But now I am, if the calendar is to be believed, an adult. And I am raising two small daughters (one 3, one 7) who are showing their own gamer instincts. Though, these days, their Pokemon and Nintendo obsessions only make them "normal."
However, as a gamer parent of gamers, I am finding that the rules of our household are different from what I grew up with.
For example, there is a sacred, almost sacrosanct right to be able to save one's game. When I need a daughter to put down her DS and do something, she always gets one or two minutes to save her progress first. It is only in the cases of extreme lateness or severe punishment that she is forced to shut off the game with her progress lost. It is the Ultimate Sanction.
(Also, when you quit Animal Crossing without saving and start up the game again later, a cute animal comes out and severely lectures you for your carelessness. It is in this way that I outsource my disciplinary duties to Nintendo.)
Also, my children are allowed to play educational games almost without limit. However, my ideas of what makes a game "educational" might differ from those of the stick-in-ass types that normally determine these things. My seven-year old girl is allowed to sing on Rock Band as much as she wants because it forces her to read the lyrics. Also, her cultural education will be incomplete without at least some exposure to Elvis Costello.
And I have long felt that high-end raiding in World of Warcraft has a strong educational component. It requires strong organizational and teamwork skills, not to mention people management. At least, that is the justification I am going to give when I pull her out of bed on a school night to tank an instance for daddy.
I strongly encourage both girls' fascination with Pokemon. Pokemon provide fulfillment to every human being's basic desire to have an army of monsters. Also, Pokemon spend all their time fighting each other, which is good. For what other reason would one want to have an army of monsters?
Yes, we have truly created a new world. An exciting, technological, shut-in, pasty world. Now, if you will excuse me, my daughter is old enough to realize that there is something called Dungeons & Dragons, and she wants in. And you think I'm going to trust some wormy, unseasoned, prepubescent Dungeon Master to run her first campaign? Not likely.