Recently a California elementary school teacher was fired for showing her students a video game called “Breakout.”
The school had banned the game in the past because it was too violent. According to The New York Times, the video game is set in a jungle.
A player is allowed to choose between taking on a tiger, a crocodile, or a snake, all of whom try to capture the player.
One of the main characters in the game is an ape called Bagabaga, who resembles the chimpanzee who is the mascot of the Forest Ridge Elementary School, where Nicole St. Onge was teaching.
It appears that the game’s designers did not consult her about the character’s appearance.
Bagabaga is shown to have large chimpanzee arms and a thick mustache.
The character “forgets to zip his pants when chased by the crocodile, which results in a mishap.”
Bagabaga also appears to do some sweet dancing. So, you can see that there are elements of comedy and even a touch of political satire woven into the game.
A member of the PTA at the school stated that this “was not funny and completely inappropriate”
In a statement posted on Facebook, the principal at the school stated that the teacher in question had “directed students to find quotes from the game to use in a writing assignment.”
The principal stated that this was “completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The article does note that the game “allows players to break out of jails by knocking out guards and climbing through ventilation shafts.” So, it appears that there is nothing graphic or violent about the game.
The issue seems to be that the ape is not pictured in a more positive light.
The article states that “Since the 1970s, games like ‘Breakout’ and ‘Rampage’ have sold millions of copies, while many more games like ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ have gone largely unnoticed,” thus leading to what some believe to be “an unintentional perpetuation of stereotypes.”
The important question that remains to be answered is why does a school official need to check with a game’s designer to find out how a game is to be presented to the children?
Why couldn’t the principal have simply read the game’s label?
The more powerful question is why are video games being removed from many schools around the country?
The ban on video games seems to be a reoccurring issue in this country.
In New York City, one elementary school decided to ban all video games after a student brought a gun into the school.
However, when the principal consulted with the parents, the parents of the student who brought the gun in were in support of the game ban.
According to the board of education, the banned video games would be replaced with other video games that are appropriate for the students.
This is akin to a parent putting an anti-cancer drug in the school lunch program because some children were eating poorly-balanced lunches.
There is one thing for certain: video games are not taking over the minds of the young people of America.
When was the last time you saw a 12-year-old playing Candy Crush?
If anything, video games seem to be building a bridge between the generations, one that is hopeful and uplifting, not dark and menacing.
It seems that banning video games is akin to trying to turn back the clock.
One possible counter-argument could be that these games could be dangerous
This is true for any new technology, and one thing that could keep kids from playing games at school is the internet.
A lot of parents like to worry about the internet, and having access to it, playing video games would make a person more likely to get into trouble.
Personally, I think the internet is a good thing, I believe people should be able to see any content on the internet if they want.
Another point would be the educational benefits of video games. I believe that teaching children how to play video games will help prepare them for life and work.
Having different jobs is a possibility that our kids will have to deal with in the future, and it’s going to require different skills than most of us were taught.
There could be other educational benefits of playing video games, but I don’t have all the facts about it so I will leave those for another day.
I believe that children should be able to play video games at school, and I also believe it should be mixed-use.
I wouldn’t say that games were only for grades, there would be a set limit per grade.
I believe that kids should be able to play games from third grade on.
For example, a third-grader might be able to start an after-school game. A sixth grader might be able to start one during lunch or recess.
There has to be a better way to teach children about life skills than letting them play video games all day.
Besides that, if a kid really wanted to learn how to play a video game or get a good education, the internet is the way to do it. Just imagine how much money kids would save if they were only allowed to use the internet for school.
There are plenty of other ways that video games could be used in a school other than just sitting in a classroom.
Some games could be played on paper, while others could be played in a physical classroom. I’ve talked about these ideas before but I’ll be adding more in the future.
I think video games are great and should be allowed in school, but I also think they should teach people how to use them in a more beneficial way than just playing.