As a 33 year old whose first experience with a home console was his dad's Atari 400, I have become quite accustomed to video games. I have certainly been aware of the oddities in video games over the years, but I would say most of the time that I'm playing them, I don't think much about their quirks and limitations.

My oldest daughter turned five last month, and she just recently started taking an interest in video games. I've occasionally played them with her since she was about two or three years old; and just a few weeks ago, she started asking me if we could play them together, rather than me asking her if she'd like to play. We had a blast playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 together, and it was actually her idea. I was trying to find a level she could try in the game because the controls are pretty complex, especially if you are riding Yoshi. I chose a sliding level where Mario frequently has to jump over spikes while sliding to the bottom of the obstacle. She came up with the idea of me controlling Mario's movement with the nunchuck while she held the Wii remote to control his jumping. It's very similar to how we played Sonic 2 when she was younger - she sat on my lap and pushed right on the d-pad and I did all the jumping. 


So this past weekend, I decided to start playing a game with her that I recently picked up - Lego City Undercover for Wii U. She had a lot of questions and comments as we took turns playing. Here are the ones I can remember at the moment:

Why can't we go in these houses?
I felt bad for her & told her that maybe we would get a chance to go in some buildings later. I said, "At least we got to go in the police station, right?" She said, "Yeah, but he had to go in there because that is where he works."  

Why do you have to collect all the coins?
I told her that I didn't have to but I wanted to. She said, "But why?" 

It's doing this again? (Loading Screen)
Lego City Undercover is awesome, but there are a lot of loading screens and some of the load times are long. 

So the bad guys disappear when you catch them? Where do they go?
Your character puts handcuffs on the bad guys & they just vanish. I said, "They got taken to jail, but the game didn't show them going there." 

She's a pretty girl... too bad he ran her over (I unintentionally hit someone with my car).
I basically just gave her a, "don't worry about it" response. I said, "She'll be okay."

You can just take anyone's car?
Fortunately the main character is a cop & he did have some bad guys to catch, so I didn't have to pull a "stealing is fine because it's just a game" excuse. I just told her that sometimes cops need to borrow people's cars in an emergency. 

Aren't you supposed to go find that girl? (I was wandering around, collecting bits & not going to the objective.)
It was an ongoing thing for her to remind me that my character had something he was supposed to be doing.  


It's interesting how many things you come to accept in video games and not think much about when you've played video games for a long time. It's even more interesting to watch others play or observe games that aren't as familiar with them and immediately point out the stuff you have learned to ignore, like all the buildings you can't go into despite the fact that they have doors. Especially when you're playing an open world game where you can seemingly do anything, it's hard to explain away all the things you can't do.