Gaming as the Kids Grow

When I first started playing LOTRO, my kid’s ages were 10, 8, 6 and 4 years. In those days, they had a fairly strict bedtime of 8:00 in order to maximize both their sleep time and my wife and I’s sanity. Thanks to this rule, I was able to put off playing video games until afterwards. It was convenient for me to be able to completely separate video game time from family time, as I was very cognizant of the fact that my kids were growing up quickly, and I didn’t want to be distracted from spending quality time with them, especially for something as trivial as my own personal entertainment.

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Parenting: Choosing Family Films

FilmI was listening to the Burton and Scrooge podcast the other day, when host Roger Edwards said something that made me pause and reflect upon my own behavior. Near the closing of the show, he noted how, at a recent movie theater visit, many small children were present at a film that was obviously not appropriate for a young audience. As I was nodding along and heartily agreeing about how parents should be more cautious about exposing their children to some of these images and messages, it struck me that I am guilty of this very thing with my own kids. This train of thought has brought me to a familiar conclusion: parenting is tough! It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do, and sometimes I fail miserably.
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It’s Time for Steam to Update Family Sharing

steamI love Steam’s Family Sharing feature. I’m always a little peeved when I take a step back and notice the fast-paced tech industry ignoring the concept of “family unit” in favor of pushing everything towards individuals with credit cards. This is especially irritating in the gaming world, when you realize that historically, video games were developed and marketed mainly towards kids, and without whom the industry itself might not even exist, today. So I’m always happy to see big companies like Apple, Amazon and Valve taking families into consideration through sharing and parental features.

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Fathers Day 2015

Dancing ManNPR radio show “This American Life” put out a great podcast episode this week focusing on fathers. Specifically, it spoke of the difficulty dads have in communicating with their children. While not universal, I do see this as something that fathers have traditionally struggled with, especially dads who spend most of their time interacting with other adults, conducting serious business, and trying to provide for their families financially. Some of the issue may be cultural or generational, but generally I just wonder if fathers who struggle communicating with their children (and spouses, too) just don’t get enough practice.

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Desensitization: From DOOM to Slenderman

Last week, the national headlines in the US centered around the unthinkable. A pair of twelve year old girls attempted the brutal slaying of a friend and classmate in order to impress a fictional internet character. Not being a fan of that genre of entertainment, I have to admit that the “Slenderman” character, along with such horror sites as Creepypasta Wiki were all completely new to me. But as a parent, its influence on this pair of children (who will be tried as adults, it seems) is frightening. I can’t imagine sending my daughter to something as innocuous as a sleep-over party and the next day visiting her in the hospital, not because of any type of accident, but due to a pre-meditated senseless attack by those who she considered friends. The mere possibility chills me.

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Beyond Bossfights

Beyond Bossfights 3 – Gaming/Life Balance

Goldenstar and Merric of Casually Strolling Through MMO’s join me to talk about the need for intentional #balance, and life after CSTM. Thanks for listening to this unofficial “Casual Stroll to Mordor reunion”!

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