Home > Gaming, Life, Me, Parenting, playstation, ps3, PSP, Video Games > Things I have Learned as a Gaming Parent

Things I have Learned as a Gaming Parent

In no particular order:

#1. Spare time used to be game time. As a parent, spare time no longer exists. Game time and sleep time are now used interchangeably.

#2. When deciding on a game, game ratings were never even considered pre-parenting. Now mature rated games actually mean something. That meaning is – This is a (cannot be played around the kids) game.

#3. “Kiddie” games are no longer off limits nor are “casual” games.

#4. The PSP becomes less of a portable gaming system and more of a portable “shut the kid up” tool. (Ok I only let her watch Cars or Incredibles on it from time to time but only as a treat. I don’t actually use it to “shut the kid up” even though it tends to do just that. It just sounded funnier).

#5. Controllers should never be left on a surface that is lower than a couch/coffee table + 3 ft lest you want to play with greasy food covered controllers. This is also true when you have friends over who have potato chip hands. In that situation you need the controllers behind lock and key.

#6. “Fake” game controllers are never good enough. The only acceptable controller to a child is the one that is currently in use.

#7. Video game cosplay has a coolness factor of x10 on your own child. Not to mention an equal x10 cuteness factor on that mini you.

#8. Spontaneous on sale/clearanced gaming purchases have been replaced by on sale/clearanced kids toys or clothing.

#9. The cost of daycare for 2 children is roughly equal to buying a PlayStation 3 console (or a 360) plus a game – every single week (give or take depending on what daycare of course). Ouchies.

#10. Expendable cash actually existed before the advent of my children. Nowadays I’m happy when I can afford to buy a $3.17 Jr. Bacon cheeseburger meal from Wendy’s.

So… Anything you have learned as a gaming parent?

  1. October 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Everyone around us is having kids and I have seen how much their lives have changed. It happens so quickly…but man what a wonderful gift.


    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Things change is an understatement. Funny thing is you don’t grasp how much until you get your own kids and have to defend the helpless little creatures and yes they are a wonderful gift.

  2. October 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I have to hide games I want to play myself. Any left visible, or in easy to open drawers get nicked, and then the little weasels complete them before me. Witness my birthday present of Lego Harry Potter. I’m still struggling to get time on level two, everyone else is fighting Dementors.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      I can’t wait until my lil ones are able hold their own against me in some games. I got a long way to go though. Being as they are 28 months and 4 months.

      • October 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

        Don’t forget you might have to let them “win” once in awhile.
        Great Post. Thanks.

  3. sadblonde
    October 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I can’t comment as a parent, but I could certainly relate to your post in terms of having a sister 13 years younger than me. I’d love to hear what you cosplayed your young ones as. How adorable. πŸ™‚

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      Cosplay = Pumpkin


      Only the coolest character in gaming πŸ˜€ Body was simple. Stitched potato sack with lots of padding. I’d like to remake the pumpkin head but it’s a lot more difficult than you would expect. Still need a proper licorice whip and I’d like to incorporate some squeaky toys to the feet. Need to get the authentic squeak for each step. That would complete the ensemble πŸ˜€

      • sadblonde
        October 29, 2010 at 12:37 am

        That’s fantastic! And I hope you went as Belmont or Trantoul? (Maybe Mathias..?) I have to admit that I haven’t played Lament of Innocence yet, but I think someone would have a heck of a fun time in that succubus costume! hehe

      • Gil
        October 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

        I would totally have loved to go as Leon Belmont but if you have ever tried to assemble a complete cosplay outfit, you would know how expensive and time consuming it can be. Not to mention how difficult it is to make it look good. To be Leon and my lil girl as Pumpkin would have made me a very proud father.

  4. David
    October 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Haha, I thought number six would be a hard and fast rule forever. That would always work on my little cousins. Only when they turn to around five they start noticing that they’re not actually playing.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      our 2 year old already knows immediately which one is working… the one in our hands. Boy can she be difficult at times. One way we have actually tricked her is by letting her play the Segway game on the Wii. We let her stand on the balance board with an empty wiimote while we used the real one to control the direction. Wait a second… I think she just tricked us.

