|Image by Mike Baird, Creative Commons|
On Monday, I dealt with one of the big issues parents of gamers face, how to encourage exercise. Today I want to deal with another one.
Gaming can be a solitary pursuit. It is less these days than it used to be because a lot of games include multiplayer. However, even when you are playing with other people, it is over the internet and does not include face to face time.
So how can you encourage your gamer to socialize? Here are couple suggestions to get the ball rolling.
Host a video game party
One thing I love to do is get together with my friends and play. You can encourage this in your gamer by volunteering to host a game night. Let them invite their friends and take over the TV room. Order pizza. Have a plentiful supply of Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew. And then let them play.
Hosting a video game party in your home will accomplish a few things for you as well.
- You will meet your gamer’s friends. This will help you put names with faces. It will also establish you as a parent who is paying attention.
- You will get to see what games they are playing. This will also give you an understanding of how those games are effecting them. Do they turn into a crazy person when playing Call of Duty against other people?
- You will be establishing your house as the “cool” house. I know I want my kids to choose my house to hang out at whenever there is a choice. I can keep better tabs on what they are doing that way.
Host a board game party
There will come a point where you want your gamer to learn how to socialize outside the context of video games. A great way to start moving them in that direction is through board games.
Now, I am not just talking about Monopoly or Scrabble (although those games are great too). There is a whole world of board games out there that will appeal to gamers. Here are a couple I have played that I would recommend.
- Munchkin – Role-playing card game. Each player builds up their character with armor and weapons. They then fight monsters to gain levels. The winner is the first person to reach level 10. It can be played by up to 8 players.
- Wits & Wagers – Trivia game. There will be a ridiculous question like, “What year was the bikini invented?” You then make wagers based on what you think the answer might be. It can lead to some very interesting discussions.
What do you think? Do you have any ideas of good ways to encourage socialization? Let us know in the comments!