I am one of those eighties babies who grew up on Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and their cooler younger brother PlayStation. I have been lucky enough to witness and enjoy the evolution of videogames.
I started out small as a kid playing Mario Bros on regular Nintendo and gradually progressed to Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo 64 and then PlayStation. 007 was the first first person shooter game I ever played.
It was awesome! You really felt like you were in the game. It was miles apart from my beloved Mario Bros and the graphics were amazing.
Eventually I took a long hiatus to adult and stuff. I became a mother to a blended family of two girls (9 & 5) and a boy in college (20).
Raising kids in this technical age means most families have at least one game system or computer in their house. So I know I’m not alone in having kids who love video games.
The weird part is I never really grew out of my love for video games. The urge to play came back small at first. Here and there I would watch my daughter play Super Mario Bros on her Wii. I found myself taking the controller when she asked for help, and having a hard time giving it back when I was done.
Finally I said screw it one summer vacation when the kids were driving me nuts. I turned the Wii on and we all sat down and played on a split screen. My three year old just held the extra controller as I pointed to my character and told her it was hers.
Oh the small joys of parenting a toddler.
Two Christmases ago we bought our first PlayStation 4. I was shocked by how good the graphics were. I mean seriously on a big screen TV you can see each blade of grass move in the wind. Wow just wow. Remember I started out on Tetris, PACMan and Mario Bros. So best believe I was astonished to say the least.
I have to say there is certainly a lot of stigma attached to video games. Recently I watched an interview on CNN where someone was blaming video games like Call Of Duty and violent television shows like The Walking Dead for the Sandy Hook shooting. The unidentified women said the shooter practiced for days on Call Of Duty before the shootings.
Umm okay… How the hell do you practice shooting a real gun on a video game with a controller?
I have to say I call bullshit on that. I have played video games off and on all my life and never had a violent outburst. At least not unprovoked. 😉
What happened at Sandy Hook was extremly sad and my heart goes out to anyone who was affected by that tragedy or others like it.
I am personally more inclined to blame the perpetrator who was obviously very unstable and in no way should have ever had access to any kind of weapon.
The truth is some people are violent and some aren’t. Everyone has choices. You can’t go around blaming (at least in part) video games, TV shows and Twinkies for other others horrible actions.
For my family I find that video games monitored, and in (mostly) small doses bring my family closer together. Currently I have a PlayStation 4 in three rooms of my house.
It sounds excessive I know, but in order to play some of our games like Star Wars Battlefront (definitely recommended) online together you need one system per person.
My five year old still holds the extra controller and thinks she’s playing. Thank the gods for small miracles.
We are a video game family and honestly I love it. Not to mention my nine year old daughter is a dancing machine now that she has Just Dance 2016. Entertainment and exercise all rolled up into one awesome game! What more could you ask for?
Not every parent will agree with my stance on video games and that’s okay. Every parent is different, and only they know what’s best for their family.
As for me I think I feel a dance off coming on right about now. Time to go school my girls in some Just Dance interpretive dance. Watch out now!