Put away the video games

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009

President Barack Obama speaks about it regularly. “We need to put away the video games,” he says.

Parents have struggled with balancing homework, reading and family time with video games and television since the days of Pong, Pac-Man and when baseball players on video games were triangles.

For the past five years, as reported in today’s Herald, Early Childhood and Family Education has aimed to do something about it.

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The fifth annual Screen Time-Out Challenge is scheduled for April 20-26, a national challenge that encourages all ages to spend the week without computers, video games and watching television.

In southern Minnesota, families are well prepared to meet this challenge head on. Our area parks can be hotspots for biking, running, walking and disc golf.

Video games can be a fun form of entertainment, and television programs can be both enjoyable and informative.

But with anything, too much is harmful. The same holds true with playing too much Guitar Hero or watching hours of recorded episodes of American Idol.

The Screen Time-Out Challenge is a valuable program, and we hope it inspires families to limit their television and video game use throughout the rest of the year as well.