  5. October 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Can’t say I have kids of my own, but when the family/friend’s kiddies are over I have to split my PS3 games into “button mashing ok” and “omfg you did not just ruin 50+ hours of gameplay”. After a while though it just becomes nothing more than a glorified blu-ray player.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

      I know I’ll be dealing with that someday. Lil lady already knows the PS button turns on the system. I probably should set the system to auto log into a “fake” account so she doesn’t inadvertently delete my game saves. That would displease me greatly.

  6. October 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    “Anything you have learned as a gaming parent?”

    Absolutely, decide which is more important. My games or the kids.

    Tough one!

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      Oh yes it is tough. Especially tough when they get mouthy with you. If there is anything that my daughter has gotten from her mother… it’s the attitude πŸ˜€ but don’t tell her I said that.

  7. Jim Hagen
    October 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Why did you have kids in the first place?

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      I think that exact same thing from time to time… Then I look at em and think “these are the coolest lil boogers evah! Can’t wait to catch bugs with em and build a treehouse. Can’t wait to teach them to make it through Contra without using the cheat code. Oh the possibilities are endless!”

  8. October 28, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I thought my husband was writing this! Love it! One thing he has learned is that while playing an intense game (because he doesn’t always heed your #2 advice, i.e. when the last Call of Duty came out – I don’t know which one because I’m kind of dumb when it comes to games)said child will find the controller that is NOT being used and push all the buttons, ruining whatever it is he is doing.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      Oh hilarious! Haven’t had that happen here yet but close… which is why I mentioned #5. Gotta keep it out of their reach or at least without batteries installed.

  9. October 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    “Expendable cash actually existed before the advent of my children.” Advent of children. Well put.

    I’m not a gamer, but #5 is applicable to anything of value when minis are in the picture.

    Cool post and congrats on Pressed.

    Chase McFadden


    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      Hey thanks! I still don’t know how I got pressed and how to go about doing that anyway. I just noticed that it has seriously increased my hits πŸ˜€

  10. October 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Ha. We have a newborn over here and my husband just bought the Las Vegas Fallout game last week… which he of course has not had time to play yet.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      Oh yes I know exactly where you are. My lil 4 month old is still consuming my time when the 2 year old doesn’t demand ALL of the attention. I still don’t know how some parents handle more than 2. That’s just insane!

  11. October 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I especially love point #6: it’s true, even if you hand over what you have and start playing something else, they immediately want your new thing!

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      yup yup. And now you see why #1 is on here. Only peace and quiet I get for gaming time is when everyone else is asleep (even when I should be as well).

  12. roseroars
    October 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Today I traded in $75 of our used games for store credit and bought a game for each child and one for each parent. I couldn’t be more proud to be a gaming family!

    Oh, and my youngest went trick-or-treating as Link from Twilight Princess last year. I don’t think I could have made the Zelda costume.

    • Gil
      October 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm

      That’s awesome! I love to see kids out trick or treating dressed up as game characters… then I realize most of the time it’s because the parents want to dress them in the characters. The kids most often don’t know what they are wearing but they’re getting candy so it really doesn’t matter ;D

  13. October 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Haha, this is funny. Nice post.

  14. WhaleMaiden
    October 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I don’t understand how any of you with kinds at home under the age of 20 have any time to even BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • October 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      i don’t think writing blog take too much time. It just took 15 minutes only for a day to post.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

      Well, sleep time and lunch hours are pretty good at fitting in some blogging time. Sometimes I get the 30 min in between dishes and putting the kids to sleep. Not much time but it tends to work out somedays.

  15. Sunflowerdiva
    October 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I used to be addicted to electronic games, and when my mom bought me my first GameBoy Advance (the next year followed by a Nintendo DS) I was glued. But over the years I’ve stopped playing games, even on my computer. It’s just time being wasted, and reading something is much better and healthier. Sadly, little kids don’t see it that way. And I absolutely know that feeling of needing something to do to pass “spare time,” as I was once there not too long ago.

    • October 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      because they are kids. well kids!! its their job to play.
      (i want to be a kid once again!)

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

      It can be debated as to what is a waste of time. I consider playing video games my personal choice of entertainment whilst you prefer to read. It’s really all personal preference. For me video games allow me to unwind at the end of the day. It lets me relax and forget about my daily troubles no matter how big or small they may be. Next to hanging out with my wife and playing with my kids, my favorite thing would be hanging out with friends playing video games with a cold beer by my side (or a glass of wine).

