Imagine Robbie finding out that the kids’ parents are all away most of the time and the kids are just living alone in their houses and being horrified, because he may be a villain, but child neglect is something else entirely, and Sportacus is away on elf business and the Mayor is bad enough at raising one child, so Robbie “””grudgingly””” moves into Ziggy’s house (since he’s the youngest), gets Trixie, Stingy, and Pixel to stay over until their parents are back, and starts acting like a dad to all of them, just until Sporty gets back to take over. (And when Sporty does get back, they all beg him to stay anyway, since he’s their most fun parent ever.)
When I saw the first episode I figured they were going to go for a pretty typical message about video games being bad and unhealthy, which I’m so used to at this point that I was prepared to roll my eyes and move on as usual.
But you know what? They really don’t. It’s definitely shown to not be a good thing if they only play video games and don’t ever go outside (especially if most of them are just watching Pixel play because that’s super boring for anyone, c’mon), or if Pixel stays up all night playing and doesn’t get any sleep, or if they’re putting off doing something important to play…but you could insert pretty much any activity in there and the message would be the same. It’s not about the game, it’s just the behavior surrounding it. And there are plenty of times when we see the kids hanging out gaming together and having fun and it’s perfectly fine and pretty much just like another activity that they do sometimes.
I really appreciate that because I have some very fond memories of playing video games with friends. Which is honestly pretty important to me because I have social anxiety and awkwardness out the wazoo and have always had a hard time making and keeping friends, so moments like that are something I really treasure. And growing up, I’d say I have about equal happy memories of playing outside in the woods and playing Pokémon and Starcraft. Well, maybe not Starcraft so much because I was terrible at it and my brother always beat me when we did multiplayer but the point is I played video games and I played outside and they were both important and enjoyable to me.
So I’m happy that the show doesn’t just write video games off as a lazy activity that good healthy active kids don’t ever do.
Another thing I appreciate is that there’s a giant gear in Pixel’s bedroom, wtf, I’ve only just now noticed that.