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(01-11-2017, 04:32 PM)
noomi's Avatar
We were blessed with our firstborn son back in April. A happy, healthy boy who had just turned 9 months old. He sleeps, he eats, he poops, likes to play with his toys, screams and laughs... and I can't wait to start playing video games with the little dude!

Now... let me start by saying that my parents were very anti-video game when I was growing up. My father bought an NES when I was very young, and that was the only time they bought me anything video game related. Since then, every game and console I owned were purchased by myself. I've had many arguments with my parents when I was younger about how much time I spent on gaming, and it always resulted in them saying it's a big waste of time and I should be doing more with my life. As the years went by, and the older I got I began to understand where my parents were coming from, they wanted to make sure that I was living my life to it's fullest and not just spending all day on my computer or console playing games. I get that now... and I would want the same for my son as he grows older.

All that being said, I continue to enjoy gaming and still game almost everyday when I have time. My wife is generally ok with my playtime as long as I continue to be a responsible adult :p Gotta bring home the bacon, be a good husband, and a father first :)

So.... ParentGAF, do you game with your kids? What would be an appropriate age to introduce my son to video games, what types of video games, and how we should limit his game time. I really don't want to do what my parents did... especially the arguing, and being completely close-minded about video games. I want to share gaming with my son because I do love it so much, and I think we could have a lot of fun together :D
The Lamonster
(01-11-2017, 04:40 PM)
The Lamonster's Avatar
At that age, go ahead and give your son a Wiimote or traditional controller to mess around with. They love carrying them around, pressing buttons and playing with the thumbsticks.

Take the batteries out and wipe it down with alcohol first.

I have a two year-old daughter who loves controllers and watching me play games, but she doesn't play them herself yet. Getting there, though!
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 04:40 PM)
Yes, I game with my kids. They are 4 and 7 years old. Mostly Lego games and my 7 year old like Yoshi's Wooly World.

It's a fun activity to do with the kids. We of course limit the time, etc, but it's fun that we're all playing together and laughing and trying to figure out the levels.

In fact, my wife bought us the Lego Dimensions game and we were playing that during our Christmas holidays. Lots of fun!
(01-11-2017, 04:44 PM)
Sure, play with him.

But, do not buy a tablet with Crash Royale or something like that. Because your son will disappear.
(01-11-2017, 04:46 PM)
ShinUltramanJ's Avatar
My kids are older now, but when they were younger we often played videogames together.
Mariokart DD, Smash Melee, Guitar Hero, Mario Party etc...
(01-11-2017, 04:50 PM)
Started with my boy when he was about 5. Played a lot of the wii, nsmb, kirby, donkey kong platformers. Progressed to PS3 and PS4. Games with couch co-op are always fun.

He's now 11 and loves his jrpgs. Likes Tales of series and has completed FFXV. I think I have created a monster!
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 04:51 PM)
Craydays's Avatar
I have a 5 yo daughter and sure I play with her. I've introduced her to gaming via Toca Boca apps (iOS/Android) when she was 3. Now she plays Wooly Yoshi and Mario Kart on Wii U. Also with my help she learns basic crafting in Dragon Quest Builders on PS4.
(01-11-2017, 04:52 PM)
Ensoul's Avatar
Used to. The first game my son and I played was Spiderman friend or foe. We playing some NBA jam, monster truck jam and some sports game. My son is now 11 and he just has has no desire to play video games anymore.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 04:52 PM)
I'm no parent, but from my experience with my father, you won't get a lot of time to game in general. My dad introduced me to gaming with the Atari 2600 (I'm 22 right now, so I certainly didn't play it in its hayday), but barely played with me even back then because his job was so demanding.

That said, I would recommend Nintendo for more age appropriate games and multiplayer. Mario is always a great starting point because he's simple to understand (Super Mario 3D World is a blast when played together). Depends on what consoles you have though
(01-11-2017, 04:56 PM)
EhoaVash's Avatar
Not a parent but I have a little brother9 who I try game with when ever I'm bored. Mostly Nintendo games though, growing up I didn't have any siblings until I was like 14 so I'm trying to make up for the lost time spent gaming with him.

