Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Are Wii Wrong to Let Our Son “Box?”

My wife and I were just discussing whether we should let our son play the boxing game that is part of the sports package on the new Wii video game system he just got for Hanukkah. He is already inclined to hit, bite, kick, scratch and otherwise resort to violent acts when he is upset, and we were discussing whether this game would encourage him to act even more violently. My wife reports that a friend of hers does not let her boys play this same boxing game.

And so, when I read the article “Christmas presents you should not buy for children with autism,” my attention was captured when the author advised against letting kids with autism watch violent movies or play violent games.

The article was written by a special education teacher. She states that most children with autism cannot easily turn off what they see, and that they are unable to separate fantasy from reality. Instead, she prefers educational DVDs and computer CDs, and gives examples of each. She also speaks positively about the iPad.

I’m certainly not going to knock educational DVDs as I’m always looking for those on our weekly Dad-and-son visits to the library. And, the author makes a lot of great points about curtailing the violence our kids consume.

But, I’m not convinced that our son’s boxing game can be considered violent. I see it more as innocent, silly fun. There is absolutely no blood or gore, and it seems more like exercise than anything else. Besides, in the week that we’ve had it, we’ve had a lot more real social interaction with our son while playing with it than with most other activities.

Still, I’m going to monitor our son’s behavior over the next few weeks. And, if we see an increase in violence, I will reconsider my viewpoint.

What do you think?


  1. I've played that boxing game before, and it's mostly just pinwheeling your arms like a goofball rather than actual punching or anything like that. Of course, it's easy for me to tell the difference because I'm much older than Kai, but there isn't a more silly boxing game out there.

  2. Yes, I'm inclined to agree that it is a very silly ngame. Kai's "punches," such as they are, are more his arms just flailing about. And, most importantly, he still shows no indication of wanting to throw this type of punch when he is upset.


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