Are we BU not to have any kind of games console?

(61 Posts)
CambridgeBlue Sun 12-Jan-14 07:46:12

Unlike virtually everyone we know with children, we don't have a Wii, an Xbox or anything similar. I always though DD(11) was fine with this but she told us last night that she feels bored and left out when we meet up with friends because all the kids play on them and she doesn't know how. She made us feel like the 21st century equivalent of people who didn't have a TV when we were young.

The reasons we don't have one are that they are expensive, we don't want one in our small living room but haven't got room for a second TV elsewhere but mostly because I don't like the addictive nature of them - even really young children we know are obsessed with playing on them.

DD has her own laptop, phone, iPod and a DS so she's not being deprived in the technology stakes IMO. If we had a console I know she'd want to be on it all the time and quite honestly I feel she has enough 'screen time' with TV, Internet etc. DH and I don't play computer games (don't understand adults who do really) so she'd mainly be using it alone unless she had a friend over (that seems to be all the kids do when they go to each others houses now).

We do find it harder now she's getting older to know what to do on a weekend evening - we don't watch stuff like the X Factor etc which is all Saturday night TV seems to consist of, and we seem to have exhausted all the films and box sets that we can watch as a family. DD seems to think other families sit round playing games on their console but I can't believe that's the case and even if it is, it's not for us.

Really interested to hear how other people spend their leisure time and whether it does revolve around computer games. Also keen to know if it's just the children we know who seem so obsessed with them or whether they really are a 'most have' like a TV or stereo was for our generation.

I need to lie to the Wii fit about how tall I am. It's version of me is far to accurately dumpy.

DH has a wii avatar that looks pretty like him.

Watching that on the screen dressed as a chicken and him flapping on the balance board is absolutely hilarious.

selfdestructivelady Sun 12-Jan-14 13:55:53

We have a ps4 for me and dh a iPad for DS and a wii for DS and a family ps3. We play games together tbh I really don't see the problem.

Ragwort Sun 12-Jan-14 13:39:18

Yes, I know I shouldn't judge people who play computer games but to me it is a really odd thing to do (and I know that many people judge my hobbies as really odd as well grin.) So yes, I shouldn't be judgemental, I suppose it is because I just cannot understand the 'appeal' of computer games.

I am disappointed that my DS spends so long on his PS3 (despite constant nagging and 'scree time rules) and I know I would be happier if he was reading a book, playing in the park, playing cards or board games with DH & I, etc etc. (And he does have lots of interests, very sporty etc, but in my opinion he spends far too long on computer games).

Electryone Sun 12-Jan-14 12:59:26

I 'judge' adults who play computer games

Why would you do this? Its just another form of entertainment at the end of the day. I have no interest in gaming whatsoever but then again my DH has no interest in MN! We have a PS3 and Wii in the living room that my DSs use and they also have an X box in their bedroom. They also like loads of other stuff and go out to play if the weather's half ok, its all about a balance. I laugh at all the games machines are "vile and evil" posts, there are some strange attitudes around MN at times.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 12:52:01

And yes re XFactor et al.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 12:51:07

As mad as it may sound I worry a lot more re my dc reading too much,spending too much time indoors and not getting enough exercise than XBox time.They spend far more time reading,playing with Lego etc and as slim as my dc are I still feel the need to drag them out on hikes as they have no interest re any sport bar cycling in their free time.

I often have to turf them out off of books,piano,Lego etc and never off the XBox as their screen time is limited,allocated and earned.

It should be a balance and I'm well aware my 3 don't spend enough time doing sport.

MomsStiffler Sun 12-Jan-14 12:34:43

We use the Xbox as a media centre as well as playing games on it. We can watch Netflix & other channels through it, play downloaded films & watch DVD's.

I'd rather my kids spent an hour on a Saturday night playing that than watching the X Factor or similar TBH.

You do realise she can get up to more "evil" on her own in her bedroom with an Ipad than she ever can with a console right? hmm

Moderation is the key, set realistic and reasonable boundaries, get her some headphones so you don't have to listen to it & all should be well!

