Talking Point: Should You Let Your Kids Play With Your Handheld Gaming Devices?

Gollum and his precious ring (The Lord Of The Rings)
Most gamers today aged between 25 to 35 probably have kids. When a gamer dad or mom have handheld gaming devices and there are toddlers around, should they be choosy about which device they should be allowing their children to use?

It can't be helped. Children are mostly curious about everything their parents does. If you got boys, they'd be even more curious. If it's handheld gadgets, maybe it's not such a bad thing?

Buying handheld gaming gadgets today is probably affordable but are nevertheless expensive. No one would want to risk $180 or so just to get his 3DS get thrown out the window. How do you go between your emotions as a parent and your undying love for video games?

As much as I treat my handheld devices as precious things, I want to teach my kids a sense of accountability.
For most gamers, a mere scratch on their device can literally make one crazy. How much more for a broken LCD screen, loosed hinges, a hardened shoulder button or unusable analog stick?

My Vita has been dropped twice, my 3DS has been dropped countless of times and my toddler doesn't mind smashing the two screens together as soon as he's finished using it (I'm picking my 3DS from repair as I'm writing this). It's an interesting drop and durability test.

Of course, you can buy protection accessories such as hard cases, screen protectors, additional button skins and stuff. However, protection also means compromising some of the comfort of which your device is designed with. There can be the added weight for example.

As for me... As much as I treat my handheld devices as precious things, I want to teach my kids a sense of accountability. Life does teach things in a very expensive way.

How about you? Which handheld gaming devices do you own? Do you allow your kids to play with your PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS? Be sure to tell us your opinion by dropping a comment below!
3 comments Discuss in forums Posted on Sunday, November 4, 2012

mattj said...

I'm 28 and I have a wonderfully curious 5 year old daughter.  She's behind me running all over the place, trying all the items, playing with the sky-cats, and generally fooling around with Skyward Sword right now, not yet even able to read words longer than "c a t" or "r u n".  She plays my 3DS all the time.  

Pretty much as soon as I get home from work it's "Daddy... can I play the DBS?" (what she calls it).  Of course she can. :p  I've got scratches and smudges and goop in the hinges.  I swear to glob, it's like she dips her hands in honey every time before I hand it to her.

But the 3DS isn't just a handheld game console.  It's a learning tool.  She's learning to read by playing these games.  She's waaaaaaay ahead of all the other kids in her class.  The problem solving aspects of many of the games we play, like pokemon and zelda, teach her to look at the situation and think about what she needs to do to reach her goals.  It also teaches her that sometimes things are just too difficult and you've got to get help.

mattj said...

As much as I treasure my games, I've love to share them with my kids.  Beyond the fact that I just love to see them smile, it's a great opportunity for them to learn too.

Gaignun said...

I totally agree with you there. Some people seem to have a different mindset when it comes for the Vita. However, if the Vita does not function as some sort of learning tool, it'll have a hard time selling.

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