ATTENTION GAMERS OF REDDIT: A question from a non-gamer

Of course it's easy to fall in love with games. They're like stories, in movie format, where you get to be in control of the hero. The decisions feel like your own. You get to actually solve the problems you see I front if you. You get to be a superhero for a brief while before returning to the (comparative) crushing and dismal reality of your life.

While you might see that as rather bleak, you get roughly the same feeling of escape from boredom that you get with virtually any activity. Books can take weeks to read, the guitar can take a lifetime to learn, sports can be played for as long as the body will allow it and watched long after that.

I spent a long time playing games as a kid. How did I get started? My dad would play games occasionally, and I'd sit down with him and he'd let me be player 2 until we eventually beat super Mario 3. When I got a little older, the N64 came out, and we worked for what might have been forever trying for all 120 stars in Mario 64. I stayed with video games, because they were always available. They were available because he taught me the value of money, so I would do chores to earn an allowance and I had to save my money if I wanted to buy a new game.

I learned to fish the same way. My dad went fishing, and one day we both went fishing. He taught me to cast a line and talked me through reeling in a fish by myself when I finally caught one. I don't fish nearly as much as I used to, but I'll always know how.

I learned to play sports the same way. We would throw a ball around in the back yard or on the street, and I used what he taught me whenever I'd play with other kids. That's also how I developed a dislike for watching sports, because playing was infinitely more fun and rewarding than just watching other people do it on television.

When I was sent outside to "play" there was almost nothing to actually do. I had explored everywhere that I was allowed to go, and found almost nothing. My friends from school lived in the next town over do anything we did had to be scheduled, and the neighborhood kids either sucked or were too young to hang out with. Going outside did become a chore, and I usually hated it. I was told to leave a place where I could have all the fun I wanted to go where there was none to be had. When the outside world had failed me, I saved my money for a game boy and just took video games with me.

My advice is to actively spend time with your kids. They're going to learn from you in ways you won't expect, and you will shape an unbelievable amount of their lives. If you want them to play outside, go outside with them and show them how. If you want them to be ok with more than just games, show them that there is more to life than games. Whatever it is, make sure that there's something active to do, because if there isn't anything, they'll gravitate to where they can find something. Do things with your kids and they'll learn from the examples you set.

/r/gaming Thread