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 Spontaneous on sale/clearanced gaming purchases have been replaced by on sale/clearanced kids toys or clothing.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