Safe Gaming Option: The Nintendo Switch
My husband was right.
Should I say that again? My. husband. was. right.
He researched this new game console, and spent months talking me into it.
I am not a fan of video games. While a tiny part of my heart remains loyal to my childhood memories of Mario, the rest of my psyche views them as a gigantic time waster, and a great way for 25 year old guys to end up still living at home, eyes glued to a screen and controllers attached to their hands.
I’ve had conversations with my kids about not being “media zombies” and, thus far, this sage wisdom 🙂 seems to be sinking in. For only being 9 years old, my oldest self-regulates pretty well.
I find that, as my kids grow, their interest in video games grows along with them. So, I’ve been dragged along, very reluctantly. Super D introduced me to the worlds of Minecraft and Roblox. At first, I was excited to have online options for them that didn’t involve buying a separate console and then laying out even more cash for individual games. These games seemed educational in some ways, teaching him spatial concepts.
But then, the dark side emerged. Sitting next to him on the couch one day while he played a Minecraft game, I glanced at the chat that was up on the ipad screen. Thankfully, he was ignoring it because it was filled with expletives and sexual innuendo. WHAT??!!! We talked to him about our reasons for blocking this game, and he gave it up willingly. Sweet guy.
Roblox became the next to fall, for the same reasons. His two favorite games, gone. He didn’t protest much, but I did want to have a game option for him. (We do like Skrafty, but we seem to have trouble staying logged in and connected to their server.)
Enter: the new Nintendo Switch. It’s a console, yes, but I don’t mind so much anymore.
I actually love it because:
1. There is NO chat. None. No one is going to stalk my kid, cuss at (or around) him, or do any sort of sexting.
2. The games are FOR KIDS. My husband loves his Xbox, but those games are pretty violent, on the whole. They’re not designed for kids. Remember Mario? Yes, good ole Nintendo. Mario for the Nintendo Switch comes out around Christmas. Super D is currently playing Zelda. #blastfromthepast
3. The parental controls are easy. I set a time limit for each day (or one in general), and once they’ve played for their time, the console is suspended and they’re done for the day. This is controlled through an app on the phone, so I can add time, or suspend the console whenever I need to. I can also turn it back on for grownup time.
4. It’s fun for grownups too. We spent several hours tonight playing 1-2 Switch with adult friends tonight. We laughed our heads off, de-stressed, and had a great time. We kept running the kids off and reiterating that it was grownup time on the Switch!
5. It’s portable and hooks to a tv easily. The boys took it in the car today, and played on the way to our castle field trip.
If you’re looking for a good kid gaming option, I recommend that you check out the Switch! Have you tried it yet?