Home General Discussion

A parent's gaming curriculum - teaching gaming to your kids.

polycounter lvl 4
Offline / Send Message
sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
Caution: Longpost is long! :smile: 

I've got kids.
They're awesome.
And I believe gaming matters.
It's the best, most awesome and complex content generated by human beings.

I want to get my kids hooked on gaming, but do it in a 'proper' way. Show them some classics, show them some history. Show them the really hard-to-beat stuff me and my friends were striving with in the 80's/90's, and the awesome 2D animated stuff like Dragon's Lair. The early 3D low poly stuff. And then proceed to more modern titles, perhaps leaving the choice to them at that point.

So, a lesson in gaming history and theory, spanning over the next 5-6 years, that will get my kids hooked on gaming, but educate them about the medium, make them interested and motivated by it - to become creative, as opposed to being passive consumers.

I'd also like to rock their brains a little. Gaming is wonderful at exping the human brain in things it's not particularly good at.

I'd like them to be able to enjoy the games that are complex and hard to beat.

The approach is somewhat influenced by this book: http://theoryoffun.com/



My kids are aged 6 and 8 right now, a girl and a boy, and at present our stove is occupied by:

- RPG: Chrono Trigger. Reasons: Complex, attractive graphics. Not much violence. Very rich plot with choice consequences. Empathetic characters. Keyboard-focused. I like the genre a lot, personally.

- Arcade/Strategy: Starcraft. I give them some mini-game maps, custom hacked to make them easier and/or less intense. Reasons: MAD SKILLZ. Mouse + keyboard shortcuts, control of units, multitasking, learning interface, lots of cool game mechanics. They love it.

- Game making: Scratch, to get them learn the programming side. MagicaVoxel and Lego Digital Designer to get them to learn navigation and 3d software principles. 2D drawing with mouse/tablet in various software.

What we've tried:
- Some old ZX Spectrum/Atari/Commodore games. They love them, but still too complex.
- Zelda. They don't get it, find it kind of boring on the long run.
- Some Flash games. Trouble finding the good/appropriate ones though.
- Minecraft. Swallowed them whole, almost had to battle with addiction. Killed it with fire. It's not coming back, sorry.

Stuff we're not ready to try yet:
- Text-based adventures. Too complex.
- Side scrollers & some platform games (MetalSlug, Dungeons and Dragons, Tyrian, Heart of Darkness, etc) - too intense. They won't be able to fall asleep afterwards.
- Fighting games. Obviously.
- classic PC RPGs (Ultima series, Baldur's Gate, Thief, Fallout, etc)
- FPP shooters. Obviously.


Knowing these choices, what game titles and/or software would you recommend?

Do you think the choices are well prepared?

Do you know of any resources that could help me out?

Any suggestions and criticisms are most welcome!

Replies

  • low odor
    Offline / Send Message
    low odor polycounter lvl 13
     Sounds like a sure fire way to suck the fun out of it. 
    If you want them to be creative, nurture their drawing, sculpting, music..etc
    If you don't want them to be passive consumers, then nurture their choice to play the latest incarnation of Angry Birds, instead of trying to indoctrinate them with what you consider a good game.

    I don't think you should try to make your kids into anything, you should try to nurture what they are trying to become, even if it is not inline with whatever vision you have for them
  • JedTheKrampus
    Offline / Send Message
    JedTheKrampus polycounter lvl 8
    I'd like to suggest Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Kerbal Space Program, and Dwarf Fortress. They might go over your kids' heads right now, and they might cause addiction/time management problems later on if you're not careful, and of course I don't know your kids personally, but you might be surprised at what kids can learn if you give them the chance.
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    Looks like you're trying to make your kids relive your own childhood tbh. Most of the games on this list are 15-20+ years old at least. 
  • iadagraca
    Offline / Send Message
    iadagraca polycounter lvl 5
    Props for chrono trigger! I grew up with final fantasy games and ended up with a 12th grade reading level in 5th grade based on those computer tests :p

    Personally i'd recommend a side scroller they may be intense but if played together it will wear you out. My sister's family used to play a ton of mario on the wiiu and they're a bunch of trolls that love messing each other up. It's fun but ultimately tiring cause we're dying so much XD. As a result their kid is CRAZY good at games he picks up (like smash bros). He's also taken a huge liking to mario maker and is great at making stages for that too.