We'll quite happily sit there reading/talking while one of the kids plays (silently) - if and when we want the TV we just kick them off....

JCDenton Sun 12-Jan-14 11:32:59

I 'judge' adults who play computer games

Why?

Nanny0gg Sun 12-Jan-14 09:59:40

I really don't get all the angst over consoles. (Disclaimer: although being a much older mumsnetter - the name is a giveaway- I have loved computer games from the get-go.)

When my DC were young I limited TV time as I wanted them to have a balance. It was never ever on before school and it went off when children's programmes finished after school. You can do exactly the same thing with consoles. Just because they have one it doesn't mean they are on them all day and all night. Especially if they are in a family room, not their bedrooms.

I have an old PlayStation because I love platform games and I adored puzzle games on the PC - still do.
I also have a Wii because the sports and dance games are great fun and very sociable when friends come round (although we still play board games as well), and DGC are getting to the age where they can play too.

Don't knock it till you've tried it!

TheArticFunky Sun 12-Jan-14 09:39:56

I hate computer games with a passion they are just not my thing. However we have a wii and it is surprisingly good fun! I join in with the children and many wet Saturday afternoons have been spent playing wii Party or having a golf tournament . We have a small living room
too but it seems to work ok.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 09:35:27

Checking e-mails on their IPods counts as their hour.

Dc 10,10 and 9.

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 09:32:31

Yes seeing my dad rafting was priceless.grin

My parents went home knackered after our last games night.They're seriously thinking of getting an XBox Kinnect to keep fit,they loved it.smile

MadeOfStarDust Sun 12-Jan-14 09:28:36

We have a wii - £32 from cash converters with a couple of games and controllers.

we also have a PS3 (full price) the PS3 gets a lot of use as it is also a bluray player.. we play games on it sometimes - usually the lego type..

the wii gets used for more "fun" competitive games - when you have seen granny doing ninja fruit slicing with full vocalisation, you make memories you will never forget.... grin

Retropear Sun 12-Jan-14 09:27:50

Hmm I worry more re the crappy TV, IPods,DSs and laptop(all of which are kept in my cupboard) than the XBox.Love our XBox.

It is all about parenting NOT technology.

We are a techy family(coder dad) and a bookish one.We lay down rules and the kids keep to them.

I have no screen time what so ever before school.After school they do a small bit of homework/piano practise if set(never more than an hour) and then they get an hour of screen time of their choice(TV which isn't crap,Ipod,XBox(Minecraft,Disney Infinity,Lego Lord of the Rings etc),Raspberry Pi or MacBook to do programming). Said screen time doesn't happen on Brownie/ Cub nights and often not so often during the summer months.

On Sat nights we often have either have a movie night or Xbox game night for an hour or two(Kinnect Adventures, a Sport eg bowling,ski ing etc).Love it and love the XBox as it's more social and active ie we can all join in together.

My kids read a huge amount before school,after and in bed.Sometimes 3 hours a day.They play the piano and adore Lego,SF etc.Having no more than an hour of screens in total means they are often bored and turn to other things.

All devices are kept out of bedrooms and any whining after switch off results in loss of time the next day.

* You* have to enforce rules,lead by example and stick to them however hard.It is not down to the tech itself.

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 12-Jan-14 09:20:53

Price wise, 99% of what tech we own was either bought a second hand but in mint condition or bought as not working due to a specified fault and repaired by us for a fraction of the cost of new and/or working.

There is only dd1's tablet and my phone that is new.

We have a very god relationship with the local second hand electrical shop

Patilla Sun 12-Jan-14 09:16:03

You mentioned the expense and I personally think its entirely reasonable to use that argument with your daughter.

She should be old enough to understand that when she got all the other gadgets that took money.

If the only issue is her not knowing how to play them could you have a quiet word with a friendly adult and ask them to show her so she can join it when at other's houses.

