The last month or so Freya and I have been playing the DS a lot. We started to play “her” games first, but soon we found ourselves attempting some of the child-friendly games I have. It amazes me, even though it shouldn’t, just how quickly Freya picks up the controls; even though the “adult” games soon become quite difficult for her, she is able to play some of them without too much assistance.
We actually play all the games together. We lie in bed or on the sofa, and there is, I feel, a real connection between us. Which made me think of the nature of gaming. Although these games are meant to be played solo, there is a great deal of social interaction to be gained from being there when one’s daughter is happily trying to complete a quest, whether it be Builder Bob or Princess Peach.
She has been playing so much that I (yes, I) have been the one to end the session. These sessions can be four or five hours long, and I’m sure Freya would be quite happy to continue for a further few hours if I had not been the one to call it a night.
Videogames can be, without doubt, a great way to spend time with one’s children, as long as one has the right mindset from the outset.