Your kids and gaming

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Posted 11:09am on Sun 24 March 2013
EverTheOptimist
  • Posts: 1,501
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Your kids and gaming
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?
Posted 2:09pm on Sun 24 March 2013
Glidewell
  • Posts: 2
01
In response to Topic
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
Hello. I am a father of 2. My oldest son is 12, and my youngest one is 8. My oldest son is into war games and fantasy's. He is always asking me for this game who is called Call Of Duty? It is rated M, I am doing my research on the game. On the other hand, my youngest son is into Mario and Pokémon. I find Mario and Pokémon suitable for my children. Anyhow, I answered you're question's. Here are my personal results I found at as being a father of 2.

Do you restrict their time with games?

My kid's don't only play video games, they play sport's like Hockey or Football. I let them play on they're video game systems. I recommend 1-2 hour's per day. Also make them active. Maybe you could sign them up for a sport. You could ask them what is you're favourite sport. A benefit for the children for signing up for a sport, ( This is a idea for the father ). If they are behaving good, and they are into a sport you can get them cards! Maybe like Hockey cards.

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

My kid's play game's that the rating's suit they're age. For example, my youngest child Logan, has a DS and has a lot of game's rated E. He is into the series Pokémon or Mario. If you have a young child you can get them Pokémon or Mario. Those would be suitable for you're youngest child if you have one. If you have a older child, try to find games that are in their taste. My child likes war games, I get him ones who are rated T.

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Sorry, I don't know how to answer this.

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

Me and my kids play together sometimes. My oldest child doesn't really want to play with me. My youngest child does. He sais I am a 'Master' at his game.
Posted 5:47pm on Sun 24 March 2013
Nxs
  • Posts: 980
00
In response to Topic
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
Think I am going to chime in. Grin

Lemme preface this by saying I have been playing games for 30 years or better. Played games since the TRS-80 and had to program my own games, pong, Intelevision, NES, Sega Master System, to the Wii U. I have played a loooooooot of games over the years!

I have five kids; two boys and three girls and they have played games as long as they have been alive.

When they started getting old enough to play games, I never restricted what they played or how long they played. I did, however, make it very clear from an early age that games are not real life and what you do in a game you can not do in real life.

Granted, when they were younger I would not let them watch me play certain games, but I always explained why.

Now that the oldest is 20 and the youngest is 13, I really don't have to do that anymore because I have burnt it into their brains!

My 15 year old daughter plays the crap out of Saints Row 2 and to this day she still says 'sorry' when she runs a person over and obeys the traffic lights! It is very strange. The youngest, boy, plays games almost as much as I do when it is crappy out. If it is nice out though, he is gone! Riding his bike, playing outside, shooting a bb gun, playing football, or whatever it is.

I really think parents make all the difference in the world when it comes to games.

Some of mine play, some don't. The youngest may grow out of it and he may not. I really don't care either way though as long as the grades stay up! Grin

You are never going to find the right balance until you are actually a parent and decide what is best for you. Grin I could probably go on, but I won't Grin
Posted 6:14pm on Sun 24 March 2013
pblive
  • Posts: 18,192
00
In response to Glidewell's
Hello. I am a father of 2. My oldest son is 12, and my youngest one is 8. My oldest son is into war games and fantasy's. He is always asking me for this game who is called Call Of Duty? It is rated M, I am doing my research on the game. On the other hand, my youngest son is into Mario and Pokémon. I find Mario and Pokémon suitable for my children. Anyhow, I answered you're question's. Here are my personal results I found at as being a father of 2.

Do you restrict their time with games?

My kid's don't only play video games, they play sport's like Hockey or Football. I let them play on they're video game systems. I recommend 1-2 hour's per day. Also make them active. Maybe you could sign them up for a sport. You could ask them what is you're favourite sport. A benefit for the children for signing up for a sport, ( This is a idea for the father ). If they are behaving good, and they are into a sport you can get them cards! Maybe like Hockey cards.

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

My kid's play game's that the rating's suit they're age. For example, my youngest child Logan, has a DS and has a lot of game's rated E. He is into the series Pokémon or Mario. If you have a young child you can get them Pokémon or Mario. Those would be suitable for you're youngest child if you have one. If you have a older child, try to find games that are in their taste. My child likes war games, I get him ones who are rated T.

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Sorry, I don't know how to answer this.

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

Me and my kids play together sometimes. My oldest child doesn't really want to play with me. My youngest child does. He sais I am a 'Master' at his game.

» Go to Glidewell's original post
Hi Jacob and welcome to the forums.

As you may have already found from a search through Google, the Call of Duty series is a pretty violent style of game. But whether you let your 12 year old play is really down to you (though the age ratings are there for a reason).

