Dumb things your folks say about games

Your folks are genetically programmed to stop you doing the things you like. Fact. It doesn't matter how hard you try to reason with them, to their ears your well-reasoned words are only confirming their worst fears. Or perhaps even more scarily, confirming that they have no understanding whatsoever of the modern world.

So when the inevitable happens, just recite our perfect retort and feel smug. Just don't blame us if you get grounded for ever.

They won't help your career

"You won't get a job by playing games all day"

"Imagine if you put as much time into your homework as you do those games…"

Basically, your P + M will never be happy with the amount of time you spend studying, even it's 16 hours a day and you have a dictaphone teaching you calculus from under your pillow while you sleep.

Of course, if ever proof was needed that playing games can get you’re a fulfilling and exciting career, you're looking right at it. And of course, if writing's not your thing you could always take a degree in game design. Failing both of those, you can at least argue it's relaxing your mind. That way you can veg out in an entirely guilt-free mindset:

What you can say in your defence: "I'm merely resting my mind between study sessions to avoid saturating my memory with information. If our brains are like sponges, videogames replenish their porosity."

That'll learn 'em.


Where will the grandkids come from?

"You're never going to get a girlfriend/boyfriend playing those games all the time"

"Girls will think you're a geek"

"Oh there are men in these fighting games too?"

It's just sod's law that your parents always come in when you're face-straddling Tina as Kasumi while they're wearing bunny girl outfit and bra-less dungarees respectively. Or worse, at the exact moment the humiliation bar fills during a mud match on Rumble Roses. A near-naked girl covered in mud and pleading for mercy straight at the camera is pretty hard to explain away. Except…

What you can say in your defence: "Think about it, this way, mum/dad. You can either have me here where you know where I am and what I'm doing, or I can start going out until 4am, or sleeping around and getting in trouble. Which would you rather have?"


Misunderstanding the technology

"I don't like you playing it on our TV - you'll break it"

"Don't use cheats - you'll break it"

"Don't press all the buttons at once, it'll short circuit"

For some reason, several members of the older generation believe that televisions are only meant to show television programmes and that putting anything else into the back of it will cause a fire. Fortunately, many parents are becoming more savvy as they spend your inheritance on massive TVs and cinema systems so they can watch detailed, graphic documentaries on the mating rituals of lions (no, we never understood why they do that, either). But what's with the short circuit thing?

What you can say in your defence: "TV sets these days can accept a whole variety of inputs – look, the menu on the TV says 'SOURCE' which means they're designed to accept more than one source – not just TV pictures. As for cheats, well, the people who make the games program them in when they make is because they know people will want to use them. You can't 'break' the game by pressing the buttons. Yes, even all of them. Look."

Worth it if only to see them flinch and take cover from the imminent explosion.


Not getting how to play

"No, I won't have a go – I'll only 'fall off'"

"But they all run around whether I press the buttons or not"

"No, I'll die"

Logic tells us that the best way to garner understating is to encourage your old man and mutti to experience games for themselves. But be warned – they have very strange attitudes towards gaming. Maybe they played Sonic once and kept falling off the bottom of the screen and now believe that every game features such pitfalls.

Sadly, they're actually speaking the truth. Watch any older-generation gaming newbie have a go on games and witness as they drawn towards the only pitfall in the whole level, as if pulled by an invisible force. They teeter on the edge, panicking, pressing buttons at random, causing their character to jump straight in. This then applies to all games. Even if it's a puzzle game and there's no dying in it.

Above: The horrific, gory, ineveitable outcome of Peggle

What you can do to help: Put on Burnout and explain that it doesn't matter if you crash – that's where the fun is. And when they start making disapproving noises about the disgusting violence and horrific implications of doing this in real life, point out the 3+ age rating and that these cars don't even have drivers in them. It's like radio controlled cars. "Surely you can't disapprove of radio controlled cars, can you?"

