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The Video Game Generation Grows Up

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago

Games 131

MarchingAnts writes "The Gaming Generation: Once A Gamer, Always A Gamer has interviews with Gabe from Penny Arcade, best-selling science-fiction author John Scalzi, veteran games journalist and founder of gamerdad.com Andrew Bub, futurologist Dr. Michael Zey, and sociologist Dr. Steve Jones commenting on the phenomena of how video gamers are coping with balancing their hobby with marriages, careers, and how video games might affect families in the future. 'Mike Krahulik, better known to his legions of fans as Gabe, one-half of the team behind the gaming webcomic Penny Arcade, says that time is the biggest challenge in blending gaming and parenthood. "You just don't have as much time for gaming," he says, "when you're getting up every 30 minutes to change diapers and get thrown up"'"

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get thrown up? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261466)

Thatsa a stronga baby!

Re:get thrown up? (0, Troll)

Praedon (707326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261876)

I actually noticed a lot of misspelled words in their article. They are usually very good at editing. I guess they were distracted with babies "thrown up" and their wives nagging for them to finish up so they can go out to eat. It happens....

Re:get thrown up? (0, Troll)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261990)

" "when you're getting up every 30 minutes to change diapers and get thrown up"'""

Hmm...my first thought was, Hey, isn't that her job??

:-)

The guy is pretty much done at conception....and then he has to work and save for college. Let her do the early night work with the kid, eh?

Re:get thrown up? (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263516)

hahaha... yeah make her stay up all night while you sleep, and then deal with it all day while you work.

Man, please never , ever, copulate.
.

I don't want your sickness. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261884)

You tool case. Go away. I wish that whatever ValueJet flight that you get on wrecks into the oblivion of Solaris III.

MODERATORS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262962)

Mod this guy up. Wastin' modpoints, babyyyyy. Jus' wastin' modpoiiiiiiints...

My kids learnt fast (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261486)

They have to frag me to get their tea.
If I win the tournament they go hungry.

(Only joking, though tonight I was teaching my youngest how to type his name :D )

Re:My kids learnt fast (3, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262292)

They have to frag me to get their tea.
I hope your kid isn't named Oedipus, because you may be giving him ideas...

Re:My kids learnt fast (5, Funny)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262910)

Yeah. Gaming is tougher as I get older. It used to be I just rocked her to sleep while playing Quake3 or UT or something. Now it goes something like this.

Me: "Heals, I need a heal!"
Daughter: "Daddy! I'm scared!"
Me: "You're not even getting hit. Just heal me!"

I'm losing my independence.

Thank you CmdrTaco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261490)

And may I be the first to request that you continue posting games articles without the diseased hand of Zonk interfering.

There is the other side of the coin, though. (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261510)

While you don't have as much time for gaming, it is still more convenient than the more...traditional ways of entertaining one self.

If I have a kid, and want to go see a movie, go to the restaurant, etc, I either need to find a baby friendly place, or find a baby sitter. Both can cost me extra (if you have a kid and go to the restaurant, well you have to feed the darn thing...).

If, instead, i'm playing an online game with my friends, the only thing I need to be worried about, is that I play a game that can be paused (let say Warcraft III), or a game where I can go away for a few minute at any given time (these are harder to find but still). Or even better, I can simply play solo. All around, its a form of entertainment that has tens of thousands of hours worth of amusement, and is within reach of the kids: going back to take care of diapers is only a hit of the pause button away.

Definately more convenient than, let say, going to a bar and coming back home drunk, then having to take care of the kid once the baby sitter is gone.

Word (3, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261592)

My wife and I play MMO's for this very reason. We only play when our son (soon-to-be 2 sons) are in bed. It's much cheaper than a bar/dinner and a movie and its a lot of fun playing together. And it is something progressive we can come back to again and again ... but yea,I used to play (Everquest) hardcore in college, it was a transition once that kid comes along to playing less and just at night and naptime on the weekends ...

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261612)

I've noticed I play much less long level games since having the kids.
I can grab my gaming in quick 5-10 minute sessions (tony hawk, nfs, unreal etc) and put it down as quickly.

Slashdot is even a game, it is digested in small doses and after posting I can walk away and do whatever is needed.

If /. is a game... (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261850)

...then who is winning?

Re:If /. is a game... (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261930)

I don't think anyone can win, but there are a few level 60 mages around.

Watch out in the dark places, there may be a grue.
And don't get caught by the goatse troll, your eyes will never forgive you.

Re:If /. is a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262018)

CowboyNeal

Re:If /. is a game... (1)

^_^x (178540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262248)

I miss the late 90s when they actually kept score and showed us our karma... there was the whole "karma-whoring" issue though, which IMHO was more the issue of people accusing of whoring than actually doing it...

Re:If /. is a game... (5, Insightful)

flink (18449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262256)

The only winning move is not to play.