If the issue is bigger and around owning one then I'm afraid that if I didn't want one myself I'd be suggesting a mix of saving and money from presents to buy one at later date. It's an expensive item to suddenly declare a wish for a few weeks after Christmas.

I'd also be making sure she was aware of any limits on usage I'd be intending to make so she knew what the deal was before making the effort to wait for one.

MrsDavidBowie Sun 12-Jan-14 09:13:04

We have a Wii and an x box.
Wii is in a box in the loft and will probably never see the light of day again. We got one when ds was about 10.

Ds14 got it the xbox when he was 12. It gets a lot of use at the weekend, but only after homework has been done. He also plays football on Sundays, goes to the gym most days, meets up with friends at Costa.

I have never used any games console in my life...but I use the internet a lot. Agree..good point Mrs DeVere.

livelablove Sun 12-Jan-14 09:12:35

If you are going to allow one type of entertainment based screen time then it is no different to another I would say. I don't think games consoles are that much more addictive than t.v its easy to watch t.v all day if you let yourself, or mumsnet. But I do know people who limit screen time and a few odd ones with only a radio! On Saturday night they would probably have friends round and have a meal together, then chat and maybe listen to music.

ChatNicknameUnavailable Sun 12-Jan-14 09:12:00

Saturday nights recently have been spent with dp and the dcs playing with the fusball table (Xmas present).

There are times when I love having a houseful of boys as they were all totally engaged in it for about 2 hours last night [slopes off with a good book] :D

In terms of consoles, DH has a ps3 which the kids play angry birds on occasionally- probably about once a month. They enjoy it but they're not 'into' it. BUT saying that, they're 5 and 3...so I've no doubt consoles will become more popular.

I have a real irrational dislike of ds's. they're designed to be portable and I see kids out and about glued to them constantly, even at the park/soft play etc. I'd much rather they were on the ps3 a couple of nights a week tbh.

Ragwort Sun 12-Jan-14 09:05:51

MrsDeVere - a good point about the time spent mumsnetting - I 'judge' adults who play computer games but can happily spend a few hours on mumsnet blush.

DullDullard Sun 12-Jan-14 09:02:09

We have a Wii and PS3. The Wii hardly gets looked at these days tbh.
PS3 is regularly used and we do play Buzz as a family quite often. We even have made our own quizzes for it in the past. The kids loved making their own and it was quite educational. I love Buzz and it often comes out whdn we have family and friends over too.
Dd also has some detective games we have downloaded and we all get involved in those too.
Ot does not have to be all violent shooting games. My 12 & 15yo also love the Little Big Planet games which are harmless fun.
We have never had to lay down strict rules with the PS3 about usage because we choose to keep it in the lounge. The fact you have 1 tv will be to your advantage ig you are worried about overuse.

MrsDeVere Sun 12-Jan-14 09:01:34

We have always had various consoles. I don't like them and could happily live without them but OH enjoys playing on them.

I have recently but a total ban on my youngest three playing on the x box (10, 6, 3).

I have had enough. As soon as it goes on DS2 starts shouting (he has SN) and gets totally over stimulated. They all argue while it is on and when I turn it off they all moan and cry for ages. They keep asking to have it put on every ten minutes.

So NO MORE. I can see no advantage in the bloody thing. I discussed it with OH. He is an adult so I am not going to deprive him of his equivalent of MNing.

The DCs are different matter. We have tried restricting it but they just obsess about the bloody thing. Since banning it they have barely mentioned it.

I don't think you are being unreasonable for not having a console but I have never enjoyed gaming. People who like them will possibly have a different point of view smile

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 12-Jan-14 09:01:19

StarBall, Sims 3 was the bain of my life for several weeks while dd1 whined "My horse is deformed and it's all your fault. It's your pooter you should have known we needed a better graphics card, waaaaaaailllllllllllllllllllll"

We got a new graphics card. She helped install it. Sims 3 has never been played since angry

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Sun 12-Jan-14 09:00:12

Lego City Undercover.

<bites fist>

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