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How to Raise a Video Gamer

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

(up to being a tween…after that …. still trying to figure it out!)

As parents we have many choices – too many choices. Some of them are not so critical (choice of clothing, dental floss, salt…) and some matter more (education, morals and value system…) Every choice matters on different levels. In my family we sometimes take on a divide and conquer approach to parenting (splitting responsibilities.) I have taken over my son’s video game education. My partner has taken on other areas.

As a gamer (video, board, tabletop role playing) and parent, my son’s video game education was no small matter. I thought my goal was simple: achieve some sort of parent/child equilibrium where my son would learn to play strong – with kindness and empathy and … would actually want to play with me. (I know….) Outside factors were many, but I had control of what and when to introduce specific video games. I am NOT talking about any early educational video games that teach basic math and reading skills. Just games for gaming.

My plan was to introduce each unique video game genre at just the right developmental time, while tandemly moving through the standard card and board game progression. From Candyland into Trouble and then quickly into the Parker Brothers path of Sorry, then Clue, and unavoidably Monopoly – the most cutthroat game of them all! Cautionary Note: card gaming can potentially lead to the wide deep expensive hole of Pokémon card play/collecting & trading – which gets even more expensive once you arrive at Magic the Gathering gaming. Uber fun, but not a one-time purchase and play situation.