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Mumsnet users share their thoughts about kids and online gaming with Nintendo

138 replies

LibbyMumsnet · 09/11/2020 13:32

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This year, kids are spending more time online for everything from education to catching up with friends. Now that most of the UK is in a second national lockdown, online gaming is set to become more popular. With this in mind, Nintendo would like to hear your thoughts on the benefits of online gaming, and any concerns you have.

Here’s what Nintendo has to say: “Keeping an eye on screen time, ensuring your child is playing games appropriate for their age and only with friends that they know are all challenges that parents face in the modern world. That’s why Nintendo created the Nintendo Parental Controls app, a mobile app that links to the Nintendo Switch and helps you manage and control these at your fingertips. Giving you peace of mind so you can spend less time worrying and more time having fun.”

Are you worried your child is playing video games too much? Or perhaps you're concerned about the types of games they’re playing? Maybe you have thoughts on how to encourage them to do other things if they’ve been playing for a while? Could online gaming offer some benefits for children at a time of social isolation? Maybe you enjoy playing with them and consider it an opportunity to bond as a family?

Share your thoughts on the thread below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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Mumsnet users share their thoughts about kids and online gaming with Nintendo
OP posts:
MadamHattie · 25/11/2020 11:47

I have 2 that game. Ds 16 isn't into the norm and has games that fix and build cars (he wants to be a mechanic) he also enjoys nature games so he's learning as he plays. Ds 7 however wants to be like the kids at school on fortnite etc. We don't allow this as it has a real negative effect on him. How ever positives are there. We dug out the wii over lockdown and he loves just dance so that kept him very active whilst we were limited to where we could go! We also play minecraft together and it's great to see the creations he builds (much better than mine) There are pros and cons to everything but as long as you watch what they play I think online gaming really does have its benefits

BuntyBonus · 26/11/2020 14:23

My son is 7 and has never done any gaming. However because he has heard the children at school talk about the Nintendo Switch and other consoles a lot he really wanted one for Christmas. Slightly against my better judgement I have bought him one. I know he will be really excited to get it but there will be restrictions in place on how often he can play it and I will not hesitate to remove it if needed. He has got 2 games to go with it - Animal Crossing and a Cars racing game.

foxessocks · 30/11/2020 09:24

My kids are only young still, my daughter is 6 and she hasn't shown a huge interest in computer games, she does like playing on the Switch sometimes. My son however, who is only 4, loves playing on the Switch, we let him play Mario Kart on his own but he doesn't play it every day, not even every week, we do play as a family too and that's great fun.

MadisonErin · 01/12/2020 15:30

My children have been gaming more since the virus started. I don't mind them having extra time on their devices as they're still active every day. Sometimes the kids use their devices for homework and skyping their friends.

Julius0104 · 01/12/2020 18:31

I think kids are into too much gaming these days. I mean gone are the days when outdoor games were a thing. We loved out childhood ! Hide n seek , running activities. These days every kid has a ipad in hand. Children dont want to eat without watching rhymes on tv, all this somewhere adversely affects their lifestyle.

AnnHm · 02/12/2020 01:05

Children also need to have playtime. But it should be balanced online gaming and physical games. Also, limit the time for games. You can make it a routine that your child follows.

Here's good advice on how to limit our children gaming

You can also download it using this
Kenji · 02/12/2020 09:57

My 9 year old got a Switch for his birthday this summer. In one way it is great as we are fairly rural so he can connect and chat with his friends from school and cousins while playing but it also has its downside where he has definitely put on weight due to playing outside far less. I use the timer option on it everyday, I have to make sure it is set to 0 at night as he will get up after midnight to play when everyone else is asleep. He is not allowed use it in the morning before school or until homework is done. He absolutely loves it and will often bargain for extra time by doing jobs around the house so everyone wins!

RugsEverywhere · 02/12/2020 10:15

I'm quite anti gaming and my kids (primary age) don't have any consoles. When they're older I'll be fine with age appropriate games and time limits

ButterflyOfFreedom · 02/12/2020 11:29

We restrict the amount of time our DC have on screens. They never have them on in the mornings, we see it as a relaxing activity to be done towards the end of the day when they are tired. Even then they only get about 30 - 60 mins on them, maybe up to 2 hours at weekends.

