeated after class every day.

Pick something a little more upbeat and of interest than Moby Dick, please.

P.S. - Even with an English degree, I still very much DESPISE the classics.

Re:Compare and Contrast (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382177)

How can anyone with a halfway open mind despise all of literature written before 1950? What the hell was the point in getting a degree in english with an attitude like that?

What is wrong with Moby Dick? (2, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381712)

As a bored teenager many years ago I decided to read Moby Dick simply because it is considered a classic (and I wanted to know what the big deal was) {as a bonus, Picard kept making several references to it too}.

While it was quite slow in places, I did enjoy the book. But I sence that my reaction to it might be unique.

Am I the only person who thought it was (mostly) Very Funny?

Disclaimer: yes there are some very somber parts, and humor was not the "all-encompassing" point to the book. Lest we forget the real moral to the story either.

But, damn I was Laughing out Loud at several parts of the story. My mom would ask "What's so funny?" My reply of "Moby Dick", would only cause her to give me an odd look.

Re:What is wrong with Moby Dick? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382240)

Yea, it's a funny story. It does drag in places, but there is a lot of humor built in to it. I think the big part of the problem is that a lot of people never got to the reading comprehension level that you need to appreciate humor in densely written prose.

Always amused me with Shakespeare. The man was a master of raunchy humor. But 90% of the world misses it. I had a copy of Hamlet from 50 years ago, in which the over-zealous editors had tried to remove the sex humor in various places. These days, they wouldn't have to bother.

Re:What is wrong with Moby Dick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382296)

I haven't read Moby Dick, but I'd say the key to your enjoyment was that you read it on your own. Reading novels for school was almost always a chore. You couldn't read at your own pace. If you read ahead, you'd probably have to re-read sections when the class caught up in order to remember inane details that would be asked on a quiz. Or, conversly, if a book was just too dense or dry for you, taking your time wasn't an option. Almost any book I've re-read since I read it in school I've enjoyed far more than when I read it in school. It could also help that, being older and wiser, I can appreciate more of what the author was trying to convey than when I was 12.

If homework for a class consistented of going home and playing only level 2 of a video game, keeping in mind that you remember who gives you the gold amulet (it'll be on the quiz) and to pay close attention to what the inn keeper tells you because you'll be writing an essay comparing his speech to King's "I have a dream speech", kids will start to avoid video games the same way they do books. And they'd end up "hating" the classic video games, as much as they "hate" classic literary works today.

Really? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381739)

This is just people failing to understand. I read some, a long time ago, but it is not the main attributing factor to my college and professional success. I think that computers, video games and in many cases television can produce children who are intelligent and still become successful in a variety of fields.

The people I know who read the most are English and Lib arts majors. Now, this could just be the people I know, but I am doing better (money wise) as a recent graduate (about 2 yrs) engineer then some of them who have been out of school much, much longer. So reading != success by any measure.

One day maybe I will figure out what we are suppose to do with our kids. If they stay inside to much and sit around they get fat and lazy, and last I checked reading a book does not equal exercise. If we let them run around and play all day they do not read, so they may be fit but will be dumb as rocks. Seriously, people need to stop generalizing and creating some sort of super child, who is fit, smart, and actually understands science and math (and computers) beyond what little may have ever read. Some people are going to be smart and become the scientist and engineers. Others will become thinkers and educators and turn to, well, teaching and philosophy or writing. Some become great athletes and entertainers, even if they are as dumb as rocks. For those that fall into other categories, I suppose you could call them failures, but remember, we still need people to do the jobs that others do not want to do. So you will always have some people who underachieve (or don't achieve at all) throughout life, and it just has to be accepted.

BTW, Moby Dick is really not a pre-teen book. I would put it late high school or college because it requires a sort of analytical analysis that you only get in later years of literature courses.

Re:Analytical Analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15382395)

Yeah, you're succeeding "by any measure" better than those English majors all right. Unless we pick the measure of literacy, or perhaps civility (Science/Engineering as the be-all end-all of human acheivement and knowledge? Give me a break! Engineers:Mathematicians::Programmers:Computer Scientists. Or don't they teach analogies at school anymore?)

By the way, don't bother pointing out my lack of civility. I never claimed to be succeeding any better than you. Your best bet would be to combine big-sounding words in a big-sounding way in order to talk about something of which you have actually no knowledge.

Super Columbine Massacre RPG??? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15381778)

Is THAT what they're calling the Columbine video game?

What's next? Eric and Dylan Superstar Saga?

Re:Super Columbine Massacre RPG??? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382321)

Honestly, what the hell is with the "Super?" Was there and older generation "Columbine Massacre RPG" that we didnt' know about? Or do all the kids have mutant powers or something?

I can't wait until Super Columbine Massacre World comes out.

Solution: Make games about the books! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15381801)

If you want to get a kid to get interested in Moby Dick, give Moby Dick a +5 thunder harpoon and put steel armor on the whale. Put all of that into a FPS where all the shipmates have RPG's, and an army of pelicans dive bomb the boat while a gigantic squid tries to overturn it, and you have sharks with fricking laser beams on their heads!

Now I'd play THAT!!!!!!!

If you want to get a kid to read about Moby Dick...maybe get that kid to read something more interesting first. Maybe Tom Sawyer. Maybe even a comic book. Go to a PTA meeting and tell his or her teachers to get some quality reading material in the classrooms.

What's a Book? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382002)

Is that like that thing in Sims 2 that you choose Study, College, Read from?

If so, they make to many piles on the floor, like dishes.

I think I'll just watch TV and learn cooking skill instead, thanks!

the right people will still read (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15382013)

People who care about learning, history, etc. will eventually tire of as much video gaming/tv/etc and turn to books. As for everyone else, let them have fun, tv, games or otherwise. After all, plenty of people read The Da Vinci Code and were dense enough to think that it was fact or something, I don't even know where to start with that, but reading books doesn't mean you must be a genius.
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