American kids are spending so much time exercising that they are starting to lose their lead as the best video gamers in the world. This has profound economic and national security implications.
Recent studies comparing video game skills across several nations found the US lagging behind China and South Korea, and only slightly ahead of India. Until this year, America's youth had an enormous lead in video game skills. Kids in the US had wisely made gaming a priority and refused to be distracted by school, social interactions, or their whining parents. Yes, they were pudgy, but they also had astounding technological sophistication.
Today's video game addicted children grow up to be computer programmers, internet entrepreneurs, and designers of high tech weapons. But now some fear the next generation's global advantage may be limited to hopscotch and kickball.
Neurotic parents, obsessed with the Body Mass Index and brainwashed by the fitness industry, are dragging children away from their consoles.
Vice President Dick Cheney is one several forward thinkers who have been sounding alarms. "Namby-pamby liberals seem to think our nation is well served by having children frolic outside in unstructured and unproductive play. Meanwhile, our enemies are spending hours in front of their computer monitors, plotting our destruction," he said.
The Bush administration is determined to counter the trend toward children who are slim but computationally illiterate. They are about to launch "Fat Is Where It's At", a nationwide initiative to convince both children and their parents to not overdo the exercise. Microsoft is assisting by giving away 1 million Xbox game consoles to underprivileged children.