- /. Loser

Re:If /. is a game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262468)

I just lost the game.

Re:If /. is a game... (1)

JymmyZ (655273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263304)

I wish I had modpoints to give you, great reference

Re:If /. is a game... (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 7 years ago | (#17264074)

well heres some handy commands that might help
/quit
/lifequit | /lquit
/wrists | /jugular

Re:If /. is a game... (1)

Compaq_Hater (911468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263156)

AC's and Troll's of course because they have greater numbers ;)

CH

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (4, Insightful)

Dadoo (899435) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261856)

the only thing I need to be worried about, is that I play a game that can be paused

I've discovered it's much easier to play games where it's possible to play just a few minutes at a time. I can't even start a game like Unreal, or Civilization, or Sim City, anymore. Sure you can pause them or, in the case of turn-based games, walk away for a short while, but when kids are involved, that "short while" invariably becomes a long while. By that time, you've completely forgotten what you were doing and the game is ruined.

Nowadays, it's games like Stinkoman and Super Monkey Ball, for me.

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (3, Interesting)

shemnon (77367) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262354)

You know when I play my video games? Between he time I start putting my toddler to bed and when he actually goes to sleep. So now a days I am limited to my Nintendo DS. When I hear him get up I can quickly click it closed (especially since most of the newer games auto pause when the clamshell is closed) and go put him back down. This takes up to a half hour or so.

The only real problem is if he gets a hold of it. I either need to wait for two hours when he finally drops it (he doesn't play the games, just takes the pen out and tries to scribble ont he top screen) or I have to bear two hours of him screaming "GAME GAME GAAAAAMMMEEE!!!" when I take it away from him. And I can jsut forget about playing it in front of him. That means it's at least a year or so before I can buy the Wii and put it somewhere other than the closet.

The joys of parenthood.

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263876)

I've discovered it's much easier to play games where it's possible to play just a few minutes at a time. I can't even start a game like Unreal, or Civilization, or Sim City, anymore. Sure you can pause them or, in the case of turn-based games, walk away for a short while, but when kids are involved, that "short while" invariably becomes a long while. By that time, you've completely forgotten what you were doing and the game is ruined.
I agree. I've given up on MMORPGs completely, I haven't touched NWN2 in a couple weeks and even some RTSes are hard to come back to after a few days of not playing. I'm actually finding myself getting back into the console world again. Scary. For example, the New Super Mario Brothers for the DS is a perfect balance for me right now with a 6 month old. I can't wait until he's older and we can doing some gaming together...

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261870)

> While you don't have as much time for gaming, it is still more convenient than the more...traditional ways of entertaining one self.

If you'd spent more time... entertaining yourself more traditionally, you wouldn't have kids, and you'd still have time for gaming.

> Or even better, I can simply play solo. All around, its a form of entertainment that has tens of thousands of hours worth of amusement, and is within reach of the kids:

Dude, I was about to say you were getting it, but that last bit is just so terribly, terribly, wrong :)

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (2, Funny)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261898)

While you don't have as much time for gaming, it is still more convenient than the more...traditional ways of entertaining one self.

I find I can balance family life with gaming and masturbation perfectly well. It's a really question of planning and sticking to that plan. Or the plan sticking to you.

Remember, it's only one week till the 10 days of wanking for peace [masturbateforpeace.com] . Touch your sack, not Iraq!

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261902)

While you don't have as much time for gaming, it is still more convenient than the more...traditional ways of entertaining one self.

I don't know.. with the wii you actually move your hands so the traditional way of entertaining yourself isn't much of a step (if any at all).

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261922)

Or even better, I can simply play solo
Hey, this is slashdot...

Re:There is the other side of the coin, though. (5, Interesting)

Senobyzal (826207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262592)

As someone who is into roleplaying games, I find I actually get to play more due to technology helping out. I had to drop out of a few groups because I didn't have as much time as an adult for 8-hour Saturday sessions anymore. My last group had something like 10 players but it was very rare that more than 5 would make it to any given session, due to RL commitments. Plus the game site was a 40 minute drive from my house. I finally had to quit because I was missing too many sessions.

But since Neverwinter Nights came out, I've been able to run two long campaigns, one of which started in August 2002, the other in September 2003. Both are still going. Using the matchmaking/scheduling site Neverwinter Connections, I was able to find players for both games, each of which plays two hours a week. One of them I run early on Sundays, while my wife is still asleep. While it has some disadvantages over tabletop gaming, my campaigns have now lasted longer than any tabletop RPG I've played. In my experience, most roleplaying campaigns die out due to scheduling issues. In this case, technology has made it easier to run a long campaign.

Rated R for Retarded (2, Insightful)

telchine (719345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261544)

The problem I have is that most games these days seem to be targeted at kids and lack real depth. Games such as GTA may have R-ratings, but I doubt that many older gamers find such titles appealing.

