The opinion piece written by Rathika Suresh for The Australian only mentions gaming at the beginning to lump it together with computer games, educational applications and the Internet. It goes on to argue that computers, and those things he linked to them like gaming, are here to stay; and that they play an "integral and growing role in education, work and communications, and the sooner a child becomes comfortable with this technology, the better."
He says the important thing is that you keep an eye on the content they access using the internet, computers and gaming systems. I whole-heartedly agree. He also points out that according to Early Childhood Australia, parents and caretakers should "guard against exposing children to software applications that use stereotypes relating to gender or culture." Also a good point, at least for young children who are still forming opinions and developing ideas.
The piece wraps up by calling for Australian ICT professionals to develop programs, tools and services that use that technology to expand a child's horizons beyond their personal experiences. I'd like to add game developers to that list. It might not be a big money maker, but it's an important part of being a good corporate citizen. That's why I also get so excited when I see things like the PS3's Folding at Home project or Microsoft's university level indie development programs.
Preschoolers need computer access [The Australian]