Wednesday, March 9, 2016

First Post: House Rules

My family was a gaming family from the first week. I met my wife and heard all this World of Warcraft stuff. That was her world. I was coming from Madden and SOCOM. I figured if I tried this WOW thing out it would help get me some brownie points with the cute girl I had just started dating. Thus started a 5 year WOW journey.

Fast forward to present, and our 6 year old son is a gamer as well. He started with Wii (of course) and moved onto the Lego games. My 16 year old stepson introduced me to Destiny, and I got hooked. So while Kniteryderr (the 16 year old) and I would play Destiny, my 6 year old (Monkeyami) would watch.

The day Monkeyami asked if he could play Destiny, my wife (Tatii in WOW, but she's not on PSN) and I had a decision to make. Should we let him play a game rated T? Much like deciding on what TV shows or movies to watch, the rating meant less than the content. Destiny, in case you aren't familiar, is a first person shooter. There is no gore (blood etc) or bad language and the violence involves shooting aliens. Given this, we thought it would be OK to let him play while we were with him. This led to the first house rule:

1. You don't talk about Destiny outside of the house.

Why was this important? Because we didn't need him mentioning Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons, let alone killing a Fallen or Hive Major, to people who didn't know what he was talking about. 

As he played, and got better, we started getting into watching YouTube videos. I made sure to check them out first because, as you can imagine, there are a lot that contain adult language and content. Our two favorites quickly became My Name Is Byf and True Vanguard. The content was excellent and I could be assured that there was no adult language (OK, Byf occasionally drops something). Byf ended up being our go to channgel for Destiny Lore, and True Vanguard for Player vs Player gameplay.

As his gameplay developed, we added a couple more rules.

2. If you're in a fireteam, be a team player.

Don't goof off exploring the environment if other people were counting on you to do a mission. 

3. You're not allowed to have friends, message people, or talk on headset.

No brainer! He now has 4 friends. One of them is me. One of them is a member of my own clan so that I was able to find the raid group when I played on Monkeyami. His first "real" friend was an 8 year old boy whose parents are in my clan. His fourth friend is "Teriyaki" who added him in order to get him in Trials of Osiris. The only time he's ever been on headset is a story that comes in our next post. :)

4. Playing video games is not a right. You earn your gametime.

All homework has to be done. All chores done. If you give mommy or daddy attitude, you lose your gametime for the day. If you don't sleep in your bed, you don't get to play the next day. Etc. 

5. Always play supervised.

This started as a no exceptions rule, but as we've watched him play and he's gained our trust, we relax it every now and then. Mainly on Saturday mornings when he's awake before us and we want to keep sleeping. This is the ONLY time we use the Playstation as a babysitter. :)

So Monkeyami has gained a bit of fame for a couple days due to his gameplay with his hero True Vanguard. That's what led to this blog, but instead of starting with that story, I wanted to start this blog with our house rules. Because that's the right way to do things. 

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment on how your family games together. Is it a family affair? How have you successfully worked gaming into relationships? That's where I would like this blog to go -- accentuate the positives of gaming!

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