As all three of my children are growing into the “tween” phase I am noticing more and more that they are spending a significant amount of time playing social games on their iPhone/iPods, and a lot less time playing with actual toys. I feel like I am forever asking them to get up and go outside and play. Ive actually even seen them go to the neighbors house to play, and all five of the kids will be sitting down playing games on a device. Seems slightly pointless right?
At one point I went on a board game buying spree, because I assumed that they enjoyed gaming so much that they would surely enjoy board games. Wrong. They want very little to do with actual games, unless its Monopoly, then of course they love it (only because they know I am not a big fan of it).
As a last pitch effort I decided that I would try playing social games, and then I could at least interact with them via the social games (since most social games have a chat window). I downloaded games on my iPhone from games similar to the Sims to even games where you build food and I just couldn’t get into the game enough to play. Heck even remember to play the game was a huge task for me. I cant even seem to detach enough from everyday life to actually enjoy the games.
Don’t get me wrong though, social gaming on a handheld device can be a beautiful thing. The picture for example, that is all three of my kids sitting quietly through one of my eye doctor appointments by playing on their iPhones/iPods. If it werent for those game I probably wouldnt have made it through the appointment with all of my sanity. But because of them the kids behaved and were quiet and actually got quiet a few compliments for being so well behaved.
I guess I should just take this as a sign that my children are changing along with what they enjoy. Less and less dolls and trucks and more iPods and iPhones. I also have to remember to teach them that social gaming can be an amazing thing, in moderation.