Re:Rated R for Retarded (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261978)

This is actually one of the more interesting things I noticed with the Wii ...

I, and most of the gamers I know who are between 25-40, really wanted to get a Wii as early as I could; my Sister-in-Law's nephew (14) and most young teenage boys (13-17) say that the Wii is "Too Kiddie". It seems to me that, in general, what teenagers (and teenagers at heart) think of as 'Mature' most adults think of as immature.

Re:Rated R for Retarded (1)

cultrhetor (961872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262496)

Agreed - mod up! The best part of early games was gameplay. Infinitely hard puzzles don't make games more fun, nor does graphic violence that leaves nothing to the imagination. Consider Tetris - simple to learn and play, addictive as hell, and tough to boot. The violence was more entertaining in Castlevania & Zelda (NES) or River Run & Combat (Atari) than it is in most contemporary games, IMHO.

Re:Rated R for Retarded (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262716)

Agree 100%. Usually the argument you hear from people who say something is "too kiddie" are from pre-teens or teenagers themselves while us adult gamers prefer games with solid gameplay just like we used to have a decade or two ago.

Re:Rated R for Retarded (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262978)

Right - highest grossing game series for the PS2 series. That didn't appeal at all. Um - you never played it did you? That would explain the no-depth argument. How do you explain your retardation?

Re:Rated R for Retarded (1)

LParks (927321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263124)

GTA was actually successful because of its deep gameplay. It was very open-ended, and had "sandbox" style where you could distract yourself from the main story just going around and having fun stealing cars, running from the cops, checking out side quests, finding items, getting to crazy places, etc. You'll see that many Mature rated games don't do well unless they have good gameplay or some novell ideas.

it's called... (1)

jense (978975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261600)

...being responsible and not letting games interfere with real life. like playing after the kids are in bed. it's not so hard to do. plus, diaper rash cream keep those joysticks nice and lubed up for maximum efficiency.

Re:it's called... (4, Insightful)

Cheap Imitation (575717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261948)

Sadly, when the kids are in bed is the best time to do the dishes, the laundry, pay the bills, clean the house, or most of the other daily chores that need to be done.

By the time those are complete, it's often too late, or I'm too tired, to fire up a game.

I miss gaming. I used to love strategy and role playing games. But the small snippets of time I now get make it almost impossible to maintain continuity in anything deeper than driving games or 3D shooters. It's like trying to watch a movie in 10 minute per day chunks. It loses something.

Re:it's called... (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262676)

I've found turn based to be the only way to keep the 'rpg' thing alive. By that I'm talking about the numerous stat-builder/resource based games where you accumulate turns per 'tick' (say 30 mins) then play them in bunches.

The only other thing would be something like PBeM

Re:it's called... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263668)

Sadly, when the kids are in bed is the best time to do the dishes, the laundry, pay the bills, clean the house, or most of the other daily chores that need to be done.

Uh...that is what I have a wife for.

Walt Disney... (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261634)

When I was a kid, there was a Walt Disney movie about a car nut who baby cries sounded like a car horn, crashes the classroom car simulator, and finds love in the back seat of the car. They need to update that movie with a baby born with a gamepad in hand, who crashes the classroom game design computer, and finds love while testing video games.

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261676)

"and finds love while testing video games."

Obviously not based on a true story, eh?

Re:Walt Disney... (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261712)

When I was a kid, there was a Walt Disney movie about a car nut who baby cries sounded like a car horn, crashes the classroom car simulator, and finds love in the back seat of the car.

Times like this I wish Slashdot had a +1 - Batshit insane Disney reference moderation.

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261940)

...and finds love in the back seat of the car.

I was under the impression this is where a lot of people find love, but in a Disney movie? That sounds about as probable as the average /. reader finding love in the back seat of a car...

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262148)

but in a Disney movie?

I don't remember that particular movie (I guess I wasn't a kid at the right time) but consider the fact that Touchstone is a division of Disney, so the Touchstone Pictures movies are technically still Disney movies ;)

Re:Walt Disney... (2, Informative)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262310)

IIRC, the movie was made in the late 1950's or 1960's. The back seat was implied like the way many older movies implied that "something" goes on behind the bedroom door at night. If you knew, you knew; if not, you're find out eventually. I had a college English teacher who told the class that she had no idea what to do on her honeymoon since the movies never showed what happen and S-E-X was never openly discussed back then.

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

xlordtyrantx (958605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262282)

Watch "Grandma's Boy"! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456554 [imdb.com]

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262364)

I spent six years in the video game industry. That's the most unrealistic movie I had ever seen or I worked at a very boring company (Accolade/Infogrames/Atari).

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

xlordtyrantx (958605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262432)

It may be unrealistic, but it was still funny!

Re:Walt Disney... (1)

xlordtyrantx (958605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262494)

They need to update that movie with a baby born with a gamepad in hand, who crashes the classroom game design computer, and finds love while testing video games.
"Gradma's Boy"'s protagonist talked about someone playing and beating Zelda before they could walk, and the guy finds love testing video games. What else do you want man?

