Rules To Follow When Gaming With Kids


Spending three years as a nanny, babysitting for even longer, and  being an epic god mother to my amazingly nerdy god daughter has caused me to play videogames with countless children. And last night, while getting my ass whooped in Just Dance 4 by my god daughter, I came to the conclusion that there are certainly some go to rules when it comes to playing with such tiny humans. I also came to the conclusion that I’m incredibly out of shape, but that’s a different matter.

1. Watch your mouth.

I’m sure plenty of you, much like me, are guilty of being a bit foul mouthed when it comes to your games. Heck, I curse like a sailor in general, so you can imagine that videogames can bring out the worst in me. As with anything that involves children, not cursing is numero uno. Even if you get frustrated, think before you drop an f-bomb. By doing so you also set a great example for the kids.

2. Patience is key.

While some kids will have natural skills at any game, others may struggle. When my god daughter was around the ages of 4 or 5, she would always want to join in when her older brother and I played silly games such as Super Mario Bros. We’d all play together, and the amount of times he or I would die because of her was absolutely bonkers. Far worse than when I played with my non-gaming roommate. But my god daughter was having fun, as were we despite our high mortality rate, and that’s what mattered.

Also, by being patient, you instill patience in the child as well. My god daughter probably tripled mine and her brother’s deaths, and the urge to cry each time could certainly be seen on her face. However, by seeing her brother and I stay calm, even in our frustration of trying to simply beat a damn level, she too would try her best to be cool, calm, and collected. To this day, even while getting her but whooped by Bane in Batman Arkham Origins, she kept her cool and eventually managed to whoop his ass.

3. If they can’t read yet, don’t give them a game involving text.

I’m not sure how many parents used to come in and complain about how a game had too much text in it. Games such as Pokemon, where reading is sort of crucial in finding out where you need to go, can be highly frustrating for kids that are just learning the concept of reading. Not to mention, some kids simply struggle in it from the start.

I fondly remember when my god daughter was attempting to play Paper Mario, and was literally bawling over the fact that she couldn’t understand what the characters were saying. I helped her out by reading most of it for her while watching her play through the game, which she wasn’t half bad at, but good lord I grew tired of it quickly. And when I tell you it’s a game with heavy text, don’t return to my store and bitch about it later.

4.Don’t pout when the tiny human actually beats you.

It’s doubtful that a young kid is going to kick your ass in Call of Duty, although in my case they just might. But silly games, like Just Dance for instance could be your downfall. As I stated above, my god daughter killed in in almost every dance, and she was ecstatic. I was sweaty, out of the breath, and practically dead, but she was having such a fun time winning that I continued until I thought I might pass out. It’s rewarding for them when they actually accomplish something in a game, whether it be beating your high score in a level or a lame dance competition.

5. Let them win sometimes.

Obviously, the older the kids get, the more competitive you can be. My cousin is now 13 and we go balls to the walls with Pokemon battles, and yes, he kicks my ass at any FPS. But the itty bittys can get discouraged sometimes. My god daughter, when she was still super young, wanted nothing more but to play every game her brother and me would play. Super Smash Brothers was definitely a go to, but at 5 years old she just wasn’t able to make the characters do what she wanted them to do. And while a lot of the time she would get upset as she randomly fell off the level, or her brother hit her off the screen with a hammer, sometimes we just sat back and let her go ham on our characters. By allowing this, she was given a second wind and ready to play again without feeling like she always playing badly.

Remember fellow gamers, you were once a little one too. The whole point is to nurture their love for gaming and help them uncover just what type of games are their niche titles.


About Emily Horton

Emily is just your average twenty something girl who discovered her love for gaming at the age of three or four, all thanks to her older brothers. Mario, The Lion King, Aladdin, Zelda were her first loves, but Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Tales, and pretty much all Japanese games eventually fell into that category. She has an unhealthy obsession with Pikachu, hoodies, her 3DS, t-shirts, plushies, and purses. She may also fancy herself as an excellent lawyer due to number of times she has played through the Ace Attorney series. Outside of videogames, she is a Disney, Harry Potter, and Tolkien fanatic, while also recently discovering that she is now a hardcore fan of Supernatural thanks to Netflix allowing her to watch eight seasons rapid fire. She has elvish writing, the Deathly Hallows, a rather large Tinkerbelle and a large Yuna from Final Fantasy X all tattooed on her body, with only more geeky stuff to be added. Currently working on her own fantasy novel, she hopes to publish it eventually once all the kinks are worked out.

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