The Saturday Weekend Review #36: Video Gaming costs, children and relationships

Yoshi-the-saturday-weekend-review

Get Lost In The Gaming World

It’s been talked about on numerous occasions how video games encourage children to become less active and for some they get lost in a fantasy world and find it difficult to let go of. Some children interact so well with the characters in video games that they do believe they are real which is no different from believing that Mickey Mouse is magical. While garage sailing I tend to be very attentive to what people are selling because everything for sale if all theirs paints a picture of a family.

I’ve also looked at novels that are for sale and you can tell what type of person might be reading these books in the home. One stark discovery is that almost all garage sales that I went to with children were selling off video games. They aren’t cheap either even at a garage sale especially since buying them new might run you upwards of $50 dollars or more depending on the game and the system. I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination in fact I haven’t touched a video game since the 80’s and neither has my wife.

80’s Arcade games

Are video games good for kids?

In 1981 we were given Donkey Kong then in 1986 Tetris blew up the screens, then there was Duck Hunt, Frogger, Pole Position, Centipede, Q-bert and then Pac-Man in 1980 with kids and adults going wild for these games. My wife recalls going to arcades as a child with her bag of quarters that she would get from the bank after swapping in her allowance bills from her paper route. Her recollection of her youth brings her back to spending most of the weekend after her chores and paper route living in a dream world of Arkanoid and Mario brothers which were 2 of her favourite games growing up.

She said she wasn’t happy until she could conquer the Arkanoid game and she did but it cost her many weeks allowance and then some. The game somehow challenged her until the end. She wasn’t going to let the game win and she was prepared to do whatever it would take to bring home the gold. There were times she said when people would huddle around her because she was doing so well.

The game literally encompassed her being on the weekends when she went out to play with her friends only because the arcade was a stone’s throw from her family home. Although her parents taught her about money from a young age she would set aside a portion of her earnings from her paper route to enjoy gaming when she wasn’t at home playing with her other love, the keyboards.

Just when she thought she could start banking her allowance though they came out with a new version of Arkanoid and the gaming started over again but this time she started to see it on hand-held systems where she didn’t need to insert coins. She later learned that the game although many would say is a waste of time and money taught her to never give up when she wanted something so bad if even a win.

In some ways she believes it has shaped her work ethic and the way she tackles her projects on a daily basis. She’s laughing as I type this because she thinks back to all the money she spent and how much work she needed to do to earn that money and she has nothing to show for it. Not everyone feels this way but for her the skills she gained were skills she could have formed via other outlets which may have inspired her further.

Best Gaming

What is the best video game system for kids?

Today new video game systems are much more intricate than they were in the 80’s and 90’s and interactive as such with the Wii, kinetic on X-box and the move on play station where the aim is to get gamers up and moving so they aren’t doing nothing for hours on end. You will find games on iPods, cell phones and really just about any device you can think of today. Like anything in life balance is important.

If kids are spending every waking hour playing video games, adults included they are giving up precious moments in life that could be spent building other successes. Many gamers have went on to become developers and it’s part of their life now so for a small percentage gaming could become their future income source if they are hired by the right organization. The reality is many won’t but for those gamers out there that want to still play or have their kids play I think it’s important to set limitations.

When I was young playing meant we went outside to play and we would run around for hours pretending we were characters we saw in the movies or in our morning cartoon sessions. The boys wanted to be superman and the girls Wonder Woman. We didn’t have scooters and battery operated vehicles to bring us from point A to point B we used our 2 feet and we made out fine.

There’s not much of that these days but if we could only recognize the pros and cons to how we choose to spend our time we’d accomplish much more and the children of the future may just bring us a new sense of commitment to getting the job done and not giving up. Sometimes the problem with gaming is when people don’t know when to stop. If you want to learn how to play kids games you can play along with them especially the educational games because family kids games include everyone.

The cost of games even if you do a trade at shops like EB Games with their trade-in options can get pricey and you can easily break the budget and fast. Alternatively there are video games online for kids which you can download and play that are free or may cost minimal charges. You won’t get back near what you paid for a game but you may be able to trade a few games to get another used game so the cycle of gaming continues on and on. I know many people who have all the gaming systems you can think of and the games to go along with it.

