The Witcher III is a fantastic game, which is why I picked it for the first part of this series of me trying to just have some fun with videogames again. However, it doesn’t make for much of a family-friendly game.
It’s probably something to do with the language, or the violence, or the nudity. All three maybe? Regardless, it isn’t the type of game you play with younger ones around.
Other Kinds Of Fun
I’m definitely a fan of mature, story-focused experiences, but that doesn’t mean I only play games like that. I played Super Mario Odyssey, and loved it. I have Little Big Planet 3 still, and the Uncharted series. There’s Overcooked and Slime Rancher; hell, even Fortnite might be a decent choice.
What’s the reason for this diversion from Geralt’s chronicles? My wife brought over her nephews for the weekend, and they love videogames. The last time they came by, they spent the entire night on the couch just engrossing themselves in the massive horde of games we own. This time was no different.
They’re huge fans of Minecraft, so we spent a large portion of our weekend with them either watching them playing games, or playing Minecraft with them. Jennifer and I made some interesting headway in Survival mode with them before they begged us to turn on friendly fire; for no reason, they assured us. I’m sure you understand exactly what they wanted from that alteration. It took only a few moments before the first fratricide occurred, with the victim taking umbrage over being attacked. In his inability to exact his revenge, he decided that Jennifer was a soft-target, and killed her because she “had some stuff [he] wanted”.
Being the gallant defender I am, and remaining ever vigilant in protecting Jennifer, I avenged her… about five times before he was able to kill me.
We played again later with less focus on destroying one another, and managed to create a small town with a library, hotel, gas station, grocery, and a few stores. It seemed to me like they had more fun building things, though it didn’t take long for the older one to get bored and start chasing us down fruitlessly with a bow.
Aside from Minecraft, they played Oblivion, Divinity: Original Sin II, Knights of the Old Republic, Fortnite, The Escapists, RiME, Horizon: Zero Dawn (which one affectionately pronounced hor-eh-ZAHN) and about two whole minutes of The Banner Saga. They tried a few times to hint that they wanted to play some of the other games we had, like Call of Duty and The Witcher III, but we remained stoic despite their pleas. We both knew that their parents didn’t want them playing games like that.
It can be hard in that respect. I remember when I was younger I was allowed to play any games I wanted. We weren’t under any restrictions, but I knew kids that weren’t so lucky. I definitely don’t have any issues with parents being careful about what they allow their children to play, and I’m certainly not going to allow kids to break rules that they’re supposed to follow even when they aren’t around their parents.
That all said, I’m glad we were able to find things they were interested in!
I know they had a great time playing with us, but I knew that they mostly wanted to play as many things as they could get their hands on. It’s funny to me that the one thing this weekend reminded me of, was the time I spent over at family members’ houses, or when I would visit my father on the weekends.
My dad and his oldest son lived together, and my dad worked nights. So he slept during the day, which meant we had free time to do whatever we wanted. His oldest son (my half-brother, obviously) owned the original PlayStation, and later a PS2, which we didn’t have at home. So I can definitely relate with Jennifer’s nephews; they don’t get to play as many games as they’d like, and a weekend away with family that own every modern console would be like heaven on Earth to kids like that. I know how I felt when I got to play Red Faction, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil 2 (even though I was terrible at it, and it scared the bejesus out of me).
Those were the days!
Sure, I was bummed out that I couldn’t keep on truckin’ through Skellige, but at least I got to spend some quality time with family and let some kids enjoy gaming marathons! If anything, even though I didn’t have my usual monopoly over gaming entertainment, I rediscovered something important. I remembered how I felt about gaming when I was a kid, and a little bit of that long sought-after nostalgia came rushing back.
Besides, I still got to hang onto my Switch for myself!
Have you ever been the enabler of a gaming marathon for young’uns? Any fond memories of back in the day?
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