Before I start this article, I prefer to warn people this is not a guide, this is my opinion/ personal experience. I just want to reach out to all the gamer dads out there, because being a gamer dad in 2017 can he hard, especially with all the new technology.
You might be wondering who this guy is? Why is he writing this kind of article? Well, I was raised by gamer parents, both my parents played video games when they were young. They gave me my first NES controller when I was one year old.
Sure I did not know what I was doing, but it did not take me long to learn how to play Super Mario Bros. I was very lucky because my parents pretty much gave me all the games/consoles I wanted. They even played video games with me till my brother was old enough to take the second controller. Letting your kid play video games isn’t the worst idea, look at me, I turned out fine.
First – Managing real life with video games.
This step is crucial. You have to manage your work, activity time with family, time with your wife and house chores. As you can see it can be very hard and confusing to manage all of those things, even I have a hard time managing all of this, and I am a very organized person. I remember when I was living alone I could play video games for severals hours a day, then I moved in with my wife, and I had to cut some hours to pass some time with my wife. I could still play a couple of occasions a week. Now as a dad of a newborn I think I played five times in a month, but I don’t mind at all.
Why don’t I mind? Well, when my son is older he’s going to be my gaming partner. I’m joking, having fun with your kid is one of the most amazing things in the world.
Even if you don’t play a lot of hours per week, you should never stop playing video games, especially if you love them, I can’t see my life without gaming. I’d recommend writing down your schedule and trying to fit in a couple of hours per week, and I fully understand it’s not a lot, but it’s still a couple of hours.
I’ll use myself as an example. I recently started a blog, and I put a lot of hours on it, I’d say around 40 hours a week. When I’m finished working I start cooking dinner with my wife, then we spend a couple of hours with our son. Around 10 pm I usually go back to my computer to play games, every two days that is. The days I don’t go on my computer I either pass it with my wife, or we go out to see family. As you can see there is always a way to sneak in a couple of gaming hours, yes it’s hard but possible.
Second – Introducing video games to your kid
This point is pretty important too. I want my children to play video games like their dad. Beside the fact of having fun while gaming, I learned a lot of different skills in all of my years of gaming. I learned English while playing video games French was my first language. By playing RPG games, I had no choice to develop my English skills so I could advance in the game.
I learned to budget in video games, let me explain. Let’s say you arrive in a new town with 10,000 gold, your characters need new equipment, you could spend the 10k to get the top notch gear, but then you will have no money to buy potions and rest. The second choice you can spend 7k on cheaper equipment, which still does a great job, but you end up with 3k gold for other things.
I know it sounds funny but it’s pretty much like real life, do I spend all my savings on a brand new car or do I buy a cheaper car and save my money for something else. Maybe that’s just me, but today I am excellent with budgeting.
Another great skill I learned is patience and teamwork. I played Final Fantasy XI for ten years. FFXI was one of my first real MMORPG, and I spent over 5000 hours playing that game, it was like my second job, I’d go to school and right when I entered my home I played till I feel asleep. I don’t regret it, thinking about it made me realize it might have been too much, believe me, my son won’t play that much. Despite that, in the game you had to interact and team up with people to progress, sometimes creating a party of 6 people to go level up could take hours of organization and communication, so let’s say I learned a lot about that game.
In the end, it all depends on how to introduce gaming to your kids, for me, I will create a balanced mix between gaming, school, activities and family time. I am hoping my son loves video game if he doesn’t, well too bad for him!
Third – Keeping up with the latest video games
Did you ever talk about recent video game trends to your parents and they said: “What are you talking about”? Well, it often happened to me. When I was younger, I’d ask my dad to buy me the new Pokemon game, and he’d come back with an older version. Has a daddy gamer you don’t want to be like that. I’d suggest you go online a couple of times a week and subscribe to some video game blogs, so you don’t go out of the loop.
Believe me. By keeping up with the current video game trends and technology, your connection with your kids will be stronger. Don’t get me wrong you can still have an amazing relationship with your children, but it adds a small bonus to your “cool” status.
In the end being a gamer dad is no easy task, as it takes a lot of effort and patience. I want to experience what my dad felt when he saw his five years old son complete Street Fighter 2 on the hardest difficulty. I want my son to be a gamer like I once was.
Plus I’d like my son to become my gaming partner, to be honest, that would be one of my dreams, the father and son duo crushing our enemies in an online video game, the dream!