I’m still a bit of a kid. Being a parent means I can act like a kid (sometimes) in a socially acceptable way. As a kid I loved playing games with my dad like Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive. We would stay up to 2 or 3 in the morning going up the levels (Mum wasn’t around to say no because they divorced and Dad didn’t care about being in bed on time). Of course back in those days you couldn’t save your progress, so the pressure would be on not to cock up. We would swap in-between the levels and the atmosphere would get so tense between me and my dad. I would feel my Dad tensing up every time the little blue hedgehog made a giant leap over chasms with hot lava or spikes at the bottom. I remember my Dad swearing at Dr Robotnik.
We also enjoyed the Sonic and Tails duo (I always played tails) and other Sega games like Ecco the Dolphin and Flashback. I only saw Dad at weekends and the Mega Drive stayed with him until I returned so I used to look forward to our gaming sessions.
On the PC I enjoyed Prince of Persia but often wondered if the character grazed his nose every time he jumped up a wall to the next ledge and my friend and I used to laugh about it.
We now have a Playstation 3, which we barely have time to switch on let alone play. But I am looking forward to when my daughter and son are older and then I am going to stay up till the small hours with them just like my Dad did with me. It wasn’t easy to find common ground with my Dad when I was 13 but we both really enjoyed eachothers company when we played the Mega Drive and in that respect it brought us together. Proof that video games can be good for you.
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