Our 40-inch flat screen t.v. hangs from our wall, a dark, silent (and dusty) testament to our anti-digital anti-high-tech childrearing philosophy despite living in Silicon Valley. We send our boy/girl twins to a Waldorf-style preschool. We shun movie theaters for family entertainment. We only eat foods that we grow in our backyard and we all wear clothes made from hemp. Okay, that last sentence was a lie, but the rest is true.
So when I attended a video game launch event for Sesame Street at the digitally enhanced children's museum Zeum in San Francisco, I attended with the proverbial grain of salt tucked away in my iPad (apparently my anti-techie biases hypocritically do not extend to yours truly). I must confess, however, that the speakers presented a compelling argument for educational video games in general and for their products, Elmo's A-to-Zoo and Cookie's Counting Carnival for the Wii and Nintendo DS, in particular. Yes, my children absolutely LOVE digital media, television, computer, smart phone, etc. I'm just not sure I do. Will video games impede their social development? Will they become anti-social psychopathic serial killers? Or, as Sesame Street and Warner Brothers assert, will these video games give my children an educational advantage in their formative pre-kinder years while promoting healthy child/parent interactions with an educational focus?