Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Parents and Gaming

I just read a rather hum-drum article about how parents can keep up with the video games their kids play. The article starts like this:
Call it a generation gap or a digital divide, if you're a parent who is a little clueless about what video games are appropriate for your child, you are not alone.
Who are these parents who don't understand video games? I know I'm an unusual case, but seriously. EVERY SINGLE PARENT I KNOW PLAYS VIDEO GAMES, at least a little. Now, if you're a grandparent, you *might* be off the hook, though at 38 I'm technically old enough to be one of those myself (my kid is 7, so no worries.)

Video games turned to computer games in the 90's. Console games have remained essentially the same for the last decade. Mortal Kombat showed how violent games could be 18 years ago. Doom, the first modern 1st person shooter, appeared 15 years ago. Grand Theft Auto 2 is over 10 years old.

This isn't new people. The graphics are better, the stories are better, and the content is more complex. Not different, just evolved. Some really kick ass. Other suck. Some are appropriate for kids, some not so much. It's been this way for decades now.

How old are these kids we're worrying about? How old are their parents?

What's more likely is people writing articles about the "mysteries of gaming culture" don't get it. Media types understand the media, and little else (I understand gaming, and little else, I admit it.)

Just like the article says "Gaming is now an $18.8 billion part of the entertainment industry. You have to dig your head in the sand pretty deep to be ignorant of an industry as huge as gaming.


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