I sometimes think if they only invested the money they spent how much they’d have in 5, 10 or even 20 years time. Leave the video games and get up and get out and enjoy the freedom the world has to offer at no charge but that’s just not a reality in 2013 although many parents are opposed to even bringing a gaming system into the home.

Responsible gaming at any age

Video games are also responsible for marriage breakdown where one partner or the other becomes so engrossed in a particular game or many games and shuts him or herself out from the world like my wife may have done when she was younger trying to conquer Arkanoid.

One ex-couple we knew (We are friends with the wife) the husband was so into his games that he would barricade himself in a spare bedroom with a 2 litre bottle of coke and chips and game all day and night on  the weekends. Nothing would get done around the house and they lived in a brand new home. We are all entitled to down-time in a relationship, heck even I don’t want to be with my wife 24/7 but there comes a time where we need to get ask when is enough is enough.

She was left to cut the lawn and to do the home maintenance because it was near impossible for him to do things as he always complained he was tired from working yet he had no problem staying up pulling all-nighters with his love, the video game. Not only that but he was chatting online to people all over the world who were gamers and having fun while she sat waiting for him to romance her and do things with her. He left his wife to do what she wanted, and that she did. She divorced him one year after marrying him although for most they would say she knew this about him before she married him.

I think dating and marriage go hand in hand and it was something she simply over-looked because she loved him but later realized that she couldn’t compete with a video game. Although there may have been an educational lesson there for her and her when she was younger such as eye and hand coordination and challenging oneself without giving up if she was older and married she might have found her spouse packing his bags.

She says she does remember a negative about playing video games when she was young and that was she became very aggressive. She would easily get frustrated and angry out loud not caring what anyone would think. I’m sure if you are a gamer you can relate to this emotion as many do talk out loud, get angry and very aggressive which could spill into life dealings with people. Today video games are very graphic and some may not be suitable for certain age limits and for good reason.

Are more failed relationships around the corner?

Should there be an age limit to gaming? Well, no one can say for sure since it’s a form of entertainment and education for many but with a world full of so much beauty it would be a shame to see it pass us by living in a world of dreams. I do believe that parents should monitor their child’s use of games, internet usage and to keep the gaming in a common area and not a bedroom. I also think that if a certain behaviour is becoming apparent it’s important for a parent to step in and stop that behaviour before it gets out of hand.

Your child may not only exhibit a behaviour outside of the home and at school but they may just treat you the parent with the same oppressive behaviour in other facets of your parent-child relationship. If you factor in the cost of games especially if you are buying one game a week you are teetering on the realms of a costly sport at best. There’s nothing wrong with a good dose of gaming but I think being responsible and recognizing that balance is very important on many levels for children and for adults.

What are your thoughts about video games in relation to cost, children and relationships?

Did you have a favourite video game growing up?

Garage sailing with Jen

brain-quest-kids

The garage sale season is wrapping up for us here and although many people still have indoor garage sales in the Fall and Winter it’s still a great way to find some hidden treasures at a fraction of the cost. So keep your eyes peeled online especially on Kijiji or on Facebook 24 hour auctions for your area to score some great deals. Jen went garage sailing this morning and oddly enough she found a kids game which are brain games that you can play with your kids for a great price.

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her guest post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

Today I got 4 x Brain Quest deck packs. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these for brain exercises for kids. They were asking $2 each and I got them for $1 each.

Total spent today: $4.00

Gardening and Landscaping

Well, where do I start with our garden. To be honest, it hasn’t performed like we wanted it to and you might be stunned to find out that I’ve ripped it all out. It’s near the end of September and the tomatoes hardly grew up the posts, the peppers were struggling so I don’t know what went wrong this year.

I think back to what Katrina said about planting in the same spot year after year or it was too much rain or my soil didn’t have enough nutrients. I admit that with having to landscape the front yard this year I didn’t give as much attention to the back gardens like I did in the past when everything grew in abundance. We also decided to take out the raspberry bushes which have been there for about 20 years now. We don’t mind raspberries but we aren’t the biggest fans and they take up a huge chunk of our garden.

