Through the years I have so many incredible memories of playing games with my family. We have had so many hours at tabletop games, consoles and pc games. The opportunity to laugh, compete and engage in worlds and realities beyond our own are endless and have been improving as the years go by.
Early on in our family life it was the game cube where we got to play as Bond in golden eye and whether we were loading a scored verses match or a co-op bot game there was always fun to be had and bonds to be forged. So many and varied universes were open to us to explore in super smash, rogue squadron and burnout.
As the family grew in age and number we found our way to Xbox and were able to engage in shared solo puzzling through Tomb Raider or team multi player in Halo. All the while our gaming family would enjoy escaping together with excited shouts of “I got you there Dad” or ” take that Mum”. Our Children learn how to win and loose gracefully by our example and when we said it was time to log off to eat, study, clean or sleep they would know that we understood the appeal of just one more game.
These days my Children are almost all adults and I am so honoured that they still want to play, we have a family discord server and our steam accounts are all linked. My partner and I are called upon through message and phone call to jump in and enjoy quality playtime with family. Even my own Dad as learnt gaming skills in WoW and 7DTD.
I am far away from my family tonight as I write this reflecting on the cohesion of my family and the times we spend together. I know we will all see each other in person next week as we gather for a family event and I feel so close to them all because of the times shared in games online (and at the table, but that’s for another blog post). Our connections grow as we transcend the space between us by building new memories and experiences together and even though we might frustrate each other with poor moves or bad choices, we are constantly learning and forming what it means to be community as we practice grace and boundaries in virtual spaces. The playful space we create in these online spaces draw us closer together as we solve puzzles with portals or grow an harvest crops in the midst of apocalypse.
My Son Elliot made this clip from recent Twitch Streams on my other Son Praxis’ feed and it shows just how much fun we are having solving the Levels of a game called GTFO.
Open to any questions on this snapshot on my playful families connections .