Videogaming Moms and Dads

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Matt Barton
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This is a question for those of you who have kids, as well as those of us who WERE kids when we first got into gaming. The question is, what are the best practices for parents when it comes to their children's gaming? Do you put strict limits on how long they can spend gaming, do you only let them play certain titles, do you stick to the parental ratings? Do you let your kids do online gaming? Finally, do you play videogames with your kids? If so, what are the age breakdowns, and what games are your favorites?

I'm especially curious if there are those of you who are trying to get your kids interested in classic gaming. I know a few of us have tried that to great success, finding that many kids prefer the same games we grew up playing, such as Pac-Man and Pooyan.

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clok1966
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Ex Dominos (loved it, one of

Ex Dominos (loved it, one of best jobs ever, good pay, great free food)..

as for Original content (which I derailed) I must say I envy you with kids sometimes. I used to play with the ex's son when he was about 6-8 on the genesis and Dreamcast (bought him one for christmas) and it was by far some of the most fun I ever had playing games. A kid who is having fun is sometimes one of the best things in the world (IMHO) its makes me just happy even if Im playing a game I have no interest in.. if they like it and I can join in with them, listen to them, have them "help" me... its a true blast.. nowdays all those ex's kids are to old and ... other things.. Guess I could try the Big Brother thing, but summer months I HAVE Zero time :( Very cool to play with the kids.. my parents had ZERO interest in video games, I think I got them both to try PACMAN (on the 2600) once or twice.. I think my dad even maybe enjoyed it a little.. but none since.

Bill Loguidice
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I actually worked at

I actually worked at McDonald's for about 2.5 years during parts of high school and college (on and off). It was quite the experience in many ways for me, but those are stories for another day...

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Matt Barton
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McDonalds is one of my

McDonalds is one of my favorite topics to discuss when it comes to work.

I had a revelation when I went to NYC and ate at a McDonalds. The place was crowded, but I barely had to wait. As soon as I finished my order, and I mean RIGHT when I finished it, BOOM, there was my order, ready. It probably took me longer to tell them my order than it took them to get it bagged and in my hand.

I thought that must be unusual, but the definition of fast food is something like 3 minutes. If it takes longer than that it's not fast food. Now, growing up in the south, I just got used to it taking anywhere from 10-15 minutes, maybe more. Hell, you walk into the typical McDonalds in Louisiana or Florida, and you're going to be waiting a good 5 minutes sometimes just before anyone notices you or condescends to take your order. Then they have to call over a manager because they don't know how to input fries (coupons? Forget about it).

I went into a Burger King here in Minnesota and there was A GIANT SIGN BEHIND THE COUNTER advertising sliders. So I ordered them. The lady says - "Sliders? We don't have those." I pointed to the sign behind her. She looked utterly dumbfounded, and even asked me what they were. Then she goes into the back and I hear the manager say, "Just tell him that we're out of them." She comes back and says exactly that. I won't go into the tomfoolery about paying--she said they didn't accept credit cards, I said I paid with that same card last time--so she goes back again, the manager pops out, swipes my card, and finally I get out of there. I wish I could say this kind of nonsense was the exception, but I'll be damned if something like this doesn't happen 5 times out of 10.

In the "best case" scenario around here, they'll take your order and ask you to wait. 10-15 minutes later you get your food. We call this "fast food" because I guess we're all hicks or rednecks and just realize that it SHOULD be much faster than that.

Which brings me to my next point. Even if your job is burger king, why not put the effort to be the best? Why not learn how to use the register efficiently, work to shave off a few wasted minutes here and there. I'm not saying I'd be slaving away, but I am saying I would take the time to learn to be as efficient as possible. Learn the patterns. See that it's getting close to noon and maybe you should be cooking up an extra batch of fries. I could go on, but this isn't rocket science here; it's just applying some simple logic and reasoning.

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davyK
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Joined: 05/21/2006
We play as a family quite

We play as a family quite often. My wife doesn't play as much but she does get competitive when she does...Watching my wife use a springo candy to leapfrog our 11 year old and grab a star in Mario Party 8 told us a lot about her!

My two kids (both girls - 11 and 12) will play most stuff - even very old stuff if they like the gameplay though they tend not to like shooters. My elder daughter likes playing Flag Capture on the 2600 for example. Mario Kart gets some serious usage though - its way and above the most played game (both Wii and GC versions). New SMB, Just Dance, Mario Party, F-Zero GX, Bust-a-Move, Monkey Ball, Mario Baseball and Mario Galaxy get quite a bit of playtime and every so often the SNES and Megadrive platformers will get attention too. I observe that my PS1/PS2, Saturn and Dreamcast libaries don't seem to have much attraction for them though my eldest liked playing R-Type Final once I unlocked Mr. Heli!!!! Parodius goes down well too from time to time. My younger daughter really likes the flying game in Wii Sports Resort - its a pity Pilotwings hasn't had a console upgrade instead of going to the 3DS.

The Wii online experience is limited but it means I don't have to worry about them playing Mario Kart online (which is stil a great experience and has plenty of people online after all this time).

They have DSs though they tend to only get a couple of games a year. They go through phases and then leave the DSs for long periods. On the whole its pretty balanced - they have lots of other interests and gaming is just another cool way of spending time for them.

