Tuesday, March 15, 2011

P0wn3d by an 8 year old

"Mom, do you want to come play Super Smash Bros with me?"

My kids are on March Break, so naturally they are spending a lot of time doing things they enjoy. That includes a lot of video game playing. I like playing most video games with them. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is not one of my favourites. I stink at it. I. Stink. Badly. Yet, my son still invites me to play.

I asked him why he wants me to play this game with him and his reply is "because I love you". I suspect there are other reasons behind it. A colleague talked to me about honourable and non-honourable PVP play, and I think my boy demonstrates both when he faces me in Super Smash battle. The noble warrior in him is patient with my lack of abilities and likes to teach me how to play. ("Mom, remember to press 2 to grab something.") The gloating braggart in him just enjoys thrashing a lower-ranking opponent thoroughly. ("I'm not telling you how to use that. Ha ha - I kicked your butt.") I think he also genuinely enjoys spending time with me doing something that he loves and is good at doing. It certainly is a boost to his self-esteem when he wins a match - which is why sometimes, when he's having a rough day or feels "overly challenged" by one of his games, he will play Super Smash by himself but set the computer opponent's level to make it super-easy to defeat. My own patience wears thin after an hour of being pummeled with neither mercy nor any hope of improvement in my playing abilities - the boy is a master of "trash talk", for sure - but if he can tolerate doing things for me that he's not fond of (cleaning up comes to mind), then I can spend time doing the same for him.

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