The one in which Mum is pretty cool

One of the things that happens as your offspring get a bit bigger is that they’re less interested in hanging out with you and more interested in their friends and computer games.

In our house one of the rivals for my affections is a rectangular box. The XBox 360.

Although Man of the House is only too happy to join in (!) I haven’t really had much to do with it apart from making sure the family security settings are on, which is incredibly easy to do.

So on Friday I decided to try a bit of bonding over a game. No 1 Son loves teaching stuff, and our conversation went something like this:

Him: Press the round button on the left Mum.  No not that button Mum. The one on the left.
Me: Oops.
Him: Press the button on the top of the controller Mum.
Me: Which button?
Him: Look at the screen Mum. Look at what’s happening on screen.
Me: Why are they going the wrong way?
Him: Because you’re moving them in the wrong direction.

And so on. Still it was fun, and by the end of our training session I was sort of getting the hang of it. ‘That was pretty cool, Mum,’ No 1 Son said. I was feeling all warm inside until I asked what age the game we were playing – Viva Pinata – is aimed at. ‘3plus,’ he replied. 

Meanwhile, we already have an early entry for the Christmas present stakes. It’s the new Xbox 360 gaming experience, aka Project Natal (for now). We’ve been treated to a sneak preview of it and it’s absolutely brilliant. 

Basically it enables you to play a game without touching a controller – it tracks your body and responds to your commands, and you use your whole body to play. Because it’s so interactive (you have to move around a lot) it’s also incredibly energetic, which is definitely a good thing for kids.

And their mums.

written by Liz Jarvis