As with most parents, my mother started gaming with pong. Being the “gateway” videogame that it was, others followed, like the classic Breakout. A few years after it came out, I received the Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas; this opened up even more possibilities. Like many others upon its release, she soon fell under the spell of Tetris. My brother and I loved watching as she completed the challenges. We were always rewarded with some wild circumstance like the Kremlin blasting off instead of the nearby rocket. I recall one night where I had fallen asleep on the couch (it was during the summer months) and was awoken so I could bear witness to the band of Nintendo characters jamming inside the Kremlin. After Tetris and with the arrival of the Sega Genesis, Columns 3 became the new obsession. She always seemed to play the games, that at that time, my brother and I didn’t. This changed with several titles, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. Now the later was the only one that let us interact in game but even that was minimal. The Wii’s marketing campaign made it the system of choice for family gaming and games that everyone, young and old could play. Like the past though, the system was filled with titles that I enjoyed and she didn’t. Suffice to say, our gaming experience together was limited. That changed one day with the release of one game, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean.
Being a fan of the Harry Potter series, the first Lego iteration was a natural choice for her. The Wii’s controls made the game almost unbearable to play but still she trudged through. I was a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series so when the game was released on PlayStation 3, I grabbed it. Knowing of the games very
accessible multiplayer I suggested why not tackle it together. And that’s how it started, two generations of gamers brought together. Donning our Lego Pirate hats and swords we sailed through Lego’s interpretation, which to the say the least, was quite different from the movie. From time to time I had to remind her of what button did what but this was returned with teasing at my inability to make a jump or failure to defeat an opponent. Like all games though, it came to an end. I was not quite satisfied yet and opted to go for the remaining trophies. Once again we journeyed through the game trying to find all of the hidden items. Some of these were pretty tough to find so, often, we would have to collaborate and sync our play styles.
This opened up a huge doorway for us. Currently we still have to complete Lego Harry Potter years 5-7. We still play our separate titles. I’ve been hooked on Dragon’s Dogma. As for her, there’s (literally) no end for Endless Ocean Blue World. Just as friends and siblings have their multiplayer games, so do now, my mother and I. What does this mean exactly? It means ladies and gentlemen, that age of video games being solely kids and teenagers is officially dead. It also means that family gaming, although still probably rare, can happen. You just have to find your game. So, what’s yours?