Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gamer Mom?

Gamer Mom? Do they really exist? 

Well, I'm glad that you asked because we do! And we aren't all neglectful to our kids. 

In 2010, a mother killed her child for interrupting her Farmville game and in 2014 a father was arrested for suffocating his son so he could play video games. Yes there are bad apples in any bunch and I can tell you there are a ton of great parents who play video games. We play games both on consoles and on the computer. 

There is a stigma with video games. All gamers are not the 40 year old living in mom's basement. A lot of us spend hours at work during the day and escape to the world in which our game lives. This is our escape and is no different from someone going to the bar and having a drink or to the club on the weekend. Add to the normal stigma of gamers that I am a female. That is strike two and being a mom is strike three in some people's eyes. 

I started gaming in 2008, when monkey was less than a year old and wasn't yet walking. I played World of Warcraft. I put in many many (probably too many) hours into that game, Yes, I had the headphone and mic and all. I made some great friends and still speak to a few of them to this day. However, Monkey and Sister always came first. No matter what I was doing in game, if the girls needed something it was done. If I died while taking care of them then so be it but the game was not as important as what my littles needed. 

After WoW I moved to Star Wars: The Old Republic and found a great group to play with. I have been with this group for over 2 years now and still enjoy it. Hubby and I both played SW:ToR together and would spend a few hours in the evening playing together. You tell me what the difference is of this or going to a movie or something similar? 

From SW:ToR I started playing Guild Wars 2. Another game that I probably spent too many hours in but never once did I take time away from my kiddos. Do you see a trend here? I was even known to have Monkey sitting with me while I played this game as the game design was very appealing and she liked to help me go and explore different areas in the game. 

From Guild Wars 2, I started playing WildStar which I am still playing now. The cartoony design of this game is great and I love the adult humor in it. I play while the kiddos are in school or after they go to bed. The game may be up all the time some days but that doesn't even mean that I am home, much less sitting as my computer.

Did you get the pattern in each game that I played? Kiddos come first for this gamer mom. Many people assume that I sit at my computer for hours and hours and my kiddos are left attended and on their own. But that isn't how things happen in my home or in many of the gamer parents homes that I know. Gaming is an escape much like reading, going out with friends etc. In fact, I can say playing games it actually better for my family as I am home with my girls, not out spending money that we don't have. It's not about keeping up with the Jones, instead, it is just having a good time while staying at home and being able to have a release of some sort. 

So you guys tell me.. what is your escape from the real world? How do you take time for yourself at the end of the day?