Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crap Dad Or Great Dad?

I totally get that life doesn't have cheat codes. Totally. There are no shortcuts. No booster-packs. No level-ups. No invincibility toggle. (Of course, if you're a multi-billionaire you can ignore all that.) You makes the bed you've been given and you learns to lie in it.

You do the best you can with what you've got and try to learn the skills you need but don't currently have.

That's life. I get that.

It's a parent's job to encourage their kids to accept this and grapple with it from as early an age as possible so that they engage and stand a better chance of getting where they want to get quicker.

But Goddammit, 2 days of playing The Incredibles on PS2, trying to get to the robot battle level on behalf of my 4 year old (who only ever really wanted to play the robot level) was driving me frigging insane.

It's a brilliant game. Beautiful graphics. Superb playability.

But it's as hard as hell if you're not a full-time gamer. And the worst thing is, you fail and it sends you right back to the beginning of the level. I'd lost hours of my Christmas just getting to the halfway mark in level 3. The robot level was level 7. My 4 year old would be an old man before I got there and technology would have moved so far ahead that the PS2 would have become a museum piece.

I had 2 choices. Sit back and wait for natural obsolesence to claim me and the PS2 or do what normal, intelligent people the world over do.

Search Google for cheat codes.

I hit Google with gusto.

My 4 year old son is now happily pummelling the robot on level 7.

Life might not have cheat codes but sometimes, just sometimes, it's a parents job to cheat to make their kids happy.

And if that makes me a bad dad you can come and lock me up.



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29 comments:

Dicky said...

Great Dad. Google can always help with gaming questions.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Not crap at all. My OH has spent many a frustrating hour trying to advance on wii/ps3 games with Joseph only to have to restart from the beginning.

Bad game writers, great dad. Merry Christmas. x

Steve said...

Dicky: I can honestly say it's the most useful thing Google has ever done for me.

Very Bored in Catalunya: hearing you loud and clear, mum. Thank you kindly.

LittleLadyMondegreen said...

Sounds like very savvy parenting to me Steve. I Have written you an email just to say I won't get to LS tomorrow. A sorrow to miss coffee with you, but just being sensible about limitations.

Steve said...

LittleLadyMondegreen: just got your email - no worries. Sometimes you just have to prioritize. 2013 it is! Enjoy the rest of your stay!

Marginalia said...

I sometimes think God's got the book of short cuts and cheat moves.

Steve said...

Marginalia: well I certainly hope it's Him and not the other fellow.

the fly in the web said...

I thought everyone cheated on these games...I thought that was the idea...to fit people for employment in our brave new world where it's not what you can do on your own, but what you say you can do by looking it up on the site on the internet written by a moron.


As you see, the Christmas spirit is going strong this side of the Atlantic...

Gorilla Bananas said...

One day, when computers have limbs, there will be a penalty for such trickery. Ideally, the computer would reach out and give your beard a sharp tug.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: Christmas spirit. Make mine a double.

Gorilla Bananas: I don't think computers will apply a moral judgement to executing a task in the most efficient and elegant way possible.

Kelloggsville said...

I'm with The Fly in the web 100%. I didn't realise other people didn't 'cheat' at these things...is it really cheating? surely not?!

John Gray said...

Think of it this was.... all animals would cheat.....they would get what they want and would do so via the easiest route..
cheat?
hellno

Wylye Girl said...

I think it's a good life lesson Steve. There are always shortcuts and sometimes it pays to take them. Nothing wrong with that. Merry Holiday Tuesday!

Löst Jimmy said...

Thumbs up for cheat codes, after all the games are obviously made cheat suceptible so serves them right!
Cheat at will, but don't let on!

Being Me said...

Looking up cheat codes on the internet? Sounds about right to me. A dad who doesn't do that these days is not cool.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: good point. Why do the game designers insert cheat codes if they didn't want us to find and use them?

John: cheat = logic + commonsense. I getcha.

Wylye Girl: true. I mean, technically, in relation to walking with the legs nature gave us, cars are cheats, right?

Löst Jimmy: oh I'm happy to be honest about cheating. For some reason it makes me feel proud.

Being Me: yay! 42 years old and finally cool! Far out!

Er. I just blew it, didn't I?

Being Me said...

You *may* have... But I wouldn't know. I've never been cool and am not likely to get there anytime soon.

Steve said...

Being Me: you know what? I'd rather be in the uncool club with people like you than in the cool club with the kind of idiots that thrive there. ;-)

Trish @ Mum's Gone To ... said...

Absolutely great dad. I remember years ago playing a Lara Croft game and we died for weeks on end before someone suggested there were cheat codes. We'd still be there now, falling down into the fiery abyss, if we hadn't had a nudge from a sensible dad.

Suburbia said...

A great dad I reckon.
I spent Xmas day trying to persuade a nerf gun to work, the screws were bloody minuscule !

Steve said...

Trish: exactly. Why toil and struggle when you can cheat? Life's too short.

Suburbia: nerf - designed to get on your nerfs!

The Sagittarian said...

Hey if you can you should!

Steve said...

Amanda: that's always been my motto. Sadly it doesn't wash well with the police.

EmmaK said...

No you have my permission to look for cheat codes. My kids got DSes for Christmas and they have already turned them into monsters - I have already confiscated them.

Steve said...

Emma: wouldn't it have been easier to confiscate the DSes?

Jon said...

An inspiring tale of parental commitment. Almost makes me want to find out what a cheat code is.

Steve said...

Jon: get yourself a PlayStation and you'll find out soon enough.

Heather said...

ha, this post saved me hours of frustration. i'm not much of a gamer and hadn't eve considered that the cars2 wii game may come with cheats. Now my son can play around on the free play bits rather than having to go through the tedious 'lessons' which is all he wanted to do.

Steve said...

Heather: thank heavens for Dr. Google!