  16. October 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    “The PSP becomes less of a portable gaming system and more of a portable β€œshut the kid up” tool. (Ok I only let her watch Cars or Incredibles on it from time to time but only as a treat. I don’t actually use it to β€œshut the kid up” even though it tends to do just that. It just sounded funnier).”

    the child said: even you dont ask… i will get my hand on the psp and shut up =)

  17. October 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Great post. My wife and I are teeter-tottering on whether or not to have kids. And I know this might sound selfish, but this is something I have been thinking about to come into play. But, I guess in the end it’s gonna come down to what “WE” want and not what “I” want. I have a feeling I’m gonna be losing a lot of sleep. πŸ™‚

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Thanks! The whole decision to have kids, for me at least, was not a difficult choice. I’ve always wanted kids and I absolutely adore my little ones. The thing that you really can’t grasp until you have your own is truly how much time and energy is spent on raising them and trying to make sure they are cared for properly. It’s an investment in more ways than one. I wouldn’t have it any other way right now but there are times that I wished I could sleep in on Saturdays again… Oh that’s every weekend πŸ˜‰ Yes, I’ve had to give up my selfish ways πŸ™‚

  18. October 29, 2010 at 1:30 am

    very good!I like you post!

  19. October 29, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Nothing is more fun for a one year old than the sound the PS3 makes (and the resulting screeches from daddy) when you push the eject button.

    Also, giving daddy’s bluetooth headset to the ferret is a fantastic trick for babies.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

      That’s why I stand on my opinion that consoles and controllers should be out of reach of small children. Unfortunately I sometimes leave them on the coffee table cause I’ve gotten lazier it seems 😦

      Oh no not the bluetooth headset! I thought I had it bad when my lil one demands to wear it whenever I’m on the phone with someone. It’s pretty funny when she talks on it though. Couldn’t be cuter.

  20. October 29, 2010 at 2:57 am

    valid points, for some kids, gaming is life!


  21. October 29, 2010 at 3:14 am

    aaah, the games. I no longer play those anymore – at least the ones that you play on a device. πŸ™‚ My kids are the ones doing that now and the question becomes, how to get them to stop. My little one is a pro at palying games on iphone, and he just turned 3 this year. How the times have changed..

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

      I know this will be something I’ll have to deal with in the future but I sure am going to try and limit the electronics usage. I really don’t want my daughter to have a cellphone at 7 years old. I also don’t want to have my son playing video games from after school til sun down even though I distinctly recall doing this when I was younger. I wouldn’t say it was bad parenting on my mom or dads part but raising 2 kids has given me a true appreciation for my parents raising 8 kids. Yes times have changed with electronics consuming our everyday lives. Good or bad I don’t know if we really have much say.

      • October 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        I don’t want my kids playing games all day too, and for this reason alone we havne’t bought our 7 year old Nintendo DS or watever it is that’s must for all kids his age to have.. right now. Seriously, other mums tell me that I am being a bad parent by not buying him this as it is a social tool(?) Go to any dinner party and you will see all children hunched over their little gadgets and not playing with each other like they are supposed to? Anyway, we have said no to this one, and we didn’t have to face much resistance, my son really, really, realy wants ipad. sigh. Too bad, I wouldn’t mind one for myself though. πŸ˜‰

  22. Roy
    October 29, 2010 at 3:52 am

    As I grew up A gaming kid, I think that what you say seems true. Although I’ve never experienced my parents doing gaming cosplay πŸ˜›

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Well when I was younger, cosplay never really existed. Closest I ever got was wearing a printed plastic suit with a plastic mask held on by a rubber band. That was pretty much the standard costume from any department store. All were pretty much identical, just the colors and printing on it were different. Even the masks were pretty much the same if you got rid of the printed on face. And those slits to breathe through??? Absolutely horrible.

  23. mel0890
    October 29, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Very true, I can’t play any ‘fake’ controllers. But that’s only because the real ones are of better quality.
    Take a look at my blog please? πŸ™‚ Love your post it’s very true hahaa x

  24. October 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Some of them are already happening for gaming adults (let alone parents), especially #1! I was thoroughly entertained by your oh-so-true list.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 10:20 am

      I’d see these same things happening to my family members who already had kids but I never really grasped it until I had my own. It’s interesting to look back now and see how few responsibilities I truly had and how much time I burned doing nothing.