  • RN
    Offline / Send Message
    RN sublime tool
    I'd nurture sports and dancing. After-school clubs, etc.

    Games are escapist entertainment -- what are they "escaping" from?
    I have a strong feeling you can still get them to 'be creative and not passive consumers' without them ever touching a game.
  • ZacD
    Offline / Send Message
    ZacD sublime tool
    @RN

    Movies, books, and music are used to help teach kids, why can't games?

    Any game with content creators and editors would be a good place to promote creativity and see how the game works. Minecraft can be used to teach simple machines, circuits, logic gates, triggers, etc, too bad it became too addictive. 

    Paper Mario is great because it's a lot of reading, but it's also quirky and fun. 

    Modern Lego games are great. 

    Undertale might be good if you want to show a game there isn't about killing things, themes might get a bit dark and scary, but It's pretty mild, and I'd really suggest you play with them and make them go the pacifist route, but they might not get it as much if they haven't played much old school RPGs. 
  • sinusoid
    Offline / Send Message
    sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
    [1] I'd like to suggest Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Kerbal Space Program, and Dwarf Fortress.
    [2] [...] you might be surprised at what kids can learn if you give them the chance.
    Ad.1 - Good call! They like Sim City. Got to add Heroes of Might and Magic series to it, and space sims/space trading . HOMM is gonna be great to show evolution of technology and game mechanics.

    Ad.2 - Surprised - not likely :). They nag me to let them sculpt in 3d. They also draw 'concept art' of stuff they want me to make in 3d, and they texture paint it later themselves.

    I just prefer that they learn real software instead of sandbox games.
    The same way I prefer they wouldn't use a paint bucket tool on a coloring book :)

    Looks like you're trying to make your kids relive your own childhood tbh. Most of the games on this list are 15-20+ years old at least. 
    Nah, not really.
    World War 2 ended in 1945, and they still teach about it in the history lessons.

    They'll get enough exposure to everything from their peers, and then some. They, like, go to school, have friends, and stuff.

    Old games are easy to make, re-create, modify and extract assets from. This is useful, because I would like to teach them how to mod and hack things.
    I want them to be able to be creative with the medium.

    Besides, they like it. If they didn't, I wouldn't be doing this at all.

    low odor said:
     Sounds like a sure fire way to suck the fun out of it. 
    If you want them to be creative, nurture their drawing, sculpting, music..etc
    If you don't want them to be passive consumers, then nurture their choice to play the latest incarnation of Angry Birds, instead of trying to indoctrinate them with what you consider a good game.

    I don't think you should try to make your kids into anything, you should try to nurture what they are trying to become, even if it is not inline with whatever vision you have for them
    "Hey dad, what're ya doing?"
    "Computer games, son"
    "Wow dad, awesome! Can I try?"
    "NO. THEY TOLD ME ON POLYCOUNT YOU HAVE TO BE FREE. GO BACK TO YOUR DRAWINGS, SCULPTING OR MUSIC".

    Seriously?

    Actually, they have a lot of fun. And we get to do something interesting together. I'm not making them do this. We negotiate most of the disagreements. Minecraft was one of the two things I've put a firm line on. AngryBirds was the other.

    I think you may be projecting your imagination of what I'm doing over the actual thing.

    Besides, what you say essentially undermines whatever school stands for. Because school does the exact opposite of what you're suggesting. Ergo, ditch school?

