PlayStation Parents, Move Over Kids

PlayStation incoming, special delivery!
Gaming is for kids right? Nonsense!

Big news, we own a PlayStation 5. A couple of hipster parents, down with the youngsters. 

It's becoming the evening ritual. When the kids go to bed, the gaming starts. It's glorious escapism.

We also have online personas. 'Mayhem Mum' and 'Cyber Dad' are quite badass. 

Our Gaming Past

We last owned a console, about eight years ago, but we sold it. It wasn't getting used, I was studying and life was busy.

Years later we talked about buying a new console. Then the kids came along and it didn't happen (again). I dabbled with emulators and retro gaming, but that was it.

During my youth, I was over every gaming platform. At various points I gamed on a ZX Spectrum (Google it), Atari, Amiga 500+, Mega Drive, Game Gear, Game Boy, PlayStation 1, Xbox, PSP and Xbox 360.

The launch of the PlayStation 5 (PS5), was a route back. As you can imagine, these things are popular. Fortunately we got lucky, thanks to a friend and some good fortune.

It arrived last month, and we haven't stop playing it!

Bonding Over Gaming

I think its wrong to label gaming "anti-social", harsh actually. Gaming lets people bond over a common interest.

When the parenting is done, mum and dad fire-up the PS5. We have a good chat, discuss our day, whilst simultaneously shooting at people!

We have a good chat, discuss our day, whilst simultaneously shooting people!

The online element adds a social element, much like social media or video calls. Actually, gaming become a saviour for people, during the lockdowns.

Platforms like Twitch have turned gaming into a new experience. Many people are creators and stream their gaming feeds, and some do it professionally.

Letting Your Kids Play Games

Realistically, you can't stop your children playing games. This is a technological age. Better to moderate their use, and balance it out with other activities. 

Gaming is better policed than it ever was. There's age ratings, parental controls and payment security controls in place. 

At just 5 and 2, my children are too young for serious gaming. Tablet devices bridge the gap (for now). 

However, at some point, they'll want to get properly involved. It's tough to know the right age. Play it by ear, trust your instinct.

Final Thoughts

Rekindle your gaming ways, age is no limitation. 

It's a great pastime and social activity. Don't underestimate the social benefits of gaming.

Don't stop your children from gaming, just moderate and balance it.

Comments

  1. Confession: I've never been a gamer. But my kids are. I've just read a fascinating book (reviewed it for the blog actually) called Digital For good by a guy called Richard Culatta who was an edutech bigwig for Barack Obama. He draws a very find definition between bad screen time (YouTube unboxing videos for instance) and good screen time. good screen time = games like Minecraft which Culatta actually describes as the "21st century equivalent of LEGO" requiring problem solving skills, patience and if played with other people, can be sociable. In fact just yesterday I was watching my girls playing Just Dance together. They have to negotiate with each other, they laugh, they get some exercise and it's sociable. It really does depend what kids are doing as opposed to how much screen time they get.

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