Here’s the thing, I’m not a hardcore gamer. To me, that conjures up images of proper commitment that I could never aspire to. In my younger days, video games were a big time killer, but I’m of the age that that wasn’t a personality trait, any more than “book reader” or “film watcher” would be.
I’ve kept my hand in, I’ve always had some sort of gaming system on the go, and when the Xbox360 needed replaced, Gargette was a couple of years old, so I replaced it with a Switch. Telling myself it could be something we’d do together.
Fast forward to now. Gargette is 4 and a half, and I’m starting to make some progress. Starting this thread to document my experience, and to hear views and experiences.
In the olden days, it was easy, video games were bad and parents banned them. I feel like a first generation of parent trying to get their kid into video games. And it’s a bit weird. No?
Now, I’d first let her have a little play on this when she caught me playing something else. So for a few months it was occassional, learning how the sticks and buttons worked, kinda play.
Last week, I noticed there was now a 2 player version, which was a revelation. It’s a brilliant game to play with a kid. For those unfamiliar, you play as a goose, and cause low level annoyance - moving chairs when people sit down, stealing their shoes - that kind of thing.
It works so well with a kid, because there’s nothing super time limited, you can’t ruin everything with one mistake and it encourages general messing around. I’d played it myself when it first came out, and enjoyed it as a throwaway time killer, but there’s something super cute about seeing Gargette solve a problem, or complete one of the tasks. I could keep the game moving on my own, but leave her to do some bits and contribute to the game.
We finished that (yay!). And we’re now onto Phogs! Which has started super promising, she laughed harder at us being rubbish at firing cannon balls than anything I can remember other than being tickled. I fear the difficulty will ramp up soon though.
Full “review” to come.
In the meantime, I feel like co-op puzzle type games are the way to go for now. Preferably ones where I can do the heavy lifting, and she can get some sense of achievement.
Would love to hear some recommendations for games, or experiences of people who have done this before. I reckon I’ve got about 3 years before she’s kicking my arse on Fortnite, and want to make the most of the window.
Hey! Hey! Me too! I am a gamer with a 4 year old spawn that games all the time too.
Generally speaking, I take the old view, that gaming is just a bad addiction, sort of like TV watching or alcohol or gambling (or GoActuary posting). And it can be fine (even good) in small amounts, but it frequently leaves me wondering what the hell I did with my night, and what the hell I’m doing with my life generally. So I have mixed feelings about giving my kid my own addictions.
Anyway, I haven’t played much with her, so much as tried to pick her games. Right now, her favorite game is Disney Art Academy on the 3ds. I’ll try to give you some full reviews soon.
Thanks for the tip on the goose game, I just went ahead and bought it.
Some other quick suggestions:
Spirit Fairer, Stardew Valley
I have some online gaming experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Especially with my brother who lives far away. It can be a really great social activity.
But anything I play a lot of tends to be alone. And even if I did find something I could play all the time online, it would be to the detriment to my wife and child. Actually my wife has recently gotten really into a discord game of vampire the masquerade, and it’s basically like I’ve lost her. Hoping she gets sick of it soon.
Speaking of fun games for kids, I was a fan of a puzzle game called Zoombinis as a kid. Recently played it with my 5 and 3 year olds who enjoyed it. It required a bit of help for some of the more complex puzzle formats but they really enjoy it.
When my children were little I had a usb touch pad, and the older one pointed while the younger one clicked. They were SOoooo cute doing that.
Now my kids are grown, and I sometimes play Baba us You with my daughter (One of us holds the controller, but we discuss what to do) and I spend a lot of time playing Minecraft with my son. I’m a big fan of family video games.
Oh yeah, Stardew Valley seems to be a hit with all ages young and old. It very recently got a multiplayer option on the Switch (I know this because it was late to launch, and the kid was absolutely devastated to the point of total eclipse of the heart).
You captain a ship full of spirits that you have to take care of, giving them food and hugs, until it’s time for them to die forever.
I actually haven’t played very much, so I can’t comment on how that actually plays out.
But… basically imagine if Stardew Valley had good music, animation, humor, story, and instead of “saving the community” being a sort of afterthought to your getting rich, you actually gave a shit about the characters and wanted them to be happy.
It’s also local co-op. Your kid can play as your “cat”, doing chores along with you.