The first step: research what is already playing. Express genuine interest and not condescending and you might find some that you like them and you. If your children have already played one before, ask them to explain the game, no matter how absurd and mysterious look. Tell them to leave you again and what do you give tips to improve. It is possible that his answer will surprise you.
It is likely that your children play for at least one of the three most popular games among children — “Fortnite”, “Roblox” and “Minecraft”— each one of them is played by hundreds of millions of people.
If your children play “Fortnite”, in which a hundred players fight until only one survives, the game is interesting to you to see it, but you must have realistic expectations about playing with them. “Fortnite” reward teamwork, cooperation, and strategic planning, but also requires a certain level of reflexes, coordination between eyes and hands, and manual dexterity that exceeds that of anyone who can recall the presidency of Bill Clinton.
“Roblox” is not a single game, but a platform for thousands of different mini-games created by the users. Some of those minigames are more manipulators to try to get real money from players in comparison with others. As with “Fortnite”, it is unlikely that the parents will have fun much with “Roblox”, although for a different reason: much of their content is too simple.
However, “Minecraft” has probably the biggest attraction of any video game both for adults and for children, and for good reason. The basic formula of “Minecraft” —explore a world newly created, find materials, build structures— generates a cycle of discovery and creation, as well as a community that is stimulating enough for adults as curious, but also sufficiently accessible to captivate young children. If your children already play “Minecraft”, give them the opportunity to show you a new hobby, as long as you can withstand the graphics composed of blocks.
If none of these options are attractive, don’t give up. There are many other options that can be attached the same way to parents and children, both in multiplayer games that are played simultaneously such as in solo games that are developed as part of a team. And most are available for multiple platforms.
A last council before the recommendations: don’t let the graphics cartoon style discourage you. In the same way that the best animated movies are written to entertain both young children and their parents, video games often use the same strategy: to present systems of play ingenious with simple images.
For ages between 5 and 8
— Nintendo Switch. The console Switch is varied enough to include games for all ages, but before that the children have the age to play so well can enjoy the “help” to move forward in a game that will awaken the nostalgia. I know parents who currently play versions in Switch of “Super Mario Bros.” and “The legend of Zelda” with “help” from your children for 4 years. The new and very popular “Animal Crossing” to Switch is a perfect example of a video game that is deep hidden under a guise of child’s play.
— “Gang Beasts”. Sometimes the family just needs to face using characters chubby, funny, memorable and gelatinous.
— “Just Dance 2020”. We all have problems to get the exercise we need —not to mention moments of pure fun—. “Just Dance” can provide both, and both sweat healthy as you and your family can bear. Includes tracks from major pop stars like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Billie Eilish.
— “Overcooked 2”. Chaos and laughter emerge from the kitchen, while up to four players try to cooperate to prepare and serve meals to customers becoming more demanding. Bonus potential: you Can make the children to value more their personal chefs in real life.
For ages between 8 and 12
— Lego. Yes, Lego still manufactures small blocks plastic construction, but the concept of Lego has extended to video games in worlds that include “star wars”, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC and “the lord of The rings”. The games tend to be great in their own right, but also can help you to present your kids a franchise that you love.
— “Rock Band 4”. A complete set of peripherals that look like musical instruments may cost hundreds of dollars, but “Rock Band” can provide the fascinating experience of really playing music.
— “Rocket League”. Cars flying with a rocket that hit a ball to play soccer at a high speed. Like in football, real, team work triumphs over all.
— “Stardew Valley”. Despite his appearance, tender strategy and construction of foundations in “Stardew Valley” are sufficiently accessible for children (and adult beginners) and at the same time sufficiently rich for the expert players.
— “LittleBigPlanet 3”. “LittleBigPlanet” is not just a game of platforms, eccentric and charming —in which players traverse places treacherous and like a riddle— but also a construction kit that allows users to create and share their own levels with a global community. It’s available exclusively for the Playstation of Sony.
For ages 12 and up
— “Cities: Skylines”. “Cities: Skylines” is the king modern and sophisticated in the genre of city-building made popular by the first time by “SimCity”. The title and its many expansions make the urban planning and disaster recovery, as difficult as you want to make them.
— “Forza” (Windows/Xbox) and “Gran Turismo” (PlayStation) are the franchises prestigious car racing for their respective platforms. The racing may be virtual, but the adrenaline is real.
— “7 Billion Humans”. Video games “educational” generally act as a sleeping pill, but “7 Billion Humans” teaches you the basics of computer programming almost before you realize it. You control equal to the total of the population of the Land of small people who are irresponsible. Can you elucidate the correct instructions so that they can avoid their own destruction?
— “Sid Meier’s Civilization VI”. For a long time, the classic series “Civilization,” focuses on the player to guide a society emerging from the stone age to the space age. The most recent edition is a captivating successor to both adults and older children with an interest in the strategy and the story.
— “World of Warcraft”. If you want to start a long fantasy adventure in which you and your children will have to learn to work together and depend on one another, the venerable “World of Warcraft” still provides the virtual realm more extensive and appropriate. However, you will need multiple computers. I suggest starting with the classic version and then opt for the modern version known as “retail” if it manages to hook in.
Candice Odgers, right, plays “Minecraft” with their children in their home in Newport Beach, California, January 15, 2020.