The first thing I'd do is go to Youtube and check out some video of the game in action, this will give you the best indication of whether it's suitable for your son.

There ARE plenty of young teens playing COD, but the majority of them seem to be the bane of everyone else's life online because they tend to be very immature when it comes to playing online against other people. I would personally worry about the implications of the violence on a 12 year old, too. It's probably in the same region as letting him watch a 15 or 18 rated war film, I guess.

Plus, I don't know what the Canadian laws are like, but here in the UK shops aren't technically allowed to sell games to underage children.
Posted 6:18pm on Sun 24 March 2013
pblive
  • Posts: 18,192
00
In response to Topic
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
Right...

I'm a father of 2 under 10s, but being girls they don't naturally take to certain styles of games anyway.

I do play games with them on the consoles, mostly Wii U and some PS3 driving games at the moment, but they also have a 3DS and iPod Touch, which I monitor their gaming on.

I feel that playing games can be healthy and form part of a good childhood as long as it is monitored and children are only allowed to spend a certain amount of time playing, plus only on certain games.
Posted 10:57am on Mon 25 March 2013
EverTheOptimist
  • Posts: 1,501
00
In response to Nxs's
Think I am going to chime in. Grin

Lemme preface this by saying I have been playing games for 30 years or better. Played games since the TRS-80 and had to program my own games, pong, Intelevision, NES, Sega Master System, to the Wii U. I have played a loooooooot of games over the years!

I have five kids; two boys and three girls and they have played games as long as they have been alive.

When they started getting old enough to play games, I never restricted what they played or how long they played. I did, however, make it very clear from an early age that games are not real life and what you do in a game you can not do in real life.

Granted, when they were younger I would not let them watch me play certain games, but I always explained why.

Now that the oldest is 20 and the youngest is 13, I really don't have to do that anymore because I have burnt it into their brains!

My 15 year old daughter plays the crap out of Saints Row 2 and to this day she still says 'sorry' when she runs a person over and obeys the traffic lights! It is very strange. The youngest, boy, plays games almost as much as I do when it is crappy out. If it is nice out though, he is gone! Riding his bike, playing outside, shooting a bb gun, playing football, or whatever it is.

I really think parents make all the difference in the world when it comes to games.

Some of mine play, some don't. The youngest may grow out of it and he may not. I really don't care either way though as long as the grades stay up! Grin

You are never going to find the right balance until you are actually a parent and decide what is best for you. Grin I could probably go on, but I won't Grin

» Go to Nxs's original post
Interesting comments. I remember playing games like Mortal Kombat on the Amiga when I was 10 but they definitely didn't affect me or shock me. I'm not sure if my Dad was aware of their content.

When I eventually have kids I think I'll make the odd exception for a game that is above their age range, but for the most part I'll be really holding the violent/sexual stuff back. It's not that I think it'll psychologically ruin them, but more about 'earning' those things as you grow up. We live in a pretty grim world as it is and childhood, to some extent, might be one of the only points in a life where we don't feel the burden of the world and all the horrible stuff in it.

When I turned 12 my Dad took me to see GoldenEye, my first film that carried something higher than a PG-rating. It was brilliant and I felt I was now part of this older, more mature club of people Smile
Posted 9:15am on Tue 26 March 2013
Grammartron
  • Posts: 1,139
02
In response to Topic
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
Something I've been thinking about a lot recently. My boy Michael (nearly 4) has just had his first taste of gaming, through browser games on my phone and the Cbeebies site, and now also through a bit of Wii Sports (only thing he's co-ordinated enough to have a crack at so far).

He loves them, and is already pushing to play more (as he does with TV programmes as well to be fair). I've got no problem with him growing up a gamer, but for me education is absolutely paramount. I'm determined to stick to the ratings on games and make sure he's shielded from anything too violent, as that's where, imo anyway, you start to get things like behavioural problems coming in. Games are so immersive and realistic these days that I don't think comparisons can be drawn to the shoot and beat 'em ups of our the 90s/2000s even. Michael's already noticing games that use licenses of things he likes (Ben 10 for example), but I've made sure he knows absolutely that the number on the front dictates whether he'll get to even pick up the box or not.

How this will pan out further down the line I don't know - CoD is the obvious example, can't imagine too many parents wait until their children are actually 18 before they get their first copy these days. The most violent games are where this sort of topic polarises, and where peer pressure and restriction of access by parents become big factors.

Parents understanding what their children are playing and having the strength to restrict access if necessary (both in terms of content and time spent) are the most important things I think, and on that score all of us here will at least have an advantage over most, as we ourselves already know gaming inside out.
Posted 9:39am on Tue 26 March 2013
EverTheOptimist
  • Posts: 1,501
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In response to Grammartron's
Something I've been thinking about a lot recently. My boy Michael (nearly 4) has just had his first taste of gaming, through browser games on my phone and the Cbeebies site, and now also through a bit of Wii Sports (only thing he's co-ordinated enough to have a crack at so far).

