Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Good for What Ails You?
It's excellent news that video games can help ease depression ["Rx: Xbox?" Aug. 18]. The healing power that comes with getting lost in an activity or even just a gripping book has an intuitive appeal. However, I thought it was odd to give such coverage to a study financed by a video game production company. The page layout added irony; the article was adjacent to a piece on doctors' ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
This article really bothered me because my grandson as well as some of his friends became addicted to certain video games. He was particularly fond of World of Warcraft and gradually would not leave the house on time or had to return at a certain time in order to play. His family situation wasn't very good as well, so he spent his waking hours in his room playing his game. He cut off social contact, did not get up for school and didn't eat regular meals.
I realize this behavior was not all due to video games, but I can just hear youngsters referencing this article when parents tell them to stop playing.
Lessons of the Ages
Am I missing something here? Why is there no one over the age of 67 pictured in "Aging Well at All Ages"? I do not consider any of those people old; rather, they are middle-aged. I expected some real wisdom from 80- and 90-year-olds on how they have lived well.
I was shocked to read an online comment in "The Checkup" [Aug. 11] from "Ted_Striker," who described "intentionally crippled mice . . . spend[ing] the rest of their short, miserable lives confined to tiny little wheelchairs." This comment may be clever in a Mad magazine sort of way, but it is offensive to people who have paralysis. First, reinforcing the stereotype that paralysis leads to "short, miserable lives" diminishes the value of the lives of people with disabilities. Further, people who use wheelchairs aren't "confined," but are liberated by these devices. The Hitchcockian phrase -- "confined to a wheelchair" -- is obsolete and offensive. Comments like this one should have no place in The Post.