187: Parents Just Don't Understand

tendo82

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Parents Just Don't Understand

Most of us never played videogames with our parents, but that doesn't mean they don't have anything to teach us about them. Tom Endo recalls his father's observations about the games he played as a youth, and how they shaped his future opinions about the medium.

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Jursa

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Oct 11, 2008
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Well it's true, the last generation usually can't grasp gaming and I have only one thing to say about that - it's their loss...
 

Gxas

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My parents, mainly my mother, are the same way. Hell, even my roommate can be most of the time. They don't really get it. They don't understand how someone can sit and invest their time into a game; something that, in their minds, doesn't yield anything out of beating it or being good at it. My parents have started to realize that games are my life. They realize that, when I visit home, part of my time will be spent in the basement either on XBL or on WoW. They are also getting to know games better. My mom will occasionally send me articles about new or controversial games that I may be interested in. Ahh well, as Jursa said, "It's their loss..."
 

TZer0

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That pretty much summed up what it is like in my house. Exactly. Just other games, but otherwise the same.

Great article.
 

chromewarriorXIII

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Oct 17, 2008
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I am lucky in the way that both my parents like to play video games. I remember watching them play Siphon Filter together when I was little, and getting beaten in Tekken by my dad. The only difference now is I'm the one doing the beating.
 

Beffudled Sheep

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All the parents i've ever met understood modern games and why their kids enjoy them fine.I guess it's just my community.
 

moose49408

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Oct 18, 2008
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What scares me is that history suggests that, in 40-60 years or so, we will be the same way about our childrens' favorite pass time...

(old man voice) "Why don't you kids quit playing with that stupid jet pack, and get in here and play a good, wholesome first person shooter!"

See?! I can't even imagine what it'll be. The best I could come up with was jet pack...and that would be awesome...

EDIT: Ok, I just woke up. That year range seems a little ridiculous. Make it something more like 20-30.
 

lousyshot55

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God, when he talks about them not understanding one wit is so like how my parents are. I tell them all about how video games are an industry and its legitimate in multiple aspects but they are too dense to see beyond anything other than "shoot em up" games.."sigh"
 

Bofus Teefus

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Thick-headed as my parents are about most things, they did buy a PS2 a couple years ago. Why? My mom had seen me playing GTA3 and thought it was a riot. Unfortunately, they bought a system which is appartently a bit much for 50 year olds to deal with, and lost interest. I think they're tossing around the idea of getting a Wii now, which may be more their speed- fun, simple games.

My dear parents like GTA......
 

Valiance

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Sounds familiar. Very familiar.

I recommend the editor show his dad mirror's edge if he has a problem with animation or texture.

But yeah, this is pretty much true. My dad even kind of plays games, to a point. (Hell, he might think duke nukem is more awesome than I thought he was).

But he comes from the 80's-90's generation of gaming. Like, you know, arrow keys and ctrl/shift/space. Poor reaction speed. Poor spatial awareness. That's not really his fault though. He's older.

I just feel that if I play video games past the time I'm like, 30, that my kids will just be really embarrassed when I try anything.

My mom is detached. She views it as me sitting down looking at a screen for 5 hours.
I tell her "if that's all it is, why do you watch CSI marathons?"

She starts making excuses about the characters...Caring about them, getting into the story...Some of them are pretty exciting...

And there it is. The way that some people find their excitement is different. And personally, strategy, competition, reflex, etc, etc...I enjoy them because of that. And I've seen parents who just don't get it, I've seen parents who try to understand, and I see parents who seriously drop $350 dollars on a Wii and Wii Fit because they saw a commercial about doing a stepping exercise would make them lose weight, and they love the gimmicky bullshit that I just...got over in about 5 minutes.

It really makes me wonder if it's inevitable to not understand, or if it just, depends on the person.
 