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  • nadrewod999 - October 29, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    0__O I am seriously both disturbed and unsurprised by how many people have parents who do or say things on this list. I mean, COME ON! It is called a "RATING SYSTEM," you old geezers! These are not gigantic 10-story tall computers that need to be programmed to figure out the reason there is life, it is a small disc that just needs to be played using a controller! If you want a simple game with only a few controls, you have at least two gaming options from modern day (locoRoco and LittleBigPlanet), or you could go old school, to the days when gaming consoles had to be called "entertainment systems" just to sell in stores.
  • codemaster - August 3, 2009 3:59 a.m.

    im lucky my parents actually understand the difference between a 360 and a ps3
  • jmanders2009 - August 3, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    I think more than anything else the older generation (which I'm slowly becoming a part of at the age of 49) is scared to death somebody is going to have a good time. When I was growing up, I was afraid to be doing something fun when my dad walked in because that normally meant I would have to stop what I was doing and go mow the lawn or clean the basement. It's like a lot of parents are subconsciously saying, "By God I was miserable growing up, and you're going to be too!" It's often the kids that are bored to death getting into trouble. What ends up happening so many times is that parents end up losing their kids for good because they felt the need to rule them with an iron fist. My parents have even admitted to me that there were a lot of things they made way too much of. Parents today have to pick their battles wisely. Like the guy said in the article would you rather your kid be out all hours of the night who knows where? Something to ponder folks.
  • ciderdrinker - July 30, 2009 10:55 p.m.

    My mun actually introduced me to gaming with Sonic on the Mega Drive. She still sometimes reminds me that she had to beat Dr. Robotnick for me. The last game she played was one of the Tekkens on PS1 and she was holding the contrller the wrong war round...
  • CLEIP - July 29, 2009 9:51 p.m.

    Is anybodys parents really like this? my parents don`t bother talking shit about games, they are as positiive to them as myself.
  • LordAlzorn - July 29, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    You forgot the, oh so anoying, X-cube or Gamebox.
  • Pheonom55 - July 29, 2009 5:21 p.m.

    Adults don't like violence my mum love Call of Duty WaW :P
  • FlamelordZ - July 28, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    I was playing my new game, just finished the first puzzle, then this happened: Dad: Can i have a go? Me: (starts new game for dad) there you go. Dad: (jumps down a hole, dies) that wasnt there before... Me: just try again Dad: (falls down same hole)... (eventually gets past the puzzle which he has just watched me complete) Me: i just did that, dont you remember? Dad:(falls down another hole) im doing it my way THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY!!!
  • oreomonkey - July 27, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    Just be glad your Dad doesn't ask you how to sign in EVERYTIME he's on the XBOX, even though we've had it for 2 years.
  • skyline19 - July 27, 2009 12:08 p.m.

    I wish my parents were fellow gamers, so everytime I break the bank to game I don't get earache off them.
  • Savannah1994 - July 26, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    my parents dont care what i 15 and have a lot of 18+ games , (like GTA) but they dont mind , my mom even joins me sometimes XD
  • potpan0 - July 26, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    The good thing is that my nan calls my playstation a playstation. The bad thing is that she also calls all the games playstations as well.
  • Nessrox - July 26, 2009 3:15 a.m.

    When I have kids I'm never going to say that.
  • iBikboii - July 25, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    lols i just hate it when my parents says that!!! >:O
  • xXgodlypunkXx - July 25, 2009 9:30 p.m.

    wow. i want a wiistation 360
  • gatornation1254 - July 25, 2009 9 p.m.

    Oh my God my mom has said the "Why did you shoot him? He didn't do anything to you" one.
  • Awesomeforthemasses - July 25, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    Oh man, my parents back seat game with a passion. I know they are trying to "help", but DAMN IT'S ANNOYING!
  • kamikaz3e124 - July 25, 2009 8:49 p.m.

    My folks one time called the Wii a Playstation. Boy, were they stumped when they read the box.
  • infected123 - July 25, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    my mum is actually not too bad about gaming as she understands the basics (difference between 360 and ps1, that i dont really want to lose rank because i quit during matchmaking etc) although she doesent like me playing games of an older age rating without understand roughly why it got that rating. my dad doesent understand any of it and wont listen then when i try to explain either 1)haz a rant about it i.e why do u always play these violent games about guns when its the mirrors edge demo, then when i try to explain that actually those are just cops with guns and its a game about running and jumping, he gets annoyed that i am a criminal :( 2) just goes ssssssssh every time i speak until i get so frustrated that i either stop talking and leave the room or ask him not to ssssssh me in which case he starts patronising me with stuff like "you do get stressed sometimes dont u" yes, by you! and then when i say im frustrated because ure ssssh'ing me he gets annoyed and makes me turn the 360 off for being so "rude" lol :) ah well not his fault hes scared of technology
  • AA95mp - July 25, 2009 8:02 p.m.

    and when i was playing on oblivion and i went to kill Rufio to get into the dark brotherhood,my mam was in the room and she saw me kill him while he was sleeping and she said that "you could have left him alone he wasn't doing anything and you just killed him!" and i tryed explaining to her that it wasn't real and i had to kill him.