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Kids and games


Oct 29th 2013


Ep 87: Heavy Wayne

posts 60


Sorry if this topic has been raised before, but I'd really appreciate hearing this community's views on this issue, not least because given our demographic, many of us must be parents, and so will have relevant experience to bring to the table.

I'm father to a 14 year old son (and a 16 year old daughter, but she's not into gaming) and he loves his Xbox. Our shared love of gaming is something that has brought us together since he was knee high to a grasshopper, and I don't regret one moment of the time that we've spent gaming together (although nowadays we tend to game separately; he plays online with his mates and I play solo, an we compare notes afterwards).

There's a great deal of negative press concerning young people and gaming; the prevailing Daily Mail attitude seems to be that we are breeding a generation of obese, socially dysfunctional and potential murderous youth as a result of this new-found pastime. I disagree. They've said the same thing about comic books, TV, Video Nasties and rock music down the years, and all of those have proved to be scare stories.

My son is probably actually better socially integrated as a result of spending his time on Xbox live; he is captain of his school's rugby team and is something of a culture vulture (when given money by his grandparents to buy a DVD, he chose a box set of The Hollow Crown). He loves Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Gaming as taught him lateral thinking and problem-solving abilities, as well as introducing him to a range of interesting ideas; we had a really good conversation about Marxism after he'd played Bioshock, and after Assassin's Creed 2 he wanted to know all about Machiavelli.

I don't just think games are not a bad influence on the young; I think they're a great force for good.

What do you think?

Oct 31st 2013


Ep 64: Hippo's Yawn

posts 246


Fantastic article Jamtomorrow. I to have a 14 year old son and a similar situation as yourself. He plays online and has some great fun with his mates, judging from the laughing that comes from his room. We have spent countless hours talking about gaming as we both have similar interests, I find it brings us closer.


I know some parents are afraid of gaming as it can consume some people's life. My motto has always been if you don't restrict and make a big deal about gaming it's not a big deal to the kids. Some of my sons friends spend whole days playing their consoles which can't be good for them but my son tends to play for couple of hours and then go out and kick ball with his mates.


Everything in moderation.

Oct 31st 2013


The People's Republic of Liverpool

Ep 97: Sunbed Hero

posts 11


I think the real issue arises when kids are plonked in front of games instead of spending constructive time with parents.  It's obvious that this hasn't been the case in your experience.  Like Solm says: moderation

To me, the main takeaway point from your piece is the dangers of listening to the Daily Mail wink

Nov 3rd 2013

Adamski UK


Community Manager

posts 1961


My two girls are under 10 and to be honest they don't hanker after any gaming.
We've got Skylander Giants, Infinity and a few other kid friendly titles…and they love playing games on iOS devices.

As one of the few gamers in the office at work, I get asked about gaming by other parents, and I'm always amazed at how 'ingnorant' they are.
It's great that some parents are gamers and can connect with their kids via that medium…and be 'educated' in the general game space.

You've simply got to ignore the Daily Mail.

I've seen other non gaming parents get very, VERY upset with their kids gaming habits.

"Assassins Creed? Is that ok for him to play?"
"Remind me how old he is.."
"Mmmm….do you know what the game is about?"
"The clue is in the title."

When I was picking up GTA V at midnight, I was astounded at the amount of kids there with their parents. Yes, maybe some of them were gaming families, but there were definitely some non gaming parents there for one thing and one thing only,,,,their spoilt kids.

PSN ID: Adamski__UK  (That's a double underscore)

We don't stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.
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Nov 3rd 2013



Ep 58: Fudge packer

posts 343


Great topic Jam,


We can go around around and around in circles on this subject, and nothing changes, due to general ignorance. Kids are just adults who haven't grown up yet, and some adults are kids who haven't grown up! Every media product is clearly age labelled and it up to individuals to make informed choices. As Adamski has made clear, many parents just are nor aware, are not informed enough, or just don't care. The amount of kids in my year 9 classes (13-14 year olds) who were distracted by GTA V the week or two of release was unbelievable. We have put out a general warning to parents about the COD Ghostsreleases, especially as there is a GCSE English Exam on the Morning of release.


On the other hand, I've met some talented kidss who are creating their own games, and are eager to share them with me, once they found out about my interest in gaming. 


I guess what I mean to say is that I agree with Solm – everything in moderation, like all things in life. The sooner kids learn that the better…

Nov 4th 2013

Bob Lord of Doom

Fife, Scotland

Ep 44: PSP Go is erm…. go

posts 573


Hi Jamtomorrow

I think it is just the scare stories the media love to peddle and always have. My Dad told me when he was a kid these stories were going around about books. They were peddling the story that if you were reading it would make you go blind. Can you imagine anyone today saying children should not read books. We just have to wait another 20 years or so for the people who make this stuff up to retire or die off.

