Gaming with the Kids
by Melinda

A little about our gaming family...Bring it on

I love my Xbox One only slightly less than my wonderful 3 kids.  I'm only joking, but gaming is my stress escape, and it all started many many years ago. My oldest son (who is now 23) was about 5 and wanted to learn to play Pokemon cards.  I had to learn it to teach him, and that left me as the only knowledgeable challenger.  The journey of gaming together began. That was quickly followed by coop play on a Nintendo 64, Xbox, and MMOs on PC. As the younger two got older, they joined in the fun.

We have our own family rock band - sort of

If there is one thing I wish more than anything, it would be that I had a good singing voice. That didn’t stop me from claiming the microphone when we got Rock Band II as no one else wanted to embarrass themselves.

The kids got a kick out of my stage antics as I jumped around the room belting out “Dead or Alive” with all the enthusiasm and stage presence a tone-deaf singer can offer. My neighbors…not so much.   We still to this day occasionally break out the game and instruments when my son comes home to visit. We've spent hours playing and laughing together. 

Board Games

Monopoly always turns into all out war of the houses and hotels, and I had to watch closely so no one took advantage of my youngest back when she wasn't able to count money. Don’t feel sorry for her. She’s still the undefeated champion of Disney Princess Memory which always ended with “It’s ok Mom. You will win one day.” I doubt it since my good brain cells are storing useless information like “we need peanut butter from the grocery store.” I can’t compete. We must own over 30 board games and still to this day enjoy a family game night.

I’m sort of famous 

Fallout and Call of Duty are my favorites, and I seriously have even held the #1 leader board spot for 2 min in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Domination playlist with my son cheering me on - "you can do it!"  I was the one Mom in line at the Game Stop midnight release line waiting for my own copy while  being recognized by his friends (some that I didn't even know!), and I was  told I was a legend at another’s home. I guess I’m sort a celebrity mom gamer. I imagine you’d be hard pressed to find another mother with a 36000+ gs  wearing a Halo 3 t-shirt streaming on Twitch.

I see the advantages they are jealous of when it comes to having the gaming mom:

(1) mom understands you have to finish the match before you can come to dinner and

(2) the ability to wake up mom at 3am to enter the parental control password because you got a code to download the beta Halo Reach version before it was available to everyone else. Cool..I want to try it, too.

The point is my son's friends wished their mom played and that they had that in common to discuss.

Bonding via wireless mic

During my son's teen years, I learned he would chat more to me on the microphone from across the house than he did if I was standing in his room.  Once I accidentally joined his party chat (which included 4 friends from school) instead of his game invite. As soon as I entered the chat I heard, “Who is the Nova dude?” Then I heard a voice saying “It’s Matt's mom! It’s Matt's mom!” like a red alert to the rest not to talk about anything because a mom was present. So much for my celebrity status. In the end, I’m still just a mom.

Once we were playing and chatting on headsets and I could tell he was distracted and probably on his computer. He wasn’t paying attention. Maybe one of his friends logged on and he was trying to figure out how to ditch me. I laughing hysterically when suddenly he announced “I have to go. My mom is calling me.” Then click…he was gone. 

I guess I’m his excuse for leaving a boring game even if it is me in the game.

Kids…gotta love them.

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