At first it was difficult to get him in the types of games I liked, he mostly was a Minecraft junky at first. Kids these days, anyway I got him into Pokemon and Mario kart he seems to enjoy those. Only drawback to playing with him is that he hates losing, throws a fit when he does so I let him win a lot
(01-11-2017, 04:58 PM)
Ahjumbie's Avatar

She also LOVES watching me play games like Guacamelee and Braid or anything that has a lot of text . She'll sit there and read line. I just got Stardew Valley and am not touching it till this weekend when she's off from school so we can play together...I'm so looking forward to it , she's going to love it!
(01-11-2017, 04:59 PM)
Raven77's Avatar
My 5.5 year old daughter and nearly 4 year old son love Mario Kart 8 on Wii U. I am thinking of getting Stardew Valley on PS4 to play with them. I may pick up Wooly World as well.

Any other suggestions? I hadn't thought about Dragon Quest Builders.
Wants his cup full of frames
(01-11-2017, 05:00 PM)
Elandyll's Avatar
I have a 5 and 7 year olds, and they love their Lego games or Minecraft (both story mode and og).

My eldest is becoming quite apt, even getting commonly frustrated with his brother in coop, but now being a proficient reader he is getting also into other kind of games, like RPGs. He even showed me a few tricks in Lego Batman the other day.

Seeing me play the Nier demo, he also asked for that for his Bday, but I said "probably not" ;)

Of course, they are also both very much into their tablets (Kindle Fire), but we are restricting access to all depending on school behavior and results (they have access to a PC, PS3, PS4 and tablets, but during week ends only and for 2h max per day).

The whole family sometimes get into Gauntlet slayers and its a riot.
(01-11-2017, 05:06 PM)
thundr51's Avatar
I've been playing games with my son(now 15) for a while now. He's mostly into smash and Zelda, but he'll mostly play any fighting game I put in front of him when I need someone to practice with.
(01-11-2017, 05:07 PM)
Recall's Avatar
My 4 year old enjoys playing Mario Kart 8 and his Ninjago games on the iPad.

Mario Kart 8 is played very rarely but the iPad is quite frequent on a weekend when we are preparing a meal or he wants to play for a little while.
(01-11-2017, 05:13 PM)
noomi's Avatar
So it seems like most parents starting introducing games to their kids around 4yrs old or so. I know sooner or later my son notice my gaming habits and want to jump into it :p

Looks like Nintendo games should be a safe bet in that case. Currently have a PS4 and a Wii with plenty of games on each console.

I'm really looking forward to this :D
(01-11-2017, 05:14 PM)
Jumpman23's Avatar
Every chance I get! I have four kids (10,13,15,22) and they all game, though to differing degrees. Household favorite.....Nintendoland!

However, we play Pokémon, Mario Kart, Splatoon, Minecraft, Terraria, the various Lego games and much more. Currently we're taking turns on The Last Guardian. Oh, and the kids LOVE the Vive. I think they've put more hours on it than I have.
(01-11-2017, 05:14 PM)
Vic20's Avatar
Of course! Half the joy of having children is spending fun time with them!

Edit: both my kids started actual gaming around 4.
(01-11-2017, 05:15 PM)
muteki's Avatar
My son is recently turned 3 and doesn't show a huge interest in what I'm playing (the rare instances he is around when I'm playing.) He likes playing Duck Hunt in short sessions because of the light gun and the dog, but for most others he can't quite yet wrap his mind around a d-pad in his left hand and buttons in his right yet.
(01-11-2017, 05:17 PM)
QuantumSquid's Avatar

Originally Posted by Ahjumbie


She also LOVES watching me play games like Guacamelee and Braid or anything that has a lot of text . She'll sit there and read line. I just got Stardew Valley and am not touching it till this weekend when she's off from school so we can play together...I'm so looking forward to it , she's going to love it!

I'm convinced that the only way to be good at fighting games is to start playing them this early in your life.
(01-11-2017, 05:17 PM)
watdaeff4's Avatar
I started recently.

WE are currently playing through:
Sonic series (on 2 now)
The legend of Zelda
Plants vs. Zombies and PvZ Garden Warfare games.
(01-11-2017, 05:18 PM)
irrotational's Avatar
As per other replies really - mine are 5 and 8 and love Minecraft and Lego games. We do some of the levels together and have done some world building in Minecraft.

