Jump to content
WolfAmongWolves

Did your parents play video games?

Recommended Posts

This thread is aimed at those of us who are in their late thirties or forties and owned a 2600 as kids when it was new. I always had the impression that playing Atari or any video game in the early 80's was strictly a kid's/boy's thing. Most of my friends had an Atari and we'd spend a lot of time playing video games. However, I never once saw anybody over the age of about 18 play video games. My father had absolutely zero interest; the thought of him sitting down to play Atari was as absurd as him sitting down to play with my sister's dolls. It wasn't that he didn't enjoy games; he would definitely toss a baseball around in the yard with me, and on weekends my entire family would often play board games together. But trying to get him (or my mother) to play Combat was impossible. Those Atari commercials and catalogs that showed happy families of four excitedly playing Space Invaders together seemed totally unreal to me. Looking back, I can't think of any of my friends' parents ever playing video games either. They were all serious adults who did strictly adult things like reading newspapers, watching boring and complicated stuff on TV, and working in the yard.

 

Nowadays I keep reading that most (modern) video games are bought and played by adults in their thirties and forties, the same age that my parents were back then, which kind of got me thinking. Are we the first generation to enjoy video games as adults? It seems to me that somehow video games evolved from a kid's toy to an adult pastime. Were our parent more mature than we are? Or is my perception skewed, and a lot more adults played video games back in the 80s than I think? What are your thoughts and experiences?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We as kids were raised in a world that had video games. So, now as adults in our 40s, we still love video games. And kids today never knew a world without video games! Video games ingrained in our culture now.

 

But to answer the question, no, my parents didn't even understand what video games were. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad was 37 when the VCS was released, and we played games together. In fact, in the 90s, he kept it in his room. I'd have to go there to play Atari games. The Genesis was in the living room, though he never played that. I do remember liking Jezzball when it was released, but otherwise he wasn't that interested in post-Atari games that I could gather. But then again, he hid so much from us, that I wouldn't doubt he snuck some gaming in when we weren't looking.

 

Edit: My father-in-law played pong back in the USSR days. We played a game of it here. I think he remembered it fondly enough.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents had really no interest in video games. When we got our first pong unit, which I have no idea which one it was, they may have played it in the very beginning. But with Atari, I can't remember anyone playing it with me. I did have an uncle through marriage who owned the Intellivision. He was into games though like the Stratomatic sports games and several of those Avalon Hill book shelf games, so I guess it was natural for him to get into video games. In 1982, my mother's brother did get the Colecovision before we (my brother and me) did, but that's because he had a job and we were kids. So we went over his house and I remember playing Donkey Kong like crazy.

 

Phil

Edited by Philflound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom or dad woyld play with my brother or I if we asked but they didn't initiate play. The only exception would be when pong first came out and my dad and uncle bought it together, they played the crap out of it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents were from Poland and had kids later in life. My mom maybe tried it a few times and didn't care for it and my dad thought it was a waste of time and would damage the TV.

 

Funny enough years later, my mom loved Hoyle Casino on my Dreamcast

 

I did have an "uncle-in-law" that bought a 5200 and a Vectrex

Edited by godzillajoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my dad spent more time playing video games than I did when I was a kid. My first exposure to the VCS was when we borrowed one from one of my dad's friends. He didn't have any kids at the time and I was so young I only barely remember it and may not have actually played it. Later we got a Colecovision and of the 10 or so games we had for it, the only ones I remember being directly involved in getting were Smurf and Q*Bert. My mom would play too, but not as much (she could kick my butt at Q*Bert though and played Gauntlet and Paperboy on our Commodore 64). Now my parents have a PS3 and play Little Big Planet together.

Edited by KaeruYojimbo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. The VCS was a family Xmas gift. We got it and and few cartridges, including backgammon for my mom. They're in their 60s and still play video games. Mom's mostly games like The Simpsons™: Tapped Out and Letterpress. Dad plays those as well as strategy games on his MacBook Pro, such as Star Craft and Civilization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my Atari 2600 Xmas of '86. My father would have been 35 at the time, and he played a lot of Yar's Revenge and Defender. Then around 1990 when I got a Sega Master System he enjoyed the occasional game of Gangster Town when he saw me playing it.

My uncle on the other hand, (his brother, one year younger) originally owned my Master System, he gave it to me (after he was bored with it I guess) but he was pretty good at Choplifter, Gangster Town and Safari Hunt. The only time I've seen Safari Hunt beaten was when he would play it.

