|Having a real conversation with your gamer|
As a parent, it can sometimes feel like your kids are speaking a completely different language. This is especially true when they are talking about a hobby or interest you do not know much about. I have a whole series of posts designed to address this very issue.
However, knowing the vocabulary does not necessarily make it easy to start a conversation with your gamer. How do you get the ball rolling? Here are 4 questions to help you get started.
What are you playing? – This is an easy one. They are playing something. This question can get the ball rolling.
Follow-up questions – What do you like/not like about it? Does it have a story? If so, what is it about? Are you playing with your friends?
What games are you excited about? – This question will help you know what’s on your gamer’s radar. Most gamers are looking forward to at least one, if not multiple, games. Finding out about those games accomplishes a few things for you.
- It helps you connect with something close to your gamer’s heart. Anticipation is a powerful thing. It is also something that wants to be shared.
- It gives you an idea for a gift for your gamer. You could score some big time brownies points by getting them that must have game.
- It gives you an opportunity to scope out the game beforehand. This can help you preempt their disappointment if the game they are excited about falls outside your boundaries.
Follow-up questions – Why are you excited about it? When does it come out?
Have you heard of/what do you think about [XYZ Game]? – You have probably heard about certain video games from your circle of influence. Maybe a friend is talking about their kid playing Minecraft or the news is talking about Grand Theft Auto. Asking this question can start the conversation with your gamer about that particular game.
Be careful with this question, though. Gamers are a defensive bunch, especially when they feel video games are under attack. You do not want to say something like, “I heard about this game called Grand Theft Auto and how terrible it is. Don’t you think it’s terrible?” You have just started an argument, not a conversation.
Instead, ask them what they think about the game and really listen to their answer. Let them know that you value their opinion and are genuinely interested in what they think.
Follow-up questions – Have you played it? Do your friends play it? What do you think about the uproar over it (if there is one)?
What is the best/worst game you have ever played? – One thing about gamers, we are an opinionate bunch. If we love a game, we will tell you. If we do not, we’ll tell you that too. This question will allow your gamer to express some of those opinions.
Follow-up questions – What made it great/terrible? Were you surprised it was so good/bad? What makes it better/worse than other similar games?
These questions can help you get to the heart of your gamer. It may take some time to get them to open up, especially if you have had fights over video games in the past, but it will be well worth it.