We recently became a Wii family. (Well, Wii U, but I’m not intelligent enough to know how much it matters.) This is because of an opportunity we had through work to test out Disney’s new Infinity game. We’d been talking about getting a Wii for years now, but the launch party made us realize that it was pretty much inevitable and that we might as well take the plunge.
Growing up, my family was not a video gaming family. Not at all. We’ve never owned a game console. Nearly every time I’ve tried to play I’ve become frustrated with the controls and my inability to use them with as much agility as I imagine I should be able to. But Micah’s family was into video games a bit more, and I’ve seen a different side to video games since we’ve been married: namely, that they can be really great ways to have fun together as a family. Everyone takes turns, everyone works together to accomplish a goal, and everyone cheers each other on.
That is the vision I have of our family’s relationship to gaming. The day-to-day reality, of course, is much different. I’ll let the boys play together while Elsa is napping and I’m getting some work done or making dinner. But because it is important to me to be a part of the family, and to not be hovering around the sidelines while everyone else has all the fun, I have insisted on taking my turn on occasion.
Part of this is because Simon keeps reminding me that I’ll never get any better if I don’t practice, and I’m taking that to heart. I’m pretty sure I’ll always be the worst in the family (although right now I have a slight edge on Oliver), but I like to know what Micah and boys are talking about, and more importantly, I like to hear them cheer me on as I attempt – for the 3rd time – to get Mr. Incredible to the top of the building so he can rescue the person stranded there.
So although this is pretty much one of the last things I expected from my life, it turns out that being a good mom is requiring me to play video games. Didn’t see that coming, but I’m not going to shy away from it if I can help it.