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Teaching your kids computer games


Richie Freebird

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My little girl started with Mario Kart when she was 3. I find simple controls and fun graphics were best for her at her age. Also, when he loses, make it a fun event. this stops them getting pissed off with it.

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Purely out of personal preference, I wouldn't let my kids go on a games console until they were older. I remember how frustrated I was if I lost on them when I was seven or eight so I can't see it being too healthy for them at such a young age. This isn't coming from a Daily Mail-scaremongered twat, it's just something I wouldn't let my kids do at such a young age when (hopefully) I have any.

 

Get him a Tracey Island and he will love you forever.

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both my kids (boy 3 and girl 7) have a DS XL each. Girl plays a fair bit and is pretty good. The games I let my son play tend to be the mini games on Mario or Bomberman which are good for his coordination and he's great at some of the memory games like matching pairs. We had a card version of that game and he couldnbt care less but he can sit on the DS version for ages. He does get annoyed when he plays more grown up games like racing games so if it were me Richie I'd say build his interest, start with stuff thats fun where there's no win or lose to get stressed over and build him on to the more advanced stuff. Saying that I let my little lad have a blast on Goldeneye and he got 3 kills.

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Purely out of personal preference, I wouldn't let my kids go on a games console until they were older. I remember how frustrated I was if I lost on them when I was seven or eight so I can't see it being too healthy for them at such a young age. This isn't coming from a Daily Mail-scaremongered twat, it's just something I wouldn't let my kids do at such a young age when (hopefully) I have any.

 

Get him a Tracey Island and he will love you forever.

 

I think that all depends on the child. I did the same when I was younger, but my mate was the complete opposite, he always used to say "oh well. Try again", whilst I'd be throwing my pad on the ground in a rage. If you're that type of person/child, you're going to get frustrated with most things including computer games.

 

If I notice my lad getting angry and frustrated with something I tell him to calm down, show me what you're trying to do and I give him advice or show him how to do it and let him try it for himself. The sense of calm that he feels afterwards when he has done it is quite rewarding. I think frustration leading to a success is a good thing, it's a sense of achievement.

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I guess I've got a different stance to others in here as a) I'm not a big gamer myself (I've played about half an hour of COD in the past two or three years), and b) I've yet to have a child myself. Right now I wouldn't like to think that my kid would be spending hours of his life at that age playing on computer games; he'd have plenty of time for that when he was older.

 

*Look out for a post in a couple of years where A Screen Up Jr. and me have screen-shotted our joint RTWM effort.

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Must admit that the Tracy Island tip is a good 'un too!

 

In my mind the best way is to play it with them, and not use it as a child minder. Participation with kids is so important, so along with the video games, make sure you do the toy thing, board games and plenty of reading. They'll love you forever.

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Richie, you might have already been doing this, I have let my 3yo Nephew and his slightly oder sister play some of the iphone apps, and that seems to have been a good place to start them 'gaming'. There are some fun ones that are all about manipulating photos etc, and then ones that aren't the kind where you win/loose.

 

Thomas the Tank Engine for example, has 3 games. Matching pairs, a puzzle game and one where they go alon the tracks and collect things.

 

In short, they are cheap, quick to play, and don't cause too much frustration.

 

I think the controller will baffle them at this age. To begin with they will look at that, and not the screen enough.

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Three words: Kirbys Epic Yarn

 

It's made for children but still stands up well as a great platformer for any age and the art style is nothing short of fantastic in 2D with simple controls, co-op for parents to join in AND you can't actually die. I'd seriously say this is the best game for children out there for current consoles.

 

Feck, that sounded like an awful advert....ah well.

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