It’s easy to paper over the little niggles that arise when gaming as a family. The times you spend as long getting the Kinect controller to work as actually playing a game. The moments when the Wii refuses to read your disc, or you discover there are no charged controllers in the house. Days when you come downstairs to find your youngest has somehow started up the PS3 and is playing House of the Dead Overkill.
More than these technical issues though, there is the larger question of whether our families are richer or poorer places when we introduce video-games. I wonder whether we would be happier without playing games, or if the arguments and disagreements would be less were it not for our overly technology driven life.
As you well know, I think that games can enrich family life if handled in the right way. Also, that we can’t avoid our children playing games forever so it’s good to take advantage of chances to play with them. Perhaps all we need to really do is be honest about the difficulties of family gaming as much as the excitement.
I really enjoyed this Family Gamer TV conversation with Mary (one of our gaming family moms) because of her honesty about what doesn’t work. Their family are just in the early stages of working out what works and what doesn’t work for them. The verdict is still out on whether they will want to keep the 360 and 3DS in the home long term, but either way we’ve all learned a lot about playing games as a family.
We touch on some games the family has played, from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventures to Kinect Sports Season 2. I also suggest that she might like Kirby’s Epic Yarn, with its sewing theme matching her favorite pastime. Time will tell if this works out or not, and we’ll check back with Mary and her family to find out.