Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Death of Imagination

Kids these days have no imagination.

I blame TV.

No, wait.  I blame video games.

Yep.  Definitely video games.

They spend all their time playing video games and no time exercising their imagination muscles.

Take my son for example.

He's 4 and he loves his video games.  His first words when he wakes up in the morning, "Can I play games now?" His last words before bed at night, "But I want to play games!"  After breakfast, "Can I play games now?"  Lunch, "Can I play games now?"  Dinner, "Can I play games now?"

Dreaming of Video Games
If he had his way he would be playing games from the time he woke up, while he eats, until he passed out at night with the controller in hand.  Heck he would play games on the potty if he could.

All this excessive video game playing has taken its toll.

He can turn the TV on, change the input to XBOX or Playstation, sign into his profile, edit his avatar, select his games, navigate Netflix, play Lego games like a pro, but the boy has no imagination.

Let me tell you about his friend.

Better yet let me show you the picture he asked me to take of the two of them.

This is my son with his friend Qbert.
Qbert & Peanut

Yep.  That's right I said Qbert.

See what I mean about his imagination?

He can't even come up with a more original name for his friend than Qbert?!  The name of a video game!  Obviously he came up with the name Qbert when he realized that his friend could jump off walls.  Sooo imaginative there.  Name the kid who jumps off walls after the video game character who jumps off walls.

Back when I was a kid we didn't have all these newfangled "video games."  Ok, we had some but they came on cartridges.  It didn't take a lot of our focus to figure out how to eat the dot or jump over the barrel.  We could still exercise our imaginations while playing instead of focusing on all these intricate "achievements."

I had quite the imagination.  My childhood friends had very original names.  How many people have a friend named, Little Boy?  Little Girl?  Syrup?  Ya.  None that's right.  Those names took some serious creativity on my part.  Forget bouncing off walls.  Little Girl could fly.

Qbert mostly wants to play video games.  He doesn't even really play.  He just wants to watch my son play.  Even Qbert has no imagination!  Yes, sometimes he plays with my son in his room with his toys.  But that usually ends with me having to go in there and rescue Qbert who continually insists in jumping up on top of the windowsill and getting stuck.  Can't even imagine his own way back down.

I do think that's a great picture of the two of them.  Don't you?  I even told my son as much after I took it.  I told him how nice the two of them looked together.  I also mentioned how tall Qbert is getting.

My son looked at me with a serious expression of deep concern.


"Yes, Buddy?"

"You know he's invisible?  Right?"

*Blink blink*

He thinks I'm hallucinating.

No imagination whatsoever!