Internet Addiction and Burnout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261666)

I turned 11 or 12 right at the height of the Video-Game Arcade craze of the early '80s. My parents gave me an Atari for Christmas.

For about 2 years I was totally addicted to video games. My grades suffered. Almost all my allowance went to video games. I lied and stole to support my habit. Years later I repaid what I stole.

Then I burned out. Crashed.

For years I didn't even want to play games.

It took years to recover but now I can drop a token, enjoy a game, and walk away.

Did this happen to anyone else?

Re:Internet Addiction and Burnout (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261726)

£130 life savings (Hey, I was about 13 at the time) and a week bunking off school.
I still get nervous walking past arcades.

Re:Internet Addiction and Burnout (1)

TacNuke (890744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261836)

In the first grade I feigned illness to go home from school and play Adventure on the Atari 2600. My gaming addiction went through the coin op video game phase (taking quarters from my parents coin stash to play Joust [our small town only had two coin op games: joust and ms pacman]) to the present day addictions (less stealing involved), like WoW for a short time then Civ4 and BFME2 ..........

Re:Internet Addiction and Burnout (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261980)

About as close as I ever got was habitually stealing quarters from mom's bus change collection to play Kung-Fu and Sinistar at the local asian-run beachfront market. There was a lot of playing games and ignoring life but that part wasn't about video games so much as depression... As evinced by the fact that I ignored life with lots of non-video-game activities too.

Cold Turkey (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261690)

Ok, I'm kinda old-school. I spent a lot of time during my childhood playing my Atari 2600, Vic-20, C-64/128, Apple 2+, etc. Also spent a lot of time with an Intellivision and an Atari 5200, but I didn't own those.

I don't play any games now, except on my phone when I'm waiting for a flight or something. Between my wife, kids, jobs, reading, (non-gaming) hobbies, and exercise, I just don't have time for it. And I really don't miss it. Although they can a lot of fun (and yes, the 2600 was really fun), gaming just seems to me to be a) somewhat addictive and b) a waste of time.

Now I'm not anti-gaming, or look down on those who play games. Whatever floats your boat. Just ask yourself- often- would my life be more fulfilling if I played less often? I decided the answer was yes, and because of the addiction factor decided that my optimum was zero, and pretty much walked away.

That said, I kind of look forward to introducing my kids to videogames one day (we're at Candyland and Memory right now), and was recently pretty tempted by those 2600-in-a-joystick-for-$20 things in a store. But you can bet their game time will be rationed. There's just so much more to life (YMMV).

Re:Cold Turkey (3, Interesting)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261810)

There's just so much more to life (YMMV).

Actually, some of the most fun times that I have with my daughter are the multi-hour sessions playing head-to-head games like Mario Kart 64 or Diddy Kong Racing on the old Nintendo 64. Many times my wife joins in, particularly with Mario Kart 64, and we'll play together for hours on end. Once I get the Wii hooked up, I expect we'll all spend a lot more time playing Wii Sports as well. (I'm going to have to reinforce that ol' Wiimote strap for my daughter. That handcuff mod might do nicely.)

"More to life" doesn't have to mean "outside" or "at the park".

Re:Cold Turkey (2, Insightful)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261862)

And then I RTFA:

Mike Krahulik's 2-year-old son, Gabriel, is still a little young to play videogames, but the elder Krahulik makes sure to spend time with his son and talk about whichever game Dad's playing. He even gives little Gabriel his own controller so that he'll feel included.


I initially wrote a screed to end all screeds when I read this. To the tune of Put down the controller and pick up your freeking son. Then I realized that I do stuff like exercise that takes the place of time that I could spend with my kids. But I spend 80% of my waking, non-work, before-their-bedtime time with my kids, easily. I hope, hope, hope that this (dad gaming, son just kinda watching) situation is kept to a minimum.

Just my nosy parenting advice for the day.

Re:Cold Turkey (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262080)

I hope, hope, hope that this (dad gaming, son just kinda watching) situation is kept to a minimum.

Uh, this is clearly time spent with his kids, and we don't know anything about the quality of said time without observing him.

Save your reactionary attitude for your own household.

Re:Cold Turkey (2, Insightful)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262422)

Yes he plays with his kid. But this isn't pure entertainment to him. This is work for Mike, screwed up as it sounds. He has to play games and keep on top of them. Although there are going to be plenty of /.ers that will make a joke, his work is video games.

He's successfully integrating his work with his homelife. Although you know he enjoys it greatly, Mike is like millions of other parents whose work comes home with them and their kids get interested. I had a physics Prof who would tell us about her child that would ask questions about the papers she was working on, and she'd try to give the best explanation she could and let her child help sort papers.

