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"The Way My Kid Plays Video Games Pisses Me Off"


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That’s true to a point, but once past a certain age of course it changes.

 

My dad read the Hobbit to me, introduced me to 2001: A Space Odyssey, got me into F1, gave me a decent knowledge of classical music through prog rock cover versions - all when I was still small. I’m forever grateful to him for those things.

 

But then he used to blast non-stop modern jazz on the weekends, and in lieu of having any lyrics to sing along to he would sort of ‘scat’ along with it.  Obviously that’s when I started to develop interests of my own.

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I think the biggest difference between how I play games and my kids play them is that they play almost exclusively freemium type games - especially Roblox. I was quite skeptical about buying cosmetics and in game item stuff, but it's just the way they play. I did put my foot down when my eldest wanted to buy a £20 cosmetic knife, though. 

 

Through Game Pass, they've played some "proper" games, like Super Lucky's Tale, Yokus Island Express, Minecraft Dungeons and Two Point Hospital, weirdly. But they prefer playing things they've seen on YouTube on their tablets. 

 

They only really play multilayer stuff as well, which I've never done. 

 

When they explain these things to me, I know how my parents felt nearly 40 years ago when I was talking about Commodore 64 games. But they're having fun, and that's all that matters. 

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My daughters just turned 4 and we sometimes play Mario Kart together on the Switch. She saw me playing it on a SNES emulator on my Xbox and wanted a turn, so I got the Switch out and we gave it a bash. You can set it to be really assisted, including acceleration and turning. I’d have previously laughed at this and asked what the point is, but hey if it makes little kids have fun playing games then I’m all for it.

 

MK8 is perfect too cos each cup is 4 races so she goes first, then me, then her and then I try to finish with a win to secure a trophy.

 

She’s actually won a handful of races too and we both went crazy with genuine excitement everytime.

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I’ll tell you what though. As much as I love being part of their lives and knowing about what they do, but when my oldest starts talking about Minecraft, the life force drains away from me. I had to have a proper talk with him about what he can see in his mind and what someone else understands and gets from his tales. And I know I used to do exactly the same in my 20s about WoW. 

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6 hours ago, Uncle Mike said:

 

Pretty sure there are already games where people make a living playing them and selling the results of their grinding to others. My crypto-obsessed friend thinks they're a revelation.

An actual game company will make a game soon enough where the players own their loot. It will be mainstream and demanded by the next generation PS6 etc.

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12 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

What the fuck has that got to do with the subject matter. And with all due respect (IE LITTLE), if you don’t have kids, your opinion on what your kids should play is less than invalid, it’s like some black hole effect shit that sucks energy and light away from the world. I see the Miyamoto/Roblox comparison has already been dug up. Jesus Christ, what a depressing, shitty string of posts. 

 

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14 hours ago, Harsin said:

Isn't The Escapist pretty chud adjacent?

 

 

I know it was very gamergate friendly at one point but I was under the impression that version of the site went bust and it was relaunched under new ownership a few years ago. Zero Punctuation stuck around because it was the only content of any value the old site was still producing by the end. 

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Back on topic, the article isn't great. Its a bit clumsy but I do think the writer was holding their hands up and saying they were a bit of a silly twat for trying to force their son to play games the "right" way instead of letting them just have fun. The title doesn't help though. 

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There was a similar topic to this recently and I was whinging about Roblox, my main beef was that my son would be playing a game where you click a button to make your guy bigger/stronger or whatever. He asked to play it on the PC so he could click the mouse rather than a button on a pad as it was easier to do without looking at the screen. This meant he could watch something else on his Switch. Neither of us were sure why he was playing the clicking game, classic gaming watching a number go up I suppose though?

 

I don’t mind the other more social games on there that he plays with his pals.

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12 hours ago, K said:

This all feels a bit like luddism.

 

Just to be Captain Derail for a moment, the luddites really did have good reason for their rebellion and the fact they're painted as foolish progress-haters is slightly gross historical revisionism fully in keeping with the way history is taught in this country to paint the nations' progress as naturally leading towards an ideal state.

 

You may all now return to (correctly) dunking on the awful Escapist article and the attitude it espouses.

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17 hours ago, K said:

That original article is fucking bleak:

 

 

Reading that makes me a bit sad. Imagine that - an eight year old wanting to hang around in a playground. And then being surprised or upset that the same eight year old wants to mess about jumping off things, dressing up, and running around aimlessly, as if that's somehow worse than playing a game where you have to progressively kill / beat up more difficult opponents. And then deliberately trying to get the child to move away from the imaginative play towards the structured violence the dad enjoys. The piece is dressed up in a jocular tone, but the whole thing reminds me of when you talk to some couple and they make "jokey" comments about how the other one never does anything with the kids, or is a massive stresshead, and they clearly have a sincere desire to kill each other. It stinks of desperation and self-loathing.

