OK kids, did you remember to finish your homework, brush your teeth, and smash every pot in the village?
As a parent, it’s your duty to make sure you teach your kids the right way to do things. The right way to talk. The right way to eat. And, of course, the right way to enjoy role-playing video games.
OK, so maybe that last one is something that many parents negligently fail to teach their kids. But Japanese Twitter user and mom Rokutosei (@bCp1Lh7C7pWatx8 on Twitter) accepts the responsibility of educating her children on proper RPG adventuring protocol, even if it’s not always an easy process, as she shared in the following tweet.
“I just can’t allow my kids to look up RPG guides on the Internet. The other day, I got upset and told them ‘Did you talk to everyone in the village, like you’re supposed to?’ It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever said those words.”
It’s definitely an old-school play ethic that Rokutosei is espousing. Back in the day, gamers generally had to figure out how to make progress on their own. Bumping into roadblocks at various parts of the game was to be expected, and for many fans, the challenge of discovering how to get past them, and the satisfaction of pulling it off, was a major part of what made them enjoy playing games. “I still can’t forget the excitement of learning, for example, a merchant who only gives you the options of buying or selling items if you talk to him from across the counter suddenly gives you an important hint if you enter the shop from the back entrance and stand next to him. My children, your mother believes that these things are the true joy of playing an RPG.”
Rokutosei’s initial tweet has racked up about 50,000 likes, with other do-it-yourself-style RPG fans voicing their agreement with comments like:
“I just said the exact same thing to my son the other day. When he wants to know something about a game he’s playing, he just watches a video about it, but I want him to know what really makes games fun.”
“On a regular basis I say to my kids ‘Did you search every chest? Did you smash all of the pots?’
“On my first playthrough of a game, I try to beat it all on my own, and I save checking a guide for stuff I missed for a second playthrough.”
However, others felt that Rokutosei’s ideals don’t perfectly mesh with modern game design.
And then there was the person who saw Rokutosei’s children’s reliance on help from others as an opportunity to raise their respect for their mom:
“If you give them the information they’re looking for, it’s like you’re a real-life RPG NPC villager!”
As the many different opinions show, this is actually a surprisingly deep debate. Sure, games are supposed to be fun, so kids being able to play them however they want is definitely an easy stance to take. But there’s also some sound logic to believing that kids should at least try to overcome challenges on their own first, and not go running to someone else as soon as some difficulty puts a speedbump in their path to fun. You could draw a parallel to sports, musical instruments, or art projects, all of which are also supposed to be fun, but also contain a built-in degree of difficulty which children build character by facing.
Rokutosei also tweeted to clarify that she’s not completely against her kids looking for hints online, and that she does believe that people are free to enjoy their entertainment media however they want. All the same, she doesn’t want her kids to ignore the in-game townspeople and also to be able to take some initiative in thinking for themselves. Figuring out the right balance might be a little tricky, but it’s another example of the new family issues coming about with the first generation of kids whose parents also grew up paying video games.