If video games are considered a form of entertainment for children that they will grow out of, the idea that parents need to find games they like playing is absurd. However, if video games are a new form of media, like books, films and music, understanding it first hand is a powerful way for parents and guardians to know how to guide their children.
This isn’t about pointing the finger at mums and dads, or giving them yet another thing to do or feel guilty about. It’s advice that stems from the importance of being present in the world our children are growing up in. Even dipping your toe in the world of video games for 30 minutes can transform not only what you think of video games, but what you think of your child’s love of the pastime.
There are at least 4 very valuable outcomes parents will see by walking a mile in the shoes of their kids.
- Understanding the needs that they are trying to meet in game may share insight into what needs they aren’t able to meet in real life.
- Understanding the on-screen information in the games being played means you have a sense of the flow of the game and when it’s a better time to interrupt... or know if they started a new game when they shouldn’t have.
- Acknowledging the value of a healthy gaming hobby will drastically improve any conflict around this topic by letting kids feel that their interests are valued.
- Understanding the games they play will help you to have discussions about the game mechanics and whether they are using engagement or compulsion driven motivation techniques.