Yah, if he was a normal Joe working 9-5 and coming home ploping on the couch and having the son just watch, I'd a bit concerned about that. But this way he gets to spend time with his son while doing work related gaming.

Re:Cold Turkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261918)

It's hard to even make that point on a site like this because you come off sounding like an anti-gamer snob, but you're right.

I recently had a realization that games were a waste of time for me. I just didn't want to spend my time doing something like gaming that, while enjoyable, ultimately didn't enrich my life at all. I can spend hours playing games, because they're fun and relatively harmless, but I have nothing to show for it at the end. I used to be okay with that, but I'm not anymore. I'd rather be reading, or writing, or going out, even watching a good movie - those things enrich my life. Being able to pwn some twelve-year-old on BF2 does not.

Gaming does still have a place for me, mindless entertainment. Passing a few minutes playing solitaire is different than playing WC3 for a couple of hours. Everybody needs to shut their brain off every once in a while.

That said, it took me many years for this to start bothering me, and I think gaming is a fine hobby if you want to pursue it. It doesn't make you a loser or a lazy person, though - my priorities just changed.

Re:Cold Turkey (1)

JPrice (181921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262602)

I certainly enjoy all of the activities you mention (reading, writing, watching a good movie), and I'm certainly not criticizing what you've decided is important to you, but I personally don't see anything that makes any of those activities intrinsically "more enriching" than playing video games.

The best movies suck you in, tell a good story, "wow" you with their looks (be they special effects, good cinematography, or whatever), etc. They also give you some pop-cultural context (since you can talk about it with other people who have seen it). The best video games do the same thing and they're far less passive a medium. There are certainly lots of crappy video games that do none of those things, but there are also lots of crappy movies.

Writing provides one sort of creative outlet, but so do countless numbers of games that allow you to anything from building a city, to founding an empire, to devising a clever strategy for taking down your opponent.

Lots of games can even allow you to learn something new. I won't claim that most games contain the same information density as a good book, but I think it's unfair to paint all games with the "mindless entertainment" brush. If I were only looking at the best-sellers fiction list, I might draw the conclusion that "reading" is just as mindless (it's also a lot less social than playing a game with a friend).

Again, I'm not trying to say that video games are a replacement for all the activites you listed... just that I think you give games too little credit.

Re: Cold Turkey (1)

Arguendo (931986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261988)

Everything is a game. Some games just have real consequences and those games are in real life. Some games don't have real consequences, and those games are categorized into playtime.

At some point I think it is natural to transition away from video or board games because you start having the ability to dabble in bigger games with more serious consequences and greater rewards. The dating game. The parent game. The stock market game. The career game.

It's probably just as natural to start going back to those things when you have children because they use those playtime games to learn.

But it is nice to occasionally go back to games without consequences. Playing is a hell of a lot of fun, precisely because it gives you the opportunity to explore and try new things without (a) getting an STD; (b) screwing up your child's life; (c) losing all your money; or (d) getting fired.

Re:Cold Turkey (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262016)

Sorry, but you lose old-school credibility for the use of "Apple 2+". For future reference, the proper way to reference pre-Macintosh Apple Computers is to use "Apple ][+" or "Apple II+" or "IIe", "IIc", "IIgs", etc. One must always reference the machines using some form of roman numerals rather than euro-arabic numerals (even the machines used roman numerals to identify themselves).

Re:Cold Turkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262508)


One must always reference the machines using some form of roman numerals rather than euro-arabic numerals (even the machines used roman numerals to identify themselves).


So Commodore Vic-XX, LXIV, and CXXVIII?

Re:Cold Turkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263586)

> and was recently pretty tempted by those 2600-in-a-joystick-for-$20 things in a store.

Actually, skip those and get Atari Flashback 2. They put the original 2600 circuit on a chip and loaded it with old games and some homebrew. Including bugs. You can also plug in the original sticks, and hack a port if you still have cartridges.

Also it's cheap so you won't feel bad when you find you really had-to-be-there to enjoy the 2600. Figure on playing Mario Kart and Katamari with your kids to start. Pick up a 90s console or two plus games while they've hit the lowest-price / highest-availability ratio at the shops like EB games.

(Warning: they just stab a price tag on trade-ins. Figure on cleaning the bits carefully with a toothbrush & windex, and figure on having to do a couple of returns to get working gear. And stay within the brand name for memory cards. Otherwise, have a blast. Use vid games to replace all-ages board and card games during cold winter nights, and rainy weekends.)

Some of us older gamers (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261698)

Have adult children that can change their own diapers. ;)

only on slashdot. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17261736)

I find it amusing that people would rather invest their time and money into a video game instead of their personal endeavors. Video games are meant to help pass the time from the boring reality that most get stuck in because of either social disabilities or lack of money. I've seen marriages collapse because of W.O.W. and friendships. It seems that the interaction among online games has decrease the value of real life conversations.