He loves them, and is already pushing to play more (as he does with TV programmes as well to be fair). I've got no problem with him growing up a gamer, but for me education is absolutely paramount. I'm determined to stick to the ratings on games and make sure he's shielded from anything too violent, as that's where, imo anyway, you start to get things like behavioural problems coming in. Games are so immersive and realistic these days that I don't think comparisons can be drawn to the shoot and beat 'em ups of our the 90s/2000s even. Michael's already noticing games that use licenses of things he likes (Ben 10 for example), but I've made sure he knows absolutely that the number on the front dictates whether he'll get to even pick up the box or not.

How this will pan out further down the line I don't know - CoD is the obvious example, can't imagine too many parents wait until their children are actually 18 before they get their first copy these days. The most violent games are where this sort of topic polarises, and where peer pressure and restriction of access by parents become big factors.

Parents understanding what their children are playing and having the strength to restrict access if necessary (both in terms of content and time spent) are the most important things I think, and on that score all of us here will at least have an advantage over most, as we ourselves already know gaming inside out.

» Go to Grammartron's original post
I think I pretty much feel the way you do mate, it must be difficult when you do have a kid who becomes interested though and wants to play the stuff he shouldn't. I'm sure it leads to a few tantrums!

I didn't really think about old games vs new until I read your reply. I suppose me playing Doom, Heretic and Duke Nukem at my mate's house when I was 9 is a lot different to kids these days playing some of the more violent titles on offer for adults. Doom and those games were still gory (and we loved the weird alien nipples on the strippers in Duke Nukem!) though I think, a lot of the time, our parents could see that the violence on display was pretty detached from reality in terms of how it looked and how it played out.

I know a family member who buys their 7-year-old the new CoD every time and it f**ks me off to be honest. I know some see this as having no effect on the kid (and hey, I'm not a psychologist) but it frustrates me because it reinforces people's views of the effects of violent games. A lot of other family, mainly older members, just see all games as bloodbaths aimed at, and sold to, children just because their parents can't work out that the number on the front of the box is often there for a reason.
Posted 10:49am on Tue 26 March 2013
Grammartron
  • Posts: 1,139
01
In response to EverTheOptimist's
I think I pretty much feel the way you do mate, it must be difficult when you do have a kid who becomes interested though and wants to play the stuff he shouldn't. I'm sure it leads to a few tantrums!

I didn't really think about old games vs new until I read your reply. I suppose me playing Doom, Heretic and Duke Nukem at my mate's house when I was 9 is a lot different to kids these days playing some of the more violent titles on offer for adults. Doom and those games were still gory (and we loved the weird alien nipples on the strippers in Duke Nukem!) though I think, a lot of the time, our parents could see that the violence on display was pretty detached from reality in terms of how it looked and how it played out.

I know a family member who buys their 7-year-old the new CoD every time and it f**ks me off to be honest. I know some see this as having no effect on the kid (and hey, I'm not a psychologist) but it frustrates me because it reinforces people's views of the effects of violent games. A lot of other family, mainly older members, just see all games as bloodbaths aimed at, and sold to, children just because their parents can't work out that the number on the front of the box is often there for a reason.

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
Yeah absolutely. It is a very big and complex issue that addresses the entire culture and industry of gaming, and I don't think there are any black and white answers because at the end of the day every kid is different, but the sort of thing you describe here with the 7 year-old is exactly the sort of irresponsible and uneducated parenting that leads to kids having problems, and the inevitable shrieking headlines in the Daily Mail thereafter.

Parents these days seem to be scared to exert restrictions and control over their children, because they are much more sophisticated than we were at the same age, and have a greater range of choices and options open to them in terms of media and how they consume it, but kids do still NEED parenting, or they will usually push for as much as they can get away with. There is a line.

And letting your 7-old spend hours merrily SHOOTING MEN IN THE FACE is clearly crossing it.
Posted 9:49pm on Tue 26 March 2013
Endless
  • Posts: 4,471
02
In response to Topic
At some point in my life I'd like a kid or two, and this morning I've been thinking about how I'd approach gaming with them.

My dad bought me an Amiga 600 when I was 9 or 10 and we used to play it together. He'd usually let me play when I wanted but it was in the guest room and he'd sometimes recommend I stop playing if I'd been on a long time. It was fair enough. I didn't get a Playstation when I was starting secondary school, but a lot of my mates did. It didn't bother me as I'd go round theirs and now, as someone who is way beyond my teenage years, I kind of appreciate how I wasn't allowed one for a couple of years. I honestly think, had it been in my room, that I would have neglected a lot of school work.

