I should probably preface this entry by saying that I pretty much grew up gaming myself. My father moved around a lot and on one of our destinations, we were to stay in Japan for a term, just about when the Family Computer came out. As a welcoming gift, my aunts got me a Famicom, and I haven't looked back at gaming since (even during that fiasco that was the Jaguar Gaming System).
I never once thought of gaming as something "weird" or "uncommon" as that's what my friends and I did (practically, all the girls in my class), and only when I came to the States for High School did I discover that gaming was an anomaly, the fate of gamers at my preppy school to be ridiculed and/or stuffed into lockers. Shamefully, I was forced to go into the closet as a gamer for those sad high school years and *gasp* play sports instead, but soon enough, college came along, thanks to which I was free to game once again!
And trust me, game I did. Yes, in the years before I had my daughter, I played a LOT of games. I MUDded--worse, I built for MUDs--my friends and I would hold Quake/CS LANs at the Library under the guise of study, and on the weekends, we'd hold a Tekken for Shots/Food Tourneys (you drink something or eat something awful if you lose). Queue the mighty flood of awesome console RPGs like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and MMOs that followed Ultima's success and sleep became a thing of the past.
I still play quite a bit now (when my daughter's asleep or napping of course), and though it's not as much as my wild and crazy college days, I still definitely fall into that "casual hardcore" category. Luckily for me, my husband was a gamer when we met (big plus for me), so I never got too much "hubby aggro" about my habit, and now, 10 years later, we're raising our daughter to be a proud gamer. (With a side of geek thrown in.)
In addition to Cookie Monster, my daughter gets to snuggle a stuffed Big Goron (and you better believe we do the dance for her from "Ocarina of Time"), and when she was small enough to fit, I admit I took a picture of her sleeping in my Imperial Backpack (the one which Rota the Hutt was carried in). We are forever "OM NOM NOMing" her to make her giggle, and every so often, when she flails about in her awkward attempts at walking, she will "pwnz" me just a bit in the face. Just a few days ago, you cannot imagine the joy I felt when I saw her crawling towards the XBOX, picking up the controller and holding it in her little hands in perfect position to score a "headshot BOOM* (Though I do hope she'll pick a PC over a console for all her FPS needs when she's older.)
That being said, no, I won't be feeding her Cheetos, Jolt Cola and last night's cold pizza for breakfast (like there's ever any left), I will not be raising her to call our basement the "Command Center," (it's too long for her to say anyhow) and I certainly will not be teaching her Klingon (I prefer Huttese). I will not allow Uncle Mario and Luigi to raise her, and she will spend her time in the sun, riding her bike or playing soccer so she can have a more Tauren tan than looking like a pasty Undead all her life.
On the other hand, I will teach her the following things I learned from gaming (in addition to all those pesky other things like, numbers, letters, and of course, nuclear physics).
- Team work gets you points and is just as important as kills! (But FFS, don't de-frib your friends in the line of fire to pad your scores--I'm talking to you BFII medics!)
- Bigger isn't always better. (Gon vs Bryan "My Low Kicks Don't Hit the Shitty Dinosaur" Fury)
- When you see demons burst out of Hell Gates, NEVER PAY FOR THE LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION.
- Don't play with fire. (If it's red, it's dead(ly)!)
- Looks aren't everything. (Even a pudgy, middle-aged plumber with a porn-stache can get the girl.)
- Food is good! (Don't shoot--waste--the food.)
- Money doesn't mean happiness. (For just $14.99 a month, I'm pretty damn happy!)
- Believe in yourself! (Elvaan are just as good at being WHMs, and don't let little know it alls tell you differentaru.)
- "Exploring Vana'diel is a thrilling experience. During your time here, you will be able to talk, join, and adventure with many other individuals in an experience that is unique to online games. That being said, we have no desire to see your real life suffer as a consequence. Don't forget your family, your friends, your school, or your work." (I know I know, I ignored it a couple times myself.)
- Don't judge a book by it's cover. (The cover art for the US release of Mega Man. Need I say more? Fun, iconic game though!)
- "Being polite while in a group with others will get you invited back!" (But just AFK if it's that one creepy dude trying to tank in DPS gear.)
- The Contra Cheat Code. JUST BECAUSE.
Love the cover art and live it!