    Please, don't try to moralize me. I'm not bringing them up alone, I'm not the one with most authority in this matter (you need a female to have kids, you know), they go to school, have friends, have healthy environment. I consult this stuff with people who are properly educated and much more experienced than me, down to the details. So yeah. Not very likely I'll accept parenting advice on a game dev forum. I know Polycount is awesome, but... somehow I have second thoughts :wink: 

    If you wanna share stories, though, bring it on! I don't know many game devs with kids, so that would be awesome :)

  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    sinusoid said:
    World War 2 ended in 1945, and they still teach about it in the history lessons.
    Well I'm convinced. This is a comparison with absolutely no glaring flaws that I can think of.

  • stickadtroja
    Offline / Send Message
    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 11
    i dont see the merit of playing old titles, to experience the whole history of games. that seems pointless. i would personally just look for good games that fits kids in that age. journey is one that i can think of.

    also lol at dwarf fortress. whats next, read them astro physics papers before bed?
  • MrHobo
    Offline / Send Message
    MrHobo polycounter lvl 12
    While I applaud you for being a proactive parent (Seeing that minecraft was becoming a problem) I do wonder if you are over-structuring things just a little bit.
    Is it a situation where your kids might be interested in something that may be be age appropriate but you feel might be too complex, so you dont let them try it?
    Or are you just supplementing what they are already interested in/already exploring with classics that you think they might enjoy? 
  • sinusoid
    Offline / Send Message
    sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
    @stickadtroja - 'old' is not necessary. Journey is awesome, will add it. So is Chinese Room's stuffs, and The Path, but these are for much much laters.

    @AtticusMars - serious or sarcasm?

    @ZacD - Will check Lego and PaperMario. Undertale is awesome, but for laters. +1-2 yrs.
    "but they might not get it as much if they haven't played much old school RPGs. " <- this is why I'm having this thread, and this is why Chrono Trigger is on the list.

    @RN - they get sports, they get dancing. Escapism makes imagination flourish as long as it doesn't overshadow primary reality. It's what all fiction is about.
    Escapism is like any other machine - it's either a benefit, or a hazard. If it's a benefit, it's not my problem ;)

    @iadagraca - FF series, yep! Gonna enlist that. Not all of them though. +ChronoCross, in a few years, has some mild horror stuff for starters. Should check Secret of Mana too probably. Heard of, didn't play.

    @MrHobo - If it's worth engineering, it's worth overengineering! :D Srsly now - they ask me for new games, and there were situations when I was unprepared, suggested badly, or caused issues. Wanna avoid that in the future. I try to both supplement and broaden horizons, but select for awesome/quality/impact factors, mostly based on own experience and anecdotal data (subjective, I know). That's why I'm polling for suggestions.


    A lot of modern game experience relies on intertextuality. On user having experienced past games, and having knowledge of them. This is why I'm doing the history part. Some things are rooted in culture too deeply to weed out.
  • RN
    Offline / Send Message
    RN sublime tool
    There's this game, Frets On Fire. It's a Guitar Hero clone but for the PC: you play it holding your keyboard on your arms, with the F-keys on your fingers.
    http://fretsonfire.sourceforge.net/about/



    It's very fun and there's an "editor" mode where you can sequence new tracks and play them yourself. So one can make a track for the other, challenge each other etc.
    There seems to be some support for modding too, but I didn't look into it.
  • JedTheKrampus
    Offline / Send Message
    JedTheKrampus polycounter lvl 8
    So, why don't you want them sculpting in 3D yet?
  • Blond
    Offline / Send Message
    Blond polycounter lvl 8
    I'd teach them drawing and music. Games are only for entetainment. If you want them to be creative, then go for seomthing like Little BIg Planet...

