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Games and the Family Dynamic

Recently I have realized how much games in general have a huge part in our day to day lives.  I came to this conclusion the other day as I looked around the room and both of my teenage granddaughters, my husband and myself all had a phone in our hands.  When I asked them what they were doing on their phones they each answered individually that they were playing a game.   (side note, I had also been playing a game on my phone prior to looking up at everybody else)

I have 2 teenagers in my home (my granddaughters I am raising) and anybody that has teenagers in their lives knows how hard it can be to get them to communicate with you. When I noticed my teenagers playing their games on their phones, all I could think was how hard it is to get the girls to communicate with me.  When I asked them about the games they were playing  it gave me a way to get them to talk to me.  Anybody that has teenagers will appreciate that it can be difficult to find a way  “into” your kids’ lives.  

If I think back to when my oldest was young, we played games like Tetris, Sims, Zelda, Mario Brothers etc.   Sometimes we played on a gaming system and other times we played on the family computer.  It didn’t matter how we accessed those games, it just mattered that we were playing them together! My favorite was Zelda and let me tell you, I played that game for hours and hours!

My family plays games now just like everybody else in the country on our phones, the laptop or a gaming system.   To be honest, in my house for the most part everybody uses their phones.  Yet no matter what device we use, games are still a way to get your kids to communicate with you.   My 14 yr old granddaughter likes to play this word finding game called Word Collect on my phone with me.  I love it because it is a way to get her to spend time with me.  Let’s be honest, anybody that has teenagers in their lives knows how hard it is to get them to allow you into their world.

I have a game that I play on my phone that is a seek and find game.  It is called Seekers Notes; Hidden Mystery.  I have been playing this game for at least 5 years.  I am absolutely addicted to it.  The challenges reset every morning at 3 am and I find myself anxious to get on the game and see what the new challenge is as soon as it resets.  The reason it keeps my interest is that the game evolves and changes weekly with new challenges and worlds that open up in it.  

My husband plays a shoot and kill kind of game that he plays with a group of people from around the world.  His “commander” is in Thailand and they have become good friends over the last couple years.   They have a chat feature and if one of the guys doesn’t show up to participate in one of the “wars” that they have, one of the other members will check up on them.   They have had one that passed away and others that have had deaths in the family, gotten sick etc.   These guys have become really good friends.   

It reminds me of my son and the XBox games he would play and still does when he has the time.  He has a group of guys he plays with that have been together for years, since my son was a teenager.   I couldn’t tell you the names of the games he plays now as he is an adult and lives on his own.  Yet as a teenager he played popular games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, etc.  

Both of the son in laws still play XBox games and they are grown men with kids of their own.  In fact, the oldest one has a slight obsession with all gaming devices and buying and collecting all games.  He gets them at yard sales, Ebay, the local flea market  , Facebook marketplace and basically anyplace he can get them.

I have recently started playing basic Solitaire and Tetris, both are games that I have played for more years than I care to talk about.    I found Tetris on my laptop through a website online called Plays.org that has a ton of games and it has my heart racing again trying to get those blocks turned in the correct position before they drop too fast.  Don’t laugh, you know you have been there if you have ever played Tetris before!  Solitaire is one that I find myself playing when I need just a mind numbing moment to relax from what the day has brought me.

 As a family, we like to play board games , especially during the holidays.  Playing Poker and Gin Rummy has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.   It gives us a way to get together and spend time with each other.  I am now teaching my toddler grandchildren to play games like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders and Jenga.  Don’t get me wrong, I have to convince them to put the electronics down in order to teach them the basics of the simpler games. They are thrilled and enthused by anything electronic so I do have one tablet at Nana and Papa’s house that they can earn time to play on.

Having said all that, it makes me realize that games have always been a way to form a community or bond with others. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to bond with your teenagers , children or just in a friend group. Games are a great way to accomplish that goal. As I have sat and thought about this I realize that it doesn’t really matter if it is a hands on physical game you sit around a table and play with people or if it is digitally on your phone. You can still develop that bond or friendship with others that you are playing the game with. I am curious, do you have children/grandchildren in the home and are looking for ways to connect with them? Have you tried different games to get them to just sit and play with you? As I said earlier, it is a great way to connect with the kids in your life! I would like to encourage you to try games to get your family to connect with each other! I would love to hear from you in the comments below what you use to get your family to connect with each other! As I said earlier, it is a great way to connect with the kids in your life! I would like to encourage you to try games to get your family to connect with each other!


2 Responses so far.

  1. Jodi Hunter says:

    Family game night at our house is a favorite.

  2. Laura A. says:

    My husband loves a computer game called Star Citizen. He’s had to upgrade his computer a few times just to keep up with the game technology. I’ve watched several YouTube updates from the developers where they explain how the game is created and the features that they want to add.

    That’s really neat that your husband has kept up with other players for several years.


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