Games and children

Hi all,

As I have become a dad myself in October last year and I keep seeing here and there other forum members becoming parents I would like to start a conversation about how you as a mom or dad (or mom or dad-to-be or somebody with an opinion) are or would be handling playing video games with your children.
My litttle one is just 10 month old now so for me there is no immediate need to resolve this. But I would like to share my love for games with him one day, though I will admit that I would not want him to play as much as I did when I was younger. I caught myself thinking about a selsction of games I think are really worth exploring together at a certain age and though I do focus on certain genres myself I would not like to focus on these ( I am an avid turn-based and RTS strategy gamer) as I do have fond memories of all kind of games (raging from Resdient Evil over Mario 64 to Disc World, Half-Life, Black Mesa and so on…).
I think atmosphere and aesthetics as well as fun and demanding gameplay are important quite unrealted to the genre. Which genre he likes to chose and if he actually will be interested in games will be entirely up to him. But I know I would like him to be able to relate to games in a realistic way. It is great when games feel realistic and immersive. But they are GAMES afterall and I sure as hell will not have him as a screaming ass punk kid that shouts uncontrolled insults over a CoD match or something.

That said, who knows how games will be in - let’s say - 10 to 15 years from now? Hard to say if Realty and games are as easily to be distiguished by that time.

So I welcome everybody to give their two cents on the topic, parents or not. I am very curious about experiences with own children, recommendations of games or whatever topic-related comes to your mind.

Games are an art form! But they’re also designed to be played, and enjoyed. I’m totally having my eventual children play my Genesis, if it survives that long.

My parents just gave me an SNES and let me watch them play games

You’re thinking WAY ahead in the future. The ‘games’ he should be exposed to are those teaching basics. Spend time with him playing games to learn shapes, colors, sounds, letters and numbers and problem solving and do it with YOUR personal involvement. The games you must include are running, chasing, hiding, kicking and throwing a ball and lots of outdoor one on one activities. Teach him that success only arrives through strong effort. Share in his success and acknowledge his accomplishments to him. Read to him as often as you can. Share those times together. These are tremendously important! Playing games like finding hidden items, showing him a train, an airplane etc are all things that you must share with him Play with your child to help him develop a sense of his environment and how to handle real life problems. Playing RTS will come at a MUCH later time and maybe not even at all. It needs to be his choice of interest and not yours. Teach him the game of life first, the rest is just fluff. Give him the tools to be able to function successfully and to always seek out more and you will have succeeded, whether he ends up playing Resident Evil or not.

What CPU said. And the earlier you teach those skills to your child, the better.

To add on:

The real world is more important than the virtual one. I’m not saying restrict game time, but make sure they get outside as often as possible and interact with other people (preferably their own age) in a social environment. E.G. Take your kid out for some sports on the weekends and spend half the day out or something along that line and let them make some friends to play with. You can also take advantage of games with on a console or something; I have many fond memories of playing Mortal Kombat with some friends when I was younger on a Sega Dreamcast. What it comes down to is social interaction in the real world from my prospective, which is more invaluable than learning how to game or use strategic thinking.

Remember, kids are still developing their brains at a young age. For all intensive purposes, they’re not as smart as you are and may not grasp abstract complex thinking as easily as you or I would. Even in your teenage years, you may have some mental capacity, but it’s not much. I see little problem with a child playing a game of any rating if they’re old enough and they understand that they should not replicate any of what they see in a virtual world in the real world.

Age 10-12 is around the age where they can be weaned into RTS or the like that I’ve found. They’re still developing, but they have a slight capacity to think abstractly, but not as much as an adult or an 18 year old. It’s really relative.

As for introducing them to multiplayer games outside of LAN, I’d suggest you wait till age 14-15, because people are assholes. They’ll have some social skills by that point is what I’m saying, and they can navigate a sticky social situation a lot more easily than a 10 or 12 year old.

Also, LEGOs.

I was browsing through old posts and ran across this one today.

At the time, you had a new child that was 10 months old and, now that your child is now 4 1/2 years old, I was wondering what you’ve learned and how much your enjoying the magical age that your child is now at. Give us an update!

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haha, thanks for nercoing this thread, in all honesty :slight_smile: Well, yes, he is 4 1/2 now and we actually had another kid after that! He is almost 2 now.
Well, for now videogames are still not a reality in his day-to-day business. He plays a lot with Legos, though and although he only watches cartoons every now and then he already knows about superheros and Star Wars. That is because, he really likes to listen to stories I tell him and for while all he wanted to listen to were stories were somebody hurt themselves (The best one were the ones where there was blood! Im not kidding xD) So, in order to change the topic from time to time I started to tell him the origin stories of some superheros like Superman, Batman (with some tuned down details…like, I didn’t tell Bruce Wayne’s parents were brutally murdered) and Anakin Skywalker. He loves to listen to these stories, although he never saw any of it in TV or on film. Once I played a radio play version of Star Wars to him (Epidose IV) and he wanted me to turn it off, cause it was too scary for him.
So I think it is still too early for him to confront him with kind of a media that might get over his head. The other day tho, we went to a birthday party and they had some oldschool arcade machines there. One of them was an arcade driving game, complete with gears and pedals and all. He was intrigued by the idea of being able to control this thing on the screen, but was miserably failing at it - from a seasoned gamer’s point of view anyway.
But him showing this intereset in fiction I’ll have no doubt that he’ll find some interest in playing games one day. But I’d like to moderate his consumption of games at first, and experince them with him togehter, so we might relfect on it together.
the other day I was thinking of starting off with games like the ones where we started off back in the day. Like Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Ít was a classic back then and might become one for him, too.

Thanks CPU for showing the interest! I might come back - in a few month…or years - and give you another update :slight_smile:

Does anyone else have kids and might wnat to share their experiences with them and (video)games?

The Then and Now thread has a great CatzEyes93 post.

Pfft… I am probably the worst person to ask this question. Mind you my middle son was 3 when I first played half life with him on my lap, and my youngest son much the same. Break them in early to the horrors of gaming, but be sure to balance it out with games that help them become ‘smart’. Minecraft is a fav in the house right now, but there are also some mobile aps that we enjoy once in a while too. One for example is a tetris type game called 100 Blocks Puzzle. It is kinda a tetris style game. Then there is Osmos, Word Collapse, Duet, Far away puzzle, Auralux, Bricksbreaker, Brain it on, Shatterbrain, Dancing line… and the list of ‘smart games’ far outweigh the ‘horror’ games. It is all about balance.