I'd love for us to build ourselves up in Minecraft and take on the ender dragon together but not sure whether they will grow out of it before we manage to get enough stuff!
(01-11-2017, 05:22 PM)
HamsterPackage's Avatar
Me and my daughter (shes six) play ps4 together after she gets home from school. We just beat Jurassic park Lego, the first movie yesterday. We have almost finished shantae half genie hero, and she plays Minecraft occasionally. I can tell she enjoys playing games with me and the feelings mutual.
(01-11-2017, 05:26 PM)
shandy706's Avatar
Yes, although I don't get to play with them as often as I'd like.

Both of my daughters are pretty good at games. My 4 year old seems to have taken to them even more than my now 9 year old has. They both started playing games on their own between 3-4 years old.

My 4 year old has beaten numerous games on her own, including Super Mario 3D World, multiple Lego games, and a few Steam games. I do play with her when I have a chance also. She came running down the hall one day when I got home from work and told me she "got the (unlocked) Rosalina". This was something even I hadn't done, lol.

My 9 year old loves Killer Instinct/Fighters and loves playing a lot of Steam/Xbox One games. She recently played through Abzu on Steam.

Kids pick things up quick, so have fun!
Last edited by shandy706; 01-11-2017 at 05:28 PM.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 05:30 PM)
There is nothing quite like watching your 5 yo score goals during online rocket league

If only those salty sods knew
(01-11-2017, 05:32 PM)
ChuyMasta's Avatar
My kid turned 1 this year so Imma have to wait a couple of years at least.

So far he grabs my controller and presses buttons while looking at the tv. For like, 5 minutes. Then he moves on to something else.
(01-11-2017, 05:32 PM)
Cardigan's Avatar
I tried to get my 1.5 year old to play Flower since there aren't any fail states or death. Didn't catch on as I think he'd rather just press the buttons and chew on it.
(01-11-2017, 05:34 PM)
I have a 6 years old boy (will be 7 in less than 30 days). We play together mostly on the Wii U... some classic VC games, MK8, NSMB, 3DWorld, Yoshi's WW, SSB... he's really into Minecraft to my own despair though hahaha.
(01-11-2017, 05:35 PM)
noomi's Avatar

Originally Posted by pork_gamete

I have a 6 years old boy (will be 7 in less than 30 days). We play together mostly on the Wii U... some classic VC games, MK8, NSMB, 3DWorld, Yoshi's WW, SSB... he's really into Minecraft to my own despair though hahaha.

Ahh minecraft... seems like this wold be a great game for youngsters. You get to be creative and you can just go into build mode and not have to worry about monsters and such.
(01-11-2017, 05:36 PM)
Couchaddict's Avatar
Like Raven77 my 5 & 3 year old love Mario Kart 8. They also like playing NSMBU & 3D World. The 3 year old plays Original Mario on the Wii. He clears the first stage now! Woo!

They have trouble grasping controllers, their games on old phones and touchscreen doesn't develop joystick control much.

Lately I have introduced playing Point & Click adventure with them. It's catching on.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 05:38 PM)
My son was playing games before he was walking.

He just loved walking around in some of my games. Now he is 3 and loves to play Stardew Valley and Lego.

We have to be a bit more careful around him now. The other day he proudly called me into the room to show me he was shooting people in Watch Dogs. So we made him his own account with parental controls now.
(01-11-2017, 05:38 PM)
Not a parent, but I'm an uncle and seeing my niece and nephew fail to comprehend right analog stick camera control is too much. Can't play anything but 2D or driving games with them. That being said, they catch on pretty quickly with other concepts even faster than when I was a kid.
(01-11-2017, 05:38 PM)
Deadpool_X's Avatar
Oh, totally. My 9 year old son is just interested in sports games, though, so I guess he's just a filthy casual(obviously joking about the casual comment). All he wants to play is Madden, Fifa, or NBA 2k, so I gladly hand him his ass in them, 99% of the time, usually using the worst team in the league to rub the humiliation in just a bit more. 1% of the time, I give him a win so that he'll keep coming back for more. We also coop Battlefront Horde Mode from time to time, and I help him with his strategies.

My 6 year old daughter loves Kirby, Mario, Minecraft, and Goat Simulator, so I'll jump in and coop with her there to hand some fun.

I'm very responsible about age limits and parental settings when it comes to gaming. The only T rated game my son can play is Battlefront because it's Star Wars, and I don't play T or M rated games around them, as I don't want them to absorb that kind of stuff yet.
(01-11-2017, 05:39 PM)
I've played with both my daughters (5 and 10). They loved the Lego marvel games as well as the Disney infinity game I got them.