    Or let them play LEGO!
  • Kwramm
    Offline / Send Message
    Kwramm interpolator
    I don't think I'd ever have ended up in games if my parents would have put my through a "game curriculum". Really, don't be a helicopter parent. Set up a creative environment for your kids, I'm all for that, but dare to leave them alone with it, to let them discover and experience things by themselves. They have to find their own interest in things, then they will come to you, to fill in the gaps of knowledge that their interest sparked. I don't think you can force it on them, no matter how hard you try.
  • ZacD
    Offline / Send Message
    ZacD sublime tool
    I don't think content curation alone is a bad thing, parents and teachers always pick out films and books, and there's so many media out there, it's really hard for a child to go through it all by themselves, and they might miss out on some really cool content without some guidance. And games can be a learning experience, they contain reading, math, problem solving, etc. 
  • low odor
    Offline / Send Message
    low odor polycounter lvl 13
    "Not very likely I'll accept parenting advice on a game dev forum"

    oh I suspect you were not looking for advice at all..Just wanted to hear how good  your ideas about child rearing  are

    "Besides, what you say essentially undermines whatever school stands for. Because school does the exact opposite of what you're suggesting. Ergo, ditch school?"
    Flawless logic.

    Here's a thought. Let your kids be kids, without trying to cram all this down their faces. Chances are, if you play these games, they'll get to them in their own time, on their own terms and it won't feel like some curriculum

    And why would you ban Minecraft? My 8 year old daughter loves minecraft..she does some crazy cool character modeling in it






  • iadagraca
    Offline / Send Message
    iadagraca polycounter lvl 5
    My issue with the mana series is as a kid i always got stuck somewhere and i don't know why, happened in EVERY mana game i played. Not because of challenge just no idea where to go.
  • sinusoid
    Offline / Send Message
    sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
    @RN - Noted, thanks!

    @JedTheKrampus - Read above. I do, and they love it.

    @Blond - Disagreed, IMVHO games are on par with books and movies if done right. They also train the brain at certain tasks it's not very good at.

    @Kwramm - I'll watch out for becoming that. But please try to assume more of me.

    @ZacD - I share your opinion on that.

    @iadagraca - they had the same stuff with Zelda, got bored and said they don't want to play it. Chose ChronoTrigger over it. Gave FF as alternative, but the one I chose was too complex, they ditched it too.

    @low_odor - I think you misinterpret my intentions. I'm not going to try to convince you. We'll probably have a pointless flame over it if I try.
    Re: Girls vs minecraft - See source material from first post. Cites some awesome neurological research of game impact on brain structures & influence on brain sexual dymorphism. Tl;dr: it's awesome you got her hooked on that.  Not really possible in my circumstances, but that's private stuff, can tell over PM.
    I don't cram stuff down their faces. They wanna do stuff, and I'm trying to give it to them in a responsible way.

    That's why I'm reaching out here, so the stuff doesn't come from a single source.
  • ambershee
    Offline / Send Message
    ambershee polycounter lvl 13
    Don't structure your kids play. Just buy a load of games, let them play what they want, and take note of what sticks.
  • Panupat
    Offline / Send Message
    Panupat polycounter lvl 15
    Agree with many here. I'd totally hate it myself if my parents start teaching me how to play or tell me what to play.
  • stickadtroja
    Offline / Send Message
    stickadtroja polycounter lvl 11
    why is everyone against structuring so much? i will sure as shit never let my kids play hatred or postal, or sit on voice chat in cod harassing people.
    IIRC the question wasnt "my kids like games a lot, they play everything, how can i take some of that away?" but instead "my kids are interested in games, do you know some cool titles that i could show them?".
    remember this is not 15 years old with a media consumption of their own, this is 8 years old who trust the parents to give them some kind of guidance.
  • ambershee
    Offline / Send Message
    ambershee polycounter lvl 13
    How did you get from 'people being against structuring' to 'letting kids play X-rated games'? The two do not mean the same things at all.

    People like myself are of the opinion that they should just be able to pick up games that are in the house and play them, build their own opinions and appreciation (or not; maybe they're just not going to be into games), as opposed to a 5-6 year education with 'lessons in history and theory'. If you want people to like something, the worst thing you can do is ram it down their throats.
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    edit: I'll stop, this is silly
  • Blaisoid
    Offline / Send Message
    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    Looks like you're trying to make your kids relive your own childhood tbh. Most of the games on this list are 15-20+ years old at least. 
    Are older games worse than modern games?
    Should kids also read only books that were written during last few years?


