Just in time for Halloween the American Academy of Pediatrics is here to scare the crap out of parents by reaffirming the longstanding statement that children under the age of two should not watch television. Television is no good for toddlers’.
What I want to know is, does that mean that SL and other video games are not good for 2 year old children? We know that television is not good for children, as far as that goes it has been proven that in general television is not good for anyone; I know that after I have watched too much television I mentally feel like a two year old. But studies have shown that video games such as Second Life are beneficial and can increase a persons sense of self worth.
Are Video Games Educational for Babies? There are about 62,100,000 results for that question on a Google search. What you get is an index of “the very best web baby games and internet baby activities for your infant”, bla, bla, bla…sell, sell, sell and they clearly state, “Many of these may well be educational, but our priority here is that they…..” Yeah, so nothing to back up any claims about whether the games are any good for your baby; they may be educational and they may aid in the creation of an imbecile. We just don’t know. The advent of this technology, (television and the cathode ray tube: a vacuum tube containing an electron gun (a source of electrons) and a fluorescent screen ) it’s advance and our embrace of it throughout our world culture is having profound effects on the grownups who use it so carelessly, i.e., texting while driving. And if anybody doubts that the iPhone is a form of television just try to take one away from your teenager. We know it is terribly wrong and dangerous to text or browse while driving but we won’t stop so what is the harm in letting your two year old watch television? The AAP says TV could teach them curse words. Damnit, I might be inclined to think it would be better if we gave our two year olds iPhones but that is another subject altogether.
Every time I see this “subject” come up I think, this comes back to the same answer, by all means, take the baby-TV, video game, cell phone, cereal eating, playing with guns guidelines seriously. But, really parents, pay attention and use common sense. If you don’t have common sense then read a book, watch an educational TV program about child rearing and do a search of the internet from your iPhone.