Re:only on slashdot. (2, Funny)

cultrhetor (961872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262546)

I agree. I knew a /.-esque nerd whose wife would do anything to get his attention away from whatever Medal of Honor or GTA game he had just purchased. She would walk by him naked, telling him it was bedtime, and he'd ignore her completely. Made me wonder - she was stacked.

Re:only on slashdot. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263484)

Man, what a dork.

OTOH, maybe he is holding out for some special 'service'.

My wife came into the the game room wearing skimpy clothing once, and I..errr great now I lost my train of thought.

Re:only on slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263536)

Sounds like she needs help. This is a job for...da dada da! BackDoorMan!

Re:only on slashdot. (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263684)

How the hell did he convince her to marry him?

Re:only on slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262684)

Only on slashdot would someone who actually knows the apocryphal "failed marriage due to WoW" try to lecture successful people with noteriety and children about the futility of their game playing. Please share with us the value of your "real life" conversations.

This is all very simple (3, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261740)

"You just don't have as much time for gaming," he says, "when you're getting up every 30 minutes to change diapers and get thrown up"'"

There are very simple solutions to this:
Don't change the diapers. They'll get potty trained faster that way.
Also, don't let your kids throw you up, it hurts. Teach them some manners.

Geekdom? (1)

aliendisaster (1001260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261770)

With gaming stepping out of the shadows of geekdom and into the spotlight of the mainstream


When did gaming go into the shadows of geekdom? I wasn't around when the first games came out. However, I do remember talking to my other classmates in 6th grade when SNES was coming out. I also remember the arcade being one of the teenage hang outs for the 'cool' kids. I also remember going to parties and there was always people in the corner playing a game be it PS, XBOX, or anything else. If there was something to game on, most people flock to it.

What? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261786)

You calling me old?
How dare you!

Re:What? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261908)

Whoa, hold on, hold on. We're all going to grow old. We can't stop that. Many will also grow out, but a few sessions on the treadmill every week could help to take care of that. However, I'll be damned before I grow up!! Some things are just not worth doing! :)

And considering that your user ID roughly translates to "deceased person", what the hell are you complaining about?! :)

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17262040)

However, I'll be damned before I grow up!! Some things are just not worth doing! :)
Mom's basement much too comfortable, eh?

Re:What? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262144)

Oh, that's really mature. { rolling eyes } Yessir, such deep, intellectual humor as to be expected from someone who doesn't have the balls to post with his real user ID.

And I'll have you know that it's my basement/game room because the deed is in my name and I pay the mortgage, thankyouverymuch.

Re:What? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263458)

Why did you rise to that?
Man, he got your goat.

Re:What? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263592)

*sigh* Next time I'll put the smiley in there. Apparently, it's needed by people on a Friday. :/

As a parent of 2... (1)

batkid (448363) | more than 7 years ago | (#17261896)

I have a 2 year old and a newborn at home. I also grew up with video games and love playing them as a hobby. Time is definitely a precious commodity: Do I spend 2 hours playing games by myself or spend it with my kids? Or better yet, getting some much needed sleep since the baby wakes up every 2 hours.

I think they need to make good games that can be played at 15 minutes intervals, or games that can be played with the rest of the family. I am very interested at the Wii at the moment as it has lots of potential.

I can't wait until I can play video games with my 2 year old :)

Re:As a parent of 2... (2, Informative)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262068)

"I have a 2 year old and a newborn at home."

I'm about 6 months ahead of you with a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old at home. At your stage, I didn't play any games and barely watched TV. Now that we get proper sleep again, my wife or I may play a video game every now and then. I've been playing X-Men Legends lately and she's been playing Paper Mario. While one of us is playing, the other plays with/cares for the kids. When you have kids young enough to need constant attention, it's nice to have a break every once and a while and playing video games is a good way to take that break.

Both of the games I've picked up recently (X-Men Legends and Paper Mario) have frequent save points. That has really led to us playing more often since we can play for as long as we want (in 10-15 minute increments).

Re:As a parent of 2... (2, Interesting)

slashwritr (1009921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262152)

I used to play RPGs on the PC and the PS2 back when I didn't have kids; now, I play mostly casual games (like Bookworm Adventures) a lot of which I discover through Jay Bibby's site [jayisgames.com] . I can play these games whenever I have free time, leave them and then play them again without any save games necessary. The cost (mostly free; a couple of demos) is pretty attractive as well.

I have two-year old twins, so when I'm on the PC they insist on sitting on my lap, mashing the keyboard and moving the mouse around. Try playing an RPG or an FPS with all that going on; I tried doing that once (Baldur's Gate 2, I think) and they wound up erasing a couple of my saved games. Much teeth-gnashing there, but I couldn't blame the kids--it's all on me.

It's a nice bonding experience with them, though, so now I just click on the Disney Channel site and let them have a go. Either that or I fire up Bookworm Adventures--they like the toon-ish graphics. I'm hoping they pick up some new words as well.