    I'm partially responsible for making my younger cousins fond of older games.
    I never heard them say "ewww, it's old, graphics sux, let's play something newer instead".
    It doesn't mean they turned into elitist douchebags who disdain new stuff. But I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have a chance to play and enjoy old games if I hadn't brought these games and played it with them.

    you can be sarcastic all you want but you won't change the fact that 90's and early 00's had some amazing games that just don't have proper modern equivalents.


  • Joao Sapiro
    Offline / Send Message
    Joao Sapiro sublime tool
    i read all your replies and it seems you know what you are doing as a parent, but just want to say that the reason why you are getting mixed replies are because of stuff you wrote like -

    "I want to get my kids hooked on gaming, but do it in a 'proper' way."
    "And then proceed to more modern titles, perhaps leaving the choice to them at that point. "
    "So, a lesson in gaming history and theory, spanning over the next 5-6 years, that will get my kids hooked on gaming"

      I think i know what you were trying to say, i just think that you worded it poorly as it comes across as something very unorganic to try to get your kids "hooked" and try to educate them , what if they dont like what you think is good and vice versa ? just let that come to them naturally as it came to you would be my personal view, but again i havent got kids and no experience educating them so take it with a pinch of pepper !
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    @BlaisoidWhy do you hate modern games so much? Should kids only read ancient literature from the Bronze Age? I recommend modern games to my younger cousins all the time and I never hear any of them ever say "Ewww it's new, the graphics are all... high res. That's so gross. Let's go play Cosmic Osmo on my vintage Macintosh II series computer. I was born in the wrong generation."

    "But wait!" you cry, "That's not at all what I was suggesting!"

    Well, your reply has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying either and that didn't stop you from brutally misrepresenting my post. Plus you did give me permission to keep being as sarcastic as I wanted so.......
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    @sinusoid
    Seeing as my responses thus far have not been particularly constructive I will add this: Portal, Antichamber, FEZ, Braid, and Quantum Conundrum. 

    You'll notice that these are all puzzle games. Portal being particularly noteworthy because it has actually been used in research and demonstrated to improve cognitive thinking. The fact that you managed to produce a list geared toward improving your childrens lives without a single puzzle game on it would normally seem like a gross oversight to me, but makes perfect sense in the context of my original point which Blaisoid mercilessly butchered for his own purposes: This just reads like a list of your favorite childhood games.

    The 80s and 90s could hardly be described as the golden era of puzzle gaming so for anyone in their 30s trying to think of their favorite games as kids the likelihood they're going to pull out a puzzle game is exceedingly low.

    Further reinforcing my original point: Your list is almost entirely mainstream games, even by modern standards. Nothing on this list could be considered pushing the creative boundaries of the medium today in any way, which is not bad really, but it is ironic considering your stated purpose for this entire exercise. Again though, not at all surprising from a list that could basically be renamed "Greatest Hits of the 90s"

    (Portal is actually rated T apparently, I can't remember if there's any inappropriate content but obviously you should play these games yourself first and use your best judgement.)

    One last thing: I agree with everyone else in this thread who suggested you are far better off simply letting your kids find their own interests and supporting them. I know you've said repeatedly now that you are not forcing them to play stuff, but for some odd reason I feel compelled to clarify my thoughts...

    Good luck. Apologies for any offense, I understand you have good intentions.
  • sinusoid
    Offline / Send Message
    sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
    [...] I think i know what you were trying to say, i just think that you worded it poorly as it comes across as something very unorganic to try to get your kids "hooked" and try to educate them[...]
    ↑ this

     I know, I regret that a lot now. It was late, unplanned, spontaneous, I used mind-shortcuts. Should have known better.

    Ok, ok, guys, before you burn me along with a few witches, listen to this.

