187: Parents Just Don't Understand

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Family wise, my lot have always been really supportive of me gaming. Admittedly, more so when I got a job writing about games. More so still when I got a job *teaching* games, but never the less, the support was there! :)

Myzlo:
I'm currently going to college to become a visual effects artist in gaming and movies, and I found this article truly summarizes my father's view on games. What really got my attention was the comments his father makes about the textures and the character movements in the games he played. While my father does this same routine when he watches a snippet of me gaming, I also find he will pick apart something I make in 3D for class as well. While what I view looks great in my eyes, my father has a different perspective on things. What I think looks truly realistic in gaming terms, my father thinks looks fake and even cringe worthy at times. I find this isn't because he's looking for things to critic, rather, he doesn't give any leeway for things I let go, because while I compare it to how things used to be and how far they've come, he simply sees graphics trying to impersonate reality. This is what has driven me to create work that looks so realistic, when thrown into a scene, he doesn't even notice it. In my opinion, people that view video games the way my father does, are partially the reason why things have come as far as they have today. While gamers like me forgive the minor errors because of the overall presentation of a game, people like my father will always view a game through different eyes, and in this way inspire people like myself to try harder.
Take my story for what it is or leave it to gather dust, but I still think that that this "generational gap" is what has helped the gaming community become as strong as it has, no matter what system you started out on.

Can I ask, does your dad like animation at all? See for me it's not really about a push towards more realism- though I respect what you are trying to do and I'm sure you work hard at it.

You see, it's about an exercise in creativity in my opinion. And yes I have always loved cartoons/amimation, I don't see myself as "giving leeway" for the artists at all. One can draw a parallel in modern history. Once the techniques for verisimilitude were worked out in the Reconnaissance, it really took over in painting right up until photography was invented, then there was a movement AWAY from realism. Technology has dictated the constraints placed on artifice in videogame graphics and of course there would be greater attempts at photo-realism as the power increased. People are gonna say "we can do this now". If you reached a stage where you could imitate reality perfectly then would probably be a trend away from it towards something more stylised, like we see with cel-shading.

If it was only about graphics- then I would go with your father; but it's not, it's about gameplay- its mes en scene. There is no generational gap here, it's just your dad.

There are movie critics out there who just don't like animation- and they are quite unabashed about it. My grandfather (mum's dad) absolutely HATED movies themselves!... except if they featured busty bawdy May West. ROFL (true, we used to laugh about it).

jemborg:
There are movie critics out there who just don't like animation- and they are quite unabashed about it. My grandfather (mum's dad) absolutely HATED movies themselves!... except if they featured busty bawdy May West. ROFL (true, we used to laugh about it).

Who doesn't like May West, I ask you, lol. To answer your question jemborg, even though I haven't really sat down and asked my dad nor have I taken a substantial amount of time to think about it, in retrospect I would say that my father is impartial.

He does not hate nor like, but simply view. Being that he loves the show Johnny Bravo (great show if you get the chance to watch it, but the first few seasons are the only good ones) and enjoys a quality CG movie from time to time, I would think his observations are merely that, his own personal observations. For me though they always seemed to strike a chord. As a youth your always trying to justify your choices to your parents (or at least I did, god knows I shouldn't speak on every ones behalf).

Usually though he criticized games trying to look very real, games like Fallout 3, where texturing issues or stiff characters were usually pointed out. But the projection of a persons body 10 feet skyward from a grenade explosion were met with my dad's official decree of "That was awesome! How did you do that?!". Really it comes down to what catches a persons interest.

Sometimes I question my parents on why they continue bugging me that I play video games. They nag me saying video games are for children and still deny that there are alot of mature games that feature gore and violence that shouldn't even advertised to children.

Myzlo:

jemborg:
There are movie critics out there who just don't like animation- and they are quite unabashed about it. My grandfather (mum's dad) absolutely HATED movies themselves!... except if they featured busty bawdy May West. ROFL (true, we used to laugh about it).

