Videogame Summer Camp Comes Under Fire

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Videogame Summer Camp Comes Under Fire

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A "videogame summer camp" in British Columbia has come under fire for encouraging a generation of little fatbodies to spend even more time parked in front of their glowing video screens.

The University of British Columbia is offering a number of summer camp programs this year: Speed and Power Development, Outdoor Adventure Camps, Junior Leadership Camp and even a camp for kids who hate camps: "The Arcade Bunker," a videogame-focused program that will let kids play "Nintendo Wii, Playstation, Ping Pong, Foosball, computer games, board games and cards," all for about 140 bucks a week.

This is actually the second year of operation for the videogame camp and manager Kyle Cupido said last year's offering worked out well for kids who weren't a "good fit" for other programs. "Some kids aren't athletic, aren't artistic. This gives them a chance to meet new friends," he said.

But not everyone sees it in such a generous light. Pointing to growing levels of childhood obesity, Professor Heather Mckay of UBC's Department of Medicine said, "It seems to be going in exactly the wrong direction we want children to be going in the summer months, where they should be engaged in unstructured play, and should be outside and be doing what children of every age should be doing."

Active Healthy Kids Canada CEO Michelle Brownrigg echoed Mckay's concern, noting that a recent report put together by her agency found that kids spend an average of six hours a day in front of various kinds of video screens and that only 12 percent get enough exercise. "We already have a society that is spending an excessive amount of time in front of screens... both adults and kids," she said.

I'm a gamer through and through but I have to come down on the side of Mckay and Brownrigg on this one. Young kids should be outside, running around, getting dirty and hurting themselves, not spending their summer days sitting around getting paler and flabbier. I'm not a huge fan of organized summer camps of any kind - I'm all about the "unstructured play" - but if you're going to do it, do it outside. Who knows? It might even do those unartistic, unathletic kids some good.

Source: CBC

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WHAT A SURPRISE!
While I agree it's not a great idea, the use of emotive "WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN" language irks me somewhat.

You should offer videogames as part of downtime, but not as the main activity.

I would actually love that and I'm not a kid anymore.
Man, these squares should lighten up. It would do wonders for those children, they'd learn to socialize! There's nothing I would have liked better at that age than meet a shitload of people with my same interests. And play videogames. At a summer camp.

Must everything in the world be good for the children?

If the children are having fun, isn't that good for them?

Better a happy, unhealthy kid than a miserable, healthy kid, right?

And they're making friends, too.

That camp sounds awesome. But I don't think that it is a good idead to allow kids to play video games all the time. Especially if these kids are overweight, won't do them much good would it.

If they're going to a summer camp, it's probably because they already do enough of that "unstructured play" stuff already.

Nope, let's not think about that, we've got a paniced generation from 60 years ago to try and rally!
"LOSE ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE!"

The problem isn't video games, it's that people sit around doing extremes, either being geeky stereotype or blockhead stereotype.
Just move your legs around whilst playing games, do some jumping jacks in the 15 minute break where you rest your eyes, video games don't hurt if you've got a plan.
Which is where videogames and "unstructured play" come into conflict, I guess...

Holy Crap they may make friends!
They may even, God forbid, get some happiness out of the little venture.
It is a lot easier to go out side a play surely if you have someone you know with.

You can't just kick kids outside and say "go nuts"

Onyx Oblivion:
Must everything in the world be good for the children?

If the children are having fun, isn't that good for them?

Better a happy, unhealthy kid than a miserable, healthly kid, right?

Precisely.
Because odds are, the parents that send the kids to these camps would probably just let the kids play videogames alone anyways.
It's better to have fun and meet new people then to sit alone all day doing absolutely nothing.

Though what would be cool is if it were like science camp, teaching kids basic programming fundamentals, how to make basic mods, that kind of thing. Mix things up with some physical games based on video games and the arcade stuff they've already got and you've got a wholesome, educational program that I don't think anyone would have a problem with.

Doc Cannon:
I would actually love that and I'm not a kid anymore.
Man, these squares should lighten up. It would do wonders for those children, they'd learn to socialize! There's nothing I would have liked better at that age than meet a shitload of people with my same interests. And play videogames. At a summer camp.

Indeed. I may have actually enjoyed summer camp if that were the case...

OT: I agree that kids should get outside and get exercise. Or at least just go outside and have some fun.

Plus it may actually make online games bearable. With all the kids outside, I won't have to hear that screeching ass voice on the other end of the internet describing the various ways he violated my mother.

They should throw in some outside facilities for when kids want to go outside for a break between games.

Then I'd sign up for that faster than you can say "Player 2: Press Start".

Hmm...
An interesting idea, but... that camp is really just scamming parents to pay for what a lot of these kids are going to do anyway.

Frankly, I really don't have an opinion on this one way or another. Maybe it's because I spent my childhood years engaged in a combination of writing books, playing video games, and shirtless horse wrangling (!), but I think people are making a bit much of this. As I recall, Summer camp was about meeting new people and forging friendships that would last a week-- and saving your hapless team mate from a smoker in Left 4 Dead 2 is as good a way to do that as any I can think of.

ALSO: Why in the name of all that is good and holy would you fork over $140 for that?

Wait a second, you're allowed to have rehabilitation clinics for videogame addiction, where in some places in Korea and China the kids are horribly mistreated and sent there against their will, and nary a negative whisper from the media, but a totally optional summer camp about it and the media goes mental? Double standards, eh?

Onyx Oblivion:
Must everything in the world be good for the children?

If the children are having fun, isn't that good for them?

Better a happy, unhealthy kid than a miserable, healthy kid, right?

And they're making friends, too.

