Back to the Future and gaming with my son

After a multiple day hiatus, my son asked me in the evening today that he’d like to play a 2D platformer game he played before called Dragon Quest.

He sat down and in under an hour completed the entire game. I was flabbergasted!

I searched around for a few minutes and found a game called Ruthless Pandas in which the Pandas seek to battle with Brown bears that have taken over the planet.

It being Back to the Future day, I ran all three Back to the Future movies in the background as he hadn’t seen any of them before. Sequentially .. not at the same time Lol.

As he played the game, I started to notice the following things:

  • It didn’t really matter to my son what power ups were available as long as through visual aids it was clear what power ups he Could attain vs not (Red/Green vs 100 for this and 1000 for that)
  • Also, many of the tools of destruction (which were based on real ones) varied in their ability to cause destruction. He was able to quickly recognize what they each did from the ship and was able to claim victory
  • He absolutely loved to celebrate his success by hitting a high five with me after each level
  • Things he did not understand, he made it a point to understand by asking me guided questions
  • Upon asking which of the two games were his favorite, he said Dragon Quest was much cooler as it had a dragon in it
  • Visually he was Very surprised whenever a slightly bigger opponent was presented (Dragon in Dragon Quest and a larger ship in Ruthless Pandas)

I think many people don’t realize that when kids play games they are learning crucial skills in self-improvement.

I try to space out game days with my son as I know he thoroughly enjoys playing them and its a good complement to his education.

His thoughts are very unique and I enjoy our interactions very much in many contexts. I’d like to post reflections after many more weeks to see what other observations I can glean on while gaming with my son. Sharing this for those that develop games. I’m joining that group soon as my son has some ideas for games involving our cat Sal.

Oh and the Ruthless Pandas game .. he finished that one in a few hours as well.

I’m open to advice for any other ones for him to play on a PC or a Mac. Keep the suggestions coming in the comments.

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