After that, I never argued video games again. Maybe I'll decompose someday with Sonic Heroes in my head, but it'll be worth it, if for nothing more than that.
My family, we're gamers. Not me, exactly, but the rest of them, for sure. My dad, my brother, my nephews, my boys...they likey their games. They used to be a mindless time-suck (really, Jungle Hunt has NO practical life applications outside of Compton) but something has happened in the gaming industry. Someone grew a brain.
We hung out with the people at EA a few months ago, and the woman who hosted us told us about the CEO of the Hasbro division at EA, how he had kids and gave up his spot in some other branch of EA to run the Hasbro side, because his kids shifted his priorities, and he realized that he could help make kids a little better, a little smarter, a little more eager to learn with his games. That's kind of awesome, if you ask me.
Even more than my kids being able to see the world through a well-coded video game, I've seen than, through these games, the gap between our generations is being bridged. We're driving down te street one day and Dream On comes on the radio. 2of3 asks me to turn it up. I oblige. He starts singing along and then asks me if I've ever heard of a band called Aerosmith.
Um, the name is vaguely familiar, yes.
Because my kids play Guitar Hero, they've learned to love the music I grew up with. And don't think I haven't spent the last decade trying to indoctrinate them into the House Of Zepplin. They just don't listen to me, because I am old and boring an don't know shit about that which is cool. But Rock Band does.
This new wave of video games is leveling the playing field in a lot of ways for families. It's making what we loved acceptable and accessible to our kids. And I, for one, am grateful for it. It's also giving us more options for family time. Wii Sports? Yep, my kids will spend all day kicking my ass at tennis. And I'll gladly waste away any afternoon with my best friend Sheryl letting her kick my ass at it, too. When I first moved back in with my husband, after the Great Divorce, we spent those awkward first weeks at night together having hours on hours of sports.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...that damn Wii saved my marriage. Not kidding.
I couldn't actually ride a skateboard again, even if the Space Invader aliens came down and threatened my life with fluorescent green laser blips if I didn't. But my kids can, and that makes my 13 year old heart skip a pubescent beat. All I wanted were a bunch of little skate rats, and I got them. And maybe its not the same as me, outside, at the skatepark on a half pipe, but I have to admit that this skateboarding game we got to play,with Tony Hawk, was pretty fucking awesome, if for nothing else, the hearty laugh they had at my uncoordinated ass.
Which they kicked.
Maybe that's the key to successful parent/child relations...finding something you used to be able to do, and letting your kids absolutely cream you at it.