Just a few months ago I was voted coolest mom of my 13-year-old’s grade eight class, an honour I share with a mom working on her psychology degree who could talk Bruce Wayne out of the cape and cowl and into proper therapy for his trauma.

My claim to fame is my geek connections, as well as the fact that I am in touch with the things the kids are into. Mostly, I try to keep up because I know that, at 13 and almost 11 years old, their years of viewing me as cool have reached their twilight. I have already been warned never to do a Fortnite dance again (but I will do them anyway, because the next step in parenting after “cool” is “totally embarrassing” and I am going to embrace the hell out of that status).

But one area where I’m still allowed access and even influence is in gaming-related videos on YouTube. Currently, we are watching LD Shadow Lady and Yub regularly, and Red and Cupquake were a standard for a while. I’ve been tricked into making merchandise purchases and supporting Patreons with promises that they will never ever forget to do their chores again (this turned out to be an untruth that I keep falling for).

We also regularly start or end our days watching Dunkey after discovering his Sekiro video. “Mom, I thought you said we’re not allowed to watch videos with lots of pointless swearing?” Yes, okay, but Dunkey is funny and makes very important and valid points about game mechanics and game criticism. (Parenting means mastering selectivity and exceptions.)

A few of our subsequent gaming experiences have come from the experiences and recommendations from Youtubers. LDShadowlady’s Minecraft and Sims challenges frequently inspire my daughters’ creativity, while Yub has us playing Pocket Mirror and Layers of Fear. And then there was Overcooked, inspired by Red and Cupquake. We can see how well that went.

There are a couple of other YouTubers that they watch that are based on other subjects, and I am doing my best to keep up with all of them, but at least the gamer ones I can understand and partake in. Whatever it takes to be cool mom, I’ll do (within reason).

But if it comes to it, I’ll be happy to accept partially woke and connected but mostly embarrassing mom who happens to play video games we like.

Read the rest of the Game Mom series.