My aim for the back garden for next year will be to keep it simple. I don’t want to have to spend a fortune watering plants and flowers so I’m going to go with shrubs and few flowers. I will have a couple of hanging baskets instead of the many we have had in the past. The herbs we will continue to grow them in abundance since we use them quite frequently.If we had a bigger garden things might be different but we want to make the most of our space for next year.

How did your garden perform this summer?

Blog update

The blog is almost complete and we are putting the finishing touches on it and soon enough you will see a much more vibrant page for all of you to hang out on with me.

Make sure you are subscribed via email because once I leave free WordPress if you are not subscribed via email you may stop getting my posts in your inbox.

Blog Posts On Canadian Budget Binder This Week

You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily posts in this reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

PLUS…. check out the NEW FEATURE I’ve added which is my New Free Recipe IndexYou get all the recipes that I have posted here at Canadian Budget Binder in one spot so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Making a difference

mo-money-mo-houses

Hi there! My name is Jessica and I’m the owner, editor, and sole author of the blog Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. I’m originally from Vancouver, but this June my husband and I took a big leap of faith and moved all the way to Toronto to pursue our dream careers.

I started my blog just under two years ago as a way to teach myself about digital marketing and to have an outlet where I could write about one of my biggest passions: personal finance. As much as I hoped to develop my web skills from it and maybe gain a few readers (besides just my immediate family), I never expected how much I would learn in the process or that I would become part of a huge community of frugal savers just like me.

Although it’s sometimes challenging maintaining a blog and it was a big risk choosing to use my real name and image to brand it, starting my blog is still one of my proudest accomplishments. My hope is that through my blog I can similarly inspire my readers to challenge themselves, take risks and do things that scare them in order to grow, all while making financially savvy choices.

Blog share

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website. Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals

Carnival glory

Google search terms

web search terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Here are a few of my favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

This has to be the first week that I struggled to find some funny Google Search Terms

  • Our agent was late to our open house: Uh huh and what exactly will searching that online do for you?
  • What do women want love or money?: I’m not sure you will find the answer you are looking for
  • A typical budJET: i never thought of my budget as a powerful engine but if you do think about it, it really is!!
  • Mr. Fruit Crisps: Nope not me

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Growing up, one of my friends had a Pac Man arcade game in her basement! So much fun! Yeah, the gardening this year got off to a late start with a long winter–hopefully better next year!

  2. I am terrible at video games, and don’t see the fun. Although, back in the day, I did like that one where you got to drive the race car with a real steering wheel. Have a great weekend.

  3. Mary F Campbell says:

    Next year I want to can some of summer’s bounty but I am looking realistically at my time management.

    I am still running a company from home, in charge of our personal finances, legal, income tax & estate issues, supervising the gardener and now supervising other trades when we have them into the home. Factor in my love of cooking, the ongoing downsizing of our possessions, our travel plans, family commitments, the desire to pickle and can next summer, wanting to become more physically active with hubby, enjoying a little reading or crocheting, participating in CBB discussions and I can honestly say…I don’t have time for my own garden. I think I’ll stay with buying right from the growers. My hat is off to those that can do it all… I sure can’t.

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    Back when the kids were very small, we had an Atari computer system and games for that. Hubby’s fave was something called Qix and he loved it!! Shutting down the old Atari had to be done in a certain order and the older boy had it down pat. His grade two classroom had the same system for educational games and he was the only kid in the class to be allowed to use it on his own without the teacher doing set up and shut down. Hubby’s trick was to get a game or some such for it and just fire it in and go to town without having a clue….while he was waiting for his turn our son would be reading the instructions so that when his Dad ran into trouble he could bail out Dad’s sorry butt again….
    We had a nephew that was into the whole Dungeons and Dragons game thing…. He now works for a software company in Montreal. We googled his name once and got a list of games that Danny has worked on. It was actually kind of neat to read about!
    The boys don’t have much in the way of games for their computers these days, the younger one has a blog he talks about and the older one has sites he likes to visit a lot. I hear about these things, usually at the table during meals. Both know their way around YouTube way better then I ever will!!! Lol! I think the last game we bought here was one of those flying programs that the boys had a little fun with but you needed the separate controls to run it properly…. Oh well…
    I’ve see those games that Jen got at the garage sale around here and there. They look like fun…
    I’m still battling weeds in the garden here. Something chewed off the one tomato plant at ground level but the other one is getting big and has a few tomatoes on it,should have stacked it but didn’t…oops. I see at least one pepper on the plant and the basil and sage are looking good. A few flowers need dividing soon.
    I’ll have to check out the blogs you listed, I already get Jessica’s. looks like the weekly chuckles were running a bit thin this week,oh well. Hope you are having a good weekend. I’ll be trying to get my grocery shops posted tonight…..

