Each of us is scarred in some form or fashion. Me, I kind of pick at my wounds daily to open up the old wounds and remind myself how I made it this far. Don't get me wrong, I am not miserable. In fact, far from it. I realize that things are not as they seem. It just gets hard convincing others that there is more to life than pushing things off your lap on to another's plate.
Healthy doses of fantasy keeps me sane. Reading and daydreaming help me to manage insane tasks in an insane world. And I can thank my parents for recognizing the benefits of interactive media.
As a shy child, I preferred books, video gaming and computers to social outings. Interactive media, as opposed to non-interactive media like books, movies, music and the like, gave me opportunities to go where I've never been, do what seemed impossible and create in limitless ways. I still have fond memories of the political intrigue in Spycraft and CyberJudas, time travel in Millenia: Altered Destinies, dungeon adventuring in Darkstone and the car combat of Interstate '76.
That was so long ago and the platforms, technology and sophistication of interactive media is now so impressive and affordable. And I understand some of the concern about the objectionable content that appears in a lot of interactive media products.
But, in the grand scheme of things, I would much rather for my child to be using interactive media at home, school or in the community, with friends or responsible adults, in a safe setting rather than hanging out on the sidewalk attracting lead mosquitoes. Drive-bys would be more challenging if there is no one to shoot at.
What we need are community centers, arcades and recreational venues for children and adults to play, learn and have fun sponsored by corporation dollars. If families have opportunties to use interactive media and want products for their home, they should be able to purchase them as subsidized or for a sliding scale. Anything we can do to encourage adults to spend fun and quality time with children should be encouraged, rewarded and subsidized.
Not only will killings, maimings and interrupted futures be reduced, but families will experience realities beyond their neighborhoods, doorsteps and their own noses.