Once upon a time, I was fighting Jubileus. Bayonetta is by no means an easy game, even with its button-mashing potential, but I accepted the challenge and, one bright, Sunday morning, surrounded by my family, I took on the final boss.
It was hard. There was a lot of muffled swearing, since my children were much younger then. Eventually, my youngest stepped in to pat me on the shoulders and suggest I maybe needed to take a break. Maybe I needed to let this one go.
Fuck that. Mama’s got this.
I did indeed got this, and there was much rejoicing in the land when I defeated the boss and triumphantly danced into the end scenes. I was able to show them the importance of perseverance in the face of really annoying enemy combatants. That was an important lesson to teach.
But the fact that it trumped my previous lesson of stepping back from conflict and challenge in order to re-evaluate and catch your breath makes for an interesting dilemma—it just confirms that parenting is hard and full of contradictions.
And worse still is when your kids are old enough to throw your lessons back in your face. Especially if they are old enough to effectively and accurately use the word “hypocrite” in a sentence directed at you.
PS4’s Spider-Man, for example, is a pretty challenging game, even on easy mode that is anything but “Friendly” before Spidey has access to nifty gadgets. My 13-year-old used to avoid combat altogether. She’d toss the controller at me the moment a mob looked like it might look at her the wrong way. But oh, how they grow up so quickly. Now she has graduated to multi-hit combo mastery and hogging all the combat challenges in the game.
But the stress of these combat challenges can be, well, challenging, so I have to temper the lesson of pushing through the hard stuff and retrying till you get it—all while trying hard not to swear like a trucker—with the lesson of stepping back and taking a breather before you get to the table-flipping point.
Whichever of my lessons my children choose to implement at any given time in their gaming activities is mostly up to them, unless they are annoying me. But when I see my daughter pulling off stuff like this:
— WWAC Wendy @ TCAF (@nightxade) March 28, 2019
Well, it brings a tear to this proud gamer mom’s eye.
Mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.