I can honestly say hand on heart yes our family are video game addicts, we own a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and a Wii, we have 3 Nintendo DS consoles and a PC and Laptop capable of playing games too. We both have smart phones that have plenty of apps to so are able to play games on the go, were both addicted to Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz. But I would like to think that we are addicts in moderation.
As I’m a busy stay at home mum I don’t get as much time to play on the games as much as I’d like but I do try to make an effort to use the Wii to help with my weight loss (almost at my target weight of 9stone 6lb – according to Wii Fit this is what I should be at 5ft 5″) and play the occasional game with the boys. Matthew loves nothing better than to play Call of Duty with his mates online or blast around a racetrack on F1 or Grand Turismo 5 after a hard day at work, whereas Callum and Nathan love playing Mario games on either the Wii or the DS. James is still far too little to be playing on any game but that doesn’t stop him from trying.
Research has been carried out by Bigpoint, a study with over 6000 parents was carried to find out about their attitudes to playing games with their children especially during the school holidays. I must admit I do find it easier to do housework whilst the boys are glued to the TV screen unless of course they start arguing. Also I am guilty of letting them play a lot this summer as the weather has been utterly rubbish and we’ve found ourselves stuck indoors. But on a whole they don’t spend days upon days, hours upon hours sat playing the games so I don’t see it being a problem in our house. I will ensure that they don’t become children that don’t do anything but play on consoles. If its nice we go out or we play in the garden and this is something I will ensure they continue with.
This weekend the boys and I have been playing a new game online together, it is called Farmerama. If you are on Facebook you will be familiar with Farmville and Farmtown. Well Famerama is very similar, you get to create your own farm, plant crops and sell them, buy animals and breed them too. This is a game that both the kids and I enjoyed playing but could become very time consuming so isn’t something I’d want them playing all the time. The game is pretty easy to play and has lots of help buttons should you need them. To be honest we found we could stumble along and find our own way. We were quite impressed with our little farm.
According to Bigpoint “parents are split as to whether kids should spend less time playing video games once they go back to school, with 52% believing they should spend less time on games, 45% believing they should spend the same amount of time, and only 3% believing that they should spend more time” I guess I’m one of the 52% as once the boys are back at school they definitely won’t be playing on the games as much in fact they won’t be playing on them at all during the week and probably not most weekends as we will be out and about visiting family and friends. We are hoping for a trip to Blackpool to see the illuminations and another one to the other coast to catch up with family. Bigpoint also state that most parents spend more time on computer games once their children are back at school as the children have less time to play due to school commitments. I suppose this could be true in Matt’s case but it also depends on what shift he is working at the time. Sometimes he can play day after day for a couple of hours at a time, other times he can go weeks without playing on any game.
On a whole i don’t think we go overboard with the amount of time we spend on the games consoles. We don’t constantly sit and play on them all day everyday, I do know for a fact that the boys and Matthew would like to play more but they don’t sulk if they don’t get their own way. So I guess what I want to know is are we the only ones who have every console going? and am I a mean mummy for restricting the boys game time to a time when it suits me e.g. wet weather or when I need to do the housework?