blog Look, I don’t pretend to know what goes on in the mind of Gerry Harvey, but if you believe comments he made on Channel 10 last week, the Harvey Norman founder may be more out of touch with reality than any of us had previously realised (is that even possible?). According to Harvey (click here to watch the video interview, you select it from the menus on the right), one of “the great tragedies” of our modern age is that kids spend way too much time … you guessed it … playing video games. Shocker. Norman says:
“If I could get rid of leisure computers in Australia, I probably would. They can have them at school, but leisure time, no. We’re talking about kids playing games online, and wasting their life away playing games. They’re not getting any physical activity. Their minds are screwed up in these games.”
Honestly, I don’t think we need to seriously address these claims. The extensive role which video games have in our society in areas such as artistic works, entertainment, facilitating social interaction, health care and even in education is incredibly well-documented by now, and I think almost everyone who lives in Australia accepts that. I’m no kid; I’m 31 years of age, I’m a father myself, a small business owner and I’ve played video games my whole life. Contrary to Norman’s claims, I also exercise (Karate, the gym and so on) and I’m even married. Shocker. Seems like I turned out OK, and I think most of the billions of others who also enjoy video games are also pretty normal people.
What these comments by Harvey demonstrate to me is that the executive really is quite out of step with modern society and even reality. For me personally, for Harvey to label video games as a blight on society is similar to a racist bemoaning multicultural Australia, a homophobic person sledging gay people or a chauvinist making offensive comments about women. Video games are a normal, basic part of Australian society, and if you don’t accept that, Gerry Harvey, it’s you whose mind is “screwed up” — not the other 99 percent of us.
One last thing … we do so hope Harvey’s attitude towards video games changes fairly soon. We’d hate to see the Harvey Norman founder alienated in the expensive nursing home which, no doubt, isn’t too far away in his future … you know, the kind where the aged citizens are obsessed with playing Nintendo Wii?