How to get your mom into gaming

Everyone wants to share their hobbies with their family, so here's how to introduce your mom to your passion this Mother's Day.

Mother's Day is coming up, and with everyone quarantined away from each other it may feel like this year is harder than ever to connect with your mom. Especially when the generation divide means many of our parents just aren't into the same things we are. But that doesn't need to be the barrier that it seems like.

Gaming is a wonderful way to connect with people, in person or over distances, which is especially useful right now. So if you want to share your hobby with your mom, to keep in touch and keep her entertained during these troubled times, here's the best way to introduce her to your world.

First of all, there's the mild preachy bit. Many misconceptions about gaming are built on the early marketing tendencies of unscrupulous companies at the turn of the century, so you might need to break down the idea that games are all about shooting and murdering people, or being a degenerate hedgehog with too much 'tude. The easiest way to do this is just show her some of your favorite family-friendly games, stuff everyone can appreciate the beauty and joy in. Basically anything made by Nintendo is a perfect fit for this, but there are a number of indies like Journey or Monument Valley which are equally joyful.

There's also the benefits of gaming, which you can use to your advantage. No-one wants to come across as too pushy in extolling the virtues of their favorite hobby. But with the World Health Organization recommending people play games to keep their brain engaged throughout quarantine lockdowns there's plenty of good reasons why this is the time to try it out.

You can also explain that parents playing with their children can help each party understand more about what they're both interested in. Parents also have a chance to talk to their children about topics that may not otherwise come up when just watching TV or films. And, if that doesn't work, then maybe the allure of monitoring your screen habits might just push her over the edge. 

Now that your mom's thoroughly interested in playing games with you, it's time to dive right in! So load up Dark Souls and hand her the controller.

No, of course not. We'll save that for week 3. First, find a game that really resonates with you, that your passion can shine through with, and is friendly to beginners. To help with that, you can use resources like Taming Gaming, which gathers game suggestions together into Netflix-style lists and categories. They're in groups that non-gamers can understand, like playing on the couch, or wanting to solve a mystery, because your mom might not know what an RPG is.

We suggest starting out with the First Video Game list, for obvious reasons, and many of them are available on mobile so they're simple to install and play with no complex controllers to get used to. Games like Monument Valley, that wordlessly communicate their rules with striking visuals and a simple story, are good intro games for your mom.

Play through at the same time as your mom so you can help her with any interfaces that might seem intuitive to you but not to someone without years of experience. You can also talk about what you most like about this game in particular, and talk about other games you've played like it.

We firmly believe gaming is for everyone, but understand that some people may not be interested in it. If that's the case with your mom, then don't push her, just enjoy spending time with her in your own separate ways. She'll always be interested in hearing about your hobbies even if she isn't also interested in them. That's why she's your mom.

Editor-in-Chief

Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing chris.higgins@allgamers.com or finding him on Twitter. 

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