They also play a ton on tablets and phones.

My oldest daughter is even learning to code using a code teaching game that is very cool.
(01-11-2017, 05:40 PM)
Drackhorn's Avatar
Not a parent but I game with my 8 year old nephew. He loves his PS3 and often wants to play Gran Turismo with me but he thinks I always make the same mistake whenever I play with thim. He thinks I'm driving too fast.
So he wants me to wait in the tunnel everytime for him to catch up and slam his car right into me. Ah well, Destruction Derby it is then.
(01-11-2017, 05:40 PM)
Dubz's Avatar
My 1 year old boy loves pressing buttons on all my controllers. He also likes to watch me play Stardew Valley, and he is starting to understand that button presses equals stuff moving on the screen, which is pretty fun to watch.

Be careful though. Once my son almost bought a $99 digital game in PSN just by randomly pressing buttons and moving the controller.
(01-11-2017, 05:58 PM)
pr0cs's Avatar
It's my hobby so of course I game with them.
I used to be a lot more picky about what they played but what I think is a good game is often dull for them.
I did coop through all the MCC collection with my 12 year old son. He's a big titanfall fan so I watched him cut his MP teeth on that.
I've played through all the little big planet games with my daughter (aged from 7-9 over the years) sadly the LBP3 game soured us on the experience due to all the game breaking bugs
Kaiser Swayze
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 05:58 PM)
Kaiser Swayze's Avatar
Congrats, OP. Don't overthink the how and when. Whenever your kid shows and interest, you can start going down that path. Just make sure that you're the one setting the rules, be consistent, and keep your word (that applies to basically all areas of parenting).

If your kid gets big on games, I can't say there's never going to be friction. If your kid is getting grouchy when they have to turn off the games, or if they don't know what to do with themselves when they're not gaming, then it's time to back off. Otherwise, if they're getting good grades, taking interest in other things, and being generally pleasant, I don't think there are any hard rules.

Most of the early gaming I did with my kid was co-op stuff, Lego games, Portal 2, and music games. He's 9 now, so we're playing stuff like Garden Warfare 2 and Battlefront.
(01-11-2017, 06:16 PM)
Donniewahlberg's Avatar
For sure. Lots of 3ds stuff. My boy, partner and I have played quite a few 3ds games in sync and together. Notably Animal Crossing, Yokai Watch, Fantasy Life and Pokemon. It creates a really nice vibe in the house when we're all working through stuff simultaneously and then we'll team up in coop, or trade or battle etc.

As far as console goes, we've played a lot of the lego games together on the WiiU, the toys to life games like Skylanders and Infinity. Splatoon, Mario cats and maker, just building troll levels for each other haha. Nintendo Land was a really fun game together actually. There is some Ps4 things we'll dip into like rocket league or Garden Warfare but it's mostly Nintendo stuff. Our boy is a huge huge Minecraft fan but he's way too overbearing about it haha that's his time.

I love playing video games with my kid tough, and in general as a family, the a big highlight of my life in general. He didn't cotton on until he was 4 or 5ish but it's been a mainstay since.

Of course, finding the right balance of how much time he can play on it, online safety, all this stuff is a big question that is changing all the time in the house, especially in this day and age, but I think a natural balance works itself out fine most f the time. It's obvious when he has to come off because it's put him in a bad mood or should go outside and do something else etc
Last edited by Donniewahlberg; 01-11-2017 at 06:19 PM.
(01-11-2017, 06:23 PM)
Weevilone's Avatar
I have tried and failed mostly. I have a number of Cave arcade kits that rotate thru my cabs and we have played those, but not lately.

With normal console games, they just have different expectations. They have zero patience for games where they might actually get stuck for 5 minutes and it drives me nuts. Even the Lego Dimensions stuff, they were done with it within minutes. Forget an old tough Mario game or something.

However, they'll build stuff in Minecraft till the end of time. The kids are 11 now and nothing has really changed in this regard.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 06:25 PM)
Voyr's Avatar
We play Minecraft together. It just so happens that he's heavy into the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, so "Sea of Thieves" should be a huge hit with us.
(01-11-2017, 06:27 PM)
SheHateMe's Avatar
My son is almost 3 and the NES Classic is his jam. (So was the Wii U whenever we went to Best Buy.)

