When your small child asks you for help, it’s natural to want to ignore them. After all, they’re nine years old – you took care of yourself at that age, and so can they. But just ignoring your kid doesn’t cut it these days, and if somebody catches wind of your cool and normal parenting methods, they’ll make fun of you online and dig up all your old anti-Semitic Tweets! It’s just a big hassle.
Luckily, there’s a way to avoid all of that drama: video games! That’s right, if you’re at a loss for how to teach your kid basic things, or simply want to pretend they don’t exist, there are plenty of games out there to help you out. Video games can be a great parenting tool, as you can put your child in front of one and call it “parenting,” without you actually having to do any work. Your child learns invaluable life skills, and you get to watch sports and tweet. It’s a win-win!
The best part? There’s a video game for everything these days. If your child wants to open a can so they can eat, you don’t have to help them – simply put them in front of the TV and turn up the volume so their growling stomach doesn’t interrupt your podcast. So, instead of having to walk to the other room and spend time with another human being you helped to create, here are some games you can give your child to play instead!
Cooking Mama: Cookstar
Cooking Mama is a perennial family favorite, and for good reason! The franchise is a cute and accessible introduction to cooking, and includes a great can-opening mini-game. It’s a pretty straightforward look at the process – players just have to guide the opener over the can, crank their wrist a bit, and voila! You’ve opened a can. The motion controls make this a great learning tool, as your child is almost learning how to do something without you having to get off your Lay-Z-Boy and do something.
The Long Dark or DayZ
Your child is likely already scared of asking you things, which is a sign that you’re doing a great job and definitely not traumatizing them. So why not play into those natural fears and throw them head-first into a brutal survival sim? They’re likely already used to feeling lost in the wilderness and without direction in a scary world, so it won’t be that much of an adjustment! Plus, the game has a can opener item, which will help teach your child the value of the tool and motivate them to try harder so they don’t starve!
Most of the Fallout games have canned goods, but the player is never shown directly opening them. That’s okay, though, as it allows your child to use their imagination. How is their Vault Dweller opening cans? Are they using an opener, or banging them against rocks, or shotgunning the contents out of the bottom? This will stimulate your child’s curiosity, and hopefully make it easier for them for feed themselves. After all, what kind of parent feeds a nine year old? Ridiculous!
Life Is Strange
Life Is Strange is full of content that your child isn’t going to understand, from abuse to sexual assault to sexist violence. But that’s okay! If you’re committed to your child learning on their own, there’s no harm in letting them consume this content without any warning. Sure, it might leave them with uncomfortable questions, or potentially traumatize them, but a little bit of trauma builds a whole bunch of character. Plus, showing teens with PTSD opening cans will be a great motivator for them, as they’ll get a fun glimpse into their own futures!
The truth is, plenty of games show canned goods being consumed, so you can really just pick out any old game and hope for the best. That way, the next time your kid tells you they’re hungry, you can ask, “did you play your video games today?” and go about your own business.
Just make sure they don’t call any family or friends instead – you don’t want to lose custody! You’ll definitely need an “Ace Attorney” to bail you out of that one.
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- TheGamer Originals
- Life Is Strange
- Cooking Mama
- Ace Attorney
Bella Blondeau is a lovable miscreant with a heart of gold… or so she says.
She likes long walks in dingy arcades, loves horror good and bad, and has a passion for anime girls of any and all varieties. Her favorite game is Nier: Automata, because she loves both robots and being sad.
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