    6 yr old girl, 8 yr old boy.
    Arrive on site.
    - (son) "Dad, what's that game?"
    - "It's called Fallout. You have to be much older to play it, but it's pretty awesome. I can show you a little bit that's safe (reloads save). It's a game about (intro story here)"
    - (son)"What do you do now in the game?"
    - "You can walk wherever you want, you can talk to people. There are some awesome cities to visit. Most are ruined. There are some very mysterious places too. You can collect items that help you out on that travel. You want to get one particular item, but end up in a lot of adventures because of that. Sometimes someone attacks you, or you attack someone, but the fights are pretty brutal, so I can't show them to you until you get older. "
    - (son)"That's OK."
    - (daughter) "Why does that cow have two heads?"
    - "It mutated due to radiation from the nuclear bombs. It's a specie of a cow now, actually, it's called a Brahmin. There are a lot of creatures here that were mutated due to radiation. (insert tangent to Chrono Trigger 2099 AD city ruin/sewage monsters here, kids see the correlation, they feel awesome, start making more correlations themselves. They bring back the subject the next time we play Chrono Trigger.)".

    I usually click through the game, in this case showing inventory, char stats, go in for a conversation with other characters, give the dog iguana-on-a-stick to befriend it... etc.
    If I know about a kid-safe video of a modern sequel, I show it to them, to give them comparison of the graphics and game mechanics, but don't focus on it too much.
    I usually talk about more details, but trying not to spoil too much.

    I don't think I'm shoving stuff down anyone's throats. I'm just answering questions, and showing limits of what I can do/allow to be done, and we are mutually respectful about those limits (sometimes we negotiate them. Kids have good ideas.)

    There's a lot of storytelling and interaction between us, some of those things end up in their drawings, they make accompanying stories by mixing up elements and adding a lot from themselves. They sometimes ask me to fire up a game they've seen before, because they want to see a model/sprite better so they can draw it.

    Timeframe of above: once in 7-14 days, around 30 minutes.

    They game more often, around 2-3 times a week, up to 20 minutes each, they get assistance (mostly help with difficult stuff and translations). SAFE TITLES ONLY.

    They get more time if they want to use the computer for creative things (drawing, sculpting), this is separate from gaming time.

    @AtticusMars - re: show them new titles only - That's awesome to hear, actually. Can you suggest some stuff? Even the obvious ones? I kind of know my way around artgames and horror rpgs, but dropped out of the other genres pretty severely some years ago. So stuff I game now is totally unsuitable for my kids.

    @stickadtroja - this, totally.
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    See above, I just posted my suggestions above right before you replied. I'd also add Bastion to that list.
  • sinusoid
    Offline / Send Message
    sinusoid polycounter lvl 4
    @AtticusMars @Blaisoid - I don't mind you guys quarreling, just don't escalate that too far, pls.

    @Blaisoid - What games did you suggest to them? AtticusMars wrote above that my game selection is mainstream, and did not do anything new to the medium. I believe he is right about it.


    @AtticusMars - Thanks a lot! Damn, I've forgotten about Fez! I love that game! You're right about puzzle games. Not my thing, I prefer plot-heavy stuff. Should show puzzle games to kids though, see if they pick up.
    Re:Portal, I actually can prepare a gameplay session so they don't get to see inappropriate stuff, and let go as they get more mature. Have to see if they like Portal.
    Remembered: Limbo and Daymare Town. That's for laters. Oh, and also Necrodancer.
    Braid creeps me out for some reason, but I'll show.
    Haven't seen Bastion before. Awesome looks & feels, but they're still too little for it, they'll be very agitated afterwards. Will use for laters.
    Quantum Conundrum - Seems OK at the first glimpse, will review in detail. FPP game, that's good.

    Re:mainstream - Yeah, I know, one of the reasons I started this thread. You are kind of harsh in your criticism, as in, it could be said in a way that's nicer, but your points seem valid from my current perspective.

    Re:letting them find games - they're too little to do that right now on their own. Later, sure, no problems with that. I'll probably be the one taking suggestions. But if I take the initiative now, I can help them out with stuff like game time management, battling addiction... and, like I said, before, being creative with their games, rather than simply consuming them.


