Devs Answer: how much did your parents support playing video games as a kid?
Our first chilhood games are some of our biggest defining moments for people who work in the game industry. Whether we knew it or not, they would shape our ideas of what video games could be, as well as our interactions and experiences with communities that would become our peers and colleagues.
Sometimes, it's also worth remembering the people who bought those games for us---our parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts, who showed up at holidays or birthday parties with a wrapped box we'd either begged them for or they knew was popular with more and more kids across the nation.
We at Gamasutra were curious how many of our readers' parents supported their gaming habits, and in what ways they allowed it or restricted it in our reader's lives. Just like there's no one right way to raise a kid, there's no real one correct way to raise a kid on video games, so it's fascinating to see the various reactions and how they shaped the developers who make games today.
Remember, if you're interested in participating in these conversations in the future, make sure to follow @Gamasutra on Twitter. The questions usually go out on Fridays in the late morning, Pacific time, alongside Tweets of our regular news, blogs, and original writing.
As of this writing, our informal Twitter poll showed some not entirely surprising results---50% of respondants say their parents set some kind of rules down for playing games as a kid, but it's been interesting to watch the number of readers saying their parents played with them increase over the last few hours.
For our weekly #DevsAnswer column: how much did your parents support you playing video games as a kid?— Gamasutra (@gamasutra) April 29, 2016
This number's probably going to get larger as the years go by, and could shift how future game developers come to understand video games as their parents shape their tastes the way they can help pass down their favorite books and movies. But from the stories our readers provided us, it's also fun to learn how many of their parents were as into gaming for themselves as they were for their kids.
@gamasutra My parents supported me a lot and even stayed up all night to complete Super Mario World.— Gary Lloyd (@GaryLloyd89) April 29, 2016
@gamasutra My mother found out about the Gameboy before my brother and I did (we were really little). Best Christmas ever.— Beyond Solitaire (@beyondsolitaire) April 29, 2016
@gamasutra Fully. We didn't have a lot, but my mom made sure she played NES with me, and drove me to arcades.— Isaiah T. Taylor (@Bboy_Izilla) April 29, 2016
A few said their parents were slightly supportive, if still insisting on some rules.
@gamasutra I had lenient time limits and enough "buy it for me" budget, but they didn't go so far as to play with me.— Tim (@TPaz117) April 29, 2016
@gamasutra They forbade me from playing video games on schooldays. To this day, their rules have positively shaped my work ethic.— Mitch Sabbagh ミッチェール (@Watfen64) April 29, 2016
And then of course...there were the ones who were really not fans of the whole endeavor at all. Given the job descriptions these three now boast, things seem to have have worked out just fine for them.
@gamasutra NOT AT ALL. My time was monitored and limited to a half-hour/hour a day until I was like... Writing graphics programming books.— Trent Polack (@mittense) April 29, 2016
@gamasutra Dad got us the Atari 2600 when it first came out. He regretted it for decades until I built a legit career out of it.— Rex Dickson (@RexDEAFootball) April 29, 2016
@gamasutra None. I had to sneak away with allowance to play arcade games.— Fredrik Skarstedt (@Fredrik_S) April 29, 2016