My nine-year-old is obsessed with video games. This is the most predictable problem I will likely ever have.
It’s hard to know for sure if he would have been as enamored with video gaming had I instead, perhaps, decided to write about knitting or deep-sea fishing for a living. It seems likely he’d still end up on video games, considering his friends don’t seem to have followed their parents’ into not knowing the first relevant thing about video gaming, and they aren’t exactly walking around school obsessed with investment banking or the collapse of society, which is all their parents seem able to bang two thoughts together about.
And yet, I can’t help but feel that I have given this gift of gaming to my son in spades. After all, gaming is a big part of my life, which is why I’ve exerted so much energy justifying that idea by cloaking it in the trappings of professional work. And, don’t get me wrong. I’m over my gamer guilt. I’m going to spend some relevant number of hours a week enraptured by virtual worlds, and that’s just how it is. After all, as a functioning member of society who has found that balance between work, life, family and video gaming, I’ve earned my digital respite.
However, that doesn’t make raising a video-gaming son any easier. In fact, in some ways it’s harder, because I understand that earnest desire to lose days at a time in these pastimes. And as a responsible parent, I can’t exactly say to my kid, “Have fun playing the new Lego game until your ears bleed and your eyes burst in their sockets. I’ll see you in three weeks!”