Our Unschooling Adventure - which officially started in Lowell in the Fall of 2005 - now continues in Berlin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Killing Monsters

I am on Chapter 3 of "Killing Monsters: Why children need fantasy, super heroes, and make-believe violence" by Gerard Jones. It's very well written and makes a lot of sense to me. Here's a paragraph on page 18 that gives the gist of the thesis:
When we consider children in relation to mass media and pop culture, we tend to define them as consumers, watchers, recipients, victims. But they are also users of that media and culture: they are choosers, interpreters, shapers, fellow players, participants, and storytellers. Viewing children as passive recipients of the media's power puts us at odds with the fantasies they've chosen, and thus with the children themselves. Viewing them as active users enables us to work with their entertainment - any entertainment - to help them grow. Shooter games, gangsta rap, Pokemon all become tools for parents and teachers to help young people feel stronger, calm their fears, and learn more about themselves.
The book is very thought-provoking and jibes with everything we have noticed about our kids. Manisha remembers the incident when Supriya used the milk-bottle of her doll as a gun. That was when the only gun Supriya knew about was a squirt-gun. So she'd point it at Manisha, make a shooting motion and ask her, "Did you get wet?" Supriya has recently been fascinated by Pokemon, but we have not seen much violent fantasy-play from either of the kids.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting blog - I've heard a decent amount showing that violence in games etc. is NOT related to violence in children, and of course I have heard about how they actually teach important skills, but I hadn't considered that they could be good tools for helping them relate to themselves and the world. Thanks!

Also, thanks for linking to my blog :)

10:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

cont. I am returning the favor.

10:31 AM


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