Beery

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Well it's true, the last generation usually can't grasp gaming and I have only one thing to say about that - it's their loss...
Wait a minute there. I'm 46. I've played videogames since 1980. Yours isn't the videogame generation - OURS was. And it's not a generational gap - some folks (most folks) just don't like videogames - that's the same with twenty year-olds as it is with 40 year-olds or 80 year-olds. Everyone my age made a conscious decision to like or dislike videogames - it wasn't something we simply didn't have access to - pong was in arcades in the 1970s, console gaming and personal computers that played games were available in 1980. I had a ZX Spectrum PC and an Intellivision when I was a teenager - and MY dad (who was born in 1931) played games on both. So let's just stop this 'parents can't grasp gaming' nonsense. Maybe yours can't, but mine could and my daughter has a dad who plays videogames much more than she does.
 

Clemenstation

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Hahaha, I loved your dad's reaction to Mortal Kombat, Tom Endo. My mom had a similar response. I had constructed a defensive shell of argumentation that was willing and ready to take her on re: gruesome violence and why me playing the game was okay. Never needed to use it.

Mom: "Is this what everyone in book club is complaining about? That's so funny! Why does that monster have so many arms? He looks retarded, you should put him out of his misery."

She actually said that Goro was "retarded".
 

MrGFunk

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tendo82 said:
Parents Just Don't Understand

Most of us never played videogames with our parents, but that doesn't mean they don't have anything to teach us about them. Tom Endo recalls his father's observations about the games he played as a youth, and how they shaped his future opinions about the medium.

Read Full Article
My Dad and I had an almost meeting of minds over Doom. He had it networked in his office and he appreciated it was good. He played with his workmates and I played with his workmates but we never played together.
 

jemborg

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Oct 10, 2008
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Beery said:
"Well it's true, the last generation usually can't grasp gaming and I have only one thing to say about that - it's their loss..."

Wait a minute there. I'm 46. I've played videogames since 1980. Yours isn't the videogame generation - OURS was. And it's not a generational gap - some folks (most folks) just don't like videogames - that's the same with twenty year-olds as it is with 40 year-olds or 80 year-olds. Everyone my age made a conscious decision to like or dislike videogames - it wasn't something we simply didn't have access to - pong was in arcades in the 1970s, console gaming and personal computers that played games were available in 1980. I had a ZX Spectrum PC and an Intellivision when I was a teenager - and MY dad (who was born in 1931) played games on both. So let's just stop this 'parents can't grasp gaming' nonsense. Maybe yours can't, but mine could and my daughter has a dad who plays videogames much more than she does.
Hear bloody hear... I'm 49, I find that remark asinine as well. You pretty well said what I wanted to say. I was in the 8 bit wars too. AND have plenty of mates who are still into it.

Funny, before my old man died I showed him a few games on the Xbox. He was fascinated at 91! I avoided WW2 games as he was actually in that for real. But he was amazed to see a soccer game like Redcard for instance... "see pop, you can dial up the awareness of the referee". lol. I miss the old guy.

Not everybody who doesn't play video games sneer... they're just not into it much. My wife's not that keen- except for Ninja Gaiden or Burnout, then it's "hey woman, it's my turn now!". heheh.

Practice makes perfect, it hard to keep the skills up to compete, when you actually have to spend time irl to look after the ungrateful little sods. :)

Just before the release of the PS2, I was chatting about it with an older brother- "meh", he said, "I'd rather just get a DVD player". "That's the thing", I replied, "I get to choose whether my TV entertainment will be active or just passive"...

Then, he got it.
 

spyrewolf

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Jan 7, 2009
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as am I, not quiet as old as you guys, but i'm verging on 30

my mother, was against video games,all through out my childhood, up until i was about 26, she discover gran turismo and loved it, not long after she bought herself a ps2 and a tonne of racing games.

she was also very intrigued by guitar hero and rock band (which she too now owns) the wii was like heaven and soon after picked one up, it goes to show you your never too old to pick up a game and play it just turned out she was a casual gamer and didn't know it.

my dad, has always been a gamer, he was the one who got me into games in the beginning, he love games, but the advent of the control pad, threw him he was a joystick and keyboard mouse kinda guy, soo although he loves a good pc game, consoles are out,

the funniest yet surprising gamer of all was my gran, she loves GTA in it's entirety. i showed her the basic controls (she's took a few goes but got it) she loves the fact you can run around get in a car and run down pedestrians, when she got busted by the cops in the game she said am i not suppose to do that ? lol

"Well it's true, the last generation usually can't grasp gaming and I have only one thing to say about that - it's their loss..."
well if my gran can play and enjoy this point is moot, i guess the key word is "usually" here though
 

Xelanath

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Jan 24, 2009
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jemborg said:
Beery said:
"Well it's true, the last generation usually can't grasp gaming and I have only one thing to say about that - it's their loss..."

