3 games that will teach your kids valuable lessons
Games today for the children of tomorrow
In my day, we didn’t have special video games for kids. No, we just had whatever video games we could find and if we couldn’t find any, we had to play with bits of old bolts and damp rags instead, and we had to walk fifteen miles in the snow with bare feet to get them, then hurry back home to finish digging the moat before the night monsters snatched grammy again. Kids these days have it so good.
Well, sort of. Because while researching this subject, it turns out the overwhelming majority of so-called “games for kids” today are totally rubbish. Apparently using lots of bright colours and drawings of cuddle bears is enough to slap the KIDDIES label on it, and the actual content is mostly irrelevant. At least I learned how to type and spell properly playing the Space Quest series, and if I ever visit Labion during Terror Beast mating season, I’ll know to pack a whistle.
What lessons does a child take away from something like Pony Adventure 6? Absolutely nothing. I mean, apart from “If I throw myself out of a helicopter, mommy and daddy can’t make me play this again”. In the interests not only of correct helicopter safety protocols but also the enduring edification of our future generation, here is a list of games for children that are actually worth getting.
It was between this and Lego Harry Potter, but this one has Batman in it and anything with Batman in it is automatically better than anything without Batman in it. That makes this game educational too, so that’s a bonus.
The clever thing about the Lego games is that they promote close co-operation between players, which you can gradually escalate to real life – just make your 6-year old a cape out of a black bag, and they’ll will be running all sorts of errands for you in no time at all. Why? Because that’s what Batman would do.
Who doesn’t want their child to grow up to be a ninja? The trick is to get them started early on, but even I’ll concede that actually hacking up enemies of the empire can wait until they’re around 9 or 10 years old. Until then, chunks of fruit are a pretty decent substitute because they present a similar consistency and blade resistance as human flesh.
Also, the Kinect version of this game is quite a workout and ninjas are supposed to be all agile and stuff. Alternately, mobile versions of the game require a lot of dexterity, so that’s good training for using shurikens and garottes and that sort of thing. Really, forget Karate Kid – this game’s just the ultimate ninja all-rounder.
Worms 2: Armageddon
It’s not real violence if it’s not real people, and the Worms series can teach a knowledge-hungry child about important things like missile trajectory and velocity, wind direction and speed, and what happens when you don’t aim a banana bomb properly.
If my parents had forced me to play Worms 2 Armageddon instead of letting me do whatever I wanted and play in the dirt outside instead, I wouldn’t keep losing to my boyfriend today. Don’t make the same mistake with your little ones.