How Much Is Too Much?
I’ve collected video games since I was old enough to buy them on my own. Age 18 to be exact. When I say collect, I really mean it. I didn’t just buy a lot of video games to waste my life sitting in front of a TV screen twiddling my thumbs over plastic controllers. I’m talking about serious collecting. Let me give you some rough numbers to put it in perspective. Also note that 90% of this stuff is packed up in boxes in Japan. I don’t want anybody trying to get me cast on Hoarders.
I probably own 36 unique consoles. Many of those I own US and Japanese versions of. That’s not including duplicates of some consoles. So all in all there are probably 80+ consoles … alone. Games? Uhhh … probably in the 900 range. That’s over all consoles, US and Japanese pressings. Then there are peripherals like R.O.B., Super Scope 6 and a slew of other stuff. It’s pretty ridiculous all in all. I’m well aware of this and I’m actually strongly considering fully cataloging it all next year and selling the entire lot on eBay as one enormous set. Well, save a few very rare and/or custom things that I’d really regret getting rid of.
As you can tell, it would make total sense for my son to love video games. He will hop from one game to the next whenever he can. If we allow him to, he can sit there for hours on end and play. When I was kid, I didn’t finish games. This kid will rip through a game in just a few days. I’m sure all of you 80s babies out there know that Nintendo games were outrageously difficult though. This new stuff is for a different type of brain. To beat the games we were playing at age 10 you had to be lighting quick and memorize entire game patterns to win. Even still, he actually plays the games we buy for him to completion. That is a good thing.
As a parent, I find it tough sometimes to always say how much is too much. His grades have never faltered. He’s always polite. He always listens. The only major negative is that sometimes he’s detached. All I have to do is give him a reminder to be engaged with the people around him and he’ll listen. At times when I thought he was too wrapped up into games and missed a homework assignment or two, I’d limit his gaming time to weekends only. Recently, he hasn’t had any restrictions and I’m getting that, “too much” feeling again.
My reluctance to limit his time has been due to the cold weather in NY. He can’t go outside and play really. He reads every day and anything I ask him to do, he quickly hops up to do without any fuss or resistance. I’m not sure what to do on this one, WGK readers.
In relation to your kids and video games, how much is too much for you? Please let me know in the comments how you manage your child’s gaming time.