Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank You, Pikachu

photo credit-fuzzcat
creative commons license

About a month ago Liz remarked to me that Buddy Boy wanted to get a Pokemon game cartridge for his Nintendo DS. He wanted it because two kids he sometimes ate lunch with talked about Pokemon all the time. She was worried that Pokemon was too violent. All she knew was that they "fought" each other. While I don't know a whole lot about the intricacies of the game, I knew it was animated and that there really wasn't any violence to it. I quickly convinced her that it was basically harmless, and might lead to some spontaneous social interaction.

Well, we got him the cartridge for his 9th birthday last month, and he's been playing it ever since.

This afternoon, as I was getting ready to go pick up Sweet Pea from her third birthday party in as many weeks, Liz informed me that a boy from Buddy Boy's class was coming over to play. She also told me that


You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Evidently this other boy has always been interested in, and nice to, Buddy Boy since he transferred to this school two years ago, and inserting Pikachu and his friends into the mix provided enough commonality that this other boy wanted to spend more time with Buddy Boy. While Buddy Boy has had a few parent instigated play dates in the past (none in the last 3 years or so), he's never had a "kid instigated" play date. This was HUGE.

The kids seemed to get along relatively well. They played together for a while, then I took them to the park, where Buddy Boy tended to want to dig holes with a stick rather than playing tag, but once they got back home they got back to playing together again. I think both of them had a good time, which counts as a raving success in my book.

Thanks again, Pikachu.


Casdok said...

You must be so chuffed!! So pleased that it was such a great success.

Niksmom said...

Wow, I guess I will never look down my nose at the kid's video games again! Who knew?

That's wonderful! Here's to more such joyful occasions. :-)

Hope you (and your family) are well. How's school going? I keep hoping you'll share a smidge of it with your readers. Yes, we're still here! :-)

Ange said...

I'm glad he's so happy! One of the many reasons we got a wii. Though no one is coming over. :( But Bubba learns his script from the games and then works his magic on the playground. He loves playing starwars or knights on the playground...tending to play with the younger kids, but he is beaming. He also likes entertaining folks at the residential care place that we've been visiting since Christmas and considers one of the women a friend.

Nancy said...

Video games seem to be the mainstay of boy culture. I've given into it, with time limits and mandatory outside play time.

My son is able to initiate play dates over video games. And the other boys are more interested in coming over to play with him if they play games.

I don't need any further persuasion!

Phil Schwarz said...

I think I read somewhere that the creator of Pokemon is himself autistic.

Buddy Boy: w00t!

Brett said...

I could go on (and on and on) about how beneficial Pokemon was for both my boys. From the game itself, which we leveraged to teach many academic related skills (math, especially), to the practical benefits of understanding how make a plan, execute it, evaluate the results, etc etc. (Critical thinking, in a nutshell.)

And, of course, the instant social credibility any kid gets among his peers when he has Pokemon games and can speak the language of Pokemon.

(Disclaimer: I am an unabashed fan of video games, and I believe in the overall benefits of games in general. So I may be a bit biased here.)

Emily said...

Casdok, I love the word "chuffed." Joe...that's great. We've also done a few things to help bridge social gaps for TH, and some have worked swimmingly.