Warn Against the Addiction!

Many of you are coming close to the end of your school year, and that means you will be giving your students all the advice you can muster for their summer free time.  Of course, we want them to read their summer assigned books, practice their math skills, and maybe get outside to practice their geography skills or to perform a  few science experiments.  But, the reality... they will be playing games.

In my first 45 years of existence, I had never been addicted to games.  Games for me growing up were fun activities I shared with my family, friends, and neighbors.  We played tag, hide and seek, Monopoly, Scrabble, and even the Quiet Game when Grandma needed a break!  While we loved these games, and the time we spent with others playing them, they were not addictive.  Today's games are a whole new arena.

When I was asked to be a presenter at the TeachersPayTeachers Conference coming up this July, I started preparing for the trip.  The conference is being held in Las Vegas, and I quickly found that this will be a very costly venture.  Meals at the grand hotels, if you are not a gambler, can run upwards of $36 a person.  Crazy!  Then, one of my friends turned me onto a little game on Facebook... myVegas slots.  It's free to play, and I earn real credits toward buffets or other Vegas necessities.  Great, right?  Wrong!

I am now addicted.  I start my day by collecting my coins from the strip, and I return frequently through the day to collect more.  I also make sure to check in often enough to keep my daily rewards, and I must play each of the bonus games they post.  It's an addiction.  The worst part - I've pulled my husband into my addiction so that we can collect X 2, so we are both now spending many of our precious minutes in front of our electronic devices instead of being outside playing the games we once loved.

But now I understand.  It is an addiction.  You must get to the next level, collect the next reward, complete the task.  And it's so easy to slip into this addiction for adults; just imagine what it is like for children, especially those who do not have parents who wish to engage them in the old fashioned ways...

So, as you prepare your students for their summer break, try your best to encourage they play the real games of life, not just those that will pull them up to the screen and never let go!

Happy Teaching!
Michele Luck