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Entertainment2 weeks agoTimothy "Timaugustin" Augustin

Mother's Day spotlight: Videogames parents play with their kids

A family that games together, stays together.

Mother’s Day isn’t typically a holiday one associates with gaming, but it doesn't have to be that way. The sheer breadth of videogames available on modern platforms make it so that even the most inexperienced player, whether they are a parent or a young child, can find something fun to play with their family. Sometimes, that takes the form of an endless survival game like Minecraft. Other times, it’s a multiplayer horror game like Phasmaphobia. 

I asked the lovely staff at GosuGamers about the games they play with their kids and parents, and surprise, surprise, not a single soul answered with Dota 2. Honestly, that’s a relief if nothing else. 

 

Games that are fun for the whole family

If both a parent and child share gaming as a hobby, they’ve lucked out - it’s an easy activity to share that can last for hours on end, allowing families to bond without stepping so much as a foot out the door. Many games are built with cooperative play in mind, taking into account that some people actually enjoy sharing their toys. Games like Dead by Daylight are much more fun when played with a friend, whether you're struggling to survive together or hunting each other down with a knife in hand. Local co-op games like It Takes Two actually require two players to work, offering a very different experience than most single-player titles. 

Several members of GosuGamers are parents and being gamers themselves, have found video games to be the perfect hobby to share with their kids. Our Dota 2 lead/features editor Cristy ‘Pandora’ Ramadani plays a host of games with her kids, mostly themed around family-friendly competitive gameplay or light survival. Minecraft is a rabbit hole most people fall into at some point, but her family plays it together. Since multiplayer players can occupy a single shared world, everyone can work together to gather resources, build structures and generally create a virtual living space of their own. Terraria offers a similar sandbox experience, albeit with 2D gameplay and far more boss fights.

Nintendo has a host of multiplayer games available on the Nintendo Switch, and those are great with a family too. Cristy plays classics like Super Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart and Super Mario 3D World on the console with her children. The common denominator here is clearly Mario Mario, who shows up as a familiar face in many Nintendo games across different genres. Racing, platforming and fighting games become that much more interesting to kids when Mario is in it - especially now that he’s headlining his own animated movie franchise. 

Sidenote: did you know that Mario’s full name is Mario Mario? While leadership at Nintendo have gone back and forth on this issue for years, Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself put an end to the debate in 2015 by confirming that Mario’s last name was also Mario. The plumber only becomes Super Mario when he acquires a mushroom-like embiggening power-up. This earth-shattering revelation might then lead one to wonder: what on Earth is Luigi’s full name? Why, it’s Luigi Mario. They are brothers, after all. 

But I digress. 

 

Zombies and demons and ghosts, oh my!

Super Mario is fun for the whole family, but kids tend to seek games with more mature themes after a certain age. GosuGamers' partnership manager Larcey Palac’s son loves horror games, so the two end up playing some rather spooky titles such as Sons of the Forest, Phasmophobia and Demonologist. Sons of the Forest is a survival horror game that lets players work with one another to survive a cannibal-infested environment teeming with dangers, while Phasmophobia is all about working together to gather evidence on hidden ghosts. Demonologist is fairly similar to Phasmophobia in gameplay, though some find it a lot scarier. The sudden jumpscares, tense monster encounters and cooperative objectives these games render are best experienced with other players, which makes them perfect for families who don’t mind being scared out of their minds every now and again. 

Sometimes, however, it is all fun and games. Larcey also plays puzzle/party games like Fall Guys, Pico Park and Pummel Party with her son. These are pretty light-spirited but nonetheless engaging party games you can pick up and play with pretty much anyone, though Pummel Party, much like the Mario Party games it’s likely based on, could really ruin someone’s day. Pico Park on the other hand, is a platforming game that has players work together to overcome obstacles in a series of challenging levels to find keys. 

However, one must note that both Cristy and Larcey are seasoned gamers. My mother doesn’t play video games, so throwing her into Sons of the Forest would likely be the end of me. That being said, I find that the Nintendo Switch really is the best device to rope in people like her, who aren’t experienced gamers. 

People who play games regularly take the small things for granted; we know how to move the camera, pull a trigger and walk towards something all at the same time. People like my mum aren’t used to playing games this way, so simple control schemes work best. A few Switch games, like 1-2-Switch and Just Dance, allow you to control Joy-Cons by waving them around instead of tugging at sticks and pressing buttons. I also play the annual Jackbox Party Pack games, which mostly require the use of a phone. They’re a lot of fun, though some of their releases can be inconsistent in quality. 

In the interest of writing this article, I did try to teach my mum how to play Fortnite’s new open-world survival game mode Lego Fortnite. I reckon I haven’t been pelted with so many questions about how the world works since my final exams. She made it all the way up to her first death at the hands of a skeleton, at which point she gave up and told me to put on Derry Girls. To be fair, she only played the game so that I’d have enough material to write this little paragraph, so I do owe her a nice gift come Mother’s Day. 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Gaming is a simple way for parents to connect with their kids and vice-versa, so it might not hurt to ask your mum to join you for a game this Mother’s Day. Several parents in the GosuGamers team play everything from Phasmophobia to Minecraft just to spend time with their kids. My mother doesn’t play video games, but she loves board games and card games, and they can be just as much fun to play with family. It doesn’t really matter what parents play with their kids after all, so long as everyone’s having fun. 

Except Monopoly. That just never ends well.

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Timothy "Timaugustin" AugustinTim loves movies, TV shows and videogames almost too much. Almost.

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