 

"You are a wonderful Hunt

Let's go to the real hun

With a real gun"

 

I wonder if suggesting to kids using a "real gun" would be allowed today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before video games were available, my grandparents and mother played card games and board games. Later, my mother played a little Atari, NES, SNES, 3DO, and Playstation. Now she mostly plays online games using her iPhone or laptop. My second stepfather has always been just a boob toober. He wouldn't know what to do with a video game if you held a gun to his head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father played 2600 games with us on occasion. When we got the NES, he tried but got too frustrated with games like Punch-Out! and RC Pro-Am. My grandmother played Electronic Talking Battleship though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father played a little bit, but once games moved beyond the likes of Space Invaders et al., he lost interest.

 

My mother was more like me, in that she favored the games with a puzzle-solving or adventure element, like Pitfall, Raiders, E.T. or Swordquest (back when it wasn't yet obvious that Swordquest was Atari's cynicism at its most flagrant, that is).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad was a video game freak. He would sit and play E.T. for HOURS after I went to bed. We used to keep high scores on a clipboard and if you got a score that was ridiculously high when no one else was home, you had to leave the game on or take a polaroid to prove that the score was legit. I got Pitfall II for Christmas one year, only to find out he had already had it for a month and had been playing it while I was at school.

 

When we got a NES, he used to play Mario 3 the whole day while I was at school, then tell me how far he had got and I would try to get further. He and mother used to marathon some Tetris also.

 

However, once the NES era was over, so was my parents' interest in video games, sadly.

 

Now my grandmother played Frogger until the day she died. She kept our VCS at her house when we had moved on to NES.

 

We were totally that family in the advertisements and it was great! :spidey:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad was born in 1925 and he bought the 2600 in 1981. He loved the bowling game and we would have tournaments on the weekends. He won nearly every time.

My mom (now 84 years old) loved boxing by Activision and was the family Champion. She continued to play until just recently when arthritis made it impossible for her to play anymore.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad was born in 1936 never did any gaming at all, did not allow me to have one either, set me on a path for games and electronics that I was denied, eventually became an Atari Dealer. Family thought I was crazy and really did not understand but when things really got going they changed their minds quickly.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents had little to no interest. They indulged my interests and got me a Game Boy and games in grade school. I was 10 by the time we got our first console, a Super NES. Sometimes my sister and I could get them to play Mario games with us. But my mom was less than impressed with my Xmas day pack-in of Street Fighter II.

 

"So... all you do is... fight?"

 

But it was around that time when dad made some offhand comment at dinner about playing arcade games with mom while they were dating. Pong and Breakout and stuff. Which was, like, bewildering. The idea of mom and dad in an arcade in the late '70s. Just... strange.

 

But the real weird part was imagining them being young and dating.

 

[Edit: I just remembered something I'd forgotten about for years. When they came to visit my wife and I about 8 years ago, we'd gotten a Wii and gave them the controllers and Wii Sports. They loved it. It was really delightful to stand back and watch them play tennis and bowl and stuff. Really quite adorable.]

Edited by mikey.shake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vaguely remember my dad playing a few games of Target Fun and Gunslinger with me on Christmas morning in 1979.

 

I think my mom might have played a couple games of Ms. Pac-Man in an arcade during a family vacation in 1983.

 

I would be surprised if either of them has played a traditional video game of any kind in at least 30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad played Golf for the Atari 2600 but that's just because he was a golfer. Mom, never really interested in video games.

Stepdad liked video games. I remember he once played Ninja Gaiden (NES) into the wee hours of morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not my parents. However, my father in law who is 68 is the most hard core gamer I know. He has been playing everything since the 2600. He mostly plays RPG's now and has marathon sessions on Sundays with my stepdaughter who is 20. He has an entire library of strategy guides.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother used to enjoy playing Pac-Man every now and then, but nothing else. She'd never played the arcade game to compare, so she had no issue with the quality of the port. She tried Ms. Pac-Man, but didn't like it. It wasn't due to considering them too childish or anything - she was an avid cartoon watcher, particularly superhero cartoons until she died - but more due to not being very good at them and getting frustrated. She held the joystick rather uncomfortably, despite my brother and I trying to show her how we held it, so she wound up hurting her hand when she played for too long.

 

My father died before the Atari 2600 was released (though I suspect he would have enjoyed playing it and later consoles).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...