  25. October 29, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I’m not a parent but I could see the truth in this πŸ™‚

  26. October 29, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I have learned that I do not enjoy playing simultaneous 2 player games with my 8 year old and I start my own file on all the games and threaten their lives if they play it. They always want to play mine..It’s mine! Leave it alone!!!

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

      I swear this is how it is with my wife as of now. I’m sure it will change when the kids get older but I know exactly how you feel. “Get off my account! Yer gonna mess up my stats!” or “Don’t you dare save over that file!” It’s all in fun right now though. Ya learn quickly to backup your saves πŸ˜€

  27. October 29, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Lesson #6! I’m not a gamer nor a parent but I can say from what I’ve seen of children, they are really never satisfied with what’s in their hands. It’s what they can’t have that they want!

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

      I deal with this issue every single day at dinner time. Lil lady has to sit in moms lap and eat moms food. Some days I just want to shake her and say, “It’s the same thingggggg!!!!!! Arggggghhhh!!” Ok not that extreme but mom sure gets annoyed by her.

  28. ECO
    October 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    “#1. Spare time used to be game time. As a parent, spare time no longer exists. Game time and sleep time are now used interchangeably.”

    This is amazingly true – especially as an mmo gamer. Just try joining a raid while your little one is still awake… yeah, not happening.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

      My wife and I used to frequent Final Fantasy XI but slowly phased out of that to prepare for the inevitable kids. Now with Final Fantasy XIV being released next year I don’t know how we’ll manage. We would love to be able to play it together like FFXI but looking as to how our schedules are now, there’s no possible way! I guess we’ll see how it all pans out in about 5 months.

  29. gibsun
    October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

    games are a drug, they cost more too;-)

    • EmO
      October 31, 2010 at 8:32 am

      JΓ€mfΓΆr Du med vanlig Classic Cockacola?

  30. October 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I think I went through all of these stages about 5 years ago! One thing I got into when the kids were younger was the free demo discs that come with a gamer mag. Littler ones would play those free versions over and over and it cost nothing. I’m in that crossroads now where I am a gamer at heart but will not have time to play again until I’m 70. Maybe. Congrats on FP.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 11:39 am

      That’s how I feel sometimes. Don’t know if I’ll get any real game time in until the kids are on their own (in about 20 years maybe more). Even so I feel the need to get some game time in for myself and that’s why I pretty much run on about 5 hrs of sleep each night. It’s definitely a fine balance.

  31. October 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    This is an awesome post. I totally related to the first one about sleep time and gaming time being the same thing (and I don’t even have kids). Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 11:40 am

      Double thanks! πŸ˜€

  32. October 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

    No 1 is the one that rings most true with me. I used to get a few hours during the week and then a solid 6-7 hours on Saturday nights, but since my little girl has come along, I’ve totally neglected Final Fantasy 13 and FIFA. Its heartbreaking…..


    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

      I missed the days that I slept in until noon on Saturdays. Ahh memories.

      You have to admit that enjoying the presence of your daughter is well worth putting off those games for a little while. πŸ˜€

  33. October 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

    What I have learned is that my son is better at them than I am. Oh, sure, when he was younger it was no problem to kick his butt, but now, no longer. He wins roughly 75% of the time, and wants to play rated M games (because his friends all get to play them). Halo isn’t too bad since you’re killing aliens, but I wish all games came with a “turn of the profanity” filter. No Call of Duty for him, or BioShock, although he’d love to play them. When I do allow him to play M games, the rule is I have to be there, and it has to be a coop game. Lots of fun though, if we can work together towards a goal. Wish there were more FPS coop games that were rated T though. Makes me look back fondly on the days of Shrek II.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      I’m kind of excited to be able to play games together in the future. Eventually it’s going to be difficult to totally control all content that comes their way. I know that even if I put wraps on mature games at home, there’s no telling what they will be playing or watching at a friends house. I’m at a point where I like them being all miniature and stuff. Really don’t have to worry too much at least for now.

  34. October 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    So, are you suggesting with #9 that you should just buy a PS3 and some games rather than daycare? Truthfully, I’d be all over that one…but then, I don’t have kids. πŸ˜‰

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      Absolutely not. What I’m suggesting as that as a gaming parent, I see finances in terms of games and hardware. I look at that box of diapers and think… man that’s a PS2 greatest hits game or a $20 PSN card. I look at that daycare check every Monday and think, that’s another PS3 I’m giving to the daycare 😦

      • October 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

        Shame…I really liked the suggestion!