    (I'll compile a list with everything later, for self, and in case someone wants to reuse. )

  • Kitty|Owl
    Offline / Send Message
    Kitty|Owl polycounter lvl 3
    Have you tried, ni no kuni? if I had been a kid when that was released It'd have been my FF7 (which incidentally I played at 7/8 so it might also be one to consider in 6 months or a year. your kids seem to understand that games are not real which is I think one of the main elements of knowing when to start introducing games that present themes/moral choice).

    Portal is a good shout

    Portal 1 is rated Teen - Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.

    I would say the use of teen in this case is for just strong language, crude humor and minimal blood? perhaps however refers to what I sometimes see written as "impending doom"

    Portal 2 is E10+ - which I think you can play regardless of playing the first portal. the difference between E10+ and E is the use of some suggestive themes. basically a PG instead of a U,

    You seem to be doing well with regards to guidance and supervision, which is something you can't say for many people who just use games as another parent/suppressor.



  • Wolthera
    Offline / Send Message
    Wolthera polycounter lvl 5
    Generally, on studies done about kids reading there were two common factors in their childhoods: The parents read, and the parents read stories to the kids.

    I think one of the missing elements in this thread is that you are "let's playing" the games with your kids, and giving them the ability to try out a game rather than sergeant drill master standing next to them, making sure they play 4 hours a day! I think a lot of people are reacting to that. So this would be more about whether to add  Harry Potter or Twilight to a kid's bookcase than to force them to read The Five and the Hobbit.(Though I did enjoy both when I was a teenager.)

    Due to this, I don't think computer RPGs shouldn't be added, if you were to say that only games with actual spacial and problem solving skills should be added, because RPGs tend to teach different things, mostly, as many ESLs who grew up playing games know, vocabulary and concepts.
    That said, it might be worth it to see if there's something like DnD lite out there, and try running a (tiny, don't make it run longer than 4 sessions and keep the sessions small) campaign with your kids. It's definitely a different type of play, but I do think that if you want to offer a rich experience of possibilities it may be worth doing.

    Something like dwarf fortress or nethack is interesting, but you definitely need to let's play it with them.

    I would recommend looking into a lot of the Level 5 games. Professor Layton is great, Little Battler Experience may be a bit too complex for them, Fantasy Life is fun, but might be too zeldaish. Phoenix Wright is good for reading comprehension, but may be too intense because of people dying. Phoenix Wright vs Layton is nearly ideal for kids, though there's some scary scenes in there.
  • Justin Meisse
    Offline / Send Message
    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 17
    @AtticusMars   The adventure game genre was huge in the 80's and 90's, Myst was bundled with pretty much every CD Rom drive.  Puzzle solving games didn't really have a foothold on consoles but they were prevalent on PC.

    I'd recommend giving Real Myst a try, it's a remake of Myst in a real time 3d engine.  If you have a tablet, I really thought The Room was a cool new twist on the old Myst formula.  It may be too scary for your kids though, there's nothing overtly creepy but it has a lovecraftian undertone to everything.  But when I think about it, when I was a kid the best stories always had a hint of danger to them.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syiha-lS04g
  • AtticusMars
    Offline / Send Message
    AtticusMars greentooth
    @Justin Meisse Yep, I played a lot of Myst when I was a kid before I started playing console games. And I still wouldn't describe the 80s/90s as the golden era of puzzle gaming. Puzzle games in my opinion is one of the few genres that I think has made great strides both in how creative the content is and in how much fun it is to actually experience.

  • Justin Meisse
    Offline / Send Message
    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 17
  • Deathstick
    Offline / Send Message
    Deathstick polycounter lvl 7
    Nintendo tends to be the safest bet when it comes to family oriented gaming if you think your kids are too young for shooting.

    I personally loved playing doom 2, heretic, and duke nukem 3d with my father and sisters. Duke Nukem's BUILD editor got me interested in wanting to make games when I was little.

    Tank Wars was the family game, even my mom would play with us :)
    https://youtu.be/KkEDHWEkEEk?t=2m19s

Sign In or Register to comment.