Wii finally have one. My generous parents bought the kids a nintendo wii for Christmas this year, and Jason’s generous parents bought the extra controllers and games. I am so happy for my kids who have wanted a Wii for a long time.
Wii put it off as long as possible because video games seem to provide unique temptation for our particular family. Somehow the combination of technology, competition, sports, and little boys makes for a lot of fun, but a lot of need for boundaries and caution.
Jason and I are going to talk about setting guidelines for having a Wii in our house while we’re here (most likely during the 6 hour car ride home). But I know many of you out there either have game systems or know others who do, so I really want to hear what boundaries, rules, guidelines you have (or have heard of) for helping little hearts not get sucked into the virtual/technological vortex.
Here are some temptations my guys have (just to help you understand where we are coming from):
1. Wii get bored…with normal, run of the mill toys and imagination play. One problem with this form of uber-entertainment (at least for my boys it is), is that everything else seems blase and boring.
2. Wii get idolatrous. I think it is true of every form of entertainment – just wish it was books or something – but when they wake up talking about the game they’ve been playing, and the theme of every converstion somehow ends up landing on a video game, I get a bit concerned. As humans we are all created to worship, and therefore we will all worship something, for little boys it can be video games.
3. Wii waste time. This is pretty self explanatory, but as they are getting older Jason and I are trying to battle against a perceived right to leisure and entertainment. I hate to be one of those cynical old people pointing to the new generation wagging a self righteous finger (there is nothing new under the sun)…but, my kids’ generation does seem more indulged and more entitlement oriented. I won’t pontificate on my theories why, but still we see the tendency of all of our hearts to be influenced by the philosophy of the world which is low on hard work, and big on entertainment.
And to be fair and forthright, I want to tell you about my own temptations regarding this Wii entering the house.
1. Wii Nanny. As a mom I usually get a huge break when my kids are so pleasantly occupied, therefore it is difficult not to let our allotted time run over. Right now we have a certain amount of time the boys are allowed some sort of gaming (so far it has been hand held games, not a big system). It is already a temptation to let this time get prolonged especially when the weather is nasty and they can’t go outside. The Wii could become a virtual nanny for me, and I do not want that!
2. Wii manipulate. Here’s the other temptation: use the Wii as a bribing tool. You can play once you finish… or If you fight we will turn it off… I know that this is a complete cop out from dealing with the heart issues that arise from having a gaming system in the house. I also know that I am using their own idolatry to serve my own idols of peace, quiet, and order. I hate to do this, but it is a temptation.
Okay, your turn. What wisdom can you offer regarding bringing a Wii into our family?