As a parent I’m always interested in any help relating media and family. To this end I’ve been enjoying the debate around my piece on The Escapist that aims to bring a fresh take on how we should respond as parents to dark media experiences – and in particular video games.
Although the darker side of videogames is often seen as a threat, it can actually be quite beneficial. Games provide experiences that let us examine our dark side and bring us face to face with our fears in a healthy way.
The media focuses attention on games that can generate shocking headlines, but ironically they often miss the really disturbing titles. There are many games that have to be played at length before they give up their dark themes, so in talking about dark games that are good for us to play, it’s important to consider both the headline toppers, and other, less controversial, games that are just as dark.
As you can see, the question here is whether – if handled in the wider family – dark games can actually be beneficial experiences. I know in my family we’ve had many interesting conversations over breakfast that have stemmed from various gaming moments.
The debate around the article has been interesting. But so far it’s been driven from the younger audience on The Escapist. I’m keen to hear how parents like you respond to this idea.
Although some come from the typical Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft Auto, we’ve also found other games just as challenging. A Wii-ware title call Let’s Catch is an intriguing example where during the course of a game of catch your opposite number shares their life story – and broaches subjects such as abandonment, growing up and loneliness.