 

The whole thing does remind me of the various 'easy mode' threads on here, where a small minority of people are desperate to stop other people enjoying games the wrong way, only even worse because this is his actual son. 

 

This post has changed my mind about games like Roblox (although I'm still giving side eye to some of the exploitative tactics used in regards content creators on that platform.) Imagine anyone being annoyed at their kids spending time on digital playgrounds during a pandemic! Mind you as a parent I'd be constantly worried about adults posing as kids but that's a whole other side topic.

 

As for making kids play the games we used to as kids so that they could get a better appreciation of the artform? That would have led to me having to listen to Perry Como or Pat Boone before listening to the music I wanted to. My grandfather loved watching Bonanza when I was a kid but he didn't force me to watch it before I got to watch Buck Rogers or Doctor Who.

 

I mean imagine telling a kid that before they played the newest superhero game they had to play through and appreciate this first because we did when we were kids?

 

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40 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

I mean imagine 

 

 

That's exactly the point. As funny as your screenshot might be, such graphically limited games may actually promote imagination. This is why kids are supposed to read books, among others. 

 

Further reading: 

Taking Playtime Seriously https://nyti.ms/2GughrC

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40 minutes ago, alex3d said:

 

That's exactly the point. As funny as your screenshot might be, such graphically limited games may actually promote imagination. This is why kids are supposed to read books, among others. 

 

Further reading: 

Taking Playtime Seriously https://nyti.ms/2GughrC

 

Counterpoint, while playing this and enjoying it 40 years ago the adults watching on in confusion were talking about how what we were playing was rubbish and how it would be loads better if we watched this instead.

 

 

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My kids play on loads of games - some of which I hate (Fortnite, Roblox) but some of which I love (Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves) and I'm finding that my son in particular is playing more of the latter compared to the former these days.

 

None of that is my influence because it's not my opinion that should form their gaming habits - it's up to them and as long as they get to play multiplayer with their friends, they're happy.

 

Started playing It Takes Two with my 11 year old daughter the other day and have been very surprised just how quickly she's worked out the puzzles, so sometimes, your kids' gaming habits can also teach you a thing or two! 

 

As far as I'm concerned, as long as the content is appropriate and they don't exceed their allotted time on their consoles/phones, I'll let my kids be kids. It's what my parents did with me and I was grateful for it. 

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On 17/09/2021 at 06:41, Jolly said:

My two are just coming up to 11 and 9. Eldest has only really shown an interest in three videogames: Minecraft, Fortnite and Splatoon 2. Youngest has a far broarder taste and finished Ocarina of Time during lockdown and is currently spending a lot of time trying to get a victory in Tetris 99.

 

I think that's really cool, actually.

 

Re: kids playing casual games exclusively, there were plenty of non-gamers before they existed, so who's to say they've been corrupted? Lots of people bought Christmas Wiis and got into Pokemon Go for a month.

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14 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

I’ll tell you what though. As much as I love being part of their lives and knowing about what they do, but when my oldest starts talking about Minecraft, the life force drains away from me. I had to have a proper talk with him about what he can see in his mind and what someone else understands and gets from his tales. And I know I used to do exactly the same in my 20s about WoW. 


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On 17/09/2021 at 06:12, alex3d said:

Good topic. Are you supposed to start with retro games? I.e. letting the kids play Link's Awakening to appreciate BotW later on?

 

I think you just need a 3ds and let them find their own way from there. Yes there's the obvious landfill like Roblox as I like to refer to it. However, with a bit of solid guidance, and I have had to step in a couple of times and go 'generally speaking the consensus on this game is that it's absolute shite and I'm not paying for it'

 

We also draw a line in the sand around online currency, in as much that we try and limit it's use as much as possible. So I guess I can call myself 'Vic20 dad'?

 

 

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This is an interesting thread. That article is horrendous (tonally) but I think if it was written a bit more compassionately there could be some takeaways from it. 

 

I have three kids, all boys. It's curious how different the three of them are in their gaming tastes. They are all ardent gamers, but have quite different focus. It has been really important for us, as I split with their mum (who is an arsehole) and we live in different countries (so I have them for holidays in blocks of time). Gaming has been the glue for us (I have built each of them a PC to play on), we have numerous Discord channels and play stuff together, either as a family or with me and them individually. It was a blessing for them through the pandemic too. Having a route to daily contact I think is really important, and it's also something their mother can't try to gatekeep or control (as she has no idea what Discord even is). 

