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#51 Posted by Belegorm (284 posts) -

I'm not a fan of introducing video games at a young age; I also don't like the idea of introducing TV to a kid at a young age (though that's almost impossible to do).

From personal experience and that of friends and their kids, it always seems like if a kid starts playing games he won't be nearly as interested in reading books; he also might not be as interested with playing with legos and such. I know kids who didn't play games when they were young, who ran around outside all the time to play, who read a lot of books, and the like. When they got a little older (like 12) they started playing games, some even didn't read nearly as much. On the contrary, I know other kids who did play games from a much younger age, but at like 12 again, after having played games they weren't interested at all in reading books, and less interested in going outside and exploring.

So in short, I think kids are drawn to games like metal to a magnet, so it might be better to wait until they have some interest in other things that are harder to get into... like reading, building things, and such.

#52 Posted by Stonyman65 (2404 posts) -

I would say any of the Mario games.

#53 Edited by Scampbell (434 posts) -

Minecraft.

@tobiass Said: Kids SHOULD NOT be playing video games at this age.

Though this is really a better answer.

#54 Edited by mikeeegeee (1533 posts) -

Developmentally appropriate derper der.

While I do echo the thoughts of those who've raised that point, if you insist, I'd recommend Costume Quest as an introduction to RPGs. It's incredibly simple, charming, and wholesome.

#55 Posted by Turambar (6481 posts) -

A game that the two of you can play together would be ideal imo.

#56 Edited by Xymox (2024 posts) -
@turambar said:

A game that the two of you can play together would be ideal imo.

Agreed. Playing videogames together with my father was great. Simultaneous co-op is preferred.

#57 Edited by Tennmuerti (7719 posts) -
#58 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4655 posts) -

LEGO. I mean the real thing and not video games.

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#59 Edited by Sploder (917 posts) -

Pokémon Red was my first game, so I'll recommend a Pokémon game. Any one will do, I guess. Though with all the people in here suggesting super easy games I will say that I don't think people give kids nearly enough credit for what they can do. My 4 year old godson is playing through Super Mario Galaxy 2 as his first game, and that was a pretty decent challenge even for me. They are at an age when they don't know the word 'can't' and will just keep fucking doing it over and over and over until they get it right.

P.S Pokémon helped me learn how to read, so as for a game that can teach you something (which is obviously vital for kids) that's a good one to start with.

#60 Posted by Scampbell (434 posts) -

LEGO. I mean the real thing and not video games.

I second that.

#61 Posted by Yillb (34 posts) -

Starcraft 2.

  1. Start training now
  2. Hit the pro scene
  3. Retire early
#62 Posted by SmilingPig (1337 posts) -

Make him farm gold in WoW.

#63 Posted by BBAlpert (1251 posts) -
#64 Posted by MocBucket62 (1038 posts) -

My first video games were the old Humongous Entertainment point and click games such as Putt-Putt and Pajama Sam. I even played the old Backyard Sports games when I was pretty young. But I doubt you have any chance finding those games, so I'll recommend Mario and the Lego games.

#65 Posted by Slaegar (622 posts) -

Kirby's Epic Yarn might be a good choice. It seems slow and easy while being super cute.

#66 Posted by thatdutchguy (1216 posts) -

@gabor: Banjo kazooie, super mario 64.

#67 Posted by Reisz (1356 posts) -

Wait until he's interested in a game you're playing. Obviously be judicious in the content you have playing around the little dude. three and a half is old enough to start figuring out what's going on.

#68 Posted by Gamer_152 (13966 posts) -

I was just thinking about Thomas Was Alone again. The later stuff in that game is probably too difficult, but I think there's a fair portion of that game that is suitable for young children.

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#69 Edited by StrainedEyes (1305 posts) -

Minecraft. I don't know many kids, but they all lose their shit for Minecraft, might as well start him early.

#70 Edited by kindgineer (2484 posts) -

At three and half years old, you are completely overthinking the reaction times and etc. I remember that was when I was introduced to gaming on Super Mario World for the first time. According to my parents, I had little problem repeating the same level hundreds if times, and falling at the exact same point. It never affected my experience allegedly. I would go pick up a couple of old-school games like Mario, Sonic, or Kirby. Maybe look into some of the 2D platformers we have today.

#71 Posted by notdavid (757 posts) -

Start him off on the NES. Kid's got to know his roots, and the controller is pretty easy to wrap your head around. Yeah, he'll die a lot. Old games are a fuck-ton harder than new games. But it's not going to diminish his enjoyment as long as he's able to comprehend the reasons why he's failing. Modern games are just going to be contextless cyber seizures for him.

#72 Edited by jaycrockett (386 posts) -

With my son I think we started around 4 and half or so. Co-op games are good. Also games that have open levels you can just run around in. Lego Star was has the cantina you can hang out in. Skylanders has a hub world.

