A reader tries to ensure his son doesn’t grow up purely on a diet of mobile games, as he introduces him to the Game Boy.
I find it unlikely that any child born today, growing up into the technological world we live in, could not acquire an interest, however light, in gaming. However, I do think that there is a right and a wrong way parents can get them into gaming.
I see what Call Of Duty has become, as a sign of how children have grown up with games and what they want from games. For a fact, I’m not, and wasn’t interested in, the latest version, as I think it’s gone too far into the future and down the arcade route; the weapon skins and over the top, for me, customisation. However, it still sold very well and has a lot of fan following. I believe I am bringing my son up appreciating the classic gaming that I had to ‘endure’ growing up, as in it’s not all about graphics and the speed of the game.
I started my son off gaming, as most do these days, on a mobile phone or tablet. This is a great scene for retro games and more puzzle-based games. I got a Game Boy emulator and let my son play some great classics, and even though he enjoyed the newer more colourful games such as Angry Birds I made sure he saw the games I used to play and hope he appreciated how far we had come. We’ve had a lot of fun playing some great old games on the Wii from the store, he especially liked Mad Dog McCree, Prince Of Persia, and Tetris.
When he was four I handed down my old 1990s proper original Game Boy for him to play and experience – he loved it. I also made sure that he had knowledge of classic characters and took him to a show to see all the different gaming consoles from the Atari to the Super Nintendo. I don’t want him to just play one type of game and accept a yearly refresh of game, as so many kids are into these days. I have a cousin that plays FIFA and Call Of Duty. He rarely tries other games or has appreciation of the deep stories and art that now is in many of the new games.
I hope that my son will grow up with an appreciation for gaming of all types, and not just this year’s version of a game. We play a lot of games together and even have started streaming and recording YouTube videos, hopefully the amount of retro classics will increase. I hope that he will feel about games how I do and that they are in fact a way to immerse yourself into a world you likely couldn’t experience for real.
Only time will tell to how his gaming tastes develop further, and what he plays growing up, but I’ve done all I can. Maybe it’s me and I’ve grown up too much and some of the modern games just aren’t aimed at me, but the new Call Of Duty seriously looks too over the top!
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