Re:As a parent of 2... (1)

mikeasu (1025283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262506)

I'm a bit behind you, we've got our first, he's 5 months old. Certainly finding out how much I have to ration my free time now. (As you said, a commodity) Given the time between coming home from work, taking care of Junior and conversing with the wife (yeah, we do talk...) as far as actual down time - one hour, maybe two on rare occasions. Do I spend that web-surfing, reading, playing with linux, hopping on WoW for some battlegrounds, play around with the LOTR beta, or mess with oh, four or five single player games I've barely scratched the surface of?

Games in 15 minute increments...I love that idea. Everyone knows about WoW's endgame - there is no endgame unless you're either raiding or PvPing, both of which take amounts of time out of reach for the casual gamer. How many games coming off the line are MMOPRG, with eventual large time sinks in the endgame? I just don't see how you could combine a huge epic gaming experience with 15-30 minute increments.

Re:As a parent of 2... (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262776)

Get the Wii. I'm a parent of three - a four-close-to-five year old girl, a three year old boy and a 14 month old boy. I've just spent quite a lot of the day playing Wii Sports baseball with the three year old, watched the four year old playing pop-the-balloon type games and air hockey, then watched the the two of them play cow racing against each other.

They love it, and frankly so do I. Although it must be said I'm utterly useless at the baseball game...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:As a parent of 2... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263494)

Try an Atari 2600 joystick--or paddles, they're multi-player--or one of the NAMCO/Pacman joysticks. Or maybe a plug-in pinball controller. Jaxx/Pacific makes them. You can finish an individual game in less than 15 minutes until you actually get good at it.
It's possible to pause those games, too--at the least for NAMCO and pinball.
Disclaimer: I do not work for Jaxx/Pacific, but I've had fun with the games.

The first generation with gamer parents? (1)

james_orr (574634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262092)

My parents played a LOT of atari 2600 when I was a kid. Possibly even more than my brother and I did. Of course a lot of it was together as a family, but they played when us kids weren't around as well. Warlords was fantastic because all four of us could play at once.

My mother even had the local hospitals very first gaming related injury when she got tennis elbow (or "atari elbow" as they called it) after too many hours of asteroids.

They even played Shades, which was a MUD on the UK prestel network.

Quick Fix (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262158)

I like the "Quick Fix" games that satisify the gaming needs without requiring a night-long commitment. Online, that means Quake4 FFA. Unlike team-based games, nobody is offended when I drop out of a frag-fest.

The article is right on the money about saving the game. I am far less likely to play a game that doesn't have the ability to save at any time. Metroid Prime comes to mind as a great game that frustrated me with it's save scheme.

So what? My kid's a gamer too. (2, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262388)

Think of it as a respawn.

I started programming when I was 8. My daughter will probably start sooner than that.

She can use a mouse. She can play several of the Curious George games on PBS kids - without assistance. (We have to navigate there, but she can select games from the list and choose the ones she likes the best.)

Oh, she's 2.

Her younger brother will also learn how to use a computer. Right now he's working on "crawling".

Re:So what? My kid's a gamer too. (2, Funny)

crvtec (921881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262804)

Her younger brother will also learn how to use a computer. Right now he's working on "crawling".
He works for a search engine company?

Gaming and Kids (1)

NatePWIII (126267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262402)

I remember we had the first Nintendo growing up, my brothers and I would spend countless hours playing Zelda and Mario Brothers, usually later in the evening, during the day we either were at school or working on the farm.

I've got a four year old girl now and so far I have held off on buying and consoles. I watch her already spending way too much time watching Nick Jr. and Cartoon Networks and it really bugs me. Even though my brothers and I did spend a good deal of time playing games, at the same time we also worked on the farm and lived on a forested five acre lot and were continually chopping down trees and building tree forts etc... so it wasn't like we were couch potatoes either.

This new game console (Wii) seems at bit more interesting though, with its motion detection system, it actually encourages physical activity. But then again does it really replace the activities that it models?
I think I would rather take my child to the bowling alley then have her play it on a video game.

From a convenience standpoint though it makes sense, its a lot easier to turn on a bowling game then pack all the kids in the car and spend an entire evening at the bowling alley. In a sense what the video game consoles have become are baby sitters for parents who do not have the time or inclination to spend quality time with their kids. Even though a couple hours spent playing with your kids with a video game can be time well spent as well. I guess what it boils down to is finding a balance, a little gaming isn't bad but to plop your kid down in front of a console and then leave them for hours on end is not my idea or appropriate parenting.

Re:Gaming and Kids (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262764)

While a video game console can never (at the moment) replace real physical interaction. The wii is a lot better than the alternatives out there by getting people to actually stand up and get involved in the games. Plus the learning curve is so small that anyone can play. As with anything in life, a proper balance is something we all need to strive for.