  5. Wow this was perfect timing! My stepsons are addicted to video games! The unfortunate part of this is when they come for their weekends with us. I constant struggle to drag them away from the TV and the XBOX. As the adult in this situation, you would think it would be not an issue but unfortunately their father does not see the problem as he is playing with them. I find this brings up arguments very weekend. I don’t think that playing video games is a bad thing, but when it takes up the whole weekend it becomes infuriating. We have discussed this many times, but I think dad gives in to his boys because saying no is no fun when he gets so little precious time with them. I don’t know if this will ever be solved, so I try to plan things to do so they at least get out in the fresh air a little bit. So since their friends all play ALL the time and their dad is willing to let them throw their youth away, and as the oldest boy reminds me “your not my mom” I have almost given up.

  6. All I can say is I will never get tired of your “Search Words” piece! LOL, in my eyes, you are now Mr Fruit Crisp :)

  7. I like how a lot of games these days are free to play like DoTA, Team Fortress 2, and even some console games. I think just like any other form of hobby gaming can be a balanced part of people’s lives as long as they don’t abuse or get addicted to it lol. My favourite game as a kid was Super Mario World for the Snes :)

    The gaming industry has changed a lot since the 80s and 90s, and has grown in market value by many times. It has now become a profitable venture for many retail investors looking to get into the entertainment industry. A big budget game requires $50 to $100 million to produce and market and the larger franchises like Call of Duty and Halo ends up generating more than $300 million per title in sales which is a terrific return :D Thanks to the large tax credits across many provinces (37% of all game developer salaries in Ontario is subsidized by taxpayers for example) We have some of the greatest game studios in the world right here in Canada, creating awesome brands like Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed and exporting our creativity and products to the rest of the world :) The tax credits are returned back to the provincial governments through income taxes paid by game developers and knock on economic benefits.

  8. Those Brain Quest games that Jen got are super fun and great for playing with your kids! Great buy, Jen. Mr. CBB, I agree with you about kids and gaming. Even our bright, responsible Maddie, who doesn’t game but instead creates videos for YouTube and art for DeviantArt, we’ve got to really watch her. It’s so easy (even I’ve done this with blogging) to get mesmerized and a bit obsessed with this online/computer culture. We’ve never let our kids play much in the way of video games, and because of that now they simply don’t have much of a desire for it. Our rule for video games is a half hour a day, and I think they played games two days this summer, maybe three. Instead, we encourage outdoor play and family time like hiking, cooking or just hanging out. For us anyway, it makes for a closer family, and happier kids. FYI, I was the Centipede queen at the local convenience store when I was growing up. Anytime you’re up for a challenge, you just let me know. :-)

  9. Oh Mr. CBB, you bring back memories. Donkey Kong, PacMan, Kaboom, and Frogger were my favorites, but my love for these games was nothing compared to my love of my friends. I am sorry to see games taking over children’s lives. Is there a correlation between childhood obesity and video games? I would bet there is. I teach struggling readers who haven’t even read one whole novel the whole summer, but have logged several hours a day on video games. I am really saddened to see it.

    I too enjoyed the trek to the arcade in the mall, but I can’t imagine being an adult and playing a video game. I just simply can’t. I am so sorry for your friend’s marriage. What a shame.

    Great post. So well thought out, presented, and I really like your lead in and examples.

  10. The percentage of children grown old 6– 11 years in the United States who were obese enhanced from 7 % in 1980 to almost 18 % in 2010. Likewise, the portion of adolescents aged 12– 19 years that were overweight improved from 5 % to 18 % over the very same period.

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