Are Video Games Evil?

When I was a kid growing up without a TV, I loved going on vacation with my family. Not because I enjoyed sightseeing, but because the hotel rooms had TELEVISION! My Dad would be like: "Hey, let's go on a hike" and my sister and I would be like: "Grand Canyon or Scooby-Doo? That's a tough one."

Seriously. We could not get enough of Shaggy and the whatever-their-names-are girls in mini-skirts. They were so cool. Way better than a hike in some canyon.

All I'm saying is, you can ban TV, sugary snacks, secular music and video games only to watch it blown to bits during one crazy weekend in the Grand Canyon.

Moderation not prohibition is the reason I relented and purchased The Cursed Xbox for my sons. Boys, it seems, are enchanted by things such as shooting, conquering, advancing in levels. Video games are as universally appealing to the male species as collecting baseball cards used to be.

And, honestly, it's not so bad hearing your boys chant: "MOM IS GREAT! SHE IS AWESOME! SHE'S THE BEST!" just because you said they could play Xbox for 15 minutes. It's the closest I've come to having my children "rise up and call me blessed." Heh.

Still, I'm worried. Especially when I came across this article which describes a father's frustration in weaning his teenage sons off the Xbox.

On the one hand, I agree that video games can be addictive. But what I don't understand is how his kids ended up spending 5-6 hours gaming in the first place. You don't institute time limits after the kids are addicted; you set boundaries before a problem occurs.

My theory is that kids with gaming addictions have parents who are weak on discipline overall. Lots of parents have difficulty providing consistent consequences for bad behavior. Bad behavior isn't the fault of some inanimate object. A boy, after all, can get himself into a world of trouble using nothing more than a match. Or a pocket-knife. Or, God forbid, you buy him a toy gun!

To wit, the real evil is not video games, but the lack of good parenting.

Do you agree? Disagree? If you allow video games in your home, how do you monitor/supervise their use?