  35. October 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Children are more fun than games.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Absolutely positively agree.

  36. October 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    You hit this out of the park. As I read the list, I was going “ditto, ditto, totally true, I WISH fake controllers worked, at least my boy loves to watch us play Mario and there aren’t any wires, I’d be lost without a PSP or iPod for distraction on planes/doctor’s offices, what is free time?” Etc. Etc.

    The mature rating also applies to most of my TV shows too. As they get older, I have less time to watch and occasionally miss the newborn oblivion where it didn’t matter.

    So true about the sleep versus game time conundrum. My husband and I made the mistake of choosing “setting up our first smartphones” last night instead of sleep, and this happened: http://wp.me/p12mGG-nP

    Great post! Congrats on being “pressed!”

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      Thanks! I know what you mean about that smart phone predicament. We kinda did the same thing with our new phones. They weren’t smart phones but we wanted to toy with them and transfer our contacts etc etc. Well I think we ended up finally getting to bed around midnight. It’s funny because I wouldn’t call it fun but in a way it kind of was πŸ™‚

  37. October 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    My due date is tomorrow and I am spending my last few days with free time crocheting my heart out. I like to play video games, but it all depends on what phase I am going through. I am sort of dreading the whole mixed-up sleep schedule but I knew when I got pregnant that my free time would go out the window, unless I wanted to lose precious sleep points. πŸ˜›

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      The whole sleep deprivation is definitely tough to get by. There are days when I can tell that I’m just not myself. I tend to get a little snippy with people… even the kids. But when I do that I always take a step back and tell myself that they are kids and there is no reason for me to be like that. Then I calm down and I’m cool. It’s these same instances where I also realize why there are crazies out there that throw their kids across the room or put them in ovens. It’s not right but I can see how a mentally unstable person could go way overboard without sleep. Scary to think about it. I hope birthing is smooth as silk and I hope lil baby is healthy and happy πŸ˜€

  38. October 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I have learned that while I am great on Wii Sports, I totally suck on Guitar Hero. But it still might find its way under our tree this year.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      The great thing is that there will always be a game that you are good at and enjoy playing. The game selection is so large anymore, anyone can find something to fit their style. You have to admit, Guitar Hero is fun even if you suck though. It still amazes me that my friends can play it on expert and I’m pushing normal mode.

      • October 30, 2010 at 8:37 am

        The selection thing is very true. My oldest does not understand why I go for games that are sports oriented as opposed to the ones that goes over terrain to ‘battle’ monsters. I find their friends like to share anyway. They bring over their games and remotes and have a great time. But do I have to admit those others give me motion sickness?
        I loved your post BTW. Very fitting.

  39. sayitinasong
    October 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Gaming parent?? LOL! Never heard that term before…

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      Well it’s a term now πŸ˜€ I’m not sure if there’s another term that I could use. Parent gamer instead since parenting comes first. For me I was gaming before I ever had kids so I just thought Gaming Parent fit my situation better.

  40. October 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Number 6 made me laugh. My husband has tried this one with our daughter…giving her a “fake” controller that has no batteries in it. Same thing with remotes and cell phones. Only the one YOU are using will do.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      It usually works for roughly 5 minutes. Then she says “I’m done” then “dat one” pointing to mine. Oh goodness what am I to do with her. It will only get worse once the lil man gets bigger.

  41. October 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Reminds me of when I was a kid with the Nintendo. I remember having to take a nap before I could play. One way my parents got peace and quiet even if it was for a couple of hours. ha ha Nice post.

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks. That’s actually a great idea! I’ll have to use that someday. Parents are way sneakier than you give em credit for I tell ya. I’m only hoping I can be just as sneaky someday.

  42. October 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I’m not a parent, but I do have a 10-years-younger sister who I got to watch grow up, and I agree with this 100%.

    I think I taught her too much about games, or she’s an amazing learner. At about 4 or 5 she could beat my whole family at racing games, and now she keeps taking advantage of my working on weekends to play my games and get super-far ahead, then rub it in my face. Like achievements in Assassin’s Creed 2, or the fact that she’s beaten Alan Wake first, stuff like that. She’s only turning 9 in about a week. I shudder to think what heights she’ll reach when she’s my age. 8/

    Oh, and on #7. She, of her own accord, has decided that she’s going to be a little sister from Bioshock for Halloween. And she’s enlisted me to help her get her costume together. I’m so proud. If I only had the time (and welding skills) to make a big sister costume, we’d be a perfect team. πŸ˜€

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Wow… She’s only 9? I can only imagine my kids at that age. Beating me at my own game/games. At the same time it will make me proud.