As a young kid, a pong console and the 2600 got quite a bit of family attention - though that did tail off but, much as it has its detractors, the Wii has definitely brought that experience back again,

clok1966
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I know there are plenty that

I know there are plenty that do great work (even hired a few) but i would say 60-70% plain didnt show up 2 whole work weeks in a row. many never managed 1 work week.. as in 5 days in a row. I started to think it was just he ones I was hiring, but over a 10 year period, multipul agencies, paper, etc.. I feel my subject group was not tainted in any way. One of my friends manages a McDonalds, the horror stories he tells (incendintly when did Fast Food start paying so well?) His requirments for keeping sombody now isnt how much work they do, its how often they show up.. HE cant fire them as he cent keep enough bodies in the store. At least when they are there he can play babysitter and crack the whip on the slackers.. he has said he prefers developmently disabled as they show up, and do wata they are told and are happy about it. One very telling comment (I thought) is he says they screw up much less then "normal" hires. And when they do its becuase they didnt understand, not becuase of messing around. And when they have issues, they ask questions, while the others use the 'dont know how, so wont do it" attitude.

I agree Matt, i have never lost a job in my life (well not 100% true, my programing job was phased out (lost) but I was moved to a different dept). I'm not hte best worker you have seen, but I know you will never fire me cuase I dont get what you asked me to get done.. I have my moments of "mess around time" (right now... (smile)) but its quiet , phone isnt ringing, no pressing work.. and Im on the road the till 9 tonight.. so some "free" time will be made up later.

Ethics change

Matt Barton
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Work Ethic
clok1966 wrote:

Tough subject, im to old school on raising kids.. I see so many spoiled ones nowdays and while there where plenty when I grew up, it sure wasnt close to waht it is now (again, maybe age makes me see this different). But as a person who has hired... man there is NO WORK ethic at all in collage kids.. I have went through about 30 in the last 10 years.. you cant fire um as its so hard to find any that ACTUALLY SHOW UP a week in a row.. you ahve to keep um.. They dont understand they cant be gone 1 day of very week (or more) they dont understand that when they are paid they should WORK at least some of the time. I sluff witht he best of them, but I make sure my work is done. This is all up bringing (I Think). The stand in a corner for 10 minutes for doing stuff they shouldnt is not a punishment (IMHO).. some real punishment is the only way.. but I KNOW thats not PC nowdays.. whoa.. ok way off topic..

Funny you should mention that. I remember working at a saw mill during summers--they'd hire a certain number of the employees' teen-age kids to work there. Anyway, my supervisors kept saying I was such a great worker, etc. I thought they were just being nice to me. Then I realized they weren't kidding--the other teens would just goof off, not show up, in short, do anything but their assigned work. I guess I was just naive; I just assumed that people who took a job would do the work. Otherwise, why take the job? I remember some of them even told me, "Man, you're working too hard." Huh? I consider that my honor and reputation are at stake. If I say I'll do something, I will try my best to do it and do it well by DEFAULT. Guess not everyone shares our view on that, clok.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
As a date many, hang onto

As a date many, hang onto none person I have seen all types of parenting on that from different women. Some put strict hours on it, some dont care at all. I do see a trend towards the younger ones restricting it more (parents age not kids). I PERSONALLY think in the summer with nice weather it should be restricted some.... depending on the kids playtime. I grew up a VIDEO game addict.. but never in the summer, if I could be outside I WAS.. only after dark or raining/cold days did I play. Sadly the older I got the more I played (sadly as while I love video games, interaction with people is far more fun.. but you cant relive past mistakes). I sure dont think video games harm people in any way.. but to much of anything is bad IMHO even video games.

Tough subject, im to old school on raising kids.. I see so many spoiled ones nowdays and while there where plenty when I grew up, it sure wasnt close to waht it is now (again, maybe age makes me see this different). But as a person who has hired... man there is NO WORK ethic at all in collage kids.. I have went through about 30 in the last 10 years.. you cant fire um as its so hard to find any that ACTUALLY SHOW UP a week in a row.. you ahve to keep um.. They dont understand they cant be gone 1 day of very week (or more) they dont understand that when they are paid they should WORK at least some of the time. I sluff witht he best of them, but I make sure my work is done. This is all up bringing (I Think). The stand in a corner for 10 minutes for doing stuff they shouldnt is not a punishment (IMHO).. some real punishment is the only way.. but I KNOW thats not PC nowdays.. whoa.. ok way off topic..

Never got to raise one for mare than a couple years at a time.. I never made any of them not play unless they had work to do.. or If i thouhgt they had spent to much time doing it (like 3-5 days in a row eating/sleeping gameing- you dont get ot do that till your my age :) )

Bill Loguidice
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Earlier today Christina and I

Earlier today Christina and I had our first true family gaming session, with our daughters, Amelie, 6, and Olivia, 4, playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, four players simultaneous. Amelie was particularly thrilled as she's on a huge Mario Bros. kick these days, wearing the shirts, playing New Super Mario Bros. on her DSi, etc. (Olivia likes playing Super Princess Peach on her DSi). Amelie has gotten quite good with the concept of the d-pad and a few buttons, while Olivia still struggles. Interestingly, my in-laws who also have a Wii, bought Super Mario Galaxy, thinking the girls might like it (they know ZERO about gaming). Naturally, trying to control the nunchuk in the left hand and the Wii-mote in the right hand is too much coordination for them at this point, plus it's not as linear as the 2D games, so the 3D world is conceptually more frustrating for them, and thus, overall, not a fun game (I happen to agree, but for mostly different reasons).

Since we got them their own DSi's for Christmas, the girls try to play on the things constantly, particularly Amelie, so yes, we're very conscious of limiting their gaming time. It's not that I think it's bad for them - far from it - it's just that they should be experiencing many different things at their ages.

I bought my first console, an Atari 2600, around age 7 or 8 with my Communion money. I was left pretty much on my own with it, though there was a brief period before my dad got pissed at me that he would play a few games like Pac-Man with me. Same thing when my parents bought me my first computer, a VIC-20. Basically "here you go, you're on your own". So there really was no family gaming for me. My sister, who is 10 years younger than me, never really picked up the videogame bug, though I did get her playing Frogger on my Intellivision for a time, since she could sort of handle the disc controller.

I could go on...

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