Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pokemon B&W Challenges Self-Identity

Today, my kids were busy playing various Pokemon games on their DS machines (right now, the boy is on Mystery Dungeon and the girl is on Pokemon Black & White, Black version). My boy was having a bit of existential angst earlier and was moping in his room. When I went to comfort him and find out what was wrong, he reported that he was having problems catching three specific legendary Pokemon. I think some of the underlying issues relates to his sister being very successful recently in her playing of Pokemon B&W. She's caught Pokemon that he covets. This throws him off, I suspect, because he identifies himself as the successful gamer in the family and considers his sister to have lesser abilities. I think it's good that he realizes his sister can do a good job on her game, although I do feel sorry for him because his video game playing ability is something he values about himself and for him to be bested upsets him. The boy doesn't care about his report card marks, or his athletic skills - he concerns himself most about what he can do on the Wii or DS. The director of my school board made a post questioning how video games / technology affects the focus and attention span of students - video games demonstrate that my son CAN focus and pay attention, to things he cares about and engage him. He'll survive this identity crisis, and to help it out, he plays me in Super Mario Brothers, beats me solidly, and boosts his self-esteem.

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