In the past 2 weeks, he's gone from standing still at the beginning of SMB to jumping in place to running into the first Goomba to finally jumping up and down in front of the Goomba and sometimes stomping it.

It's crazy to see his progress with only 10-15 minutes of play time every two days.

The next step is jumping over the first pipe.
(01-11-2017, 06:28 PM)
AzaK's Avatar
I game with my son (Who's now 7). We play Terraria, Minecraft, Mario Kart, Splatoon and he's just discovered the Pokemon cartoon and wants to play that.

I wanted him to get into traditional "controller" games so I started with Mario Kart, however he was too young at 2 and 3 to really get into it. He just got annoyed. When he headed towards 5 he had enough patience and coordination to drive. Now he can give me a run for my money at times.

My daughter (4) doesn't really show much interest in games but when she sees me playing Rocket League she often wants to join in. I even take her online, telling her we're playing against other people. She can't hit a thing but when we score a goal she thinks it's awesome :)

A few other things

Install parental controls. They will get to a point where they want to game unsupervised, so you need to have things sorted so they don't play shit you don't want them to, or spend all your money

Introduce them to Nintendo games. Nintendo make some of the most accessible and loveable stuff out there that's just a joy to play with children together.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 06:31 PM)
Miang's Avatar
My four year old daughter enjoys watching me play games and I'd love to get some games we can play together. She still struggles a bit to use a controller and match button presses to what's happening on the screen (think she's too used to touchscreen controls as she's a whiz on the Ipad!)

Recommendations for fun, easy to play games suitable for a 4 year old's typical attention span? I have PS2/3/4, Vita and 3DS.
(01-11-2017, 06:33 PM)
SheHateMe's Avatar

Originally Posted by AzaK

Install parental controls. They will get to a point where they want to game unsupervised, so you need to have things sorted so they don't play shit you don't want them to, or spend all your money

Introduce them to Nintendo games. Nintendo make some of the most accessible and loveable stuff out there that's just a joy to play with children together.

Seconded. As soon as my son could walk and pick up random items (such as a PS4 controller) I installed the parental controls for the PSN and XBL stores.

And get a cheap Wii and have your kids play some classic Mario games.
Silent Hill
(01-11-2017, 06:36 PM)
Silent Hill's Avatar
My daughter is 6 and she loves playing on her 3ds and Minecraft on the PS4.
Junior Member
(01-11-2017, 06:38 PM)
Actual's Avatar
My daughter is 6 years old now. When she was a a toddler, she would watch me play games sometimes. Later, she began playing iOS games with my girlfriend. These are great because they don't take a lot of time and they use a touch screen, which is so much easier to use than a controller.

Slowly, I began to play games that she enjoyed watching, like Kirby's Epic Yarn, Pikmin 3, etc.

The first game she actually wanted to play was Skylanders, just before she was 4 years old. She loved that she could put the toys on the base and see them come alive in the game. She played a little bit with me, but didn't want to do combat. This was her first time using a joystick.

Today, she watches me play FFXV and Overwatch and likes them. She loves picking my skins in Overwatch, or my Chocobo and car colors in FFXV.

She still plays the occasional iOS game, but the big thing now is Pokemon Sun and Moon. We play it only when we're together, and we follow each other. We trade Pokemon and we help each other find things. Shit man, she even legit beat me in a versus battle...
(01-11-2017, 06:39 PM)
castaction's Avatar
my son is 1 year old and love seeing me play pokemon or animal crossing new leaf
(01-11-2017, 06:39 PM)
DownWithTheShip's Avatar
I try. My 5 year old would rather watch me play than play himself. He gets frustrated easily and quits when something doesn't go the way he wants. I try to explain that just like everything else, video games take practice.

For now he enjoys watching me playing Minecraft, and most recently he likes watching me play Goat Simulator. We're also in the middle of the newest Paper Mario on the WiiU, although it's been a few weeks since we've played.
(01-11-2017, 06:42 PM)
KevMan1815's Avatar
I have a 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter. With my son I'll sometimes play Mario Kart 8, Lego Star Wars or games on the NES Classic. More often he watches me play games though and more recently he has watched me play entirely through some games. We've played through Kingdom Hearts and The Last Guardian and recently started Kingdom Hearts 2 (he asked about Chain of Memories on 1.5, but I won't subject him to watching that battle system). My daughter likes to watch sometimes, and refers to Mario Kart like it's a cartoon ("Can we watch Mario Kart?").

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