 

Individually, my eldest (who is 18) has quite conventional single player gaming tastes. Or relatable ones. He likes sprawling single player games with RPG elements. Recently finished Cyberpunk and enjoys deep story driven games. His multiplayer game of choice is League of Legends, which he plays obsessively with his friends. He's great at it, understands a huge amount about the game, and has even got me into watching the LEC obsessively. Although I will play the game with him occasionally I'm not really good enough at it, so we tend to do bot matches and chat. The friends he plays with on League are also amazing guys IRL and the bond they have is amazing. He's going through some GF heartbreak stuff and they've bonded together and really helped one another through some shitty times. Proud of him and his friends. Together we've played a lot of co-op shooters (e.g. Sniper Elite 4) and driving games (e.g. NFS: MW) but for us often the game is background to chat generally rather than the point. it's notable that he tends to enjoy longer form video content, anime series on Netflix, or Tom Scott videos or whatever. He's certainly closest to me in terms of what you'd define a "gamer" to be. We also share a very strong similar sense of humour and on many occasions have typed the same sarcastic thing in chat in a game if someone is being a dick. 

 

My middle child, 15, has quite varied gaming tastes. His single player (I know it's MP, but it's also SP) grind of choice for the past few months has been Genshin. He also likes single player, narrative driven games, but his tastes swing between stuff like Dishonoured and Metro Exodus to more boutique games like Outer Wilds and 2D fighters. His multiplayer love has been Apex since it came out. He loves high skill MP shooters (he also dabbles in R6V and Valorant) but Apex is his true love. And he is amazing at it: instinctive, aggressive and with flawless game sense. I enjoy playing with him. I'm terrible at the BR portion of the game (I'm OK at Arenas) but it's nice to watch your own genetic material humbling people in one on ones while you follow on behind. Our time online often feels like a pro team doing a VOD review. Last night we fucked up three times and ended up second in three games we should've won and the last required a 10 minute discussion on why I'd made the wrong choice in going for a rez instead of pushing :D (I did tbf). Next split he's going to attempt to grind up to Masters with two of his friends - I think it'll kill him, but I would be proud of him if he makes it. His more general internet content consumption tends to be more fragmented and he loves obscure memes and 5 second bass boosted videos - which he keeps his elder brother in the loop about. Like his older brother they are also both obsessed with DnD, although he tends to like more obscure systems (e.g. Tales From The Loop). Both him and his brother also enjoy Runeterra, though he also is far more into card games and enjoys real life paper MTG as well as titles like Slay the Spire. 

 

My youngest is the most difficult to categorise. He's 12 and has very much grown up through the explosion in Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, Youtubers and all the other things traditionally listed as killing gaming. The others have as well, but they do vaguely remember a time before DanTDM. I would find it hard to even classify my youngest's gaming tastes. He is currently also obsessed with Genshin, but plays an absolutely mad mix of games. He is obsessed with speedrun videos and loves hardcore high skill platformers or games that challenge him (e.g. Hollow Knight). He's finished BOTW 6+ times I think, each time under some sort of bizarre restriction or at whatever the top difficulty level is. He also loves Minecraft and Terraria and other games with the creative loop. His ability to pick up game systems and break them is amazing. We'll often play a game with him one week and he'll be back by the next week knowing literally everything there is to know about it - fringe exploits, bugs, hidden rooms etc. Risk of Rain 2 was a good example of this. We played a bit and enjoyed it, but he'd broken the game in about a week. Deconstructed it and was eventually teleporting around the map and finding rooms even the devs had forgot they'd put in. He is probably the most difficult to find a game we both enjoy playing, and harking back to the article I think that does come a little bit from the fact that he's not really into the discovery phases of games much. If he's into something, he dives deep. He will literally consume everything about a game online and learn all its nooks and crannies. Even his brothers find it alarming, and it often puts pressure on whatever multiplayer game we all play together as he simply needs to know everything about it (and knows how to find everything out about it). In many ways he's the one I feel a generational gaming gap with the most - and whether that's just chance, or the fact that he's grown up in a very different gaming world to my eldest is hard to say. He's a different chap generally too in personality terms so that could be all it is. His general video and content consumption though is absolutely baffling (and quite often he watches multiple things at once like the dude from the end of The Watchmen) and if he ever logs in using my Youtube account it sends weird recommendations for weeks afterwards.

 

But, in summary, Teamfight Manager, bizarrely is one of the few games that seems to give all of my kids something to enjoy. It's like League and has references for my eldest, the competitive multipler for my middle child and has systems to exploit and break for my youngest. And it's slow enough so I'm not at any great disadvantage. If anyone knows any other games like this pl0x PM me x

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 18/09/2021 at 04:29, alex3d said:

That's exactly the point. As funny as your screenshot might be, such graphically limited games may actually promote imagination. This is why kids are supposed to read books, among others. 


It’s quite funny when a son/daughter/niece/nephew/whatever walks in on you playing something more abstract - like Rez or whatever - and you can’t exactly explain the swirling arrangements of blocks so you both end up coming up with names for them - not unlike we did when playing 8-bit games in the day. ^_^

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