In his first official public engagement as President of this great land, Michael D. Higgins, a man who over a million of you (myself included) voted in as head of state, has taken a not so subtle dig at the merit of videogames.
Addressing an audience in The Ark in Dublin’s Temple Bar earlier today, President Higgins suggests that children don’t spend enough time nurturing their imaginations, instead choosing to waste their time, energy and potential in front of a TV playing games.
“We must encourage all citizens, particularly children, to, as Raymond Williams put it, ’Be the arrow, not the target”. President Higgins said.
“It is possible to form the impression that many of today’s children no longer fully appreciate the joy of taking refuge in their own imaginations, preferring to spend their time on computer games, or watching digital television or playing with pre-programmed electronic toys.”
Now, while we here at TGL have nothing but the utmost of respect for our new President, it is a shame that Mr. Higgins paints videogames out to be something that opposes imagination and creatively; something that should be discouraged.
Might I remind Mr. Higgins, that hundreds, possibly thousands of Irish children are, by playing videogames and engaging with the medium right now, realising and developing an appreciation and creative worth that will one day see them join into an industry that has an urgency and impetus like no other in this country at the moment. Gaming and the imagination of this island’s gamers are leading the charge of change in Ireland, a change President Higgins is the highest and most vocal advocate of. Gaming is something that should never be discouraged. I thank you.