      If you can pull off that little sister / big sister duo, that would be awesome. I could only imagine the amount of time and effort it would be to create that. Great luck with it πŸ˜€

  43. October 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I love gaming. I can’t imagine giving up it up to be a parent…just yet. How sad is that?? Haha.

    I hope that when I become a parent, I’ll find the time and energy to continue gaming like you are. Kudos to you! πŸ™‚

    • Gil
      October 29, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      Well you don’t have to give up the gaming. You just have to accept that there will be a lot less of it. I guess that’s just how it goes. I’m no longer #1. That changed when I got together with my lady. Then it changed again when the kids came. I’m #4 now so I don’t get much of me time anymore. It’s sad… but I love the minis.

  44. October 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I made the mistake of “showing” my (4 yr old) son how to play Mario games on the Wii, now he’s better than I am!

    • Gil
      October 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

      I think about my kids being better at games than I am sometimes when I see my daughter holding the 360 controller and acting like she’s playing. I’ll probably shed a single tear of happiness when she completes her first game though. I’ll admit that I’ll be pretty proud.

  45. Summer
    October 30, 2010 at 3:17 am

    OMG !! you’re totally right! nowadays many precautions must be made !!


  46. October 30, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Too funny – we had our first child five and a half years ago. I’m still trying to finish my backlog of PS2 games before I invest in a PS3 or Wii. At this rate, the PS4 will be out before I’m done!

    • Gil
      October 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

      It’s funny and sad at the same time that I have a backlog of PS2 and PS3 games now. Actually, there are even games on my shelf that have never been opened. Makes me sad to think about it but sometimes you just can’t pass up a deal even if you may never play the game. Well, I can pass up deals now that I have to care for the kiddies but back when I didn’t.

  47. October 30, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I wanted to let you know that your post was featured in the Biz e-Friday Countdown yesterday. Check it out: http://bize-mom.com/2010/10/30/biz-e-friday-countdown-10-29-10/

    • Gil
      October 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

      Awesome and thanks for the heads up! It seems my tiny speck on the webernetz just got a tiny bit bigger πŸ˜€

  48. October 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Let me prepare you for what will happened in the future: your kids will be far more advanced in gaming than you and your wife.

    My daughter was the best in driving cars and bikes in the desert, level 7, my spouse and myself placed on level 2 or 3. This was in 1992, when we had a computer made from spare parts.At that moment, in Romania there was a Romanian manufacture that was producing their own parts… Now that company is closed, the daughter is engineer in automatics and each member of family has a personal computer/laptop.

    Never imaged that in a such period of time, less than 20 years, we have such a different life…

    I like your post and comments, there are full of energy, joy and happiness.

    All the best,

    • Gil
      November 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Thank you very much. I realize that in the future the kids will far out pace me but it’s something I’ve come to accept. I look at where I am compared to my own parents and see how different our lives are. I can only imagine where my kids will be in 20 years with the rate that technology advances these days. Computers and cell phones are commonplace. When I was younger, we were lucky to have a dozen computers in our classroom and no one would have imagined that it would be commonplace to have 1 or even more computers in the household. I even look at the old wiring hanging out of the wall in old theaters and realize they used to be connected to payphones. Do you remember those? Just strange to think we used to call our parents to pick us up from the theaters. Now everyone has a cell phone. Kids don’t even know what a payphone is anymore.

  49. October 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I still can’t figure out which button my TV needs to be on and where I plug the wire thingy (ok, I guess its called a cable) to do anything other than just watch TV. Is it Video In, Video Out, Vid 1, Vid 2, Vid 3, Vid 4, Vid 5, Vid 6, PC, Air, Ant, Uncle, GrandMa…etc?” Why can’t it all have little pictures of animals on them so you would know to plug the penguin cord into the penguin outlet, and we would all know to plug the puppy cord into the puppy outlet, not the horse outlet and so on like that.

    Ok, maybe I’m know smarter than a 5th grader after all. Sigh.