Re:Gaming and Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17263158)

There's also the consideration that your home may very well be a better environment for a child than a bowling alley. Around here, if you take a kid to a bowling alley, you need to be prepared for the heavyset man with a beer in his hand telling his buddy to 'keep out of the fucking gutter'. There are also far fewer lost hands from virtual ball returns, and fewer broken toes from dropping air on your foot.

Adam

Whats a family for? (1)

MoronBob (574671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262442)

We have two boys and 7 computers. I got them started early. Now I can have a lan game if the internet connection is down or team attack when everything is working. My older son is playing games to acquire virtual property and sell it on ebay. Who knows a few more kids and I can retire to the basement forever.

Priorities (1)

mwpierce (1031662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17262852)

When I was first married (1985) I really loved video games. We had our first child a year later and I remember playing a flight simulator on my Amiga 500 praying that my child would like to play video games with me. Now, 18 years (and soon to be 5 children) later, things have certainly changed a bit. My older two boys (18 & 15) would spend every moment of their waking lives in front of the PC, xbox, or Wii. My oldest daughter (9) spends a lot of her time playing kid internet games. My 2 year old tries to bang on the computer every chance she gets. It's gotten to the point that seeing them play games non-stop has virtually taken all the fun out of video gaming. But alas, there are the Valve games that I enjoy so much (now the Wii too, but I need a shoulder surgery before I can really get into it:) The kids have cured me of the obsessive/compulsive computer gaming I used to do but I still do game a bit. I make sure all the chores around the house are taken care of, my wife and kids are taken care of, our animals are taken care of, and then I have about 1 hour per night, if I like, to play whatever I like. Fortunately for me I'm stuck on Valve's games and am waiting for the HL2 episode 2, Portals, and Team Fortress 2 to come out. Until then I'm learning some new programming languages and paradigms

my parents took my nes (1)

dropkick_the_puppy (1040520) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263038)

an amazing thing happened witht he rise of tetrisand such games... my parents took my nes to play games like Solomon's Key, Tetris, Marble Madness, Dr. Mario, and the like... thus i got a computer... they tried to move in on Wolfenstien, Doom, and the like but i was smart enough not to teach them how to use them.. until I moved out.. then i taught them how to use the computer... Windows 3.11 was pretty harmless at the time,, so i figured they cant get into too much trouble.. then came 95-98 2kp and well i have to constantly teach them.. however my 86 year old grandfather and my late grandmother know more about computers than my parents still know... My real father however.. being a engineer uses computers.. so he and i relate... to think i remember using BBS' service before the vast webbernet... at 2400... behind my parents backs because of "predators".. hehehe.... now i have to kick my mom off her computer to check my email... and my 12 year old brother uses the web just as much as i do now... times change.... and i'm feeling old.. no kids though.. not enough time between 60-70 hrs a week at work, my billiards addiction, and sleep... who has time... i do however have a PSP, i recently gave my ps2 to my brother.. minus the "good games" that i will have to wait to play again when i get a ps3..

I doesn't have to be either or.. (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263174)

You can game with your kids. My 2 daughters and I have played many hours of Might and Magic (6 & 7) together. A kid on each knee, one clicking the mouse, one hitting the "A" key (attack). Dad does movement, and we all figure out the puzzles together. Drives mom nuts, especially when we're talking game in the car. "The liches in Castle Darkmoor are really tough, they might be immune to magic. No problem daddy, shrapmetal does physical damage"

They're only kids once, so you gotta share with them as much as you can.

The Video Game Generation has money now (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263194)

When we were younger we had lots of time for games but little money. Now we have the money for games (but much less free time).

I haven't seen any ads that target the adult gamer segment specifically; I guess they figure ads that work for a 17-year-old will work just as well for someone twice that age. But soon enough we will probably see ads: "Forget the Civ [firaxis.com] games! I play Oasis [oasisgame.com] because I can get in several games between feeding the newborn and changing his diaper."

BLATANT PLUG: If you are a member of The Video Game Generation and you have money now, why not bid on my auctions to benefit Child's Play?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =170059988064 [ebay.com]
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =170059999729 [ebay.com]
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item =170060001967 [ebay.com]

steveha

Hardest Part (1)

ggKimmieGal (982958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263672)

I think the hardest thing for my generation is the gap between males and females. I personally grew up a gamer female, so when my boyfriend chooses to play video games for hours, it really doesn't bother me at all. However, the biggest complaint I get from a lot of my female friends is that they cannot understand why boys feel the need to play video games so much! The idea that guys play too many video games is slowly, but surely sneaking into Cosmopolitan magazine and others like it. Beware, Men, Cosmo says video games are bad! ;)

Re:Hardest Part (1)

Seantotheizzo (1011799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17263882)

An easy rebuttal: ladies (Cosmo girls really), you spend hours in front of a mirror every morning. Let's not talk about who is spending "too much time" doing anything.

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