Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dads and Video Games? - Part 2

(Continued from November 28, 2009) ...... The next morning, I got up at about 7:00 a.m. When I realized that all of my kids were still sleeping, I ventured downstairs to …. well, O.K., I decided to play Wii Bowling for a few minutes – NOT THAT I WAS ADDICTED OR ANYTHING!!

However, much to my dismay, I had no clue as to how to turn on the system. I tried everything that I could for about an hour. Again, NOT THAT I WAS BECOMING ADDICTED OR ANYTHING, but I finally had to wake up my youngest son at about 8:00 a.m. for instructions. He provided the needed tips and I was off to practice Wii Bowling by myself (a sign of addiction?) for about two hours with my right arm, both legs, and back howling at the sudden resurrection of a childhood activity!

I did everything in that game for two hours, including tons of strikes, tons of spares, converting splits, rolling several 200 games, and ….. well, admittedly, I was beginning to think about the fact that I just couldn’t walk away and, uh, you know, do things that a normal dad does.

At about 10:00 a.m., my youngest son came down and said, “Um, dad, you woke me up for instructions on the Wii and now you’re sweating while playing alone in the family room …… uh, what would you say to me at a moment like this”?

I menacingly glared at him and said, “That doesn’t matter right now – pick up a remote and prepare to be defeated”!!!

For the next few days, I took on all comers and I showed no mercy while defeating each whippersnapper one at a time!! YES, I was in my element and YES, I pulled a muscle when the rug slipped, but, hey, man, I was in the groove; rolling 200’s and winning!

Well, alrighty then, since my own dad is no longer here to drag me away from the video game, I did the only responsible thing that a dad can do – I played several more games; defeated everybody several more times; and then I peacefully walked away, as my right arm, both legs, and back all left me for another, less competitive dad!

O.K., I’m exaggerating about the addiction on my part, as I knew the signs and stopped long before I crossed the line. But, if you can play a few games with your kids, even if it involves video games, go for it! The memories that we made over the weekend will last a lifetime – which is about how long it will be before I physically recover from my injuries!

Also, a good lesson would be as follows: While playing a video game with your kids, try to notice if you “feel the rush” that kids feel when they play video games. It is real and it can be dangerously addictive – so be careful, but have some fun with your kids, too!

Paul W. Reeves

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