Thursday, March 20, 2014

Minecraft is not real, tell your kids!

I got very upset as I was reading my child magazine named Science and life, when I read a 4 pages article about Minecraft. Even if it was under the label "video games" it still looked a lot like a commercial. Unhappily it was not presented like a commercial :-(

It was a few paragraphs under the subject Minecraft on a science mood. Each paragraph had a specific subject and include link to the game.

For example, the first paragraph which is the easiest to analyse for any one knowing music and playing a musical instrument, even if one is a beginner, so, the first paragraph is about composing music! It tells you how wonderful minecraft is as it allow the player to compose even if he is the dummies ever in music. Using some musical bloc you may compose, for example by clicking 3 times on it you produce a B and if you click 11 times it would be a F!
I guess it is the Morse code for music?

Then it tells you how wonderful it would be to reunite IN minecraft with you fellow "new type of musician" and make a band!
Honestly? anyone who learn a little about music would react to this.
So the naive kid will go for it and believe that he is living a wonderful experience, being at last able to play music?

And the article goes on: another subject is explore geophysics with minecraft, and then it is about quantum physic...

And this is supposed to be an article!!!
So I had to explain to my child that this was not an article! that if it was, the journalist would have done a research and expose more than one point of view. For example, the journalist would have interview a musician or a quantum physician to have is view on the subject: a good way to confront virtuality and reality.

I totally dislike minecraft, and the situation with it remind me about the baby Einstein video issue. At that time, Disney was trying to convince parents that those video were good for their babies, that they will make them more intelligent like Einstein. It was a success for a while, many parents felt for it and believed all of this. Well, I guess it was also convenient to believe as they were feeling comfortable that way putting their baby in front of the screen...

Anyway, after a long battle of parents, doctors and researchers proving that not only it was not making their baby smarter but it was actually bad for them, the whole baby Einstein period went away.

Now it is minecraft with all those preteen getting addicted to it and I guess many parents falling for it as well because... it is also convenient isn't it?

Kids stay for hours busy on their computer and parents can be free to do whatever they want instead of entertaining them, driving around, or sharing some precious time with them.
Well, not all the parents are feeling that way, you may want to read what some parents are saying about the game:

Monday, March 03, 2014

Your Baby Can’t Read (and that’s just fine)

in 2011, CCFC filed a complaint with the FTC against the makers of Your Baby Can Read for falsely advertising that their infant video series taught reading. That complaint led to a landmark decision by the FTC against Your Baby Can Read. Now, a new study validates our complaint. Researchers found no difference in the reading skills of babies who used Your Baby Can Read and babies who didn't. In fact, babies can't learn to read. We hope these results will be a relief to parents pressured by marketers to push infants toward reading (and screens). They should also be a relief to babies who are now free to play, explore, and have fun with the adults who love them—activities proven promote learning in those important early years! You can read more about the study here

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Still no time for TV...

Oh well, today, I would be happy to sit on the coach and watch a good movie with my children. I do have a collection of great movies worth to be seen. I love cinema and the audio-visual language is totally important to learn. However, it is not again today that we will find the time to do so.

It is already 4pm and my children are busy doing their own thing, one reading the other exploring a new computer program (not a game, we do not do game, no time for it). So he is actually exploring new tools on his computer keeping in mind a class project.

So, here is the situation, if I call them to watch a movie, sure they will drop what they are doing to come with me and enjoy. But a movie last for at least 1h30mn. So it would be over by 5:30 pm... hum, diner is at 6 pm so that would mean no more time to wander around, do whatever feeling in the mood to do... those precious moment they never encounter on working days...

I guess we will have to wait another occasion to watch a movie. In California the weather is mostly beautiful so we are mainly outside, which is great. On the other end, we do not have much time for all those activities that happen inside. And truly, TV is not at the top of our list. Those days, music may come first with reading and exploring technology I guess.