    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • Gil
      November 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      With all of the connectors behind TVs and sound systems, it’s no wonder why people need “installers” to come and setup an entertainment area. It’s funny that there are times that I try to figure out the best way to wire everything up and my nephew will just disconnect wires and plug things around until something works. It angers me because I put so much work in it but at the same time I’m a little proud that he took the effort into figuring it out and not just giving up. Options can be good but too many options can just be plain confusing.

  50. WI Snowflake
    October 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Love the post. I live this every day. I just wish my son would put the same amount of attention to homework as he does with the story lines of games. When he was a baby, about 9 months, I made the mistake of introducing him to baby software on the PC. He has been gaming every since.

    • Gil
      November 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      Well I’m sure this will be something I’ll have to deal with in the future. I have no doubts that the kids will somehow or another be interested in games. I’ll just have to hope that it isn’t an addiction that will take away from their studies. Of course my wife and I will do our best to control things but you know, it doesn’t always work the way you plan.

  51. Anne Lessing
    October 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Gil! I flipped out when I saw you on the front page! “What the–I know that guy!” XD

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed! This post made my day. If I ever become a parent, I will definitely keep these tips in mine. I only hope any future kids will inherit my gamer genes. I’m happy my family plays with me–we all have a blast on LittleBigPlanet. Have you ever played that with your kids?

    • Gil
      November 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      I only have the psp version of Little Big Planet but I see how it can be an entertaining one for the family. Not to mention kid safe. I probably should pick up the second one for the PS3 but for now Wii Fit Plus and Singstar entertain the kids quite a bit πŸ˜€

  52. October 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I feel you on this. My husband and I still game, but It’s only when our little guy takes his nap or if we’d like to forfeit sleep. Luckily, since we’ve both been gamers since we were old enough to be, we understand. It’s not unusual for us to trade who sits down to do something special with our son and the other get time to themselves. It just so happens we use that time to game. XD

    • Gil
      November 1, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      And there is nothing wrong with using that time to game πŸ˜€ You learn to compromise quickly. Kids are always #1 but ya gotta slip in a little of your own time also. Helps keep you sane especially with lack of sleep. Taking turns is a great idea. It just doesn’t work so well when there are 2 mouths squawking at us. I’m sure there will be a time when the kids aren’t as demanding but when a kid is only 4 months old, there isn’t much they can do on their own to entertain themselves.

  53. October 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    We could not live without the PSP, and plan on buying our youngest the DSi so that they fight (er, I mean… learn to “Share”) over them and can be amused on long trips and in lines and whenever else we need peace. Recently, I learned that the world is cruel. PS3 invents the “move”, every bit as cool as it looked on the commercial, and yet, Nintendo Wii has to stay plugged in because Sony can’t get rights to the Mario Bros… *sigh* Great blog!

    • Gil
      November 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

      the PSP is quite handy in that regard. It does create a short amount of peace and quiet and I am glad for it at times. I try not to let her play with it too much because it is a pricey piece of technology. Typically when she gets bored of something she’ll either set it down or on a rare occasion she’ll throw it across the room. I prefer that when she decides to throw something, it not be the psp πŸ™‚

      Oh and yes it is too bad that Mario Bros will never be on a Sony system… but then again sonic has appeared on Nintendo and Sony consoles. Who would have ever thunk that the Sega mascot would do such a thing?

  54. jorghahaq
    October 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    What I have learned as a gaming parent is that my kids want to play my games. I have had to learn how to share.

    • Gil
      November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Ohhh yes the sharing thing. The one thing that I really don’t like to share is my games. I guess I really don’t have a choice anymore. I barely allowed the better half to play. Now I have 2 miniatures to share with. Oh the pain.

  55. October 31, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Haha. You’re humorous! πŸ™‚

  56. Prudhomme
    October 31, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Great post Gil! As a gaming parent, I learned that games can be used as a tutorial to sports. As a father to an 8-year old “girlie” girl, I was highly pleased when she took interest in Madden 11. I thought she loved the NY Giants because of her old man but watching her practice running plays was priceless! She has a better understanding (as limited as it still is) of Sunday football games!

    • Gil
      November 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

      That’s great! I’m not a big sports fan and never really was but I’ll admit that I got a grasp of the rules of basketball from playing Pat Riley Basketball when I was a kid. Also I learned the basic rules of baseball by playing Tommy Lasorda Baseball on my Sega Genesis. Does that kinda give away my age?

