Having kids is fun at the beginning when they are cute and compact enough to breastfeed while partying for experience points and doing Sky runs in Final Fantasy XI. When they get old enough to do your crafting and farming for you, it almost feels like all those nights of interrupted sleep tending to their needs was worth it. It’s cute when they start playing all your games and you can share proud parent moments.
When they become teenagers, everything changes. That’s when you find out that they actually have been paying attention to all the lessons you have been teaching them. That’s when they turn your own lessons against you.
“Why do you have all these games on Steam when you never play them? Why did you tell me I can’t have another game until I finished the last one?”
These are all valid questions, and were my children younger, I would have definitively answered with “Because.” Now, they don’t accept parent logic. They are old enough to demand actual answers, and worse, they are old enough to point out my hypocrisy.
And so it was that my 15-year-old decided to sit me down in front of my Steam Wall of Shame and do a full audit of my inventory, demanding not only to know how many of the 125 games I have actually played, but how many of them I have actually finished. For the next 20 minutes, I was methodically subjected to an onslaught of judgment with rules and criteria that kept changing to not suit my needs at all.
Games completed on other systems don’t count: I have a number of games on my PC that I’ve already played on my PlayStation. Or perhaps I started them on the PC and switched over to the PlayStation. I used to be an avid PC gamer, but now the PlayStation is in my bedroom, which means I can game in comfort. This is logical to me. It is not a satisfactory excuse for my child who thinks it’s ridiculous that I would purchase a game in two places if I only planned to play it in one. I mean, I didn’t plan to only play it on one system, but time and convenience and comfort dictate that it’s good to have options.
Their game completions are not my game completions: Despite the fact that I have personally purchased games for my kids to play and complete, these completions do not count against my personal total.
These are all valid questions, and were my children younger, I would have definitively answered with “Because.” Now, they don’t accept parent logic.
“It was on sale” is not justification for owning something: I tried to explain the evils of Steam sales, but he admonished me with talk of self-control and responsible spending, as if it’s not my own hard-earned money that I can waste on the complete but unplayed Batman: Arkham series if I want to when they are all on sale for under 10 bucks, thank you very much.
Not even knowing what a game is about is a bad thing: “Why would you even buy it then?” he asks. See above re: Steam sales.
My hundreds of hours of BioWare games must count for something, right? He grudgingly gave me this one, but only because he had fond memories of Iron Bull and of helping me through a mission in Dragon Age Inquisition.
I have earned 760 achievements, have seven perfect games, and maintain a 40% completion rate! “So?”
Clearly, nothing I could say would sway him from his diminishing opinion of me. Fortunately, going through my Steam list line by line offered an obvious opportunity for distraction, and soon enough, I was freed from this ordeal. He is currently playing Half-Life, and when he finishes it, I’m totally going to count it as a win for me.
Read the rest of the Gamer Mom series.
Mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order. Publisher at WomenWriteAboutComics.com
This is delightful. I see myself in both sides: I too have had stern talks with my mother about whether we actually needed that towel set or all those hot cocoa tins just because they were on sale, and I too have a wall of shame of all the games I’ve downloaded and not yet played. (But I’m going to! One day!)
That’s a good point! I definitely had a list of things I questioned my mom on in the past.
I figure we’ll play all these games when we retire, right?