I've become a parent since the last time I posted. I now have a beautiful, healthy, five-month-old baby daughter. I never realized exactly how much of my life was eaten away playing video games until I couldn't play them as much. I still love them, but they actually don't seem as much fun anymore. In a way, it's as if every time I sit down to play a game, I am taking time away from my day that could be spent on much more important things. I know that this has always been the case, but I didn't notice it as much as I do now.
However, my daughter is at the age where she is becoming aware of and responding to the sights and sounds around her. I know that she doesn't fully understand what's going on on the screen, but she loves to watch me play games. I don't know exactly what it is about video games that attracts her attention so much, but they can hold her attention even longer than her own baby toys. Sitting on her on my lap while I play has actually become quite a bonding experience for the two of us. My wife is a gamer too. So, I have a feeling that, as my daughter gets older, family gaming will become somewhat of a tradition in our household.
That raises another question though. At what age should you first introduce video games to a child? Most child psychologists say not to expose your small children to television until they are at least three years old, but what about video games? I mean, they teach problem solving and help to develop hand/eye coordination and reading skills. So, can't they be used as an educational tool if done so in moderation? I think that the real questions are how much video games are too much and how young is too young?
Fortunately, my daughter's young still. So, I don't have to worry about it for a while, but it does raise some interesting questions though...