I worry about what they can access including chat rooms and in app purchases so any help controlling these would be great.

joleyn · 02/12/2020 11:53

I think most parents worry about how much their children game. I supervise my son, try to set time limits and make sure we also do other stuff like reading, walking. I worry more about what they might see on adverts or YouTube.

hannahbjm · 02/12/2020 20:24

I worry about safety, especially with online games and the chat features.
I definitely see positives too, hand eye co ordination, the social aspect especially in lockdown and brings families together too with the party type games

farhanac · 02/12/2020 20:42

Somewhat concerned by the amount of screentime and getting headaches more frequently, especially since lockdowns.

wellingtonsandwaffles · 02/12/2020 23:53

I worry that a generation will have lost the joy and ability to relax without stimulation and enjoy in person non gaming contact.

MrsRobert · 03/12/2020 01:12

My four year old doesn't play on my phone often and he doesn't have tablet. He does play the Lego ones on his dad's PS4 when he's beside him. We set a timer because frustration sets in after about 15 minutes as he is still quite young to get past challenges. He surprisingly shows great interest in maps and the world around him, problem solving is also noticable from playing games. I'm looking forward to playing Mario Kart when he's a little older as I'm more of a Nintendo mum!

SomelikeitHoth · 03/12/2020 10:36

My son is now 14. We had to take away his console last summer as he lost interest in everything except gaming. One game was the real issue. My concern is that game designers purposely design the games to be addictive. There is pressure to make in-game purchases to impress peers.
Another big concern is game chat. I would like to see accounts not being able to be created without age verification. Under 16 game chat should not be possible due to the huge safeguarding issues

sophiefx · 03/12/2020 11:41

I think it's amazing! I wish I had the things the kids have these days. Some video games teach children and I think it's a good pass time in short periods!

Stay123 · 03/12/2020 14:59

Kids don’t go down to the park anymore and have fun. They become blank unless they are talking about their game. Pay for things like skins and weapons leach money from parents who don’t have it. The pressure to keep up and be included is horrible. Kids putting other kids on mute when they don’t like them, kicking them out of Fortnite game when everyone else laughs, not inviting them to the party. Son sitting in room most of the day being able to see them all gaming together and never being invited. Bloody awful.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 03/12/2020 18:27

Prioritising it over study! It was definitely an issue with DS particularly in Yrs 7 to 11.

TheFrenchLieutenantsMonkey · 03/12/2020 20:09

I worry my teens seem to prefer watching youtube/gaming rather than have a conversation. And the anger that can ensue when screen limits are enforced. My DD would rather watch a cartoon in Japanese on youtube than a film on Netflix these days.
I also hate that once they hit 13 google family asks THEM if they want to stay within it and nothing is left to the parent, not even a choice to limit time

quizqueen · 04/12/2020 00:09

I wouldn't have any sort of gaming machine in my house. full stop.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 04/12/2020 13:03

@quizqeen there for the grace of God have gone a lot of parents with their ideals, once their DC reach tween/teen years.

TinyTear · 04/12/2020 15:20

Are you worried your child is playing video games too much?
Sometimes, but so do I (play Animal Crossing, Mario Kart and Pokemon Go) so when she plays animal crossing i just make sure my parental controls are on on the switch and she won't play for too long each time.

Or perhaps you're concerned about the types of games they’re playing? no, she plays the same games as me

Maybe you have thoughts on how to encourage them to do other things if they’ve been playing for a while?

when i ask her to stop usually there isn't an issue, she can take some limits.

Could online gaming offer some benefits for children at a time of social isolation?

During lockdown and school closures my 8 year old would join her friends on Skype to chat while they played mario kart multiplayer - and now they have animal crossing playdates

Maybe you enjoy playing with them and consider it an opportunity to bond as a family?

yes definitely, we talk strategy to improve the animal crossing island and all the characters too and what to share between us

TinyTear · 04/12/2020 15:21


I wouldn't have any sort of gaming machine in my house. full stop.

They why are you posting here? do you realise a phone is a gaming machine?
welshmardymum · 04/12/2020 15:44

I love playing computer games - i loved tetris and one about a wizards world and i do know how addictive they are - we have time limits for screen time and that includes tv watching, you tube and gaming all lumped into one time - and they can choose what they use their time for. I do encourage them to get off their screens and we have 2 wifi free days a week - they conincide with my long working days which is good as i;m not around to see what they are doing online. Online gaming can be a great place to catch up with friends but it can lead to bullying it every one in the friend group upgrades and one can't afford to.

PickledChicory · 04/12/2020 15:49

My DC are 7,4 and 1 and fortunately none of them have ever expressed an interest in playing video games. I know one day they will ask me but Im putting it off for as long as possible, my DC already watch a lot of tv though luckily they also enjoy being out and about, doing things outside.

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