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February 17th, 2012

Xbox and games…

We have an Xbox which we get out at youth clubs once a month in each club. After a number of discussions we decided to get an Xbox as young people had been asking for a while for some sort of computer console and we had a very kind donation that was able to fund it.

We limit its use in clubs for several reasons, if young people have each week they seem to get bored of it/take it for granted, so when it comes out they seem to engage better with it, as if it’s new! Also it we had some concerns about whether it was conducive or not to youth work, what I mean is; one of the foundations of youth work/informal education is conversation and a computer console is not necessarily very conducive to conversation.

So we got an Xbox Kinect, for those that do not have a clue what this means here is a video, but basically you control the computer and games with your body. We thought that young people might get involved and it would be great fun, well that was the intention, it has not happened, young people are not interested! Even with youth workers encouraging and grabbing young people and getting them to join in, just not interested. Mainly I think they do not want to look silly in front of their peers/mates, dancing/bouncing/moving about, which I can understand.

So after further conversations, they want controllers and a number of games that have age restrictions for violent or graphic images, we are obviously not going to allow young people that are under age to play these games. There are however a number of games that do not have age limits which have potentially violent images and or images that might be contradictory to the conversations we might be having with young people, around fighting for example. It has kicked up a real discussion between volunteers and their feelings about what games we should get or not and what are the values and ethics of the Canaan Project. Whilst the young people just want new games! ¬†Watch this space…