Crime and Punishment

I blogged recently about letting my son play RuneScape, a massive mulitplayer online role playing game, here and here. Well, we’ve had the first fall out from it. His teacher had to ask him and his friend to stop talking video games incessantly or she would take away their recesses for the rest of the week. Later in the day they forgot the threat, and subsequently got the punishment.

I can feel for their teacher. I took the two of them in my van to a school competition in a nearby city. They talked RuneScape strategy for 30 minutes straight. Another boy joined us for the ride home and added about 15 minutes to the dialog. I listened with interest and even asked some questions. The exchange of information fascinated me, but I wasn’t trying to solidify long division.

My son says he’s learned his lesson and understands that his teacher is serious. The lost recesses are enough punishment for me for now. We’ll see if he can make it through 10 more days of school with the RuneScape conversation under control.


About Melissa W. Sais

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6 Responses to Crime and Punishment

  1. I wonder if you asked the teacher to let the boys share their stories of the game to the classroom, and she could time them, if that would quiet their talk about it. I mean, they’re excited so can’t help themselves, necessarily.

    Anyway, just as you were interested in their talk, perhaps it might make an interesting dialogue in the classroom.

    Just a suggestion, if this happens again.

    I mean, kids get excited. The teacher could parlay that excitement into a lesson somehow.


    • Melissa Sais says:

      I think that’s a great idea. Even more “educational” might be an actual assignment. I can just imagine how exciting an assignment to write a report and do a presentation on RuneScape would be to these boys — research, writing, public speaking all on something they are really into. Then, of course, there would be all those extra “research” hours they’d need on the game.

  2. tewonawonga says:

    Ah, RunEscape—I mean RuneScape. I definitely remember the obsession my high school students had with that game. Couldn’t understand it the fascination, though. The main character is 5 pixels tall!

    Of course, when I was a kid, there was this similar looking game called King’s Quest… hmmm.

    Anyhow, maybe you could try the “we think it’s really cool and we want to play too” tactic. Act more obsessed and kick your son off the computer so you can play, then keep playing for as long as you can tolerate it. Just like little league dads, nothing saps the fun from an adolescent’s game like an overly enthusiastic parent. 😉

  3. Jeanette says:

    I can totally sympathize with his teacher. Video games not only take up kids’ time at home, but also creep into the classroom.
    What’s worse is when the teacher lets it slip that she is currently addicted to playing Super Mario on her husband’s DSI. Then, the kids spend 10 minutes of valuable learning time sharing tips and tricks with her.

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