As far as video game execs creating games to suck in my kid as long as possible, I once read an education article saying that video games are the perfect paradigm of education. They are challenging in difficulty, getting incrementally more challenging in an exciting way that builds up and up as you improve. They give emotional satisfaction from solving problems. Those are the factors that make video games great :-) I try to model my lessons after them.
Again, I will be keeping a close eye on elazar and the other boys when
they get old enough, but right now the part that he loves is the
figuring out, the mastering, and the achievement. Leonard Sax's point
is well taken that boys need these same satisfactions in the real world,
or they risk being sucked in to enjoy it via media and not deal with
the frustrations of the real world. But I hope homeschooling will give
my boys many happy hours of enjoyable real world challenges. It may
very well be that given a choice of the stifling way that we make boys
behave vs media, that they will choose media.
Elazar woke up at 5:45, chose to snuggle for 1/2 hr, then watched Shrek
III 2.5 times (I assume that's about 5 hrs. I heard him repeating some of the lines and mimicking their tone). Then he desperately wanted
friend interaction and activity. Based on the Are You Hungry paradigm, I firmly believe that kids will choose activities the same way that
they choose food, and IF all things are offered, and IF there are no
underlying emotional issues that are being expressed, children will
choose moderation and balance, and a mix of everything.
As I say over and over, I am open to the possibility that this is not
true, and I will keep an eye to see what is happening. But so far all
indications point to lots of choosing.