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Nanny Screening

Retro Video Games for Kids

Like so many other kids his age, my eleven year old son absolutely loves computer games, despite my best efforts to monitor and keep his time playing them to a minimum

04/11/2013

 

Tackling violent video games

Since he started secondary school, my son's eyes have been opened further to a whole new world of gaming, resulting in repeated Christmas present requests for Grand Theft Auto V and Mortal Kombat - both of which are no more likely to cross my threshold than the Tooth Fairy.

I know this is pretty unrealistic long term. Once he comes of age he can do whatever he likes, but I wonder how families get around this topic without being overly protective? The fact is these games are not going anywhere, they're here to stay and with the best will in the world you can control what goes on your own home but once your kids are outside who knows what they have access to?

Digging out my good old Game Boy and 'retro video games'

So I came up with a plan. Realising it was a pretty pathetic, transparent plan with a very short shelf life I continued regardless, hoping that it would at least delay the inevitable for a little while longer.

Nintendo Gameboy now represents retro video games!I decided to dig out my old Game Boy (those were the days), complete with black and white pixelated Sonic the Hedgehog and Tetris cartridges.

A quick charge up and we were ready to go.

Expecting my son to look at me with one of those bewildered, upward 'what the hell mum?' looks on his face, I handed him the grey plastic block and instead watched in surprise as his face lit up and he shouted 'Wow mum! They're brilliant! You can buy these on eBay!'. It worked!

Retro computer games represent a more innocent time

Apparently, retro video games and 'retrogaming' are big business with kids, which I suppose makes perfect sense when you think how long some of today's board games have been around.

Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Punch-Out!! and Galaxian to name but a few are all being played again, and long may it continue. They are still loads of fun yet so much more innocent.

Kids can still splatter aliens across the screen without this seemingly compulsory requirement to push the boundaries of violence and gore.

Getting ready for Christmas with some retro video games!

So, smug in the knowledge that I'm not being as uncool as I thought I was, I've stocked up on a few old time retro video games for Christmas and am looking forward to the look of joy on my son's face as he unwraps them. Yes, he may be expecting something a little more graphic but I'm willing to brush off any disappointed looks. He's still only eleven so I'm going to enjoy parental control my way for a little bit longer.

I wonder if it would be pushing it to dig out our old Atari...?

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

 
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