Personally I wouldn't try old school platformers at this age, but that's probably because I find them difficult myself.

Mario Galaxy has the best co-op helper mode ever.

Really just expose your kids to as many things as possible, because you never know what they will be into. I have a son who's almost 4 who hasn't gotten that into video games yet, and that's fine.

#73 Posted by nutta27 (192 posts) -

I would recommend any of the Lego games. Batman being my favourite oh and Try Mini Ninjas. That is a pretty decent game and damn easy.

#74 Edited by skadave (191 posts) -

Personally I do not let me daughter play any games that involve any punching, kicking, shooting, or sword play (Any bit of violence). This includes the lego games. It's not that I think it will scar her for life, it's that i don't see the reason for introducing it to her at this age. She'll have plenty of time to experience this stuff when she is older, what's the rush?

From personal experience, my daughter would not have had the skills to play a mario game at the age of 3 1/2. She would have gotten frustrated with it in about 10 seconds and would have been off doing something else. The only console games she has played which she has enjoyed have been Pinball FX2 and Happy Action Theater/Kinect Party.

- EDIT: My daughter has shown zero interest in console gaming. My opinions might be different if she had a strong desire to play these games. Then i would spend more time analyzing which games i thought would be ok.

#75 Posted by Angouri (223 posts) -

Pokemon or Skylanders. Lego games are also great for kids, but the way that I introduced my little sister to games was playing windwaker side by side. She loved playing along, and when it got hard, she passed the controller "for a bit." We sailed for a way long time to see all the islands.

#76 Posted by thebipsnbeeps (538 posts) -

Three-and-a-half years old and wanting him to get into "real" video games? PFFFT. Perhaps I'm just overestimating the power of someone so young comprehending video games, but I dunno, man. You're four once, y'know? Get him stuff that he's only gonna really appreciate as a four year-old. Kid adventure games are the bomb. I remember loving Freddie Fish.

#77 Posted by DarkShaper (1296 posts) -

My first video games were the old Humongous Entertainment point and click games such as Putt-Putt and Pajama Sam. I even played the old Backyard Sports games when I was pretty young. But I doubt you have any chance finding those games, so I'll recommend Mario and the Lego games.

A handful of the old Humongous Entertainment adventure games got ported to IOS and the Wii and I can vouch for the IOS ports being really solid.

#78 Posted by ADAMWD (498 posts) -

my cousins 4 year old kid loves minecraft

#79 Edited by Brackynews (3959 posts) -

@shoey920: Yep. Fifth post of the thread duder. :/

Lolz at people who likely aren't parents telling someone how to raise a kid. Go to the CNN comments where your wisdom is needed.

I was 4 or so when I played Donkey Kong in an arcade. We got an Apple ][+ soon after, and all the glorious classics that came with that.

There are some good ideas in the thread so far (Kirby, LBP, Pinball, Minecraft...) As for my suggestion... Skylanders? Or even better, an actual Spyro game and work up to Skylanders. ;) It goes with the "good enough for parents to play too" methodology. See if they're interested in Picross and spacial intelligence games, or practice numbers with (Junior) Sudoku.

It's fair to say that LEGO games offer fighting, but they also offer a sandbox environment where you don't have to. A very young kid doesn't necessarily need to complete a level to enjoy it. Of all the LEGO games I think Pirates of the Caribbean actually has the most environmental activities (hard to call them puzzles) and the least combat, but I haven't played it quite as much as the others.

#80 Posted by MentalDisruption (1618 posts) -

I can't think of any specific to name that haven't been said already, but if you can find something that is a sandbox game or has that same kind of sandbox style where the kid can run around doing whatever, go with that. I started really young too, and aside from jrpgs the games I enjoyed most were the ones where I could just run around and do whatever while making up whatever. There were quite a few games that I played where I never even made it past the first or second main objective, but I sure as hell had fun doing whatever my little brain thought up.

#81 Edited by Corvak (567 posts) -

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster seems like a pretty decent kids game, if you've got kinect.

#82 Edited by Zaccheus (1770 posts) -

I guess Alpha Protocol is a game that I clearly enjoyed more than the majority.

#83 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2253 posts) -

The games for a 3.5 year old ar balls, action figures, and trucks. The games for a father is to sit by his son with those toys.

#84 Edited by Froztken (2 posts) -
#85 Posted by gabor (20 posts) -

hi, thanks for all the suggestions, will try them out... never thought that maybe a 3d-mario is a better idea than a 2d-mario, interesting... (sorry for the long silence, went on a vacation and kind-of forgot that i started this thread :-(

#86 Posted by CptBedlam (4438 posts) -

None. I think videogames are not suitable for kids of that age.

#87 Posted by bigjeffrey (4151 posts) -

Outside.