Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There Is Much Truth in Old FAR SIDE Cartoon

Above: Gary Larson's "old FAR SIDE" cartoon, nicked from the Psychology Today site. Yes, Psychology Today! (The Far Side ® and the Larson ® signature are registered trademarks of FarWorks, Inc. Copyright © 2000, 2007 FarWorks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Dr. Yvonne Fournier, a specialist in childrens education as well as a columnist for Scripps-Howard, cites a Gary Larson FAR SIDE cartoon when a parent writes in, asking whether video games are beneficial for children, or big time wasters.

"An old Gary Larson Far Side cartoon showed a child playing a Nintendo with 'hopeful parents' in the background imagining help wanted ads in the year 2005: ''Nintendo Expert Needed. $50,000 salary + bonus" or ''Can You Save The Princess? We need skilled men and women, $75,000 + Retirement.'

"The cartoonist's message is obvious: Nintendo prepares our children to go nowhere in the real world.

"...Video games did not change the fact that my son is responsible, thoughtful and worthy. If he was so attracted to the game, my thought was that there could be something positive to that attraction. Today in 2010, degrees and careers in gaming and game development - both in programming and design - are in high demand for the exponential growth of this multibillion-dollar industry. The hopeful parents in the Far Side cartoon were heralds of the future!"

The entire column is here.


alitlweird said...

love it. just like The Twilight Zone, there aren't too many Far Sides I don't remember. this is one of them. brilliant.

Ruth Cooke said...

Every time I watch the increasing number of video gamers on YouTube who make very good livings streaming nothing more than themselves playing video games, I remember this comic. The truth is that the worst way to prepare our children for the future is to pretend that every new thing is harmful, and that our reality now is what their reality will be like in the future.