Video Games: A Rant

What follows an approximant account of the lecture I found myself giving my two oldest children last night. I want to state right now that I have no problem with video games and am actually quite fond of playing them myself, but there’s only so much a dad can take…

No! No! NO!!!

I will NOT get you through the rest of this dungeon!

No I will NOT beat this boss for you!

Do you think I had someone to get me through the hard parts of games when I was a kid?!?!

You think Nana or Grandpa ever beat a boss for me?

No.

No they didn’t.

My generation was the first to have complicated games and we didn’t have parents that knew how to play.

My parents played Pac-man and Pong and pinball!

We didn’t have the luxury of living in a house with someone who’s played games for 25+ years and who knew how video game logic works.

No, when I was a kid, WHEN I WAS A CHILD, we had to figure out how to get through things ourselves dammit!

WE didn’t even have the INTERNET!

Yeah, that’s right! No internet.

Let that shit sink in.

If we were lucky we had a friend who had played before us or we knew someone who knew someone who was able to save up enough money to buy a Nintendo Power magazine that might, MIGHT, have an answer to a question about the game we were playing in it!

When I was a kid, when that old man between the fires in the beginning of Zelda said “take this, it’s dangerous to go alone”, all he gave us was that sword, because we, we were truly alone out there in the shit man.

WE figured the puzzles out ourselves!

To US, every “secret”, be it level, weapon or what have you, was an actual goddam secret that you either stumbled on yourself by chance or you had to research and hunt down  like it was the Ark-of-the-MOTHERFUCKING-COVENANT!

WE DID THAT THAT SHIT OURSELVES! 

WE, WE HAD GAMES THAT NO ONE WE KNEW COULD BEAT!!

WE WERE THE LONELY MOTHERFUCKING WARRIORS OF VIDEO GAMES AND WE ARE BETTER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF IT, NOW STOP ASKING ME TO PLAY YOUR GODDAM GAMES FOR YOU!!!

Um…

I’m sorry, Daddy didn’t mean to…

Please stop crying guys…

I didn’t mean to…

How about I get y’all through those levels and we just don’t tell Momma about this?

Ok?

I… I love you… 

 

And It’s Official

We knew it was coming.

We just didn’t know when.

And to be honest it’s almost completely our fault. We’ve set a terrible example by how we act and what we talk about in front of our children.

Well, that and genetics.

See, my wife and I, we… Well… We found out that my oldest son is a full fledge geekling.

We were hoping it would stay at the level where he was just a little spazzy and really, really enthusiastic about math and video games… and some comics… and Star Wars…  and sometimes he quotes Doctor Who…, but we got the results of a school administered eye exam this week and it appears he’s getting glasses for his eighth birthday. Possibly thick ones.

He also recently started needing an inhaler because of allergy induced asthma.

And he seems to be really bad at sports. But that’s not a big surprise because he’s very small for his age and kind of uncoordinated…

Man am I glad geek culture is cool now.

 

 

Censoring My Children’s Media (and how I suck at it)

 

Yesterday I was cleaning while I had a little pop-punk playing in the background on one of the free internet radio sites when I realized my kids were dancing around me to the song “Fuck Armageddon… This is Hell” by Bad Religion. Noticing this I stopped cleaning to see what other songs the kids may have heard while I wasn’t paying attention. There was some stuff from NOFX,  Propagandhi and some other bands that, well, if you’re not familiar the genre lets just say that there’s no lack of profanity in the lyrics. I mean, it’s no hardcore gangsta rap or anything, but still, there’s plenty of words in there that I don’t want my three-year old using while we’re shopping.

“Wait,” I  then thought. “Is the only reason I try to censor profanity in our home is because I don’t want others to judge me?”

And the answer is yes, it’s pretty much the only reason.

I honestly have no problems with profanity. Actually I think it’s often the most straightforward way of voicing your opinion about certain situations. I mean, what can be more succinct than a calmly stated “fuck that”? And because of this I have a difficult time disciplining my children for using profanity at home, especially when they use it correctly or it makes me laugh. But I still try to censor it.

Then I realized the only reason I have a problem with sexual content on TV and movies is because I’m scared to explain sex to my kids. I don’t want them watching that filth because I don’t want to explain a blowjob joke to a seven-year old. The idea of that just plain terrifies me.

Really the only thing I censor for the good of the children is violence.

And I obviously do an awful job at that considering how hard my oldest laughs while beating hookers to death while playing Grand Theft Auto