Parents, stay engaged with gaming

I often hear about parents denying their children the right to play video games. I imagine that the parents are afraid of what their children are playing on the internet. Often the parents think that it is all a competition that the child trying to win.

I sometimes feel as if video gaming is being looked down upon, but in my honest opinion it’s simply being misunderstood.

Friends
I imagine that the parents often think it is always about the game and the game world. Personally I don’t think this is the case – I’ve played video games for the entirety of my childhood, and I’ve met a lot of people I would consider to be my friends, some perhaps more than others, even though we haven’t met in real life.

“I’ve met a lot of people I would consider to be my friends, some perhaps more than others, even though we haven’t met in real life.”

Whoopz

In a video game you choose whom you become friends with, you can’t always be sure which type of role or impact the digital friends have on your childs life.

Why is my child mad at me?
Gaming can cause conflicts with the parents and their children. I’ve heard about it time, and time again. Because parents believe gaming cause a lack of human interaction.

I don’t know about you, but personally I have never been a big fan of sports – I do drive 15km on my bicycle everyday to work, but I don’t consider that to be sports – you can’t force a specific lifestyle upon me. If I dislike sports, I dislike sports, it’s literally that simple. I often hear the term “we’ve gotten our child back” – again I believe this to be wrong, you’re excluding your child from having a hobby, and potentitally being with some of their friends.

Why is my child playing in the middle of the night? Is he/she addicted?
Your child might display symptoms of being addicted to a video game, but fact of the matter is most “normal” people play after school or work. Which means your child will do the same.

Learning
Some parents tend to forget that you can learn quite a lot from video games as well, English isn’t my first language and I often consider English to be my “gamer language” in fact, I hate speaking my native language of Danish whenever I’m playing, because it feels so “off” to me.

I have been playing Battlefield 1942 for a long time, and it actually made me interested in other things as well, such as World War II history. Even the military use video games nowadays.

Parents
I understand why some parents can be worried about their children playing games such as Grand Theft Auto. There’s a lot of other games out there.

Of course there’s limits, but personally I think there’s a lot parents could do more to stay engaged with their children. How about playing something together? There’s some great games out there you can play together. I recently started playing Minecraft with my two siblings and its been a lot of fun.

Make no mistake, I think some parents nowadays leave their child at the iPad for way too long in this day and age, but there’s thing you could do to sound more interested in what your child has been up to, for instance you could have the classical conversation of “how was school today” but instead turn it towards “how was gaming today, what did you see on YouTube today” if you’re that worried about what your child has been up to.

I would suggest even trying to join them for something, aforementioned Minecraft would be a great game to play for all ages. I would like to include more tips for parents, let me know if you have any in the comments below ↓

I recently read this article, which has become one of the most read stories in NRK history, it also been translated to English and inspired me to write this blog post. It just goes to show that everything isn’t always as it seems.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Research the topic
    As a parent to a child whom spends oceans of time on the computer, it’s a good idea to not only read about the negative articles, but also the positive. Gaming is anything but isolation, death and bad languange.
  2. Understand the game
    Understand which game your child is spending the most time with, what is it about? How long does a typical game last? Like some people practise football matches, other practise gaming matches, does your child do that? How long does it take?
  3. Understand the community
    In multiple games your child will play in a team or with friends they’ve possibly known for a long time, try to understand the dynamic, what’s the tone like and who are their teammates?

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