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Forums - Gaming Discussion - When's the right time to introduce my toddler to console gaming?

All I would advise is for him to not get into games too early. I think 7-8 is a pretty okay starting age. That's when I started with GameCube and Game Boy Advance. I did dabble in a few PC edutainment titles when I was 5-6.

As far as screen time goes, I think television and film are preferable for younger kids, when they do have screen time that is. I think it's too early for games, smartphones, and most use of a computer.

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Avoid gaming, introduce him to books, then enjoy watching him achieve and make something of his life 

I've started with my first kid when he was around 3....with flash games (it was a thing back then) for kids no less, which had only one input (usually space on keyboard), then he started playing more complex (input wise) games, until I let him try Wii and onward.


Seriously, why wait? Especially if you start him off with something like a 3D platformer, something like Mario or Spyro would be great. Or a Lego game could be even better if he's already interested in the franchise the game is based on. He doesn't need to fully understand everything straight away, he'll press buttons and figure out what they do as he goes along. IMO that's the best way to learn games anyway.

Its never too early to introduce a toddler to dark souls so he can learn life is hard and he needs to git gud.
Seriously now, you talking about pitfall brings me back so many memories. It was also my first videogame back in 1987, pitfall was great.
Why dont you try to introduce him to older systems? You can get a nintendo 8bit lookalike with several games really cheap, and since it uses only two buttons it might be easier for him. ALso would be a great chance for you to play all those games again.

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I would say you are already late =p mine started before 24 months on tablet, could say that from 12m they were already using it to watch yt and nf, sometime after they started playing those toddler games on tablet. Console was between 3 and 4y;

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My daughter used to sit on my lap when I played. She picked it up when she was ready.

Twitter: @d21lewis

I don't think I started playing video games that early. My father had an Intellivision and a Commodore 64, and I remember playing those before I got my NES in 1988, but I was maybe 4 or 5 when I started playing them.

Maybe wait another year or two, and start them off on simple arcade-style games, especially something really accessible yet fun like Pac-Man. If you have a Switch or NES Classic, move on to something like Super Mario Bros. and other platformers. Get him trained in the classics. Then as he gets older and better move on to tougher games. If he shows an interest in video games, it's best not to let him get overwhelmed with something too complex or difficult before he's ready.

And for the love of God don't let him get mixed up in some of these always-online live service games if those are still popular in a few years. Some of my friends' kids get obsessed over Fortnite and want to bleed their parents dry with microtransactions. You don't want your kid to only want V-Bucks for their birthday.


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Each child develops at a different pace. So let it happen when he wants it to happen.



I don’t know. Maybe pick up an NES Classic. I started gaming on an NES when I was three. I played a lot of Excitebike because not only could I race, but I could design tracks as well. There is merit to him playing outside as well, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy a little video game action. Since you have a Wii U, perhaps you could try Mario Maker as well. That could be fun. It’s all about balance. I started when I was three, and I did alright by myself, now I’m a writer. Truth is, you know your own kid better than anyone, so you make the call, and I’m sure it’ll be alright. Good luck.