Dads of the forum (and mums too, if there are any), how do you approach games with your kids? My Dad wasn't into gaming, but I wondered if being a gamer yourself means you're more lenient with letting your own kids play.

Do you restrict their time with games?

Do you only buy them titles exactly suited for their age?

Do you ever pretend some games have more of an educational value when your wife/girlfriend/partner asks why you've bought it for them?

Is gaming something you share together or do you leave the kid(s) alone and let them have their own experience?

» Go to EverTheOptimist's original post
I've been a gamer as long as I can remember, i remember trying to write out those games in Basic when I was 5 or 6. never got any of them working but spent the time typing out all those GOTO lines anyway lol.

Anyway, I have a just over 4 year old little boy and he's been playing games since he was about 2. We used to let him play fruit ninja, angry birds, mini squadron and the like on our smart phones to keep him busy while get on with housework and cooking dinner etc. things you could do without kids round your feet or need the headspace to do. That's how it started anyway.

We also still use it for things like getting him to sit still while having his haircut Wink

Essentially we using gaming in three ways:

1) as mentioned to occupy child when adult things need our attention. I would much rather him play games than be sat in front of the tv. he does other things as well, but even though he loves jigsaws and playing with his cars or animals, they dont hold his attention for long and most require some form of adult input every so often, like starting the next jigsaw and pretending animals talk etc. There are times when an adult needs to focus on what they are doing and I find video games to be the most compelling and constructive alternative to TV and/or films.

2) He plays games. We play with him. We teach him whats going on. He plays a lot of games, he loves them, it's easily his favourite thing to do. He plays games that are not for his age, for example his favourite games to play at the moment are Minecraft and Sonic & All-stars racing: transformed. he does not play anything with direct confrontation. No fighting. No shooting.

However, Minecraft has been an interesting one. It's been a very good learning journey for him and us. To begin with we would always play with him took him a while to get used to not looking at the ground or the sky all the time etc. We would always have to guide him and make sure we all got back to bed before nightfall so that we avoided the monsters. That however did not save him from creepers and spiders who on his first contact with really scared him. Like REALLY. Wake-up call mum and dad!

At this point we considered not letting him play it at all any more, but he kept wanting to play it even though we kept telling him it scared him and we didn't want him to be scared. So switched the game to peaceful so there were no enemies. All smiles.

Until he accidentally hit a wolf. Repeat creeper/spider scenario add additional tears because he thought the wolves were his friends. So now we have to explain that we dont hit our friends, because they dont like it etc. try as you might though, those wolves always seem to get in the way at the wrong moments...

So NOW he plays the tutorial on peaceful where they give you a whole bunch of bones and he make the wolves his pets. they follow him around while he does all the things you would normally do in Minecraft when you have no idea what you're doing. Breaking everything, digging holes, building steps and houses. He still loves it, despite his experiences with it.

He also plays all the CBeebies activities on the PC, uses the mouse better than some adults I know, can open paint and do some scribbles for us. He plays letter and number games, there are a lot of constructive and educational materials for young kids and we do them with him explaining and prompting where necessary.

He does know how to open my Steam account and where his favourite games are. We have to keep an eye on him, but so far he's really not been interested in the stuff that's not appropriate for him. They're generally not colourful or exciting enough for him to notice them.

3) We use gaming as a reward for good behavior. If he misbehaves, doesn't listen or is intentionally naughty he loses his gaming for the rest of the day. And it works pretty well. Also one of his key behaviour activities he gets rewarded for is stopping playing when we ask him. But we generally don't restrict how much he plays. We still take him to the park, to soft play, to visit his friends. But he's too young at the moment to be part of clubs or properly play any sports on his own etc. Plus we really dont have much money for clubs and such, so gaming

both myself and my wife are gamers, so we really don't need to hide anything. We even discuss whether there are any games that we think he might like or benefit from. We've considered a Wii for him, but really he can use a 360 control pad pretty well and can work a mouse and keyboard. So the simplicity of the Wii is kinda wasted on him. my dad has one though and he loves playing it there, so I kinda like to keep that as something he can do at his grandad's. But I do think the Wii games promote less structure than using a pad or mouse. he tends to forget what he's doing and just flail and fling himself around with a wii mote.

Essentially we love gaming and want him to enjoy our hobby as well. But when he gets older i suspect we will have to start imposing restrictions. Mainly because gaming has been so much a part of his life so far, but things like school need to take priority and other activities should be mixed with it imo to promote a healthy balance and variety. I intend to enroll him in some form of martial art when he's old enough and we're looking at getting a tend to take him camping on weekends.

Gaming is one of the best and most varied of hobbies as long as you use it correctly and in a supportive manner.
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