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Parents Fight to Ban Educational Math Game for Being Too "Violent"

Parents Fight to Ban Educational Math Game for Being Too "Violent"

Jason Mick

June 08, 2010

Video games have their perpetual enemies — poor adaptation, perverts, and slipping release deadlines.  However, perhaps the most insidious foe of video games is the perennial cry to ban games because they are too “violent”, too “addictive”, or feature too many “adult themes.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico fell victim to this familiar foe when it tried to educate children using a mathematics-themed video game.  The local schools received a Department of Defense grant to deploy Tabula Digital’s DimensionM to local schools, to help bump up children’s math test scores.

Tabula Digital describes the game as having “all the action and adventure of commercial-quality video games while practicing and reinforcing the skills they need to succeed in math.”  One middle school teacher called it “a 21st century flash card… They can use jetpacks and at the same time they have to know what the associative property is.”

Not all local parents are as impressed, though.  Some are leading a crusade to see the game banned.  KOAT-TV, a local TV station, has been covering the bizarre protests.  One parent, Marlene Perrotte, comments, “We are feeding the addiction of these children to video games.  They were all excited, and they were excited because of the violence -’I’m getting ahead, I’m getting ahead, I’m getting ahead.’”

In a furor that would make even Jack Thompson proud, she raves, “What they recall is not the prime number … but rather getting through to the enemy!”

Thus far, Albuquerque schools have no plans to drop the educational title amid the apparent outrage of a handful of parents.  DimensionM will continue to keep kids addicted — to learning mathematics.  And that might just be a pretty great thing, considering math competency worldwide has been slipping.

_© 2009, DailyTech.


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