Passing the torch

Joust recruitment poster design by Steve Thomas

I have been playing games on a TV screen since my father brought home that glorious Commodore 64 with its stacks of floppy discs full of pirated software. With luck my children will follow me in this proud tradition of video gaming. Like any toddler, Natalie wants to do whatever her parents are doing, and in our family that means learning to wield a controller and keyboard. Her training began this month.

We started with a classic: Mario. I handed her the Wii-mote, showed her the buttons, and let her play. Natalie had an intuitive understanding of the cause and effect at work, and immediately grasped how her inputs affected what was happening on the screen. She pushes a button and squeals, "that make him hop!" She presses on the D-pad and "that make him run all around!"

It only lasted a few minutes, but I'll always remember baby's first game session. Next she took the reins on Persona 3 since that's what I happen to be playing right now. In her hands, this complex and beautiful experience becomes a game about running up and down stairs. Over and over again. And she's delighted to be doing it. I'm so proud.

"Make him go uppa duh-tairs!"

Related: Playing video games with dad builds better daughters

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