And this too. All I did during the one summer camp I attended was get beaten up and ridiculed because I wasn't good at sports. A videogame summer camp would be great for little weirdos like me.

These are probably the types of kids who think that if they go outside there might be random encounters, its good that there is a place for them to meet people with similiar interest. Which makes new friends then they might go outside with there new friends.

Why spend all that money on something you'd do at home anyway? Then again if you go to Sports Camp then the odds are you'd spend your time a home playing sports as well. I never really understood the whole Summer Camp thing. Is it an American phenomenon?

Face it Andy, you just want children to do this during the summer...

http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2008/05/29/the-real-stalker/

I don't understand the whole summer camp thing. Don't kids play and socialise naturally if left to their own devices? I know I did.

I love how these arragont idiots think that they know best how other people should spend their own spare time.

That's Funny:
That camp sounds awesome. But I don't think that it is a good idead to allow kids to play video games all the time. Especially if these kids are overweight, won't do them much good would it.

my friend is overweight child he plays games an does not do much exercise but he is happy another of my friends is limited to two hours of xbox a day and has to match his play time with exercies he is constantly tired and miserable in fact to get away from his parents who want nothing more than to help the child he smokes weed,not every child is good at exercise not everyc hild is good at games and likes to play them.
sometimes letting children live their lives the way they want is better than enforcing your own views on them

Oh boo hoo, big deal, let the kids have some fun

I never liked the idea of Summer camps. It's like: "You can have fun, but only this much fun".

I am not surprised all the groups for this are coming out in force.

But, if im honest, I really cannot see the point. I mean...you can play games good enough at home...thrpough the internet with friends...without paying through the nose for it

Summer for running around, climbing trees and playing, and you don't need a camp to do that.

Besides, it's the parent and kid's choice what they do for summer. They'd spending the same amount of time inside at a space camp.

The reason most kids turn to video games is because there socially awkward, so getting them to mix with other people like them would perhaps encourage there social skills pushing them outside more?

Is this not the case?

Give me a map and some boots and I'm there!!!

They said that they should be outdoors having unstructured fun and they only complained about one part of the summer camp? Summer camp is all about structure

Well, I think the central problems being complained about are the result of a lot of very complicated and interwoven problems with society. Generally speaking you can't really FORCE a kid to do what you think is good for them, and expect it to turn out okay. For a lot of these overweight, withdrawn kids, you have to look at why they are withdrawing from society / mainstream social activities, and fix those problems. A summer camp for nerds and outcasts (basically what we're talking about) is not all that surprising a development.

I'd ask the people making the complaints what exactly they would expect to happen if they were to make these kids go to a normal camp, or "run around outside and play" with other kids. If they say "nothing" and "it would turn out fine" and "it would be good for them" then they are a bit detached from reality because if that was all true, the kid would already be doing that. The other kids aren't going to embrace someone with awkward social skills, who might even be fatter and stranger than normal because of the withdrawal they were already forced into.

Strictly speaking one has to address long term issues like bullying, antagonistic peer pressure, and similar things. Not to mention work on getting school systems to enforce their rules even at it's own potential expense. There isn't a lot you can do to address the problem by dealing with the "problem kid" directly, nor can you force everyone else to be his friend, accept him, or do anything else really. The issue you need to focus on is changing these things over a period of time through all the other indirect variables around the situation. Oh sure this will mean expelling a lot of kids over a number of years, taking flak for various flavors of "discrimination" when a true zero tolerance policy of certain
subcultures is enforced... etc...

Instead of whining about video game camp, the people doing that whining should be looking at the variables that create the kids who provide a demand for such a thing.

Actually, I think this could be a good idea. If the kids sit around on their asses playing video games the whole time then yeah, they don't need any more encouragement (and why would they pay for it in the first place?), but if the camp has activities outside as well it could prove to be quite useful in helping such kids learn to have fun outside. It's much easier to learn to like something new with a friend (or a bunch) rather than by yourself.

Yeah! These kids need to run outside, adventure through the woods, and beat each other with sticks.
Just like my (still happening) childhood!
But really, this isn't news.
Here in the states, there are robotics camps, computer camps, game creation camps, programing camps, just about every damned camp you could make without just calling it a gaming camp.
Seriously, why the fuck do these people care?

Yeah! These kids need to run outside, adventure through the woods, and beat each other with sticks.
Just like my (still happening) childhood!
But really, this isn't news.
Here in the states, there are robotics camps, computer camps, game creation camps, programing camps, just about every damned camp you could make without just calling it a gaming camp.
Seriously, why the fuck do these people care?

Yeah! These kids need to run outside, adventure through the woods, and beat each other with sticks.
Just like my (still happening) childhood!
But really, this isn't news.
Here in the states, there are robotics camps, computer camps, game creation camps, programing camps, just about every damned camp you could make without just calling it a gaming camp.
Seriously, why the fuck do these people care?

Yeah! These kids need to run outside, adventure through the woods, and beat each other with sticks.
Just like my (still happening) childhood!
But really, this isn't news.
Here in the states, there are robotics camps, computer camps, game creation camps, programing camps, just about every damned camp you could make without just calling it a gaming camp.
Seriously, why the fuck do these people care?

Yeah! These kids need to run outside, adventure through the woods, and beat each other with sticks.
Just like my (still happening) childhood!
But really, this isn't news.
Here in the states, there are robotics camps, computer camps, game creation camps, programing camps, just about every damned camp you could make without just calling it a gaming camp.
Seriously, why the fuck do these people care?

EDIT:
AHH! FUCK!
Holy shit, how did that happen?!
My bad, I was trying to post, and my wireless died, and I guess it just kept posting somehow. Damnit!

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