Nov 6th 2013


Sherwood Forest

Ep 93: Electric Boogaloo

posts 30


A pet subject of mine this!


My eldest lad is nearly 7 and I love to see him gaming.  Watching him solve problems and discover ways to get through levels is great. Skylanders, Minecraft, Lego Batman etc along with a few iOS games keep him happy and entertained.


My gripe is with kids playing age rated games that are wholly inappropriate.  I feel really strongly about it to the extent that I have just recently severed all ties with my cousin following a row.  She happily broadcast the fact that she had bought GTA5 for her 13 year old, on Facebook.  Her argument was that because she had allowed her 16 year old to play these games since he was young, she knew all about them and knew that there wasn't anything to worry about!  So from seeing five minutes of gameplay as she vacuums the lad's bedroom, she knows more than I do after ploughing over 30 hours into a game!

She even said that there is NOTHING in GTA that kids don't see on the news! That's when I pulled the plug!surprised


I know kids mature at different rates etc but when these multi national laws are compiled with the advice and expertise of some very learned folk…what qualifies a builder from Huddersfield to know better?wink


It's largely innocent ignorance from parents who think "it's just a game."  The trouble is that the majority of discussion about it in the media comes from the Daily Mail corner…so is largely regarded as scare mongering. It needs more mainstream discussion really but balanced with a lot of the positives that have been discussed above.


I'll just step down from this soapbox now! laugh





I will willingly stop and allow you to shoot me…it's inevitable and less humiliating that way!

Nov 6th 2013

Adamski UK


Community Manager

posts 1961


@Black73Cat – Just for the record, I approve of your use of the word vacuum…respect for not using 'hoover'. wink

PSN ID: Adamski__UK  (That's a double underscore)

We don't stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.
MidLife Gamer YouTube Sexy Quiz

Nov 7th 2013

Simon Stevens

John o'Groats

Ep 64: Hippo's Yawn

posts 252


Post edited 10:04 – Nov 7th 2013 by

I've been trying to post this for a few days and i think everyone has now covered my points esp black73cat.

There are actually three sides to this story.

Side 1:

Yes games can be educational, yes they can improve hand-eye coordination. My 3 year old daughter is a dab hand at the ios devices in our house. From unlocking the devices, entering mine and my wifes passcode and navigating to her apps" (a folder that I have set up on all devices that contains a selection of apps for her age group).

If and when she shows an interest in the Xbox and PlayStation I will wholeheartedly encourage her in this medium – within reason and within a predetermined limit. The same will go for her younger brother.

Side 2:

Are the parents that are completely oblivious to the content they are purchasing. We have all seen them stood in front of us at Game and yes most of us probably have become that kids new nemesis when we have pointed out what content is exactly in the game and the parent has put the game back on the shelf. These people frustrate, not annoy,  me as they are not willing to investigate what they are actually buying. After all their 10 year old wouldn't lie to them would they?

Side 3:

Now bear with me on this one as side 3 annoys the hell out of me so much I can feel the rage burning inside me just typing about it. A good example of side 3 is a friend that I have just fallen out with. Here are soime extracts from her facebook statuses the last few weeks:

"Wow, I hate to admit it but I really am enjoying playing GTA V. So glad I bought it for Ben"

how about

"tahnk you to Friend A and Friend B for visiting me today and thank you Call of Duty Black Ops for keeping Ben entertained.

That would be Ben, her son, aged 7

My rage increased further today as she posted a picture of her holding COD Ghosts with the comment of "Yes, I AM a super mummy" – No, no you're not.

Maybe I am over protective but within the first 20 minutes of playing GTA V, I had made the decision that I wouldn't be playing the game IN FRONT of my kids, let alone letting them play it (not that they had any chance of playing it to begin with). It goes without saying that COD would fall in this category too.

I also, like black73cat, don't subscribe to the "they see worse on TV" ethos either. My kids watch Mr Tumble and Jake & The Neverland Pirates. Unless something goes seriously wrong over at Disney and Cbeebies I don't think they see worse in those programs.

What my point is that games are all good and sweet like some gamers like to make out, On the other hand, they are not as evil as the tabloids like to portray either. There has to be, like all other activities, a healthy balanced medium. It's up to us as parents and gamers in Side 1 to ascertain a sensible level and ensure it is adhered to. Side 2 will always be there but education and knowledge will help (a game isn't just a game anymore and those ratings are there for a reason – like a movie).

Unfortunately, whilst there are always Side 3 people around the Daily mail brigade will always have their column inches

Nov 14th 2013

Mesozoic Prinny

Face it, reality is still in beta.

Ep 19: Built in Fleshlight

posts 1360


For what it's worth, most of my obesity, social dysfunction, and potential murderousness is down to the years of alcohol and drugs in my early twenties. Not all of it mind, just most of it. Although, by strange coincidence, that period coincides with the years when I stopped gaming for a while (just after the CD32 and the Saturn).

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