PlayStation Generation A Detriment To Education?
No matter how far the industry goes, it will always have its fair share of naysayers. The latest is from what you might call a high-up name in the political world; Jay Cohen, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security executive. In a recent interview with PC World, he said the "education in the crisis in the country" is due - in part, we assume - by a "PlayStation generation" that wants quick thrills and simply avoids the difficult or challenging subjects in school.
Well, he's got the lingo down (kinda), so we gotta give him credit for that. But beyond the convenient use of an increasingly negative buzz-term in "PlayStation generation," he scores no points for his argument, as far as we're concerned. We have to question where the mass media factors into the equation; where the increasingly rapid-fire movie trailers - and rapid-fire movies - come into play, where the so-called communication advances are creating a generation of young adults who can't go four and a half seconds without a cell phone or iPod attached to them. In the realm of all entertainment, everything is heading in the direction of "quick thrills" and more immediate gratification, but we figure we shouldn't have to tell him that.
And lastly, why exactly is it only the PlayStation era? What, video games didn't exist before then? They didn't have anything to do with "quick chills" in 1980 in the arcades? Games in that era relied even more on immediate gratification, as they rarely included much of anything regarding a story, and relied almost entirely on reflexes and dexterity. In terms of depth and what they required in terms of thought was...well, very little. Now that games include more of the stuff we might have to think about, and certainly no more in the way of immediate gratification, we haven't the slightest idea how the PlayStation generation is responsible for this little crisis.
But hey, what do we know?
3/4/2007 Ben Dutka