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President Obama Thinks Kids Should Create Video Games, Not Just Play Them

8476839488_c824a5ec33Can’t get your kids off the computer? Maybe you can work with their enthusiasm.

President Obama thinks kids ought to be able to make video games in addition to playing them. In a virtual “fireside chat” on Google+ after the State of the Union address, President Obama said, “I think given how pervasive computers and the internet is now, and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure that they know how to actually produce stuff using computers, and not simply consume stuff.”

President Obama recognizes that computers and video games are getting kids excited about learning. He mentions Mark Zuckerberg as an example of someone who taught himself computer programming because he was interested in games.

I’ve got 4 kids. A fight against technology is not a fight I’m going to win. I can protect their time and supervise their use, but I love this idea of using their interest in technology to spark their interest in learning something new. The shift from passive consumer to creative producer is key.

The President also wants to bring computer programming into high schools and he thinks adding a computer programming language requirement makes sense. His goal is to the make the high school experience relevant for kids who may not go on to get 4-year degrees from a university—so they can be job-ready sooner.

Check out the whole video chat for more information, or just skip to the end to see President Obama chastise a husband for slacking on Valentine’s day, “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s not every day that a fireside chat can make both women and gamers swoon. Hail to the chief.

Photo Credit: Pete Souza

Read more of my writing at Babble and on my blog, Every Day I Write the Book.

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