Who doesn't like May West, I ask you, lol. To answer your question jemborg, even though I haven't really sat down and asked my dad nor have I taken a substantial amount of time to think about it, in retrospect I would say that my father is impartial.

He does not hate nor like, but simply view. Being that he loves the show Johnny Bravo (great show if you get the chance to watch it, but the first few seasons are the only good ones) and enjoys a quality CG movie from time to time, I would think his observations are merely that, his own personal observations. For me though they always seemed to strike a chord. As a youth your always trying to justify your choices to your parents (or at least I did, god knows I shouldn't speak on every ones behalf).

Usually though he criticized games trying to look very real, games like Fallout 3, where texturing issues or stiff characters were usually pointed out. But the projection of a persons body 10 feet skyward from a grenade explosion were met with my dad's official decree of "That was awesome! How did you do that?!". Really it comes down to what catches a persons interest.

Mae West:"A hard man is always good to find" LOL

Good answers Myzlo- esp. "Really it comes down to what catches a persons interest." Too right mate.

Ironically, grenade explosions' portrayal ("somersault bombs") are the most unrealistic things of all- irl they tear one apart on the spot!

Cheers. :D

Fingolfin High-King of the Noldor:
My Dad said he would like to play games like Halo and other FPS's but he thinks they are too complicated.

Valve keeps the controls fairly simple, that may be a way to get him to play them.

My mother and I both raise one eyebrow when looking at the other's favorite pastime. She's a civil war re-enactor who makes and sells period clothing. I'm a pretty avid gamer (tabletop, video, you name it you got it). Both of us have dipped into the other's hobby on occasion and found it not for us: I spent a summer wearing a corset and hoops to please her, she tried valiantly to beat Donkey Kong Country when I was a kid. I was miserable the entire time I was laced up, she never got past the second level.

Whenver the two of us get into a discussion it becomes clear that we each think the other's hobby is a waste of time and a huge "gold sink", that the other's interest is boring and of no lasting value. Both of our interests are at core experiential... you're left with precisely the same thing when you're done with a video game as you are at the end of a successful bicentennial parade: satisfaction.

Sometimes I'm not sure why we can't admit how alike we are.

Solipsis:
My mother and I both raise one eyebrow when looking at the other's favorite pastime. She's a civil war re-enactor who makes and sells period clothing.

Ah, the (not so) civil war- when men were men, women were women and teeth were... eeeww!

Is she with the "damned Yankies" or the slave traders? She must make a pile of money- that sort of stuff is really popular isn't it? Films etc? A friend of mine worked on the cozzies for Moulan Rouge, only thing I liked about the flick (had to watch most of it with the sound off LOL). Come to think of it she didn't make a lot.

I got my father and mother to join in tiger woods 2006 for a while. we're all golfers, and while they were the better on the course, I was dominant in the basement :D

My mother's brothers loved gaming, but my mom never played them simply because they made her dizzy and gave her a headache too easily. However, she understands that there are games for children, games for teens, games for adults, and games for everyone. That's why she doesn't give me a hard time about my gaming.

My father, however, is very stubborn and thinks all games are for children because I grew up playing tons of Pokemon and Mario (although I must admit, they're more for "everyone" than just "children"). Now he always assumes that all the games I play are for little kids, even if he is in the room with me, watching me play a game where blood is flying everywhere...

Strangely My Dad does like to play games with me sometimes it is a good thing i supose but he always dies XD. he likes to play left 4 dead with me sometimes lolz

My mom thinks Zelda is horrifically violent.

My father and my mother's brother are the reason I got into gaming. They both had the Atari, and Intellivision. My mother saw how much my older brother and I enjoyed playing the games so she ended up getting us a NES. She never enjoyed video games herself, but saw them as good entertainment for children(and a good babysitter for when she was doing things around the house). My stepfather also sees video games as for children. Being 23 now my mother and step-father frown upon me having my DS at EVERY family gathering, telling me it is a waste of my time, this coming from a lady who is always watching CSI Miami, and a man who watches T.V. religiously.

