The outspoken head honcho of retailer Harvey Norman has offered some less than informed opinions about videogames on Channel Ten recently.
He was on something of a roll discussing the role of games when he said the following:
I think one of the great tragedies with youth is that they spend so much time playing games and crap on computers and they’re not outside. You’re not healthy and it’s a big problem in our society. If I could get rid of computers, all leisure computers for all of Australia I probably would. They can have them at school, but leisure time — no.
We’re talking about kids playing games mostly online and wasting their life away basically playing games online because they’re not getting any physical activity and their minds are screwed up on these games.
Doubtless one is familiar with the stereotype Harvey is referring to, but his reactionary approach would see all ‘leisure computers’ banned in order to combat the chance that someone might form an unhealthy addiction.
It’d be akin to the head of Coles / Liquorland calling for alcohol prohibition.
His curious of the word ‘tragedy’ aside, Harvey is failing to take into account that while screen time in general has grown in recent years, research continually lumps video games and television into the same category as ‘screen time’, the reason being that screens vie for time with the outdoors, but computer and videogames in particular vie for time with other screens, not with the outdoors all on their own.