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

I used to chew on the Atari 2600 controller as a baby. If your child is meant to game, they will be drawn to it on their maybe don't let your kid eat the controller but definitely let them try. My friend used to bring her kid here to play games. It took a while for him to figure it out but now he's obsessed with gaming.

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d21lewis said:

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

We know the lady wasn't your daughter no matter how many times you used that excuse to explain away why a strange lady was sitting on your lap, also how many bars have consoles ?.

Now to answer the post at birth is the correct answer since you need as much time as possible to enjoy beating them, because a dark day will surely come when they beat you and it's not nice being both schooled and trolled by a preschooler or so i've heard.

PS. VGChartz is a place where crazy gamers hangout is it really the best place to get a sensible answer to this question, if that's what you wanted you could have PM'd me.

Last edited by mjk45 - on 29 April 2021

axumblade said:

If your child is meant to game,

Why does this read like a cringy 90's ad

mZuzek said:
axumblade said:

If your child is meant to game,

Why does this read like a cringy 90's ad

I've been watching too much 90s TV lately :/ 

I like the idea if trying some 8-bit era games. I don't own any of the old consoles, or the modern "classic" consoles, but isn't some stuff available with the Switch online service?

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VAMatt said:

I like the idea if trying some 8-bit era games. I don't own any of the old consoles, or the modern "classic" consoles, but isn't some stuff available with the Switch online service?

Yeah, with Switch Online you can download the NES and SNES apps, they have plenty of games each.

Maybe Ni No Kuni 1 on the PS4? Didn't it get a remaster?

I know I'm too late, but if you're still interested in opinions, my suggestion is similar to what I think a couple of people already said before: if you want to introduce your toddler to an activity, do it with reading instead of gaming. The reason is very simple: in a scenario where your child is not introduced to any hobbie whatsoever, it's way, way, WAY much more likely that he gets into gaming than into reading, so introducing him to gaming is kind of redundant, because that's almost 100% guaranteed to happen sooner or later - and I'd say sooner rather than later.

If you introduce him to reading, however, you'll be giving him a very nice hobbie that wouldn't otherwise grow on him as easily as video games. In fact, even if you introduce him to reading, I'd say it's quite possible that he just stop doing it anyway at some point in his life. But it's still worth trying, because the more hobbies the merrier, in my opinion, and reading has the potential to be a particularly enriching one. Also, I need as many future customers as I can in case I ever get to publish a book.

What I'd do is looking for a moment of the day to be alone with him, reading him some book that is appropriate to his age (maybe some with cute, colorful drawings that he can watch while you read the story), and when he can read himself, do the same thing, but the other way around: he reading and you listening, just being there with him and maybe reacting to what is happening in his book (or something like that; I'm never gonna have kids, so I actually don't know what's the best way to proceed with them). But anyway, my point is that, by the time he grows up, reading could have become a habit that he will have very fond memories of, instead of a tedious activity that he's forced to do as some boring school task.

And at the same time, more probably than not, he will also be getting into gaming, and the two of you will be spending some quality time and sharing memories playing games too. Double win!

I have periods of social disconnection, it's a part of me that I need and keenly embrace. I'll still log in and read news and threads during those times, but I won't be (very) active on the site, so I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause (late answers, bumps or the like).


Please, feel free to correct my English.

I'm in the same situation. My twins are 2.5 years old. I've let them try some NES (Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, etc.). They have no idea what they're doing and don't really have a grasp on the relationship between button presses and what happens on the screen, but they have fun ( and sometimes fight over the unplugged controller mind tricks work on them) and they actively ask me if they can "watch video games" on the TV. I keep it as one more toy for keeping them entertained. My son likes watching me play "the blue guy" (Mega Man 3). I also play a lot with them in my lap. But eventually they try to grab the controller.

I would recomend starting at 3-4 years or so, it's more or less the age at which most of the people in my family started playing games, because first the kids need to learn somethings beforehand like basic shapes, colors, simple objects, animals, and do some physical games/activities to develop their motion and awareness skils, and then start with some of the letters and numbers, also before that age the kids need to sleep for long periods of time to develop correctly so exposing them to bright colorful screens for long periods of time isn't recommendable whether it be TV, phone screens, computer, the console etc because the lights can disrupt the perception of the body of the night/day and of the sleeping cycles, so you need to limit screentime, and when you start introducing them to play the games as others have said it's advisable to make it organically, you have to always be there to explain everything to them, to make sure they don't start throwing tantrums or getting excessively frustrated or angry if they aren't progressing in a game, and also you have explain that they can't be playing for hours and hours and that must be done during all the childhood and for the majority of their adolescence, at least that's how my family did it with me, my brothers, cousins etc, when my brother and her wife were working for extended periods of time I used to take care of my nephew when he was little and as others say it's good to start with games with simple mechanics like Space Invaders, Pac-man, Mario, Tetris, bubble bobble, etc. since the kid needs to make the association as to what is happening on the screen when he presses a button or gives somekind of input, while other modern games have "too much" going on the screen, Super Mario Bros. is always a good starting point since it covers a lot of the things that make a game entertaining and rewarding, but if you don't have access to it or to similar games, there are good games with simple mechanics for smartphones, games like angry birds, cut the rope, fruit ninja, and others with simple touch controls make it easy for the kids to learn the basic interactiveness of games and i must add that are also playable/winnable, then after the kids become proficient in playing the game it's good to make them establish the goals, for example it's true that you can't die in Kirby's Epic Yarn but if you get hit a lot and don't collect enough jewels you wouldn't unlock the next levels, also even when you unlock all levels there are tons of hidden collectibles in the game to 100% it, so you can tell the kids that is always good practice to "Finish all things they start".

To all the dudes saying that it would be better to make the kids learn other thing like reading, i don't see where videogames/electronic gaming is exclusionary with other activities or why it should become some kind of addiction, the problem comes when parents think that the TV, movies, videogames, and now smartphones or Netflix are some kind of electronic nanny that takes of your hands the responsabilities of taking care of and teaching your children, i started playing Super Mario Bros. at 3 year old, at that didn't hamper my developement in any way on the contrary it helped me and my brothers, and relatives to have better motion abilities, to have better spatial understanding, to have better reaction times, to be better at analyzing the functioning of things, to don't be like those people that aren't that old but still always say that "i don't know how to use that devices" "don't ask me anything i don't know how that thing works" and many other things. for example after we grew up a bit, after Mario and NES games, PC games like "lemmings" were great puzzles to make you think about how to spend your resources and timing your actions, also they had classical music on the levels, or some Electronic Arts about some kids that were detectives were very interesting, a kinda encyclopedia game called kaleidoscope that teached things about sciences made biology interesting, oh and the game Math rescue was a blast thanks to that game we got very good at arithmetic so making basic operations was never a hassle at school , i started to understand english thanks to, despite being a meme or not, the Mario is Missing PC CD deluxe game, and later by trying to translate the dialogs in Wing Commander and a story about imperium of man w40k in the manual of DOS game Space Hulk, we played a lot but there were still limits imposed by our parents, we were three so no one could monopolize the consoles or the PC more than two or three hours a day, that made gaming a important part of our developement but not something that overshadowed everything else, i still played regularly despite University being very busy and completed succesfuly my career in geophysics, or my brother he used to play the heck out of all Zeldas Majora's Mask being his favorite, now he is almost got his PhD in mathematics and buyed the switch to play Breath of the Wild, while his son now a bit older plays kirby, yokai watch and pokemon.