“Video games are not the enemy – it’s my time to team up with the kids in our house”
Suddenly everyone loves video games. All it took was for HBO to adapt The Last Of Us, one of the most critically acclaimed games of the past decade, assemble an all-star cast and one of the hottest directors on television, and reportedly raise $100 million for the 10-part series, and suddenly video games are the next big thing.
I’m old enough to remember when they were blamed for everything from childhood obesity to American gun violence (former US President Donald Trump recently expressed particular concern about their impact after two deadly shootings 2019).
Video games have been parental bugbears for decades along with under-the-bed companions like video villains and heavy metal, but thanks The last of us succeeding in adapting a great game into a great TV show, people get the idea that games are more than run-and-gun shoot-em-ups (although it should be noted that this particular body of work represents some of the am most includes profitable and high profile franchises).
Video games are big in our house. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I’ve always enjoyed playing them and having kids allowed me to really indulge in what some would consider a waste of time.
Playing with my kids is often one of those rare occasions when I sit down and engage with them and don’t hear the siren song of a finished washing machine program calling me away.
“Playing games with my kids is often one of those rare occasions when I sit down and engage with them and don’t hear the siren song of a finished washing machine program calling me away.”
It’s not like watching a movie together, where I say, “Tell me if anything happens,” and then go off to make dinner, empty a trash can, or vacuum. Games, by their very nature, demand and control your attention. I think social media has a lot to answer for when it comes to reducing our attention spans, but I know that beating a particularly difficult level lies within Minecraft Dungeons with my two youngest children I will have 90 minutes of mayhem with a laser focus. Even my wife knows better than trying to explain things to me when I have a game controller in my chubby paws – I can nod and say yes or no, but absolutely nothing she said to me is saved.
Dinner needs saving from the oven? Prescriptions have to be picked up at the pharmacy? Need to pay utility bill or house is plunged into darkness? None of that registers or matters when I face a Redstone Golem with my small community.
I would imagine there are dads out there spending their time with the kids teaching them how to fish, hunt or wire a plug, but I like to think I’ve helped develop the strategic thinking and the To improve my children’s decision-making skills by repeatedly shooting them in below Battlefront II. I’m not the only one who sees the educational potential of games – the oldest boy has a history teacher who uses it Assassin’s Creed Series of games as a teaching tool while The last of us has produced a generation remarkably well acquainted with the ways and means of the cordyceps fungi, the source of mankind’s zombification.
During lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, it was video games that kept kids sane – the eldest boy was playing online with his buddies, the two youngest were playing together, and all found entertainment and escapism. They’ve taken escapism to a higher level since they managed to snag an Oculus VR kit for Christmas, a technology I was deeply skeptical about but they all love and makes me sick when travelling, if I wear them – like the urban legend of the First Movies audience shrieking and scrambling over their seats while viewing footage of an oncoming train, my poor primitive brain can’t process virtual reality.
My aging doesn’t end there – the eldest now plays games with his buddies and the co-op call of Duty Battles we played are a nostalgic throwback to him. The youngest two still like to beat me at FIFA or throw me in a well gang beastsbut one day, not even a million years from now, they too will move on and I’ll only need one controller again.
https://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/video-games-are-not-the-enemy-its-my-time-to-bond-with-the-kids-in-our-house-42332377.html “Video games are not the enemy – it’s my time to team up with the kids in our house”