Wait a minute there. I'm 46. I've played videogames since 1980. Yours isn't the videogame generation - OURS was. And it's not a generational gap - some folks (most folks) just don't like videogames - that's the same with twenty year-olds as it is with 40 year-olds or 80 year-olds. Everyone my age made a conscious decision to like or dislike videogames - it wasn't something we simply didn't have access to - pong was in arcades in the 1970s, console gaming and personal computers that played games were available in 1980. I had a ZX Spectrum PC and an Intellivision when I was a teenager - and MY dad (who was born in 1931) played games on both. So let's just stop this 'parents can't grasp gaming' nonsense. Maybe yours can't, but mine could and my daughter has a dad who plays videogames much more than she does.
Hear bloody hear... I'm 49, I find that quote asinine as well. You pretty well said what I wanted to say. I was in the 8 bit wars too. AND have plenty of mates who are still into it.

Funny, before my old man died I showed him a few games on the Xbox. He was fascinated at 91! I avoided WW2 games as he was actually in that for real. But he was amazed to see a soccer game like Redcard for instance... "see pop, you can dial up the awareness of the referee". lol. I miss the old guy.

Not everybody who doesn't play video games sneer... they're just not into it much. My wife's not that keen- except for Ninja Gaiden or Burnout, then it's "hey woman, it's my turn now!". heheh.

Practice makes perfect, it hard to keep the skills up to compete, when you actually have to spend time irl to look after the ungrateful little sods. :)

Just before the release of the PS2, I was chatting about it with an older brother- "meh", he said, "I'd rather just get a DVD player". "That's the thing", I replied, "I get to choose whether my TV entertainment will be active or just passive"...

Then, he got it.
This appears to be what both of you have missed:
spyrewolf said:
i guess the key word is "usually" here though
We all know that arguments from personal experience are severely flawed when attempting to prove common trends, I don't know why your hurt pride has to get in the way of seeing the point.


Enjoyable article all the same. Goldeneye was the game that my father and I bonded over, and we played the Bond games on the PS2 for a while after that. But he just plays the Wii now, more intensive games can give him headaches.
 

the_carrot

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Nov 8, 2007
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My father, the atypical man he was, was the one who wanted to get an Atari 2600 back in the early eighties/late seventies. I'd played pong on Magnavox' old console, but it had been brought out to keep me distracted from my aunt who was babysitting me at the time. I hadn't thought much of it at the time, and still a lot of older games still make me cringe. I don't know how people spent money on such an undeveloped medium.

I remember going to Sears with my father, who wouldn't tell me why we were going. They had an Atari 2600 set up to try out, More to just grab kids attention so as to start the bugging process that would ultimately sell one of the things. He took me there to try it out...I didn't have any interest at all. I forget the name of the racing game, the Atari title wherein one drives between the little pylons in your line drawn car and have the epileptic crashes. I thought the controls were awful (though my criticism wasn't so well framed up back then) and the so to the graphics. All of the other games I'd seen were similarly simplistic, and they weren't something I wanted to spend my time on. It must have been an odd sight to the employees, my father trying to sell me on getting a video game system, when I was reluctant. I found out later that my mother had reluctantly agreed to get one, if and only if I had wanted it, and would actually use it. I never owned an Atari 2600.
 

Graham

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Dec 5, 2008
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Possibly my favorite game of all time would have to be Myst, because it helped me get to know my father better than just about any other common interest we've had throughout the years. Both my parents were insanely busy people and my father had to go out of town on business trips for the majority of my formative years. Well, one year for Christmas we got our first family PC and Myst.

He and I spent at least two nights a week for a year in the basement of our crappy little suburban house taking turns at the keyboard and taking notes. While my dad is a pretty young guy (one of the advantages to my parents being irresponsible in college) he never devoted as much time to video games as I had. Nevertheless, he and I really got to know each other, pretty much for the first time, over Myst.