Come to think of it, my step-dad also complained a lot when I was growing up because I would rather sit on the deck in the sun with a good book than play sports, and he would always tell me that reading was for old people who can't move around much.

It is definately not a generational gap, but rather a difference of opinions.

Luckily, my dad actually enjoys and understands gaming, and plays a few of them himself on his own. usually Diablo 2..he loves that game. And I LIVE for the Diablo series. so we have that in common, sorta.he also bought me my first gaming system, the NES and played Super Mario Brothers with me and my sister when we visited him (divorced family). but my mother is the exact opposite. she gets really pissed off when she sees me buy another game cause she thinks its "childish" and a waste of time and money. and whenever I'm playing ANYTHING, and shes observing me, she says the most lame remarks that I'm sure most have you have heard at least once if not more. the most common one being "all you ever do is run around" and "how is this game any different from the others". hearing these makes me cringe.

i think shes slowly turning around or her narrow minded views. cause she realizes that its a very large and booming industry, of which my career will be based on. but that doesn't stop the annoying one liners.

I think iam a very special case then i dont know if it is because iam dutch or something but my dad and mom Are total Mario fans after i got my Nes. So doing they also understand all the other games i play with the nessecary blood and gore involved. Its strange that before my dad and mom fell into their mario rush they were very sceptic about all this and that it all provoked real violence
GR Tim

Excellent article reminding me much of how my dad acted around video games and my attempts in vain to explain the concepts behind them, especially games I thought deserved to be appreciated.

My dad had picked up a nes in 1989 with a couple of those 190 in 1 games. He sat he down when I had just turned 3, I sat down and he told me the controls for contra. My mom was watching from afar. About 25 seconds into playing I was out of lives and I just stared at the screen, then tried again. My mom proceeded to saying "Uh oh" She was right.

Me and my dad haven't gotten to play many games together because he loves tetris and the original bomberman. I recently got him to play bomberman LIVE, for a while he kept asking me where the door and enemies would spawn, and I had to keep saying it was just a death match, and he'd say "Oui, mais les portes sont ou?"

woops, quoted myself O.O.

This article really brought back memories. It has touched several heart strings and caused me to remember things from back when I was just a child.

I remember when I was a little boy, growing up in the Soviet Union. When I was just a few years old, It was 1989, I believe, my father first introduced me to games. As one of the more well-to-do families, we were allowed just a bit more comforts and luxuries than all the rest.

He brought me Tetris.

Tetris was a game that me and my father enjoyed playing. We loved every moment of it. We loved competing for who would get more points and who would lose the last. We bonded during the next few years. But my mother really hated gaming. She not only didn't understand the point, but called it a waste of space, a worthless time sink. We never really got on, afterward.

In the following years, after the fall of Communism, I was introduced to western games. I was amazed at the variety and the entirely different tone of these "Capitalist Play-things". Instead of the bleak, colorless appearance of "Tetris", I got used to the colourful, most wonderful look of these "new" games. It enthralled me to such a degree that I stopped playing tetris. Until the New Years of 2008, I wouldn't play Tetris again.

My father and I never really connected with a game after tetris. It was the first and the greatest and I'm sure we both still remember. My mother and I, however were driven apart by the difference of opinions regarding games and we never really made up.

So, I suppose, it is partly that the older generation looks at video games with, at most, frank curiosity that causes us to wonder whether they really do understand it, but I think that they do. They most likely understand the concept and idea, but, I suppose, it matters how they rationalise the point of it. This may cause different reactions - some may find games attractive, some may think they're a waste of space. But I rest, almost certain, that they know that gaming is important to some of us and will not try to explain how useless or awful it is with an intent to cause us to cut off ties to gaming.

