Gaming: Bringing worlds AND FAMILIES together

Parent videogamersI love the parenting message in this Associated Press story,
and I think it applies to teen social networking as well as
videogaming. Across the US, according to the AP, many parents say
hanging out with their children in the virtual worlds of videogames
brins kids closer “by providing a safe, convenient way to stay in touch
and talk to their children on their own terms.”
Eighty percent of the
parents who play videogames (35% of US parents) play with their
children, according to an Entertainment Software Association study
cited by the AP. One dad said “the time spent with his daughter …
matters much more than the games themselves,” and the AP cites an
expert saying that “videogames equalize the physical size differences
between fathers and their kids. That means children often have the edge
in a video game, and they may feel more willing to communicate.”
That’s
something I’ve been suggesting since I started writing this newsletter
that empowering kids (letting them be, e.g., the family chief
technology officer or just asking them to guide a parent through
software preferences) fosters both communication and mutual respect,
which is increasingly protective of online kids.
It’s protective
because on the 24/7 user-driven Web it’s so easy, when parent-child
communication breaks down, for kids to operate at greater risk online
“underground” where parents can’t be involved.

Net Family News – kid-tech news for parents

Well said!

It’s like the old boardgame, right? Forget Scrabble– skool (pronounced ‘school’, lol) mom or pop in Mario Cart!

Crazy enough– games allows the parent into the inclusive world of youth, while building bridges of friendship, common understanding, and silliness.

My Mom loved the tetris– it was the only thing she’d play on our gray gameboy of yore. She liked it, and we always tried to beat her score (she had perfect patience for it, unlike me who had the attention span of a goldfish). But my dad? He wouldn’t be caught dead playing such a thing. But you know what? That’s okay. He made up for it playing soccer with me, hitting the tennis ball, and taking me to Dunkin Donuts on saturday mornings. 🙂

Really… I don’t know how I’d feel if my parents wanted to play more games WITH me. I kinda grew up with this definitive line between grown-up things and kid things. I always preferred the kid things, even to this day– I’d rather watch Nickelodeon than Wheel of Fortune or the news. I’d rather drink chocolate milk than diet pop. Blending the line between kid things & grown up things would have messed my little world up. But then again– back then, we didn’t have such invasive & adventureous worlds online. My world was in the weeds in the side yard, building my own worlds in my head (explains a lot, right?).

In high school & college, however, I loved showing them around the net… like it was my backyard. Still to this day, I get a sense of grown-up glee whenever I get to help my parents do something online. I showed my mom blogs. She has one. Hasn’t done a thing to it. My dad always asks me the same question. “What is a blog?” I like that they’re interested in the net, and that they look proudly on me as I “talk shop.”

It’s funny how different generations appreciate the same things in different ways.

Anyway, enough of that ramble. on to other blog-worthy finds. 🙂

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