My son may take after me a little bit. When I was young it was Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES. The hours I spent on that game is likely unbelievable. I would get books and magazines that showed secrets and how to beat levels. I remember my hands getting sore and dreaming about the game. Probably not very healthy.
My mother likes the story of when one morning, after being grounded from the Nintendo for a while, she woke up to get me ready for school, but found I had already been up for hours playing because it was the day I was allowed to play again.
My son seems to share the ability to obese over things like this with me. For Christmas we bought him Skylanders Giants for the Nintendo Wii and he has fallen in love. For a while he was happy with just the three characters that came with the game, but then friends started bringing over other characters and he found the list of characters on the back of the game box. Luckily he’s not really greedy but there were a couple characters he really likes.
We’ve spent a number of mornings lately looking up different characters on the computer. Giants is an older version of Skylanders so it’s not easy to find the characters it seems. I thought I would surprise him and I ordered one of the Skylanders he really wanted off of eBay. After it arrived we gave him an option, he could either get his little allowance that we give him when he is helpful with chores around the house, or he could instead get a surprise. He chose the surprise. I think that has fuelled his obsession even more though. Now he knows you can get other characters. He has one or two more characters that he really likes so we may see if we can get him these at some point as well.
I kept thinking that we would get over the game soon but it seems to be escalating. Now he is searching Google Images for pictures of Skylander characters and watching YouTube videos of game play. He is actually playing the game less but still involved with it. We’ve already picked him up another version of the game that we will give him likely for an Easter gift, I think this will start him playing the game more again.
The makers of this game are geniuses. Not only have they created a game that is pretty much impossible to pirate, because you also need the actual characters to play, but you can also keep buying more and more characters and get a new experience in the same game by doing so.
I’m making it sound probably worse than it is. He doesn’t spend the hours on this stuff that I did when I was little, although if we let him he probably would. It’s my feeling that a little bit of obsession over things in life can be a good thing if you can handle it right. My mother always called it a one track mind that I had, but doing so has allowed me to get pretty good at specific things by throwing a lot of energy and time behind it when I was learning. It’s just important to not lose focus that there are other more important things in life as well.