So talk to me about video games, are they a blessing or a curse? I’m going to have to say both. Growing up I played them a lot and I really enjoyed it. I started off playing Atari and the original Nintendo, Duck Hunt and original Mario were the best when I was a kid. As I got older there were Segas (seriously am I the only one who remembers being able to rent those from the video store?) and Super Nintendos. Okay okay nostalgia is getting the best of me, I’m sure most of you have been around long enough to have been present for the evolution of gaming. Now it’s 2019 and my kids are absolutely obsessed with the Nintendo Switch. Smash Bros and Mario Odyssey are all the rave at my house right now. My boys could talk to you all day everyday about Mario. When they aren’t playing they’re watching Zack Scott play on YouTube. Don’t worry they don’t actually play games all day although I’m sure they wish they did, so where do we find the balance?
Why are video games a blessing? Okay so I might not go so far as to call them a blessing but they do bring some positivity. Problem solving and pure joy are just two of the positives. Some days when I listen to my boys play there is uncontrollable giggling and excitement. They have defeated a boss or unlocked a character. They take turns helping each other when they get stuck. Thanks to YouTube they will spend hours(not all at once) watching his videos so they can learn how to do new things. It can really be a great bonding experience for them. It’s also wonderful for keeping them occupied when we travel. Our last flight to California was pretty much a breeze for them because they spent the majority of the flight playing Mario Kart. That’s the cool thing about the Switch specifically, it can pretty much go anywhere with you. The console itself has a small screen so no need for a TV to play it. We do bring the cord with us so everyone can play at the hotel during downtime from the parks, it’s great for passing time and nice that we can all play together. Apart from entertainment I have also found they can be incentive. Incentive to get things done and incentive to keep the attitude in check. It’s amazing how quickly they can go from being at each others throats to being the best of friends when the threat of losing the privilege to play is made.
On the flip side of things video games can sure bring out the worst in our kids, really they can bring out the worst in all of us. When you have tried to beat the same boss for the 15th time in a row it can get pretty frustrating. I have heard my oldest say things while playing that I didn’t even know he knew how to say (thanks middle school). I get, I totally do, I can get pretty frustrated too but that’s when I would turn off the game and walk away. Obviously to kids, that;s not the solution they are wanting so some days we walk away with everyone a little pissed off. The other issue we run into when it comes to games, is wanting to play them ALL THE DAMN TIME. So to help with that and because I was tired of being asked everyday when they can play we choose certain days they can play and the others they can’t. Having set days has definitely been helpful, there are random complaints of wishing it was “play day” but for the most part I don’t hear too much about them wanting to play on those days.
Overall I don’t think letting our kids play video games is as big of a deal as some people make it out to be. I mean definitely don’t let it consume their lives to the point that they can’t remember what the sun feels like on their face but don’t feel bad for letting them play either. It brings them joy and maybe brings you a bit of a break to get that extra load of laundry done or maybe you just want an hour to catch up on that show you missed. I’m not ashamed to admit I have totally given out a little extra play time so my mom and I can watch an episode of Chicago PD. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! What are your thoughts on video games and letting your kids play? Are you for it or against? Why? Leave a comment below and let me know.