So, in short, wonderful article. Really touched me and brought back memories of me and my family in the early days of computer gaming.

my dad didnt play video games but he respected them nonetheless and say them being very entertaining but not for him

Great article! I distincly remember my own dad saying something similar about Mortal Kombat. But more disturbing was when my dad was watching me play fable 2 earlier this year. When battling the boss (mind you, I was in super-gaming mode), he kept pestering me to "throw the guy into the wall"....immediately I was sidetracked and totally detracted from my game. I therefore had to educate him as to "why" I could not simply "throw him into the wall". He still couldn't understand. Parents just can't seem to grasp the limitations placed on games and why we (as gamers) continue to play them w/ these said handicaps. I guess it will be a never ending battle...until we take over!! muwahaha! lol great topic again!

well think about this: what are we going to be to games 20 years down the line, Halo 3 an old relic such as Frogger?

My dad really never found video games very interesting, but it wasn't until I realized it was the genre of game I was playing, not games themselves.

I was playing fantasy games, a genre my mom and I love. But my dad? He loves simulations, history, and sci-fi type games.

Of course that's why I have a soft spot for different kinds of fantasy and science fiction.

My Dad and I eventually bonded over one game, Flight Simulator. Since I couldn't buy my old man a Cessna for his birthday, I got him flight simulator and the best flight stick system I could afford. Being a a mechanical engineer and pilot for the military this immediately interested him, especially the realism of it. He loves that game and gets out his old flight maps that really work in the game. It's funny to see him get all into it and to learn about flying.

War games interest him a bit, and he'll watch some things for a while, but I haven't seen him have any desire to play anything but Flight sim.

Oh... and the PSN game... Pain. Apparently throwing some dude out of a slingshot is always funny. ;)

parents/politicians? (just dont get it)

My dad, well, he's a proper gamer. He plays videogames with me alot, hell, he's usually better than me. He's my step-dad by the way, he's 30 now. We always play games and he doesn't mind about the ratings of games, he knows that games depend on maturity, and he talks to me about the game before buying it me if it's rated 18, or he'd buy it, if I can play on it, I can have it, if I can't...it's only his. (I'm 14) yet now, he basically let's me play what we want.
Speaking of which, I might go play black ops with him later :D

My mum...well. It's not SUCH a different story. She can't game with controllers due to a problem with the control of her right hand and how to use her fingers, yet she plays PC games ALOT. I've seen her play counter-strike before and she's pretty good at it, and she likes puzzle games as well.
She understands game ratings and lets me play what games I want to play if she's seen them and had a play with me on them.
Actually...I might go on garry's mod with my mum...or peggle.

My mother doesn't play video games, but when I was growing up she loved to watch me or my sister play Zelda, Spyro and Crash Bandicoot - so I reckon she has some understanding for it.
She told me once that she snuck up during the night to try Crash Bandicoot and failed miserably. Since then she hasn't gone near it. However, she was a god damn master of Wolfenstein back in the day. I mean like... elite master.

My mom is cool.

my dad actually loved to play Doom and Quake when i was little, i was too scared to play it cuz you know....scary monsters and guns and stuff. he also played golden eye 007 when i was around 9 or something and i secretly played it eventually and i felt like a "big kid" hahaha. man i miss those days. once i had to courage to tell my dad i was playing it. surprising to me he wasnt upset. we then played multiplayer all the time, we connected better and i always won on bets. i won so many Pokemon cards!

sadly he's not into video games anymore because he hates the controls, the double analog stick confusion is too hard of a bridge to cross. i half agree with him, the first time i played halo i thought my controller was broken. now im used to these weird controls since they're in EVERYTHING. i dunno if i like it though, i never liked the concept of needing to learn how to use the controller before playing the game, N64 was seriously a pick up and play, if you pick up an n64 controller and played any game, you'd know what you were doing almost instantly. its not like that anymore.

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