I love New Year’s day. And I’m not saying that because it’s my birthday (which it is) (and I accept cash, checks, and Best Buy/Steam gift cards ðŸ˜‰ ) I love the opportunity to reflect on the last year and look forward to the next.
I have been reflecting on Parenting Gamers and its direction a lot over the last couple months. My initial mission here was to help parents use video games to connect with their gamers. I wanted to educate parents about video games hoping that eventually they would want to sit down and play with their gamers.
I did this by pumping out a lot of information. I gave you vocabulary. I told you about some of the big games out there. I showed you how to evaluate the games your gamer is playing.
The thing is, I want to do more. I want to help you not only know your gamer but also guide and direct your gamer.
I am coming to the point in my journey as a parent where I believe one of the most important things I can do for my kids is help them figure out who they are and then empower them to be that person. And that is what I want to help you do as well.
This train of thought was inspired by Joe Budish. In his article about video games, he talks about being frustrated with kids who sit in front of the TV playing video games all the time instead of exploring the big world out there.
I can’t stand hearing of a teenage boy with all the time in the world, so many resources at his disposal, a supportive family, a ton of potential, and so much to be discovered about himself and the world who instead is content to spend a good chunk of his middle school life in front of a TV screen.
The key phrase in that quote is “so much to be discovered about himself and the world”. Your gamer is just starting to figure out who he is. Sitting in front of the TV all day, every day does not help him do this.
He will begin to figure out who he is by trying new things. I am a programmer by trade. I love sitting down at a computer and building a program from scratch. However, I did not know this about myself until my first programming class my senior year of high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life before then. That class opened my eyes to a whole new, amazing world that I wanted to join.
Now, I am not saying throw away video games. I still believe video games are an amazing vehicle for connecting with other people, including your children. I also believe you can use video games to help your gamer know himself.
For example, I wrote in my book about Minecraft how you can use it to find out what makes your gamer tick. Asking questions about why he loves it can give you a hint at other things he might really get into.
So my mission here at Parenting Gamers will be to equip you not only to be able to connect with your gamer through video games but also to use video games to guide them on the journey of knowing themselves. I will be unpacking how I am going to do this in the next few days.