My son and video gaming

#1 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

So, i had been putting off buying little big planet for years. I honestly thought it was a great concept but never thought i could really get into it or wnat to sink so much time into a creation tool, especially one so cutesy. 
 
Now that it's free on PSN i snapped it up and started playing it. now, LBP had come out in '08 which was the year i got married. The wife and I now have an 18 month old son who, like his dad was, is attracted to video games and technology fairly early. He always shows an interest in games, grabs my controller and gives it a few whacks before losing interest and going back to playing with his toys and books. 
 
 With LBP, however, he was RIVETED to the screen. He also dances to the music. While cute, this is not wholly unexpected. What was is that he started  testing the controls in a fairly methodical manner. He recently started showing signs that he strongly understands cause and effect and has begun experimenting with the concept. he started applying that to video games for the first time with LBP. He tested the left stick and watched the movement on screen, stopped and looked at the controller with intense concentration. I actually saw him make the logical connection between the controller actions and the action on screen. I worked with him to show him how X made the sackboy jump, which elicited an excited squeal. 
 
I tried this a few months ago with him and the original super mario bros. he lost interest like he always did before, but it seems he is getting to the stage where he can begin actually understanding and enjoying (even if somewhat limited fashion) video games! I probably come off as the stereotypical jackass dad talking about how proud he is that his son can do something simple, but it really is a huge, huge moment for me. My earliest memories of bonding with MY dad were over a commodore 64, now i see the same thing happening with my son. 
 
Side note: i also love that as he gets older i can come back to little big planet to teach him other things (like logic and using simple virtual building tools) within the game. Again, it brings me back to the days when my dad would sit me down and show me how to use BASIC on the c64 to create simple games. Even if the graphics and platform are much more sophisticated, the core idea is still the same: a little boy creating stuff on a computer with his dad. 

#2 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

You should check out LBP2 then, it's everything LBP was supposed to be.

#3 Posted by ShaggE (6692 posts) -

Love anecdotes like this, thanks for sharing. 

#4 Posted by EVO (3940 posts) -
#5 Posted by Twitchey (865 posts) -

That's amazing. He's luckier than me though. My first time with games involved my mom performing a fatality on me in MK 2. I was five.

#6 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (464 posts) -

I have a niece who is about the same age, and she did the same thing (which also kind of blew my mind) - I had the PS3 playing some music, and she found the controller. She started to hit buttons, and the PS3 backed out to the XMB. She realized that she was controlling it and began to move the analog stick while staring at the screen. It was pretty fascinating to see a child that young piece together the fact that the controller and the television were related, and to start manipulating them.

I love that you tried with Mario Bros. first, though. I have this notion that when I have children, I'll expose them to video games in the same order that I was - i.e. NES first, then SNES and Genesis, and so on. I wonder how many people from my generation have the same thought......

#7 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -

I will eventually get LBP 2, and it will be interesting to see what other "create your own crap" games come out as he continues to grow up each year. 
 
@DetectiveSpecial:  I had exactly the same plan and will still try to stick to it as best i can, but modern games are so pervasive in my household i have a feeling he's going to gravitate toward the newer stuff. Also, love your avatar. I played the hell out of all the Tex Murphy games in junior high school, and under a killing moon was one of those whole family obsession that made me feel like i was approaching the same level as my mom and dad. I wrote a review of it thats on the my GB page, check it out if you have a moment.

#8 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -

@aragorn546: Seeing him begin to grasp causation must be absolutely crazy.

#9 Posted by SSully (4315 posts) -

That's great man. My father got me into games as well. I used to come home everyday from preschool when I was 4 and played A Link to the Past with my dad. I basically sat with him and he would ask me where to go and what I thought to do, but it was still enough to get me hooked. Soon enough I was playing the game myself, hell soon enough I was better then he was at Goldeneye on N64.

I hope you and your son have a similar relationship me and my father had with games, because I have great memories with him while playing games.

#10 Posted by aragorn546 (183 posts) -
@beej: it is, especially considering i teach middle school kids and THEY tend to have issues with grasping basic cause and effect relationships

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