  57. October 31, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Not to defend video-gaming as an effective teaching tool, but my kids both passionately desired to learn how to read, so that they could play video games. “You can’t play this game, cause you can’t read.” was an incredible motivator. I have two of the top readers in their respective classes and it came from playing games with them. We also use video games as a creative writing tool. Check out my Warcraft character’s blog. The key, I think, is to make sure the game is engaging and not mind-numbing. Also, you can’t let games replace books.


    • Gil
      November 3, 2010 at 11:39 am

      That’s pretty awesome! I do agree that you can’t let the games replace books. There’s a place for everything and I don’t think video games should ever replace something else. There are those “educational” games but I don’t know if I really buy into it. I think educating the kids with books and just conversing is hands down better than letting them play an “educational” game. If that’s your only choice though, I guess it’s better than nothing. But perhaps having nothing actually forces creativity?

  58. October 31, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Game designers who want to make games for the 20- to 30-something gamer (who is likely to have children) need to do two things: 1)Stop making stupid cut scenes that take 45 minutes+! 2)Don’t make games that don’t have frequent save opportunities!

    The biggest issue for us (as a mom and dad who are BOTH gamers) is getting “stuck” in a video game. You kill a big boss and then you immediately get launched into a 45-minute cut scene; you can’t pause, you can’t save, you can’t skip. And inevitably, at that EXACT moment, one of your children will start screaming, need a diaper change, wake up from a nap, etc. But if you just turn off the console, you have to do the boss battle again (after it took you 15 tries to win it).

    • Gil
      November 3, 2010 at 11:48 am

      Totally agree with both points. I’ve been in this same situation multiple times. Especially late at night which is essentially my only game time. Stupid cut scenes. I don’t actually mind them but sometimes there’s more cut scene than game. Primary reason why I couldn’t get myself to finish Metal Gear Solid 4. I can see how it’s an excellent game to fans but I personally only consider it a bad to mediocre game. It’s especially bad if you aren’t familiar with any of the other Metal Gear games. That game just goes on and on and on and on. All talk and minimal action. Oh dear God why won’t this guy stop talking!?!?!? Let’s get to it cmon! Cut scenes should tie in one gaming area to another and no more. Perhaps a 10 min cut scene ending but that’s it. If you have to tell an entire story through cut scenes, I think you need to get out of the gaming business cause that ain’t a game anymore. It’s a movie with interactive commercials.

  59. November 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I am late to the party but just wanted to comment, great post.

    I thought by writing about video games on my own blog I would get more gaming down – boy was I wrong not to mention the time is decreased expotentially since I too mostly only game when the kids are asleep.

    Keep up the great work, really dig your site and work.

    • Gil
      November 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you. Yes game time does decrease quite a bit with kids. I’m at least grateful that I can swap out sleep time for game time even though it sometimes makes for loooong work days. it’s a trade off I guess but well worth the efforts. It can’t be like this forever right?

  60. November 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    i am only a casual gamer and had not even considered my lite gaming hobby and how my baby will effect it. great list!

    • Gil
      November 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      Well this list can apply to any hobby really. I’m just glad that I’m not a sports nut or else I’d miss watching a game and friends would be spoiling outcomes before I’d have the chance to watch it at night. πŸ˜€

  61. November 2, 2010 at 12:22 am

    LOL, my 12-year old son and I have a blast talking “Guns and Ghouls” because we both played Fallout 3, and now we’re playing Fallout New Vegas. Only problem? Little booger gets ahead of me in the game, and then has “advice” for the one lagging behind. Ack.

    I am going to enlist his help, though in getting past a certain point on Little Big Planet…dagnabit. Bugger has a way about him in getting past the rough patches. How they do that?

    • Gil
      November 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm

      I don’t think I could handle my kids giving me advice πŸ˜€ Hoping that your New Vegas experience is awesome though. I dealt with too many glitches during Fallout 3 to warrant buying this one. I hear it has glitches also.

      Dagnabit! Excellent word that I kinda miss using. I bet these youts have never heard such a word.

  62. November 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing


  63. November 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    True that (I’m twelve I can verify #4, kinda zoned out on the rest).

  64. November 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I still remember the comment you left on my blog about being a gaming parent. Thank you then for the heads up and thank you now for the additional pro-tips.

  1. October 30, 2010 at 1:11 am
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